Question: I went to my claim to prospect and there was someone camping on it. Can I ask them to leave?
Answer: Because all Federal mining claims are located on public lands, all people are allowed to camp, hike, fish, raft, or any other activity allowed under the law. They cannot however, prospect on your claim in any way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is it ok if I'm a few days late submitting my yearly paperwork? Is there a late fee?
Answer: There is absolutely NO GRACE PERIOD for filing your yearly paperwork late with the Bureau of land Management! If your paperwork is late, you lose your mining claim! This is true for all mining claim owners. This is why I highly recommend completing and submitting your yearly paperwork a full month before the September 1st, deadline.
If you are late filing with the County Recorder, YOU MIGHT lose your claim if someone going through the county records notices that you have not filed the County paperwork properly or on time. Depending on the type of person they are, they could file a claim over the top of you, then take you to court in hopes that the judge will rule your claim illegal with the State.
Question: What do I do if I find someone prospecting on my claim?
Answer: Believe it or not, this is very rare. Most folks who are local to the area are very respectful of other people's mining claims. Keep your claim clearly marked in several areas along the main access road or trail.
If you do find someone prospecting your claim, the best approach is to be very friendly and start a casual conversation. Once you feel comfortable, casually let the person know that this is your mining claim. Most times, the person will apologize and leave. Always take copies of your mining claim paperwork to show to others and Law Enforcement if necessary.
If they try to "bluff you" by saying it is their mining claim, offer to show them your paperwork, and politely ask them if you can look at theirs.
If the person becomes even the slightest bit obnoxious, leave immediately without saying anything and go back to your vehicle. If you can get a picture of their license plate without causing a problem, do so.
Once you are safe, contact the local County Sheriff or Law Enforcement officer for the Forest Service and let them know that someone is "mineral trespassing" on your mining claim........ let them take care of the rest.
Question: Can I make a campground or build a road on my mining claim?
Answer: Any major changes to your mining claim requires a "plan of operation" to be submitted to, and approved, by the US Forest Service. Failing to do so could make you financially liable to any marketable timber you cut down or damage to the forest environment. If the damage is severe, you could not only be held financially liable, but you could lose your claim!
Question: If I get all my mining claim work requirements done early, when can I file my yearly paperwork?
Answer: Say for example, you go spend a week working on your mining claim in October, 2017 which completes your work requirements for the 2018 mining claim year. You still must wait until at least January 1st, 2018 before filing your 2018 paperwork. August is typically the time most folks submit their yearly paperwork, but if you have everything done, there's no reason not to submit it early and have it done!