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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Oregon / Washington

Wildlife and Claim Posts

Minerals Info
Report Mining Claim Fraud
A fence lizard and Northern Flicker were found in this pipe. Photo by Jeff King, Audubon CA-Kern River Preserve. Used with permission.
A fence lizard and Northern Flicker were found in this pipe. Photo by Jeff King, Audubon CA-Kern River Preserve. Used with permission.

Mining claim markers are becoming a problem for wildlife due to the use of uncapped metal and plastic (Polyvinyl Chloride-PVC) pipes found on public lands. Uncapped pipe mining claim markers can be a death trap to birds and other animals. Wildlife Animals trapped in the pipes cannot climb out due to the smooth walls of the pipe.

Oregon and Washington state law says opened topped pipes are not legal as claim markers. We strongly encourage the public and BLM partners to help us prevent future wildlife mortality by filling any open pipe with sand, rocks, or cap it with a large well-fitted rock.

Oregon law (ORS 517.010) for lode claims states:

(2)(a) Such boundaries shall be marked within 30 days after posting of such notice by four substantial posts, projecting not less than three feet above the surface of the ground, and made of wood measuring not less than one and one-half inch by one and one-half inch, or by substantial mounds of stone, or earth and stone, at least two feet in height, one such post or mound of rock at each corner of such claims. (b) During the course of normal maintenance of the claim location posts or monuments, any post that requires replacement and is not constructed of naturally occurring materials shall be replaced by posts that are made of wood measuring not less than one and one-half inch by one and one-half inch on a side and that project not less than three feet above the surface of the ground. (3) At such time as any lode mining claim is declared invalid by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management or is otherwise dropped by the last claim holder of record without transfer through lease or sale to another person, all claim location posts not made of natural materials shall be removed from the public domain of the United States and at the same time any post made of natural materials shall be removed or dismantled. [Amended by 1991 c.215 §1]

and ORS 517.046 for placer claims states:

(1) Unless the claim for placer deposit referred to in ORS 517.044 is located by legal subdivisions, the surface boundaries of the claim must be marked so that the same may be readily traced. Such boundaries shall be marked within 30 days after the posting of the notice described in ORS 517.044 by substantial posts or other monuments of the same size, materials and dimensions as in the case of quartz claims. The boundaries of the claim shall be marked at each corner or angle, and, when any side or end of the claim extends for more than 1,320 feet without a corner or angle, then at intervals of not less than 1,320 feet along such side or end. (2) Where the claim for placer deposit referred to in ORS 517.044 is taken by legal subdivisions, no other reference in the notice of claim required to be posted and filed under the provisions of ORS 517.042 to 517.052 than to the legal subdivisions shall be required and the boundaries of a claim so located and described need not be staked or monumented. The description by legal subdivisions in the notice required to be filed under ORS 517.052 shall be deemed the equivalent of marking the surface boundaries of the claim. [1961 c.525 §3]

Washington law (RCW 78.08.060) for lode claims states:

(1) Before filing such notice for record, the discoverer shall locate his or her claim by posting at the discovery at the time of discovery a notice containing the name of the lode, the name of the locator or locators, and the date of discovery, and marking the surface boundaries of the claim by placing substantial posts or stone monuments bearing the name of the lode and date of location; one post or monument must appear at each corner of such claim; such posts or monuments must be not less than three feet high; if posts are used they shall be not less than four inches in diameter and shall be set in the ground in a substantial manner. If any such claim be located on ground that is covered wholly or in part with brush or trees, such brush shall be cut and trees be marked or blazed along the lines of such claim to indicate the location of such lines.

and RCW 78.08.100 for placer claims states:

First. He must immediately post in a conspicuous place at the point of discovery thereon, a notice or certificate of location thereof, containing (1) the name of the claim; (2) the name of the locator or locators; (3) the date of discovery and posting of the notice hereinbefore provided for, which shall be considered as the date of the location; (4) a description of the claim by reference to legal subdivisions of sections, if the location is made in conformity with the public surveys, otherwise, a description with reference to some natural object or permanent monuments as will identify the claim; and where such claim is located by legal subdivisions of the public surveys, such location shall, notwithstanding that fact, be marked by the locator upon the ground the same as other locations.

Second. Within thirty days from the date of such discovery he must record such notice or certificate of location in the office of the auditor of the county in which such discovery is made, and so distinctly mark his location on the ground that its boundaries may be readily traced.