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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Oregon / Washington

Use and Occupancy Under the Mining Laws

43 CFR 3715 Use and Occupancy by Section

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43 CFR 3715 Use and Occupancy Page 3

i. Occupancy Inspections

  1. The BLM field staff is authorized to physically inspect all structures, equipment, workings, and uses located on the public lands. The inspection may include verification of the nature of use and occupancy to ensure that use or occupancy is, or continues to be, reasonably incident and in compliance with 3715.2, 3715.21, 3715.41, and 3715.5.
  2. The BLM will not inspect the inside of structures used solely for residential purposes, unless an occupant or a court of competent jurisdiction gives permission.

j. Occupancy Enforcement

The BLM has four types of orders that it can issue depending on the circumstances:

  1. Immediate Suspension 3715.7-1(a)
    1. The BLM may order an immediate, temporary suspension of all or any part of use or occupancy if:
      1. all or part of the use or occupancy is not reasonably incident or is not in compliance with 3715.2, 3715.21, 3715.31(b), 3715.5, or 3715.51 and
      2. an immediate, temporary suspension is necessary to protect health, safety, or the environment.
    2. The BLM will presume that health, safety, or the environment is at risk and will order the use or occupancy to be immediately and temporarily suspended if:
      1. a determination of concurrence for occupancy is being conducted and
      2. there is a failure at any time to meet any of the standards in 3715.31(b) or 3715.5(b), (c), or (e).
    3. The suspension order will describe:
      1. the failures to comply with the requirement and
      2. the actions, in addition to suspension of use or occupancy, that must be taken to correct the noncompliance and the time by which use or occupancy must be suspended. It will also describe the time, not to exceed 30 days, during which to complete corrective action.
    4. The suspension order will not be stayed by an appeal.
  2. Cessation Order 3715.7-1(b)
    1. The BLM may order a temporary or permanent cessation of all or any part of use or occupancy if:
      1. all or any part of the use or occupancy is not reasonably incident but does not endanger health, safety, or the environment to the extent it is not reasonably incident;
      2. there is a failure to timely comply with a notice of noncompliance issued under paragraph (3) of this section;
      3. there is a failure to timely comply with an order issued under paragraph (4) of this section; and
      4. there is a failure to take corrective action during a temporary suspension ordered under paragraph (1) of this section.
    2. The cessation order will describe:
      1. the ways in which use or occupancy is not reasonably incident, is in violation of a notice of noncompliance issued under paragraph (3) of this section, or is in violation of an order issued under paragraphs (1) or (4) of this section, as appropriate;
      2. the actions, in addition to cessation of the use or occupancy, that must be taken to correct the noncompliance;
      3. the time by which the use or occupancy must cease, not to exceed 30 days from the date the Interior Board of Land Appeals affirms BLM's order; and
      4. the length of the cessation.
  3. Notice of Noncompliance
    1. If use or occupancy is not in compliance with any requirements of this subpart, and the BLM has not invoked paragraph (1) of this section, the BLM will issue an order that describes:
      1. failure to comply with the requirements of this subpart;
      2. the actions that must be taken to correct the noncompliance and the time, not to exceed 30 days, within which corrective action must be started; and
      3. the time within which corrective action must be completed.
    2. If corrective action is not started and completed within the time allowed, the BLM may order an immediate suspension under paragraph (1) of this section, if necessary, or cessation of the use or occupancy under paragraph (2) of this section.
  4. Other
    If an activity that is not reasonably incident but may be authorized under 43 CFR Group 2900 or 8300, or as to sites in Alaska, 43 CFR part 2560, is being conducted; the BLM may order the occupant to apply within 30 days from the date of receipt for the order for authorization under the listed regulations [61 FR 37125, July 16, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 59822, Nov. 5, 1997].
    If a BLM order, issued under 3715.71, is not complied with, the Department of the Interior may request the United States Attorney to institute a civil action in the United States District Court for an injunction or order to prevent the use or occupancy of the public lands in violation of the regulations of this subpart. This relief may be in addition to the enforcement actions described in 3715.71 and the penalties described in 3715.8.

k. Penalties for Violations Use or Occupancy Regulations

The penalties for individuals and organizations are as follows:

  1. Individuals who knowingly and willfully violate the requirements of this subpart: may be subject to arrest and trial under section 303(a) of Federal Land Policy Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1733(a)) and/or section 4 of the Unlawful Occupancy and Enclosures of the Public Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1064). If convicted, the violating party will be subject to a fine of not more than $100,000 or the alternative fine provided for in the applicable provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3571 or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months or both a fine and imprisonment for each offense.
  2. Organizations. If an organization or corporation knowingly or willfully violates the requirements of this subpart, it is subject to trial and, if convicted, will be subject to a fine of not more than $200,000 or the alternative fine provided for in the applicable provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3571.

l. Penalties for False Statements to the BLM

The accused is subject to arrest and trial before a United States District Court if, in any matter under this subpart, the accused knowingly and willfully falsified, concealed, or covered up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact or made any false, fictitious, or fraudulent Statements or representations or made or used any false writings or documents knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent Statement or entry. If convicted, the violating party will be subject to a fine of not more than $250,000 or the alternative fine provided for in the applicable provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3571 or imprisonment not to exceed 5 years, or both a fine and imprisonment for each offense.

m. Appeal Rights

If adversely affected by a BLM decision, order, or determination made under this subpart, the decision, order, or determination may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) under the provisions of 43 CFR Part 4.

n. Affects of an Appeal to IBLA

  1. An appeal to the IBLA does not suspend an order requiring an immediate, temporary suspension of occupancy issued under 3715.71(a) before the appeal or while it is pending. In this case, the provisions of 43 CFR 4.21(a) do not apply.
  2. The provisions of 43 CFR 4.21(a) apply to all other BLM decisions, orders, or determinations under this subpart.

43 CFR 3715 Use and Occupancy by Section

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