U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Rock Springs Field Office|
The Minerals Materials Act of 1947 (July 31, 1947), as amended (30 U.S. Code 601 et seq.), authorizes BLM to sell mineral materials at fair market value and to grant free-use permits to government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The regulations which guide BLM's mineral materials program are found at 43 CFR §3600.
The disposal of mineral materials from the public lands must conform with agency land use plans. Anyone removing mineral materials must comply with all applicable laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act. Permits and contracts are subject to inspection and production verification to assure compliance.
Why are Mineral Materials Important?
Mineral materials are used in everyday construction, agriculture and decorative applications. Approximately 2 billion tons of crushed stone, dimension stone, and sand and gravel are used every year in the U.S for highways, bridges, power plants, dams, high-rise buildings, railroad beds, airport runways, foundations and sidewalks.
Transportation of mineral materials is expensive due to the weight of the materials and the large quantities needed for most construction projects. Mineral materials from the public lands are generally available to local government agencies and the general public whenever possible and wherever extraction activities are environmentally acceptable.
Can I Explore for Mineral Materials?
Mineral materials can usually be found on or near the surface of the public lands. It may be necessary to perform drilling or trenching to determine the quality and quantity of the deposit, particularly when mineral materials are covered by soil or vegetation. The materials may need to be sampled and tested to determine if they are suitable for certain uses. These activities must be authorized in writing (Letter of Authorization) by BLM. Bonding and reclamation requirements may be imposed on sampling and testing activities, and the findings must be submitted to the BLM.
Reclamation is a requirement after any surface-disturbing activity. The reclamation of disturbed sites is required to ensure that the public land can later be used for other purposes. Reclamation includes removing all surface debris, recontouring, reducing steep slopes, and restoring vegetation to the site. All reclamation proposals must conform to BLM and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.
What Happens If I Remove Materials Without Authorization From BLM?
The removal of mineral materials from public lands without a permit or contract is subject to a fine of up to $100,000 and/or a one year jail sentence.
Where Can I Get a Permit or Contract to Remove Mineral Materials from the Public Lands?
Contact the Rock Springs Field Office, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY 82901 or phone 307-352-0256.