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Exploring Mines Not Illegal/National Historic Mining Initiative

Exploring Mines Not Illegal/National Historic Mining Initiative

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Published by Russell Hartill
Exploring mines in Utah is not illegal
The criminal trespass statute for entering an abandoned mine in Utah is analyzed
Two examples of "unclearly" marked mines are shown
The National Historic Mining Initiative is introduced and 12 suggested points are enumerated
Exploring mines in Utah is not illegal
The criminal trespass statute for entering an abandoned mine in Utah is analyzed
Two examples of "unclearly" marked mines are shown
The National Historic Mining Initiative is introduced and 12 suggested points are enumerated

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Russell Hartill on Oct 24, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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Exploring mines in Utah is NOT illegal
Entering a mine in Utah is illegal? News to the hundreds employed in the mining industry inUtah, and news to hundreds of mine explorers who enter Utah’s mines legally and withlandowner permission…The State of Utah passed this law at the request of the agencies involved in closing non-coalmines in order to discourage vandalism of the closures they have put in place in some of themost historic and culturally significant areas of Utah. Read carefully, it does NOT make mineexploration illegal in Utah, despite what official agency declarations may indicate.
76-6-206.1.
 
Criminal trespass of abandoned or inactive mines -- Penalty.
 (1) For purposes of this section:(a) "Abandoned or inactive mine" means an
underground
mine which
is no longer
open for access
or
no longer underexcavation
AND
has been
 
clearly 
marked
as closed or protected from entry.(b) "Enter" means intrusion
of
the
entire
body.(2) A person is guilty of criminal trespass of an abandoned or inactive mine if, under circumstances not amounting to burglary asdefined in Section
76-6-202
,
76-6-203
, or
76-6-204
:(a) the person intentionally enters
and
remains
unlawfully
in the underground workings of an abandoned or inactive mine;
or
 (b) intentionally and without authority removes, destroys, or tampers with any warning sign, covering, fencing, or other method ofprotection from entry placed on, around, or over any mine shaft, mine portal, or other abandoned or inactive mining excavationproperty.(3) A violation of Subsection (2)(a) is a class B misdemeanor.(4) A violation of Subsection (2)(b) is a class A misdemeanor.Enacted by Chapter 223, 1997 General Session
Italics and bold face words are added to emphasize the restrictions imposed by the statute on anyone attempting to enforce same.
IF it was the intent of these agencies to criminalize exploration, then this law needs to be repealed. But as it stands,“unlawfully” means without permission of the landowner. Do we have a right to explore the public lands and enter minesthereon? YES, if such mines remain
UNclearly
marked as closed or protected from entry.
AMRP-DOGM The Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program of the Division of OilGas and Mining in the State of Utah feels this sign is an example of adequateand “clearly marked.” However, the sign only tells us that the area (Gold HillUtah) is a reclamation
project 
. It does not mark a mine. It does not state which ifany openings have been closed and/or protected from entry.
Maybe DOGM feels that this marker complies with the law as enacted by the Utah Statelegislature. How long does the medallion’s
declaration
that this is an “abandoned mine area”last? Until the landowners reopen the mine, after having first complied with DOGMregulations. Why does the DOGM continue to burn the books and close these openings? Is itfor public safety, or is to the ensure that landowners and claimants have to spend multiplethousands of $$ to post bonds and promise to reclaim [read erase] these historic sites?
Are they a white hat agency or are they trying to generate revenues andperpetuate a fraud on the American people?
STOP THE CLOSURES!

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