Maybe some of you already know about this and have the phone to support it. I have one of the flip phones that nobody wants to steal, so it really amazes me. On his phone he dials up google earth map and it instantly it brings up the boundaries, acreage and name & address of the owner.
It would be fantastic to have the same ap for claims, showing owner and boundaries, no more accidental trespassing.
By Clay Diggins
As they do twice a month Land Matters updated their free Mining Claims Maps. That claims map information is current as of January 1st.
The mining year is now four months along. In the last 4 months there were 6,479 mining claims closed and 14,854 new claims located as of January 1, 2018.
That's a net gain of 8,375 new mining claims in the first third of the 2018 mining year!
As of January 1, 2018 there were 391,907 active mining claims in the BLM database.
That's a big number but it represents less than 1% of all the public lands.
By Clay Diggins
A lot of prospectors have an interest in exploring closed claims. I'm not a big fan of spending time looking for closed claims for the simple reason that most claims made never produced any valuable minerals. The fact that a claim was previously located is not an indicator of valuable minerals. After all if the claim owners didn't bother to keep the claim active it probably wasn't worth having.
There are of course exceptions to that theory but a closed claim on it's own doesn't excite me. I need to know more before I'm going to chase after previously claimed ground. There were more than 44,200 mining claims closed last year alone, that's way to many to make it worth anyone's time to read through without trimming out the thousands of recent claims.
Twice a month I do compile all the claim closures updated during that half month. To get any value out of those thousands of closed claims I need to sort them out on some reasonable basis. With the twice monthly Claims Advantage Report it is possible to interactively sort those recently closed claims by Location (State, County, TRS), Claim Name, Claim Type, Closure Date as well as Year Located and Years Held.
Sorting the Report by Location allows me to watch certain areas of particular interest to me. Only the Claims Advantage reports allow you to see that information on a current basis, the LR2000 doesn't have that information so that feature is helpful. Once I see a claim being closed in an area of interest I can zoom to a custom map of the closed area right from a button on the Report claim listing. That allows me to see other claims in the area as well as check land status by downloading the Master Title Plat from the map. I can also load the current Serial Register report page from a link on the report. That doesn't complete my research of the area but it does give me enough information to decide if it's worth my time to search the County Recorder for Claim Records.
That's pretty cool to have all that information available with a couple of clicks. I use the reports a lot myself. The real power of these Reports starts to shine when I sort by Year Located or Years Held. Remember how I said how most claims made never produced any valuable minerals? Well that doesn't really apply when you see someone has maintained a claim for many years. It makes me sit up and take notice when I see a claim that has been held for anywhere from 20 years to 125+ years. THAT is information I can use!
Being that I keep all this information on hand I can sort this information on a much longer timeline than the half month available in the Claims Advantage Reports. By sorting for all the Closed Claims that were held for at least 20 years or more AND were located on now unclaimed land I can see the claims that people valued and kept that are now open to location. That may sound like there wouldn't be that many established closed claims on productive ground right? Well surprise surprise! There are nearly 20,000 placer claims that meet that standard!
Naturally I share this information with my favorite charity Land Matters and naturally Land Matters makes this information available to it's Claims Advantage Members.
Here's a brief look at how these claims stack up in each State:
Surprising isn't it?
Here's a quick heat map to show the general location and density of all these open areas:
Here's a link to an online interactive map so you can look a little closer.
That's a whole bunch of open ground with a HIGH potential for valuable minerals. Whether you are looking for open ground to prospect or are researching for a potential new claim looking at this closed claim information from a more organized and selective angle can really pay off. If you are looking for an edge the Historical Placer Claims Report is a good start.
By Clay Diggins
Anyone who uses the BLM LR2000 search function knows it can be a challenge to get meaningful results. Often the service is down but you aren't notified of a problem with the system until you go through the whole complex search process to discover there was an "error". Frustrating at times.
Well it appears the BLM decided it was time to change the look and feel of the LR2000 search function. They notified users months ago that they were working on an improved version but they caught a lot of people by surprise when they introduced the NEW! IMPROVED! LR2000 on November 1 and shut down the functions of the OLD! BAD! LR2000 at the same time.
Problem was they didn't tell anyone. The old LR2000 still appears to be there and will allow you to do a search. That search returns an error, as mentioned earlier that's not unexpected or uncommon when using the LR2000. I use the LR2000 a lot when I need the most recent information on a land or claim case file. It took me nearly 24 hours after the changeover to get fed up enough with the old LR2000 not working to try the new LR2000 which has been available but not working for the last nine months. I'm hoping the BLM will set up that old LR2000 web address to redirect to the new LR2000 page so others won't have to waste their time beating a dead search system like I did.
The old LR2000 was clunky. It reminded me of an old unfamiliar broken down right hand drive truck with a Japanese language repair manual. It was really that awkward and counter intuitive. There were many blogs, manuals and videos devoted to explaining the esoteric mysteries of the BLM's version of public access to public records, I even helped write a few myself. I made good use of the old LR2000 on the days it was working and I was glad to have it when I could get results but it needed fixing.
The new LR2000 has a cleaner less intimidating interface with a slightly simpler set of options. I really don't like the "black topo" background the BLM now puts on all their web pages. If you like the black topo theme you are probably going to like the look of these new search pages better than the old ones.
The behind the scenes search function has changed a lot from the old LR2000. I tried it on several browsers and three operating systems. I had problems on every browser and system. The Search seems to hang in some circumstances, in others it returns results as quickly as the old LR2000. The actual search itself seems to be slower sometimes. Every browser I tried had problems when it had run a few searches. The searches would eventually hang and several loops would keep the browser so busy it would lock up. That's not something I'm used to experiencing. This is a new system so I'm hoping the BLM will get these glitches out soon.
The results of each search now displays in a new interface. Essentially there will be a window frame on the results page with the document displayed inside the frame as a PDF. Like the old LR2000 there are options to download the document in several formats including Excel, PDF and HTML. You can now modify or start a new search from the results page.
Land Matters has made an effort to bypass the clunky old LR2000 interface and allow you to directly access any claims BLM serial register page directly with a few clicks on a map. This turned out to be a lot quicker way to get information on claims in a specific area without having to pound through the old LR2000. Being a direct live link to the BLM the information is as current as possible unlike other mapping programs that present static information updated every month or so.
When the unannounced changeover in LR2000 search systems happened it broke Land Matters system of direct access. With more than 380,000 mining claims being actively tracked Land Matters had a problem. Claims Advantage Members also get several reports a month. In the last two days Land Matters had released two reports with a combined total of more than 20,000 maps and direct links to a broken LR2000. That's 400,000 missing documents. Sometimes life can be.... interesting.
Needless to say I have been busy. It took 24 hours but I deciphered the new LR2000 system, fixed the links to the serial register pages and corrected, compiled and uploaded new member reports. The mining claim serial register pages linked to on the maps load more quickly than the old ones did. If you have any problems with those maps or the Member Reports please let me know.
Please try out the new LR2000 and share your experiences here. Try the Mining Claims Maps at Land Matters and marvel at the new search results. If you like the way the map link system works we can add the feature for a lot more types of research.
Arent meteorites / meteorite hunting with a metal detector still exempt from placer or lode claims? I know there has been some nice meteorites found in the Rye area's. Just be sure to leave the gold right where its at if you detect it on someones claim... :)
By Clay Diggins
The beginning of the Federal mining year is September 1st of each year. That's the date all mining claims owners need to have either paid a maintenance fee or filed a small miners waiver. If they don't meet the deadline or submit all the proper fees and forms their claims will be marked CLOSED in the BLM case files.
Even though the final date is September 1st the BLM takes a lot of time updating their records. Generally most claimants that didn't file anything will be closed by January but the Small Miners claims are often not updated until the following year beginning in January.
This is the time of year to watch for good mining lands to open up to claim. The closures dribble in in chunks throughout these months. Each BLM State Office sets their own priorities and deadlines internally so some States get their claims updated quickly - others take forever. This year Utah completed updating virtually all of their claims files in September yet California traditionally runs nearly a year behind.
At Land Matters we track the progress on these claims updates. The most recent closures are reported to Claims Advantage members twice monthly. Those members get an interactive list of of the recently closed claims listed by state. It's not possible to get this list from the LR2000 because all closed claims actions are backdated to their effective date, usually September 1st.
Here is a look at how many claims have not yet been updated to 2016 in the BLM databases and have not been closed. These claims are the ones that might still be closed by the BLM but have yet to be determined. Many of these claims are Small Miners status that won't be settled out until January or February of next year, many are in adjudication and many are claims the BLM State office just hasn't gotten around to updating.
This chart is from November 1st. There hasn't been a lot of change in those numbers with the exception of Idaho. As Claims Advantage members know Idaho has since CLOSED 1,474 claims, opening up another 29,000 acres of land to claiming.