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Thread: Help understanding BLM Patchwork of managed land.

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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2017
    Lake Elsinore, California
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    Help understanding BLM Patchwork of managed land.

    I've read the WIKI and other information, but REALLY what is up with the patch work areas that BLM manage? I'm looking at large sections of open mountains with seemingly random patches of BLM land scattered around. What am I missing here? Whis valley and not the ones next to it. Why that creek and not the next one. Is there something special about the patches that remain public?

    Because everything is better with pictures:
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    Last edited by arthos; Jul 08, 2017 at 12:08 AM.
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  2. #2
    us
    Sir

    Sep 2015
    Connecticut
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    BLM must save all the wild horses.
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  3. #3
    us
    Mar 2012
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Checker boarding of public land. Every other section of land was granted to the Rail Roads as a subsidy . Not the entire West but up to a certain distance on each side of the tracks. A lot of land !
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  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthos View Post
    I've read the WIKI and other information, but REALLY what is up with the patch work areas that BLM manage? I'm looking at large sections of open mountains with seemingly random patches of BLM land scattered around. What am I missing here? Whis valley and not the ones next to it. Why that creek and not the next one. Is there something special about the patches that remain public?

    Because everything is better with pictures:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BLM.jpg 
Views:	73 
Size:	2.08 MB 
ID:	1469714Click image for larger version. 

Name:	blm2.jpg 
Views:	71 
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ID:	1469720
    An excellent question with an answer that explains how the United States became such a rich nation.

    We've got to go back a ways in history to explain this so please bear with me. I'll try to give you the simplified version.

    When the United States won it's freedom from England there were only 13 colonies. The federal government didn't have any land until 12 years later with the new Constitution, then it got the 10 square miles where Washington D.C. is today.

    During the same time as the new Constitution was being written the Northwest Ordinance was passed settling the matter of the former colonies that had extensive western land holdings. The States in the area now known as the upper midwest occupy those lands. Still there was only 10 square miles of federal government land but those Northwest Ordinance lands set the basis for what was to become Federal Public Lands.

    It wasn't until 16 years later when Jefferson purchased Louisiana that Public Lands exceeded that 10 square miles. Louisiana at that time was huge - almost half the land west of the Mississippi river:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's a whole lot of land and there was a huge bill to pay - nearly 84,000 pounds of gold.
    The U.S. had nothing close to that much money and there were serious doubts as to whether the government ownership was even legal. The solution? Declare the land to belong to the people of the United States and offer it for sale to individuals to raise the money for the purchase. It worked! The bill was paid on time and the people of the United States now owned Public Land - a whole bunch of it!

    This Public Land was added to over the next 50 years mostly by starting wars and winning them. Winning being a relative term - Mexico charged us another 15 million dollars for the Southwest after we invaded their country and held their Congress hostage.

    Of course all that land is pretty much worthless if you don't do something with it. That's where self initiated Patents came in. It started with the Northwest Ordinance, turned into the Kansas land rush and eventually became about a hundred different ways to get some public land for yourself.

    The Patent process required a U.S. citizen to occupy the open land they wanted, follow the requirements to qualify for that particular type of Patent and then make an "Entry" with the General Land Office. The entry was the application and included a payment of a set small amount per acre claimed. If everything was in order the Patent was granted and the title was transferred from the United States to the Patentee. The land then became privately owned and was no longer Public Land.

    Imagine that originally back in the early 1800's all that Public Land would have been shown as "BLM" managed on the map you shared. As the patents were issued those parcels of Public Land would be removed from the map of public managed lands. Eventually all of the land east of the Rockies were transferred to private individuals and much of the Public Land west of the Rockies useful for farming or mining were also transferred out of the public domain by patent.

    Those "patches" of BLM managed land on the map were at one time whole large areas. What you see as patches are the areas that were not patented and transferred into private ownership. Those long rectangles missing in the middle were lode claim (mining) patents. Much of the rest of the private lands were homestead patents.

    More than 6 million patents were granted over 172 years creating virtually all of the privately owned land outside of the 13 original States. Where you live and work was most likely public land at one time until it was patented.

    Patents were fairly common knowledge when I was growing up in the West. The most common patents, Homestead patents, were still a possibility. Mining claims were regularly taken to patent. Most of that ended in 1976 when Congress passed the Federal Land Policy Management Act. The FLPMA abolished all self initiated patents with the single exception of mining claim patents. The FLPMA changed the 172 year old government policy of public lands belonging to the people. It is now the policy of the United States that the Public Lands belong to the government rather than the people of the United States

    Only mining patents are still a possiblity after FLPMA but Congress has defunded the processing of mining claim patent processing in every budget since 1993. Mining claim patents will resume when Congress passes a budget that does not withhold that money.

    So how did all this make America rich? Back in the old days before 1971 gold and silver were money. The United States was very money (gold & silver) poor until the 1850's. Up until then the only way to get money was to grow or make something that could be exported and sold for gold or silver. If folks don't have land they can't farm or mine so they can't make stuff for export. A lot of countries have this problem of too little land and too little mineable metals. The U.S. had few metal mines to drive their economy but they did have land - oodles of land. So much land that everyone could grow enough extra stuff to export and get money.

    Up until the 1850's this lack of money thing led to a lot of bartering and trading. The U.S. didn't even have enough gold and silver to mint their own coin. We used mostly Spanish silver coins when we couldn't trade or barter. After 1850 the western lands were opened to exploration and settlers and the money (gold and silver) started flowing. So much gold and silver we became the richest nation on earth.

    If it hadn't been for the inexpensive farming and mining land grants the U.S. would still be trying to trade cotton, shoes and buttons for British silver and French gold. Thanks to the patent grants each individual willing to do the work could become a wealthy land owner. Wealthy people = wealthy nation.

    It's not just a nations resource's that make it successful. Mexico has incredible natural resources, on a par with the United States. The people of Mexico are by and large poor by our standards. The difference? Mexicans seldom own the resources of the land. In the United States we settled land that already belonged to us, we just had to follow the rules and pay a minimal acreage fee and we could own the land's resources ourselves.

    So those little patches of land you see are what is left of the greatest land rush in history.

    Heavy Pans
    Last edited by Clay Diggins; Jul 11, 2017 at 12:24 AM.
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  5. #5
    us
    Hardrock prospector

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    Public Domain.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthos View Post
    I've read the WIKI and other information, but REALLY what is up with the patch work areas that BLM manage? I'm looking at large sections of open mountains with seemingly random patches of BLM land scattered around. What am I missing here? Whis valley and not the ones next to it. Why that creek and not the next one. Is there something special about the patches that remain public?

    Because everything is better with pictures:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BLM.jpg 
Views:	73 
Size:	2.08 MB 
ID:	1469714Click image for larger version. 

Name:	blm2.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	1.75 MB 
ID:	1469720
    Yes:
    The survey of the public lands has been inseparably associated with the many questions of title relating to the lands which were turned over to the Federal Government by the Colonial States, also in similar relation to those larger areas that were acquired later by purchase from, or treaty with the native Indians, or with the foreign powers that had previously exercised the sovereignty.
    R.S. sec. 2395; 43 U.S.C. sec. 751 In accordance with the foregoing legal requirements, the public lands of the United States are surveyed under the method known as the system of rectangular surveys......
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  6. #6
    us
    Jun 2017
    Lake Elsinore, California
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	tenor.gif 
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ID:	1470837 Amazing response Clay. Thanks for taking the time to do that!

  7. #7
    us
    Hardrock prospector

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    Quote Originally Posted by Assembler View Post
    Yes:
    Hello
    The following is from Survey Manual Instructions:
    In 1855 a manual of instructions to surveyors general was prepared, under the direction of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, by John M. Moore, then principal clerk of surveys, and the act of Congress approved May 30, 1862 (sec. 2399, R. S.), provided "That the printed manual of instructions relating to the public surveys, prepared at the General Land Office, and bearing the date February twenty-second, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, the instructions of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, and the special instructions of the surveyor general, when not in conflict with said printed manual or the instructions of said Commissioner, shall be taken and deemed to be a pail of every contract for surveying the public lands of the United States."
    The instructions contained in this volume arc issued under the authority given in the clause in said act providing that "The instructions of the Commissioner of the General Land Office * * * shall be taken and deemed to be a part of every contract for surveying the public lands of the United States."

  8. #8

    Mar 2016
    576
    801 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Nice explanation as to a small portion of what sets our country apart from the rest of the world.
    arthos likes this.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  9. #9

    Apr 2015
    83
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    I just learned more about my country in one post than I did in my 13 years of public education.........

  10. #10
    us
    Brian

    Mar 2014
    Central Oregon Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by n01d3x View Post
    I just learned more about my country in one post than I did in my 13 years of public education.........
    Amazing was it not? Yet when one looks at the number of people who have looked at this thread compared to those who look at a thread about how to buy sand at Home Depot and pan for gold using it; I can only scratch my head. Thanks Clay!

    Bejay
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  11. #11
    us
    Hardrock prospector

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    Hello
    The history of "D.C." in short.
    From the Records of the Columbia Historical Society:
    The need for a national capital had become increasingly apparent during the decade that followed the cessation of hostilities and planning for it had been in progress for a number of years. The Congress had met in as many as eight different cities during the war years and the constant move from city to city became increasingly difficult. Various sites had been offered and several others considered, but it was not until 1783 that a site was tentatively selected. A proposal for a Federal capital to be under the jurisdiction of the Congress was included in the draft of the Constitution which was adopted by the Congress and ratified by the States in 1787. It was not until 1790 that Congress reached an agreement on the site. The States of Maryland and Virginia had agreed to contribute portions of their respective territories to form a new Federal Territory, eventually renamed the District of Columbia, in which the capital was to be built. On January 22, 1791, President Washington a pointed Daniel Carroll, Thomas Johnson and Dr. David Stuart to serve as Commissioners to oversee the survey of the area as well as the design and construction of the city. Two days later, on January 24th, he issued a proclamation directing that a survey of a ten mile square be made and Major Andrew Ellicott was designated to make the survey. Within the next week, Ellicott was notified by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, to proceed at once to the Federal Territory to undertake his new assignment. Ellicott was notified by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, to proceed at once to the Federal Territory to undertake his new assignment. In Jefferson's directive the project was described in some detail. Ellicott was to run the first two lines to establish a point of beginning, from which he would lay out the four lines of experiment for the square.

    Foot notes:
    The foregoing descriptions are derived from Ellicott's own account of his survey of the boundary between the United States and the Spanish possessions in 1789. See Andrew Ellicott, The Journal of Andrew Ellicott, Late Commissioner on Behalf of the United States …. for Determining the Boundary Between the United States and the Possessions of His Catholic Majesty..., Philadelphia, 1803. Reprinted by Quad- rangle Books, Chicago, 1962.

    Letter from Andrew Ellicott to Thomas Jefferson dated February 14, 1791. From a draft in the possession of descendants. Quoted by Sally K. Alexander, "A Sketch of the Life of Major Andrew Ellicott," Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Volume 2, 1899, pp. 172-173.

    Letters from Andrew Ellicott to President Washington dated June 29, 1793 and February 28, 1794 and the Commissioners' reply dated March 23, 1794. U. S. National Archives, Record Group 42, Public Buildings and Grounds.
    Last edited by Assembler; Jul 15, 2017 at 03:58 AM.
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  12. #12
    us
    Hardrock prospector

    May 2017
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    Type of Survey

    Quote Originally Posted by Assembler View Post
    Hello
    The history of "D.C." in short.
    From the Records of the Columbia Historical Society:
    The "Jurisdiction of the Congress as well as the ratification by the States" plays a big roll in the "Mineral entry of issuing a Order number for a Mineral Survey". The 'Process' is spelled out in 'Land Office documents' that this one does not have. In the past this may have been referred to as "First half papers"?
    The main reason this is being pointed out is to help with the research process of "Public vs. Private Lands" is backed by 'Papers of Record that stem from the type of Survey used to generate the foundation of the papers'.
    Even today there is a "Boundary between Public and Private Lands" at most "Mines" just ask any "Surveyor".
    Any research help out there is always appreciated. Thank you as this one has a lot to learn yet.

  13. #13
    us
    Jan 2012
    California
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    Thanks Clay!!! You always have your feet firmly on the ground.

    Quick question for anyone, there are BLM parcels, many of them 1 section in size, that are surrounded by private property, very possibly the result of what Clay explained, the question is do I (we as citizens) have the right to that property (claim it) and can that land be accessed other than with the private land owners agreement to cross their land (easements)?

  14. #14
    us
    Brian

    Mar 2014
    Central Oregon Coast
    Whites GMT Garret fully underwater
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    To my understanding of this issue:

    The issue pertains to "Public Right of Way" vs "Easements". If public money went into any part of the "Access Rd" then the Public has a right to the access of the 'Public Land" upon which the road passes.

    The private land owners may have the right to gate and lock the entry to protect their private property and holdings, but they can not deny the public from entry and would be required to unlock the gate.

    Bejay
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  15. #15
    us
    Hardrock prospector

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    Middle Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by spillercanyon View Post
    Thanks Clay!!! You always have your feet firmly on the ground.

    Quick question for anyone, there are BLM parcels, many of them 1 section in size, that are surrounded by private property, very possibly the result of what Clay explained, the question is do I (we as citizens) have the right to that property (claim it) and can that land be accessed other than with the private land owners agreement to cross their land (easements)?
    Yes however a "Mineral Survey" and or "Resurvey" may be required to set a "Foundation in Law". This one will not post details about this on this open forum. Some information can be shared by PM.

 

 
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