Miner: BLM owes me

By Jayson Jacoby, The Baker City Herald

By Pat Caldwell


This week, Baker County miner Guy Michael learned that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to examine his legal case against one of the largest federal agencies in the West, perhaps marking the swan song in his very personal five-year battle.

"There is no justice in the United States," Michael said earlier this week.

Michael's legal clash with the BLM began in 2009 and eventually involved action in a number of federal higher courts and revolved around his four unpatented mining claims along the Burnt River east of Bridgeport in southern Baker County.

In early June 2009, the BLM removed Michael's property from one of his mining claims - including a backhoe and other equipment - and transferred it to an unnamed BLM facility. Michael said the BLM never paid him a cent for his personal equipment, nor has the agency returned his property.

"They took the equipment without determining if I was in compliance with the law," Michael said. "Their only complaint was that I wasn't working enough to satisfy their rules."

See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald.

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