U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 29, 2020
As used in this subpart, the term:
Casual use means activities ordinarily resulting in no or negligible disturbance of the public lands or resources. For example -
(1) Casual use generally includes the collection of geochemical, rock, soil, or mineral specimens using hand tools; hand panning; or non-motorized sluicing. It may include use of small portable suction dredges. It also generally includes use of metal detectors, gold spears and other battery-operated devices for sensing the presence of minerals, and hand and battery-operated drywashers. Operators may use motorized vehicles for casual use activities provided the use is consistent with the regulations governing such use (part 8340 of this title), off-road vehicle use designations contained in BLM land-use plans, and the terms of temporary closures ordered by BLM.
(2) Casual use does not include use of mechanized earth-moving equipment, truck-mounted drilling equipment, motorized vehicles in areas when designated as closed to “off-road vehicles” as defined in § 8340.0-5 of this title, chemicals, or explosives. It also does not include “occupancy” as defined in § 3715.0-5 of this title or operations in areas where the cumulative effects of the activities result in more than negligible disturbance.
Exploration means creating surface disturbance greater than casual use that includes sampling, drilling, or developing surface or underground workings to evaluate the type, extent, quantity, or quality of mineral values present. Exploration does not include activities where material is extracted for commercial use or sale.
Minimize means to reduce the adverse impact of an operation to the lowest practical level. During review of operations, BLM may determine that it is practical to avoid or eliminate particular impacts.
Mining claim means any unpatented mining claim, millsite, or tunnel site located under the mining laws. The term also applies to those mining claims and millsites located in the California Desert Conservation Area that were patented after the enactment of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of October 21, 1976. Mining “claimant” is defined in § 3833.0-5 of this title.
Mining laws means the Lode Law of July 26, 1866, as amended (14 Stat. 251); the Placer Law of July 9, 1870, as amended (16 Stat. 217); and the Mining Law of May 10, 1872, as amended (17 Stat. 91); as well as all laws supplementing and amending those laws, including the Building Stone Act of August 4, 1892, as amended (27 Stat. 348); the Saline Placer Act of January 31, 1901 (31 Stat. 745); the Surface Resources Act of 1955 (30 U.S.C. 611-614); and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).
Mitigation, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.20, may include one or more of the following:
(1) Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;
(2) Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;
(3) Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment;
(4) Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action; and
(5) Compensating for the impact by replacing, or providing substitute, resources or environments.
Operations means all functions, work, facilities, and activities on public lands in connection with prospecting, exploration, discovery and assessment work, development, extraction, and processing of mineral deposits locatable under the mining laws; reclamation of disturbed areas; and all other reasonably incident uses, whether on a mining claim or not, including the construction of roads, transmission lines, pipelines, and other means of access across public lands for support facilities.
Operator means a person conducting or proposing to conduct operations.
Person means any individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, trust, consortium, joint venture, or any other entity conducting operations on public lands.
Project area means the area of land upon which the operator conducts operations, including the area required for construction or maintenance of roads, transmission lines, pipelines, or other means of access by the operator.
(2) Lands held for the benefit of Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos.
Reclamation means taking measures required by this subpart following disturbance of public lands caused by operations to meet applicable performance standards and achieve conditions required by BLM at the conclusion of operations. For a definition of “reclamation” applicable to operations conducted under the mining laws on Stock Raising Homestead Act lands, see part 3810, subpart 3814 of this title. Components of reclamation include, where applicable:
(1) Isolation, control, or removal of acid-forming, toxic, or deleterious substances;
(2) Regrading and reshaping to conform with adjacent landforms, facilitate revegetation, control drainage, and minimize erosion;
(3) Rehabilitation of fisheries or wildlife habitat;
(4) Placement of growth medium and establishment of self-sustaining revegetation;
(5) Removal or stabilization of buildings, structures, or other support facilities;
(6) Plugging of drill holes and closure of underground workings; and
(7) Providing for post-mining monitoring, maintenance, or treatment.
Riparian area is a form of wetland transition between permanently saturated wetlands and upland areas. These areas exhibit vegetation or physical characteristics reflective of permanent surface or subsurface water influence. Typical riparian areas include lands along, adjacent to, or contiguous with perennially and intermittently flowing rivers and streams, glacial potholes, and the shores of lakes and reservoirs with stable water levels. Excluded are areas such as ephemeral streams or washes that do not exhibit the presence of vegetation dependent upon free water in the soil.
Tribe means, and Tribal refers to, a Federally recognized Indian tribe.
Unnecessary or undue degradation means conditions, activities, or practices that:
(1) Fail to comply with one or more of the following: the performance standards in § 3809.420, the terms and conditions of an approved plan of operations, operations described in a complete notice, and other Federal and state laws related to environmental protection and protection of cultural resources;
(2) Are not “reasonably incident” to prospecting, mining, or processing operations as defined in § 3715.0-5 of this chapter; or
(3) Fail to attain a stated level of protection or reclamation required by specific laws in areas such as the California Desert Conservation Area, Wild and Scenic Rivers, BLM-administered portions of the National Wilderness System, and BLM-administered National Monuments and National Conservation Areas.