OREGON–Disputes between a local Josephine County mining group and the United State’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding surface rights have prompted local Oath Keepers members to set up a staging area in preparation to defend the miners constitution rights to due process.
The Sugar Pine miners are maintaining their right to their current mining capacity, citing historical documents they possess guaranteeing such rights. This particular mining has been taking place for the past 100 years.
The BLM’s argument against the Josephine County operation is that the documents are outdated, and also that the property has changed hands, at some point, which would disqualify grandfather clauses for the mining operations in the eyes of the BLM.
BLM’s Jim Whittington has stated to local KDRV reporters that they have no intention of violating the miner’s Fifth Amendment rights, those guaranteeing due process of law, and that the miners right to appeal in this matter will be taken into full consideration.
Regardless of BLM assurances, local Oath Keepers have set up a ‘staging area’ to gather their personnel and resources in the event they feel it necessary to intervene to protect the miner’s constitutional rights, should they be denied by the BLM.
BLM spokesperson Mary Emerick has stated to local reporters that the Oath Keepers are a constitutional organization which “defends the constitution…here just to make sure that they receive their Fifth Amendment rights which is due process.”
Emerick has also expressed the Oath Keepers understanding that this matter may take several weeks in order to resolve using the proper legal channels, and that they are preparing themselves for the duration.