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Problems of Access to Public Domain, State and Fee Lands “From Shotguns to the Courthouse”

T S Ary , Patrick J. Morgan, Proceedings of 15th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1969)

This, then is what this paper will examinethe problems of access to the public domain, state and fee lands. The problems will be analyzed in the context of the relevant United States and state statutes relating to access and suggested approaches to those problems, both within and without the courtroom, will be discussed.
We agreed to conduct our operation so as to minimize the surface damage during our work. We were fortunate to be able to make our locations before our competitors had entered the area. We had executed a surface agreement to cover our activities during our exploration period. The cost of the agreement was minimal, two embarrassed geologists, two red faces [484] and bruised pride. This encounter established the approach which we would use thereafter with respect to severed mineral interests.

On only two occasions have we found it necessary to file a request with the BLM for a hearing. After each hearing we posted bond and entered onto the lands to drill. On each of these occasions, the problem arose because our contract driller entered onto the lands prematurely, causing damage before contact had been made with the rancher.

REVIEW OF HOMESTEAD LEGISLATION

At this point I would like to review some of the history of the homestead laws and the various problems of access to stockraising homestead lands.
The mining company landman a