October 26, 2020 

Correspondence from the President of OAU


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 By Michael Miller

05/06/2014  10:50AM


His name is Ben Roosevelt Barker. Everyone knows him as “Buck”. His body went into the state of passive rest yesterday. His spirit will continue to roam the Sierra Nevada goldfields, so much a part and love of his life. His wish to spend his life close to the golden quartz vein below, the clean blue sky above and those priceless joys of living amidst the vibrant green Tahoe National Forest was granted. He handled solitude as it should be handled, as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome to the character.

Buck was born in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains on November 7, 1932. Maryville’s population at this time was 5,000. Midway through his eighteenth birthday, he joined the Regular Army of the United States of America. He was honorable released from active duty on May 3, 1954. The Army brought him social and cultural experiences but he saw another path to follow. He joined the United States Air Force. He was Honorably Discharged the 24th day of September 1959 with the rank of Airman Third Class Regular Air Force.

Good Fortune, according to Buck, led him to a special spot where he repeated to his many friends and acquaintances, “These mountains are my home. My wish is to live here and die here when that time comes”. That time came May 2, 2014.

Buck was a gold miner and wholeheartedly supported the gold mining way of life. He lived it. Our paths crossed shortly after I arrived in Alleghany in 1974.
His stories from personal experiences of finding gold kept a listener wishing for more. His enthusiasm was part of his charm. By giving himself, he got others to sit with him for hours of relaxation. Of course a cold beer in his hand and a refrigerator full of cold ones helped as well. He always offered that cold one. Buck was at peace with the world in his later years.

Perhaps Buck would offer the following thoughts to his friends left behind. “I’m over eighty years on this earth. My body has treated me well yet you see its decline the past few years. Death is, to a certain extent, an impossibility which suddenly becomes a reality. My passing was most peaceful. Friends were present. I spoke. I exhaled. I moved on.”
 By Michael Miller

04/30/2014  2:46PM

Sent to two elected official, two public supervisors/employees and one newspaper a quote from Sierra Fund website:

Mining Reform Bill SB1270 Passes First Senate Hurdle
Posted on April 30, 2014

The Sierra Fund is sponsor of the bill, and Elizabeth Martin, CEO, spoke yesterday as an expert witness on the benefits of the bill. Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Committee and author of the bill introduced the bill with the note that this is the first time that SMARA has been revisited since legislation championed by California State Senator Byron Sher in the 1990s.
“This bill does not in any way interfere with County land use authority to permit mines,” noted Martin, a former Nevada County Supervisor and before that a Nevada County Planning Commissioner. “It does bring new tools to the Department of Conservation to help improve implementation of SMARA. It creates a Division of Mines overseen by a State Mine Inspector; and helps improve transparency in how mining fees are used to fund enforcement. And, of course, it puts a major focus on improving the rate and quality of the already mandated annual mine inspections.”

Outright bull shit. This bill opens the door for non-profits or lawyers to interfere with our elected and appointed governments to sue any natural resource entity anywhere in California without recourse for their false allegations of public harm.

Why otherwise intelligent people assuage their guilt by funding so many dangerously misdirected environmental non-profits is a situation to change. It is a waste of precious money, time and energy. A potential quote from typical followers of the Sierra Funds that have propagated like rabbits:

“Ouch, that extraction industry (a mine) created two distinct hazards: some dust that may or may have the potential to enter my exes, throat or nose and some loose rocks or debris that may cause me to trip and fall. Therefore I will sue because the Sierra Fund it is my right. Poor me! Oh poor little me. But my friends and I are here to save you and the public at large.”

These are dangerous times and being nice and polite will not work within the framework of recourse from current governmental environments. No, you kind souls with the soft knowing eyes, you are not saving the earth. You are placing rare and necessary financial resources in the hands of impostors. Without our farms, ranches forests and mines America’s freedoms will be lost. Why do billions of dollars go into organizations that embrace such non progressive opinion?
 By Michael Miller

04/24/2014  7:55AM

California Senate Bill 1270 is scheduled for a vote on April 29, 2014. It is an unneeded change with unpleasant consequences for the public at large, taxpayers and natural resource industries. It legislation is based in the Surface mining and Reclamation Act orSMARA. Sierra County will be represented at the meeting in Sacramento.

Upon request I drafted general areas for our representative to express.

Dear Lee,

I am very short on some time demands but here are quick thoughts. Defeating this bullshit legislation is important.. I will try to get more to you before the 29th.Mike

The Californian type of gold mining is like no other in other states or most foreign countries. The Sierra Nevada gold belt runs from Plumas County to Mariposa County. Even in this 200 mile mineral rich band, mining techniques must change as the geological deposit actually controls mining. The closer third parties including State regulators are to the small number of economically operable gold mines in California the better enforcement will result. California has an untapped wealth of gold but all mining operations will not become profitable. A local understanding of
the-lay-of-the-land” is the finest way to protect all underground mining operations. This protection is to be given to the general public, the gold mine operators and as important as the other two, the miners.

Gold mining is tough work. It ranks in the top category for blue collar employment. It also pays pretty well compared to jobs open to young adults. A track record exists to prove that regional governments (by this I mean Counties) have done a better job than State and Federal government. Just look at the super fund sites, which are managed from Washington and Sacramento. DETAILS ON REQUEST.

California counties not only are better prepared to regulate but are more likely to legislate the finer points of mining and its reclamation. Each county has a General Plan. It is a plan developed by residents of that county, reviewed by county planning commissions and ratified by county supervisors. What government agencies are more familiar with local/regional geography, geology, economics and politics than those closer to the bone. Military professionals say it this way, “Boots on the ground.” It applies to the interpretation of SMARA as well as it does for military victory.

SB 1270 must fail. It contains subtle language that opens the door to profiteering from reckless attacks on the vital, competent, necessary owners or operators of California’s resource producers: specious allegations of environmental damages which then leads the plaintiff to settlement money. The two fundamental components necessary to maintain or grow our social fabric are found in the natural resources or mining if you have an open mind about mining and the ranches and farms. The environment is not suffering as it did decades ago.

SMARA was created to repair real or future damage from open pit or surface excavations called mining. Its language is for surface mining. Underground mining should not be lumped into this necessary legislation. Local (county) regulations and public input contain adequate language now. Laying another government burden upon an existing struggling industry is unnecessary. Point out an underground operation today that is abusing the physical environment. If it is a problem it most likely is because of poor enforcement at the local level. This rare case (if any) can be handled through recognizing existing rules and those local public servants doing their job.. The State participation is not in the public’s best interest because it is not cost effective.
There is a most insidious, sneaky and outright fraudulent change in the proposed language. No doubt it was placed there by hungry lawyers. It allows third parties to file lawsuits under SMARA. Similar language has cost the taxpayers billions of dollars under the water protection.
Californians cannot open this door to needy lawyers and others using organizations such as non profits to become rich or famous or satisfy some latent personal guilt of its members.
 By Michael Miller

09/02/2013  4:13PM

My major at UC Santa Barbara was economics. The choice of upper division classes was limited. (The entire school enrollment was less than 5,000 students.) History of Labor was one of my electives. I’m glad I chose it. Labor is a topic that is very popular with northern California baby boomers, much discussed on local radio. Two stations have regular programs whose theme is the under appreciation of the working class. Sometimes it is so slanted and historically poorly presented that I perceive the misrepresentation constitutes brain-washing.

I’ve labored since I was five years old. My first job was gathering snails in my paternal grandfather’s garden. It was sixty six years ago but the pay was great…five cents per quart jar. I chose my hours and how long I wanted to labor. Four jars was my biggest day, but I don’t remember how long it took to fill them. He never ordered me around and usually gave me an extra nickel above the number earned. It made me work harder and proud. I became a grown up heading to the grocery store a couple of blocks away for an abazaba or an ice cream sandwich. I never spent all my cash.

Jobs changed throughout my life or better said, labor changed. The principles and lessons of labor never did. Grandpa made a difference in my growth.

Today I look at myself as wearing a white collar and a blue collar. I am very fortunate to labor in those two categories. Too many voices I hear or words I read separate those two classifications by associating blue collar labor as a whipping by the white collar crowd. Sure, examples exist; but statistically both are laboring and deserve recognition on Labor Day. All nations need both to maintain or increase the welfare of their people.

Exceptional males and females will rise above the average no matter what work they do. That is a good thing. Our governments and industries must allow it to happen. The work ethic of white collar and blue collar labor, however, is declining and presents a serious problem for today’s youngsters. Our youth need jobs, especially ones where performance is rewarded.

My blue collar cries out for the opportunity to offer jobs to young adults. My white collar screams for help from those wearing two white collars. Oh, I almost forgot: seniors with either color are the lightning rods leading the way to improve the work ethic.

“Labor in this country is independent and proud. It is not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor.” Daniel Webster

Happy Labor Day.
 By Michael Miller

02/23/2013  2:49PM

While drafting the administrative hearing brief due shortly, the following letter was in the box of papers under review. Perhaps you may gain from reading another example of a federal distorted agency: MSHA. Ugh! Spending Saturday afternoon in work to correct wrongs and redirect MSHA.

Someone in government employment must rise to the responsibility of their position and act. On March 5th the newly appointed head of MSHA's Western Branch will join me in Alleghany for a rocking good time underground. In the quiet surroundings we will ponder the current situation and its problems. Today is not yesterday; we,ourselves, change and not continue always the same. Change, indeed, may be painful, yet needful. The solution may not be obvious but the wrongdoing is.

January 6, 2010
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of the Solicitor
90 7th Street, Suite 3-700
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Mr. Eliasoph,

Thanks for the e-mail. Your prior letter was not received.. The failure may be do to inefficiencies in my small operation; however it could be due to problems with the mail service. I sent my niece a check mailed to Utah the same time as you mailed this letter. As of yesterday she has not received it, so I must pay $25 to stop payment.

My initial comment to your letter dated December 21, 2009 is that most of the cases you cite do not fit our situation. The mine operation does not meet the standard for interstate commerce in its current, puny maintenance mode. I wish it were otherwise.

I will try to find the Ninth Circuit case you cite and study it carefully. I respect the Ninth Circuit especially since it ruled that MSHA was mistreating Original Sixteen to One. Inspector Steve Cain, the main federal agent responsible for the injustice against the mine, should have been fired as incompetent. Instead, he was promoted.

It is encouraging that some of the bad behavior from federal agents is no longer occurring. One reason this venerable gold mine is in a maintenance mode is due to the illegal activities it experienced for many years from your client. Times are tough. Poor execution of the safety legislation mandated by Congress cost us dearly.

The current operation is not subject to the federal legislative intent offered in your letter. Please do not think for a moment our concern is about safety. It is not. California has CAL/OSHA, which duplicates the services offered by its federal counterpart. The California inspectors and the agency have equal or better personnel available to evaluate safety concerns in California’s mines, such as ours. Our concern is survival by not having unnecessary obligations to show unnecessary people around the operation. Safety is the first consideration for all of us here in Alleghany.

I will read every case you cited to support or disprove our position. If you can email them to me, it will speed up the review. I assume you have them available or you would not have cited them. I agree with Judge Bulluck’s order. Since we are pursuing a settlement, it is reasonable to ask for additional time. The MSHA position you closed with seems to exclude judicial reason or the likelihood of a settlement:. That position is: “MSHA will not negotiate over its jurisdiction”. Also the assertion that “the Original Sixteen to One Mine is clearly and unambiguously subject to MSHA inspection and citations” is wrong. At this critical time of our unwanted maintenance program instead of running a crew of thirty or more miners working for gold, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc’s grievance is not unclear and unambiguous. AN ACT (the legislation) does not apply at this time. This is correct.

Your assistance in forwarding the cases you cited will move our discussion along. I will print them, study them and seek additional legal counsel to determine how best to proceed.

Michael Miller, president
 By Michael Miller

02/12/2013  5:14PM

This never made a post office to mail. Who would be the addressee, anyway? I was cleaning my desk /room at home and came across yellow pads of discarded ramblings. The ink was very dry but the following awakened emotions towards the underground miners.

Tuesday…August 31, 2010
Alleghany…7:54 pm

In California an underground gold miner was comfortably resting. He listened to his music, walked to fetch a pen and notebook and wrote. Later he scribed, “These are my thoughts for the guys kept underground in Northern Chile.”

Don’t let the rain fall on a poor man’s dream.
It’s underground. It’s dark in here. There is no sun.

For some it’s a prison.
For some it’s their love.
For some it’s their mistress above all joys. Breathe the air and be grateful. All your thoughts are in your head. All your thoughts are underground…underground in the mine.

The lives of those underground are in the hands of those in view on the surface. They have 100% control. The Chilean miners have little to no influence on the outcome of the surface equipment drilling to free them.
 By Michael Miller

12/31/2012  3:49PM

To all readers:

My first trip to Alleghany happened with my father thirty eight years ago. He held one percent equity ownership in some old gold mine, stock he purchased in 1954. Although he went to the annual shareholder meetings in San Francisco many times, this was his first visit to the mine. It was in the fall, and I was looking for a business opportunity. During the 1974-75 winter I made frequent visits to this isolated village. I bought a mine, leased another and unintentionally irritated the venerable directors responsible for the Sixteen to One mine. We became adversaries. All that is history.

My mind drifts back because today the village seems less isolated. One familiar natural adversary continues to exist from that first winter: snow. Thirty eight years it has appeared each year. It isn’t really an adversary as much as a nuisance. It isn’t an adversary because its beauty outshines its inconvenience. Sure, water pipes freeze, we slip and fall and sometimes our trucks slid off the road. It is a price to pay for its majestic influences on life.

Living in this elevation of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range continues to peak my senses, challenge my spirit and test my body. Tomorrow is the start of another year. It will be one to remember for accomplishments. I feel it and believe it. It took me too many years to catch the drift of living here as a hard rock underground gold miner. The constant (besides snow) is the Sixteen to One. I invite you to stay tuned. My New Year resolution is to do more to share the upcoming experiences with those of you I know and know me and those of you who I have yet to meet. Thank you for all your support.
 By Michael Miller

07/09/2012  11:32AM

The legislation of commerce between states has deep history, introduced to protect Americans from ruthless railroad operations across the United States and its territories. Congress set forth the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (AN ACT) declaring as its first priority that the miner is our industry’s most precious resource. The disruption of production and the loss of income to operators and miners unduly impedes and burdens commerce. The politicians said that, “each coal or other mines, the product of which enter commerce, or the operations or products of which affect commerce, and each operator of such mine, and every miner in such mine shall be subject to the provisions of the Act.”

Douglas L. Sanders July 5, 2012
US Department of Labor
Office of Solicitor
1999 Broadway, Suite 800
Denver, Colorado, 80202

Dear Mr. Sanders,
The responses to your documents mailed on July 2, 2012, are included. Please call me if you have need of clarification of any answer to the questions or demands. As you are aware, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. does not employ a lawyer. Our insistence that these citations be dismissed remains our belief that the current operation as well as the operation at the relevant time fails to meet the intent and execution of commerce justification that does apply to numerous mining operations.

Perhaps I can think of questions to ask in order to better understand the broad position held by the Secretary of Labor and its attitude that our minimal operation somehow triggers MSHA inspections. As I wrote before, if our board is convinced that our operation meets the legislation we can move forward to settlement. Importantly, if the Secretary of Labor sees our point of view, we trust it will act accordingly and dismiss the citations.

Sincerely and belated happy independence day from the nation’s oldest gold company.

Michael Meister Miller,
President & Director
 By Michael Miller

07/07/2012  9:47AM

Dear Readers,

Over 100 people attended the annual shareholders meeting in Alleghany on June 23, 2012. Eighty eight went underground where they were able to see an exploration raise under construction. Former hoist operator Steve Shappart manned the 800 station and offered his colorful talk about how the men and material traveled up and down the 49 winze. Joseph, Chico and Reid were also underground at special places to insure safety and talk about their work. Rose kept the map room open, which was a popular spot for the shareholders. David and Edda held rule under a tent and served the shareholders in their search for the right gold and other mine related items. Rae kept a vigil for problems before heading to the museum where a unique gold collection was on display. Vince and wife Becky guarded the portal and made sure that everyone going underground came out. Darrell and Kevin drove vehicles back and forth from the meeting place to the portal and up the road to the county road. Volunteers (Bob, Steve, Wayne, Richard and Donna) contributed to a very successful day.

The meeting was called to order at 10:45am with a quorum of 8,476,255 shares. Minutes read, directors elected, financial report given by Treasurer Robertson and questions answered. I reported that the SMARA lawsuit was settled, the water lawsuit was moving towards some agreement and that a new exploration program was underway. No attempts to activate a public market for stock exchanges were eminent due to the hostile actions of California’s water agency and the lack of money. Maintaining the physical assets of the company are our highest priority as well as gold production.

A question about technology was raised. We are working with an association of well experienced “high tec” people from Silicon Valley, who appear to have the skills, interest and money to conduct specific oriented research at the Sixteen to One. This gold deposit is defined as world-class high-grade. It responds well to electric or wave technology. I don’t know whether it is the high price for gold, the prospects of owning some or the adventure and challenge of research that motivates this technology. We have learned much of what to do and what not to do over ten years. I believe that the technology exists to reduce operating costs and increase production significantly.

Geologist Ray Wittkopp was invited to talk about the mine and the geology. He offered sound comment about both. After instructions about safety and what to expect for the day I was ready to release the group for lunch and fun. Scott Robertson stepped forward and surprised me with a silver bar (from Sixteen to One production) to celebrate my birthday. Thank you all for the cards. Turning 70 is only one day older than 69 and the attention was somewhat embarrassing but I am humbled by the attention.

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. is celebration 100 years of producing wealth. Shareholders were able to purchase T-shirts (black or gray) and a specially inscribed pen/light. The pens are red, blue and gold. There are two inscriptions: ORIGINAL SIXTEEN TO ONE MINE
100 years & still mining 1911-2012 and

Sixteen to One Mine- Alleghany CA
We made 100 of the gold and 50 of the red and 50 of the blue. Prices are $8 each or all three colors for $20. There is no charge for shipping so order up! They are good quality and a unique combination of writing pen and flashlight. T shirts are $20.
 By bluejay

05/23/2012  10:11AM

Excellent presentation, Mike.

Ignorant politicians with their brazen power whips will eventually ruin it for all of us, it is that simple. The only sensible way to deal with them is TO VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE. Yes, these people know nothing of forestry management.
 By Michael Miller

05/22/2012  10:58AM

I appreciate the life in urban areas; however "urbanites" have developed a myopic awareness of rural life. To whom should this correspondence be addressed?

Dear Unknown,
When I moved into the Tahoe National Forest 37 years ago from Santa Barbara, I drove as many of the back roads as I found. I had committed to the area as the place where I would make my stand. It was different from the Sacramento valley, Santa Cruz before the University’s alterations and my homes in and about Santa Barbara from 1960 to 1974. Rural remoteness in high mountains was an unfamiliar environment. I had much to learn.

Logging was the most visible economic activity, not gold mining or growing pot. Timber was the cash crop the locals depended upon for their existence. I knew nothing about logging and little about the Sierra Nevada, my choice for the future. I was shocked to see the waste and to the untrained eye the destruction of the surfaces due to logging.

I became a gold miner, met and worked with current loggers and old time miners of yesteryears. Gold mining was dormant but the mountains were alive with chain saws, yellow caterpillars and slow moving trucks with thirty-two foot logs on board. Local governments prospered with the revenues created from the loggers. I learned the differences between these two professions that lived to exploit the Sierra Nevada Mountains whether the land was public or private. Over time awareness spread whereby most timber harvests now bring health to the land.

To compare logging today with logging thirty or forty years ago is as senseless as citing the hydraulic monitors washing away the mountains over 100 years ago in opposition to gold mining in the 21st century. So, all self-described conservationists, environmentalist and others calling themselves “progressive thinkers” stop it! You are beating a dead horse. Your behavior is regressive not progressive. The forests cannot take any more of your opinions, such as no more logging.

The most urgent need in the Tahoe National Forest, the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and all other forests scattered throughout America is forest restoration. It is not acid mine drainage, toxic levels of earth’s elements or abandoned mines. The U.S. Forest Service is the largest agency within the Department of Agriculture with 24,000 employees. The 155 national forests and the 20 national grasslands are a vast national resource comprising 193 million acres…almost 10 percent of the total US land mass. This important agency has been co-opted by outspoken unqualified and openly dishonest rhetoric about conservation, preservation and earth sciences. It is an emasculated dysfunctional operator; it is incapable to do what many of its employees know must be done.

The lack of proper forest management is literally killing our forests. Harvest decisions have been based on philosophy, not sound science. The result has been catastrophic. Our loggers are almost as dead as our miners. Both will lead us out of dangerous physical and social situations. Both are the most endangered species in California. Instead of using wood to build homes and create jobs, trees are becoming food for beetles and fuel for fires. Only 10 percent of each year’s annual growth is being harvested from the nation’s national forestlands.

With skillful management of our national forests, we can reduce the potential for catastrophic fires and insect epidemics and assure abundant supplies of clean water, a diversity of wildlife habitats, wood products that we all depend on. Additional dividends are economic diversity and crucial jobs. It is time to follow sound science for both the important and necessary industries rooted in our splendid mountain ranges of the West: logging and mining.
 By jta3

03/26/2012  1:07PM

Excellent letter. We can only hope it is received as intended by rational decision makers, though that is a lot to hope for out of Sacramento.
 By Michael Miller

03/23/2012  1:13PM

Readers tell me of their frustrations with the behavior of government. They appreciate hearing about problematic interactions between governments and the business of gold mining at the Sixteen to One. None advocate zero government or no regulatory agencies. None are anarchists. Most are happy, serious, cynical in a positive way, yet realize the negative social impacts that overzealous regulations, laws, codes or overzealous interpretations of reasonable laws, regulations, statutes and codes have placed on us. Why? A common belief exists that no effort at reform will make a difference. We are helpless against immovable forces, including apathy. I sympathize with these opinions; however, since the Sixteen to One mine cannot move to another state or country, its very survival depends on stopping or slowing abusive behaviors initiated by government and non-governmental people. Unless I quit my position as president, it is my obligation to defend the company’s existence.

With this introduction, I take a rare occasion to send the following letter to you on the same day it is posted to the recipients. You will know why.

James Marshall, Chief Deputy Director March 23, 2012
Department of Conservation
801 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-3530

Dear Mr. Marshall,
This request is directed to you because you are identified as the signer for a Stipulated Final Judgment for the California Department of Conservation in Case No, 7097, filed by your department against Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. Copies will be sent to Gregory A. Tenorio and Ken Trott, who were participants in the settlement discussion.

My concerns have been relayed to the Department of Conservation through Klaus Kolb (company attorney) and Jeff Reusch (Attorney General). Following is the gist of my first response to the draft presented to me for signature:

February 29, 2012
The document presented to me by Jason Marshall (Chief Deputy Director) through California’s Deputy Attorney General to sign is entitled, “STIPULATED FINAL JUDGMENT”. It has language that was never part of the settlement negotiations discussed and agreed to in Superior Court by Ken Trott (Manager Reporting and Compliance) and Gregory A. Tenorio (Senior Staff Counsel), on behalf of the Department of Conservation and Michael Miller, on behalf of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. So, I was unclear what “stipulated” means before penning my name to Mr. Marshall’s document. Stipulate is a powerful verb: to promise; guarantee; to specify as terms of an agreement or requirement or condition for agreement.

Mr. Marshall was not present during the four hours spent in the Sierra County courtroom and therefore may be ignorant of the terms. Or he may be disposed to clutter the agreement with self-serving language that further empowers the state agency where he is employed and is clearly not in the best interest of the people of the State of California. The extraneous language is contained in the “RECITALS”. Paragraphs A to D must be eliminated and his opinion (the last sentence in F) should be removed.

Language under “TERMS” also goes beyond the settlement discussion presented to the Court. Numbers 1 through 5 are acceptable. Number 6 and 7 must be eliminated. Number 9 must be changed to present the same accountability and enforcement to the company as Number 8 provides to the People of California.

As it stands the document has not been drafted equally by the parties as declared in Number 10. I already believe I may have committed perjury by agreeing to this settlement. If I am forced to sign this document, I am certain that it will be an untruthful act. As it stands, I will not sign it. END MEMO

A second round of discussion (March 13 to 18) failed to correct the over-reach by the Department of Conservation. My request for a direct meeting between Mr. Trott failed to get the courtesy of a reply. Mr. Klaus reported that the Plaintiff preferred no direct contact from me, but I have the right to continue my request for a settlement meeting outside the court room directly with the Department of Conservation. In the interest of all parties, including the interest of the People of California, I request to meet you in order to settle the settlement language without the need to bother the Court. The Court should only be needed if an impasse exists. I fail to see an impasse. I see reluctance to a meeting to settle the settlement language.

You may be unaware that Original Sixteen to One has been in operation as a gold producer for over 100 years in Sierra County. It is also a California corporation. In 1976, the legislature found and declared that “the extraction of minerals is essential to the continued economic well-being of the state and to the needs of society.” This important recognition of the mineral extraction industry has slowly slipped from view by the Department of Conservation. Fortunately for society, the language of legislation provides the foundation to constructively work to satisfy a changing world and retain the high standards of life for the people in the great state of California. We need a meeting!
Sincerely yours,
Michael Meister Miller,
CC: Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814
 By martin newkom

02/07/2012  11:09AM

All our government really wants
is money. They are "broke" so they
will use every trick they think
they have to get it. Most issues
end up being without "merit", I
mean those the gov't raises. I
wish my uncle were still around
he could straighten them out. He
was a very successful mining atty. in Nevada and elsewhere.
 By Michael Miller

02/06/2012  6:17PM


A shareholder has a friend with high Associated Press credentials. He keeps telling her about the Sixteen to One (he believes the public should be aware of this). She agrees but her editor will not grant approval for her to do a story. Another shareholder today told me that much of the nation’s current displeasure stems from unawareness (ignorance). This morning while shopping for mining maintenance supplies, clerks in each store asked about the mine and voiced sharp criticism about its treatment by government people. They also had a tale to tell where other businesses were suffering from regulations of NO VALUE.

So here we are, one of the world’s great high-grade gold mines, in a bullish gold market, equipped and intelligent enough about the Sixteen to One to realistically operate and produce gold, at a time when the public screams for jobs of merit (those that increase GDP). We have a mining plan, a financial plan and a future plan that should significantly increase the share price for the owners and produce a lot of gold. No one with the real skinny will doubt this. Our Company was green before the ignition of environmental concern expressed in the Silent Spring propagated the green buzz word for rightness.

Are our shareholders the” Wall Street Crowd”? We are corporate America by the definition of those simplistic minds protesting economic injustices. Well, shareholders and other Americans should be protesting the injustices brought about by the well fed Sacramento bureaucrats who continue harassing the Sixteen to One. Stop it! Our state is in the tank. An intelligent social approach to California’s gold fields will benefit people from San Diego to Eureka. A proper operating California gold mine will benefit people from Maine to Oregon. Gold mining at the Sixteen to One is intelligent.

Is this my opinion? Yes, and it should not only be that of the majority of Americans but of all people with a true understanding about our business. Sharing my correspondences with you is an offering to people that seek knowledge. If you can help broaden public awareness, please do. The Sixteen to One will lead California out of its depression as the gold fields have done twice before. Finding gold, earning nature’s wealth inspires many depressed souls. I have received letters over the years to prove this; however, I have yet to receive a reply to the following letter.

Katherine Hart, Chairman December 19, 2011
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
Rancho Cordova, CA

Dear Kate Hart,
Something good leaders do is work towards the best way to exit a struggle once a battle has begun. I just heard high ranking Army officers discussing the recent exit from Iraq and the frightful exit from Vietnam. The thoughts, ideas and lessons learned prompt this letter to you. In the battle at hand there are six participants of note: CVRWQCB, water agency staff, California Attorney General, People of the State of California, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. and Michael M. Miller.

My position allows me to speak for the last two named above to fully discuss the lawsuit filed for the benefit of the People of California. I ask for your co-operation now to direct negotiations by assigning one or more individuals from the first four named above to sit down and talk. You and your Board are in control of plaintiff’s actions. The defendants come humbly to the peace table.

Here are some thoughts. The absolute requirement of MMP legislation stopping discussion between the plaintiff and company is gone. We can argue over the decision or move forward. We can isolate the conflict or expand it. (Colfax Wastewater Treatment Plant, on the 30 November, 1-2 December Board meeting, Bagley-Keene Act, more review of regulations and statutes and detail personnel responsibilities of government employees are possible.) I want none of that!

I am authorized to enter into a fair and just settlement that covers the past and address the future of business between the parties. As my lawful duty to shareholders and social duty to Californians, our purpose is to lay blame aside and clear the air with your agency. This lawsuit has financially impacted the Company, significantly. You have my full attention to reach a dismissal.

Plaintiff named Michael Miller as a defendant and dismissed him without prejudice. Because of this decision, Miller remains at risk both financial and emotionally. As a defendant he worked professionally with the Deputy Attorney General handling the lawsuit. It was somewhat unclear who had the final authority for the Deputy’s conduct. Was it the water staff, the Board or the Attorney General? Unless I am informed otherwise, I shall believe it is the prosecution team for the Board and ultimately the Board. However you decide to proceed, I am prepared to work with whomever you select.

Judge Kennelly wrote a very thoughtful opinion. Instead of ruling on the due process issue we raised, he recognized that the water agency staff took portions of a detailed statute to justify the merits of the lawsuit. His decision thusly avoids a constitutional challenge, one we are prepared to offer. I look at his decision as a victory for the People of California and an opportunity for your appointed Board to monitor the work between the water agency staff and the public and regain the Board’s position of discretionary power in such matters in the future.

The central valley water board and the Governor now have the chance to look into just how the staff is using statutes and regulations to levy fines, causing delays and unnecessary expenses. The water board preempted the law (regulations and statutes) as intended by the legislature. The outcome of this failed motion goes beyond our case. A challenge to Sacramento to correct draconian decisions that have hurt California, especially in the blue collar workforce is at hand. I pray our leaders take this opportunity to execute a timely exit plan that benefits California and establishes a tone of responsibility, transparency and trust for struggles in the future for other business.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Meister Miller, President
 By cw3343

02/06/2012  12:36PM

Very good letter. Thank you for keeping up the endless fight against all of the nonsense.

Good luck!
 By martin newkom

02/04/2012  9:56AM

I sincerely hope you will be
successful with the " friendly
folks" in Sacto.
 By Michael Miller

02/02/2012  2:08PM

I met with the Governor’s senior advisor this week in Sacramento. I’m not sure if the meeting resulted from a letter I wrote to Governor Brown on May 30, 2011 (see entry below) or from the letters I wrote to the water department in January with copies to the Governor. Will we get a long sought meeting with the water heads? Stay tuned. Here is my letter sent today to the senior advisor.

Cliff Rechtschaffen, Senior Advisor February 2, 2012
Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Mr. Rechtschaffen,

It seems appropriate since we agreed to shorten our meeting on January 30, 2012, to provide you with a full picture of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.’s desire to settle the lawsuit initiated by Central Regional Water Quality Control Board. We believe it is all party’s best interest to move forward; however, a settlement benefits the People of California the most, which is a prime concern of the Governor. The Company offers to pay the balance of past annual fees for the 3C category. Classifications are defined in the regulations according to the threat and complexity of water runoff. We will comply with all regulations required for the property, including keeping our storm water program up to best management practice.

As you pointed out, settlement means the participants do not get exactly want they believe is just. You asked what I want or what can the Governor do. The Company requests a meeting with Kate Hart, chairman of CRWQCB and its Executive Officer, Pamela Creedon. This is a very reasonable request by the Company of its government. CRWQCB held no administration hearing to discuss the mine’s issues, which is very unusual. I am confident that when the water board understands our position and the Company understands its position, the discussion will result in a settlement.

When it comes to environmental issues with the mine in Alleghany, historical evidence combined with present observations must preempt the alleged, potential harm speculations. California regulators must take site specific reality into account, which is required in California’s water regulations. This can be accomplished in a meeting room instead of a courtroom.

I also asked the Governor to take a leadership role. In the Executive Branch he is the only person that can. It is not meddling with an agency. It is no different from my position of President and the duties and obligations that come with the job. Our position is not a debate about the need for regulations. Societies must be regulated. Americas are crying out for honesty. I do believe that Ms’ Hart and Creedon are honest: but somewhere within the water agency, deceit and dishonesty and arrogance exist. I also believe that Hart and Creedon will welcome the Governor’s interest in improving just treatment for the rights of others, especially in matters of business or property. From my brief contacts with the Chairman and Executive Officer, I doubt they will think that a message from the Governor is micromanaging the department. I believe the opposite: a push in this direction will help them manage their department for the best outcomes now and in the future.

If any of the above beliefs seem unsound to the Governor, please point out that the economics of pursuing this lawsuit are ridiculously flawed. Right now everyone is losing, including the public and Californian. Financial crisis are everywhere.

I appreciate your time and hope to hear from you soon. The Sixteen to One mine is an industry leader. We do what federal and state governments want by creating blue collar jobs, keeping it local and increasing the GDP (new wealth creation). The Governor referenced gold and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in his last speech. A healthy Sixteen to One creates a spiritually uplifting atmosphere in California tied to its great past and important to its future.

Michael Meister Miller
 By Michael Miller

01/31/2012  2:27PM

Eight months ago I wrote California’s Governor, Jerry Brown. Following is the letter edited to protect the shareholders, personal friends of Governor Brown. I am confident that when others in government review the litigation initiated by CRWQCB, settlement will obviously become apparent for the benefit of the people of California. I‘ll copy some of my correspondences on the subject so you gain knowledge and help the Company fight ignorance about a very threatening situation. We have a mission: settle lawsuit, raise a little money, go find some gold.

Governor Jerry Brown
C/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
May 30, 2011

Dear Governor Brown,

Mr. Shareholder said he gave you our shareholders’ letter at your niece’s wedding and asked that you read it later. The reasons for your help in settling a dicey situation between our 100-year-old California Corporation and the Central Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB) are positive for Californians. CRWQCB filed a lawsuit against the company and me during your tenure as AG. It is weak with a legally unsound foundation. Over my lifetime of business experiences with government, its acknowledgement of wrong or questionable behavior seems difficult for employees to admit and correct. Such is this case with the serious consequences for the loser.

I ask for meetings with you or that you direct a close associate of yours to meet with me in Sacramento or in Alleghany, California’s last working gold mining community. Mr. Shareholder’s father was a Sixteen to One shareholder, which is how I met him in San Francisco thirty-five years ago. Perhaps he could evaluate the record of the wrongful pursuit of justice threatening the very existence of this great gold mining operation and report back to you. The problem is incompetent, lazy or evil bureaucratic regulators, not toxic or harmful activity by gold mining.

Some people you knew years ago also found their way to Alleghany. Through Dan O’Neill, George Gilmour contacted me. George provided a mantle of hope for the Sixteen to One against law breaking prosecution of the mine, its manager and president by Gale Filter, Deputy Director of the California District Attorneys Association. George became a close friend and a man of great legal professionalism. He died in a car accident a day before an important court hearing in Downieville. He spoke highly of you with one interesting story whereby his decision ticked you off and maybe tarnished your admiration of him. You would be proud of calling him a professional friend today. He fought for justice.

Nothing about our company or its behavior with regard to the environment is negative. Much of the ongoing raves about the ugly physical environmental conditions in California are pure hyperbole, bunk! Money is wasted. Lives are wasted. Energy is wasted. The costs are high: lost blue-collar jobs, reduced GDP, misspent talent. Rural California is getting hosed through a process called “rural cleansing”. We are under attack. Original Sixteen to One
Mine, Inc. is the apex of responsible mining for the 21st Century and should be promoted by California’s leaders.

Enclosed is an article I wrote (by Scoop) about George, posted on www.origsix.com. Another friend of George’s, who I never met, wrote three songs in his memory, very moving. I’d like you to have the CD. Hoping you appreciate an historical message from a previous Californian Governor and a brief personal introduction, which are also enclosed.

Some of us beat-up rural folks coined a saying years ago, “The future of (California) is the preservation of its past”. Gold mining could jump start the California economy as oil did in Texas, and other states. You and I are leaders in our chosen fields. Right now, your help is needed. The Californian traditional underground hard-rock gold miner is the most endangered species in the West.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Meister Miller, President
 By bluejay

01/19/2012  9:49PM

Great letter, Mike!

Unfortunately, we are dealing with a body whose governing and dictating powers over others have exceeded their authority. I'm confident that a fair-minded judge won't have any difficulty in seeing what's going on here.

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