Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Cave conservation issues, techniques, questions. Also visit the NSS Cave Conservation and Management Section.

Moderator: Moderators

Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Caverdale » Aug 3, 2009 12:40 pm

A wheeler-dealer filed an invalid mining claim over the beautiful Crystal Ball Cave in western Utah and has now listed it for sale on eBay. The cave is designated as Significant under the FCRPA and is the prettiest BLM cave in Utah. The local BLM District Office for the area is ineffective in handling this problem. Jim Goodbar is doing what he can from his office. We need your help in contacting eBay and protesting the listing and getting it removed. Several of us have already done this, but it wouldn't hurt to get as many as possible to help. Check it out at:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0368309750
If you have the Palmer's guidebook from the ICS/NSS gathering, check out the photo, upper right corner, on page 256.
Dale Green
NSS 3669FE
Caverdale
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sep 4, 2005 10:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Name: Dale Green
NSS #: 3669FE, LB
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Salt Lake Grotto
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Aug 3, 2009 3:36 pm

Could you explain more about the invalid claim? How was it acquired? If it is invalid, then what is there to worry about?
Andy Armstrong
American Carbide Council
User avatar
Anonymous_Coward
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 892
Joined: Feb 3, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Inside the Beehive
NSS #: 45993RL FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Paha Sapa Grotto
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Caverdale » Aug 3, 2009 4:10 pm

jaa45993 wrote:Could you explain more about the invalid claim? How was it acquired? If it is invalid, then what is there to worry about?


Before I explain, Andy, have you complained to eBay yet? If not, do it now.

You can't file a mineral mining claim on a cave. Caves have been ruled not to be a mineral. As I read between the lines of posts on his web site and the eBay listing, he is claiming that the USGS map indicates the cave entrance as an "adit", and explains that an adit is the entrance to a mine. Also, he says that there are many veins throughout the area, which contain mineralization. However, they are all calcite veins. I've been over every inch over and around the cave in the past 50 years plus since my first visit and am sure of that statement. Calcite veins are very low temperature deposits and are unlikely to contain significant mineral deposits that could be mined. Shuman has apparently made the mineral claims on the paperwork he filed and the claim was granted. The BLM does not go out and verify mineral presence before the claim is allowed. Since the area of the claim is over the cave, he is assuming the cave is legally his (I guess). The claim is invalid mainly because there is no mineable minerals involved on the property. Claims are issued on worthless mining property all the time, and it takes years sometimes before the claim is declared invalid.

What is there to worry about? At the ponderous pace the local BLM office is working on the problem, the cave can be sold and raped of its crystals before action is taken. Besides, they don't have a clue of what to do, or maybe don't care. Our hope is that Goodbar can move faster.

Photo by Brandon Kowallis

Image
Dale Green
NSS 3669FE
Caverdale
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sep 4, 2005 10:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Name: Dale Green
NSS #: 3669FE, LB
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Salt Lake Grotto
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby ArCaver » Aug 3, 2009 5:20 pm

I sent a message to Ebay. I doubt they'll take action though. Last year I complained repeatedly about a seller from FL listing cave formations and they allowed the auction even though FL law prohibits the sale of speleothems.
It looks like a worthy cave maybe the NSS could buy it and move the headquarters to Utah.
User avatar
ArCaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Jul 31, 2006 12:42 pm
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby ArCaver » Aug 3, 2009 5:24 pm

User avatar
ArCaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Jul 31, 2006 12:42 pm
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Gold_Rush_Expedinc » Aug 3, 2009 5:30 pm

Awesome.. wheeler, dealer... as opposed to someone who actually does somethiong with the land before it has been destroyed. Where have the caving groups been for the past 4 years while the cave has been being vandalized??
The claim is perfectly valid and has been in place for almost 50 years. There are huge gold and silver values in viens in the mine/cave as backed by assays. If you are concerned, then bid and you guys preserve it. Its really up to you what happens to it now. The Bates family have been picking and pulling from the site for years, causing all sorts of damage, holding the site under mining claims.. and now that its up for sale you are suddenly concerned?
Im not trying to be difficult but its more likely that someone will buy this as a site to preserve over a site to mine. We have sold well over 100 claims in the past year and only a handful are actually mined. Fact is if someone didnt take action, it was going to be destroyed, the stalagtites and mites in the main entrance are all black and brown from being touch and poked and prodded, many tites have been broken off and there is evidence throughout the cave of where the previous owners were cutting out large chunks of crystals and pulling them out or worse, probably selling as souveniers.

--Corey Shuman
Gold Rush Expeditions
http://www.goldrushexpeditions.com
Gold_Rush_Expedinc
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 3, 2009 5:22 pm
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby batrotter » Aug 4, 2009 5:56 am

From goldrushexpeditions.com:
"Gold Rush Expeditions is a not for profit organization dedicated to the preservation and documentation of Utah's historic mines and ghost towns."


Can you explain to us cavers, why you are selling mining claims? And how are you non-profit if you are selling them?
batrotter
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 9:20 am
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Name: Bruce Trotter
NSS #: 27849RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Indiana Cave Survey
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Gold_Rush_Expedinc » Aug 4, 2009 10:56 am

I guess you would rather bypass all of the points that I just brought up and try to cause an arguement.
So here is your info.. we sell items, because non-profit orgs still need funding, they dont magically make money appear.
The Red Cross sells the blood they colllect to keep the organization "in the red". If you dont understand what a not for profit organization is or does, there are many gov sites on the internet that can inform you.
So I guess you dont have any comment on any of the points I made that were actually important?
Gold_Rush_Expedinc
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 3, 2009 5:22 pm
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Caverdale » Aug 4, 2009 3:27 pm

Gold_Rush_Expedinc wrote:Awesome.. wheeler, dealer... as opposed to someone who actually does somethiong with the land before it has been destroyed. Where have the caving groups been for the past 4 years while the cave has been being vandalized??


The cave has not been vandalized for the past 4 years. It has been actively operated with tours up until you usurped their access with your phony claim. Two things were at play when the previous claim lapsed. The claims were definitely not abandoned. At that time, Gerald Bates father, Cecil, was on his death bed and Gerald was physically and emotionally occupied. It was not until after the funeral that he realized that he had let the claim lapse. Why didn't he refile? (1) Because the BLM had told him for over twenty years that the mining claim was invalid. However, they let it pass because they openly admitted that the Bates family was doing an excellent job at protecting the cave, which they were not able to do. As long as he filed they didn't bother him. (2) They also had told him that they had planned to withdraw the area and entire hill from mineral entry. But, the BLM never followed through, which was not told to Bates. As soon as I knew that the claim was lapsed and Gerald couldn't validly refile, I contacted Jim Goodbar, the BLM's national cave lead person. Jim informed me and Doug Powell, the Utah BLM cave lead of the correct process to give the Bates' the legal right to still conduct tours, which I won't describe here. The sticker was that this required considerable paperwork by the local BLM District Office, which said they didn't have time. I kept hammering at the stalemate continuously since then, but without success. Ask Jim if you don't believe me. Without the cooperation of the local BLM, there was little or no recourse.

The claim is perfectly valid and has been in place for almost 50 years. There are huge gold and silver values in viens in the mine/cave as backed by assays.


Read the above. I was directly told by the former District Office manage for about 25 years, Rex Rowley, that the claims were invalid. Two former Resource Planners, Stu Jacobson and Lynn Fergus told me the same thing. Your statement about gold and silver values is total BS and you know it. Stop making facts up as you type.

If you are concerned, then bid and you guys preserve it. Its really up to you what happens to it now.


Why would we spend money bidding on a piece of property that doesn't belong to you and couldn't belong to us. We aren't that stupid.

The Bates family have been picking and pulling from the site for years, causing all sorts of damage, holding the site under mining claims.. and now that its up for sale you are suddenly concerned?


Absolutely wrong. You owe an apology to the Bates family. I've personally monitored the condition of the cave since 1957 and strongly dispute your statement. The grottos have always been concerned with the management and upkeep. We have conducted several cleanup trips and, at our personal expense, took down the old gates and installed the present ones.

Im not trying to be difficult but its more likely that someone will buy this as a site to preserve over a site to mine. We have sold well over 100 claims in the past year and only a handful are actually mined. Fact is if someone didnt take action, it was going to be destroyed, the stalagtites and mites in the main entrance are all black and brown from being touch and poked and prodded, many tites have been broken off and there is evidence throughout the cave of where the previous owners were cutting out large chunks of crystals and pulling them out or worse, probably selling as souveniers.


--Corey Shuman
Gold Rush Expeditions
http://www.goldrushexpeditions.com


The cave was not going to be destroyed. Where did you get this "fact"? What in blazes is a "stalagtite". The formations in the main entrance were exposed for thousands of years to light from the natural entrance and developed phototropic algae. The present gate allows far less natural light and there has been a drought. The algae died. The black is from the dead algae, which may turn green with more water. It is not from touching. Yes, many tites have been broken, much of it natural and was like that when originally found. The largest stalactite was broken about 7 years ago when someone shot the locking mechanism off the door with about 20 bullets from a high-powered rifle. Jim Werker made one attempt at a repair, but had problems because water was dripping from the break. It will eventually get fixed. Yes, large chunks of crystals were cut from the floor to make a path to keep people from cracking their heads on the ceiling. They never sold anything for souvenirs. You owe another apology to the Bates' for that uncalled for remark.

Mr. Shuman, you think that you have obtained a cave by filing a mineral claim over the cave, claiming falsely that there are valuable minerals that can be mined. This is called a 'subterfuge', defined as: Deception by artifice or stratagem in order to conceal, escape or evade. It won't work. Have you ever heard of anyone obtaining a cave by filing a mineral claim on the property? I haven't. I have had very recent communications with persons in the federal government who are aware of such matters, and they haven't either.
Dale Green
NSS 3669FE
Caverdale
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sep 4, 2005 10:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Name: Dale Green
NSS #: 3669FE, LB
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Salt Lake Grotto
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Gold_Rush_Expedinc » Aug 4, 2009 3:51 pm

Dale, your obviously upset, and havent been to the cave, or you would have seen the damage. Take a look at the facebook pics. Im not going to argue with you. You and your grottos havent even had the common decency to contact GRE in regards to this, you have just made knee jerk assumptions based off of information you have recieved in error. And yes, Mining law supercedes federal caving standards and has in numerous cases. So if you want to preserve it.. buy it.
Gold_Rush_Expedinc
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 3, 2009 5:22 pm
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Scott McCrea » Aug 4, 2009 3:58 pm

from http://www.goldrushexpeditions.com:

As to the caving groups. They whine a lot...
...It is easier to try and cry about it and see who will "cave" first...

...As an FYI, none of the Caving Groups have had the testicular fortitude to contact GRE, they instead bitch on their forums to each other like a bunch of old women (or environmentalists)...

...who run crying to their mommies...

Classy.
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Caverdale » Aug 4, 2009 9:12 pm

Gold_Rush_Expedinc wrote:Dale, your obviously upset, and havent been to the cave, or you would have seen the damage. Take a look at the facebook pics. Im not going to argue with you. You and your grottos havent even had the common decency to contact GRE in regards to this, you have just made knee jerk assumptions based off of information you have recieved in error. And yes, Mining law supercedes federal caving standards and has in numerous cases. So if you want to preserve it.. buy it.


I did look at the facebook pictures and didn't see anything that I didn't know about 20 years ago. The large chunks of crystals are from excavating the floor so people wouldn't hammer their head. In some places the crawls were initially less than knee high. The fact that the crystal chunks are exposed like that is because the Bates didn't want to carry them outside. Go through almost any commercial cave and look closely at what has been excavated for a trail. The only difference is that commercial caves carry their digging spoils out to the surface, or hide it somewhere. There are several cases of open crystal balls, with the interior exposed. I went through there in early 1957, just a few months after discovery and that is the way they have always been. Yes, some of the crystal balls look hammered, the result of a major misjudgment. Originally, the cave only had the main gate. At Tom Sims request, (Tom was the original owner), the grotto surveyed around the mountain and found a place on the surface that was near the rear of the cave. Tom dug through and made it possible to make a one-way trip through the cave, rather than back-tracking. He naturally put a gate on, but didn't make it air tight. As a result the cave dried out and crystals that were held tight in the balls started to come loose, and some crystals started decaying. Visitors started picking the crystals out of the balls. This is what you are seeing, not deliberate breakage. When the problem was recognized, the Utah Grottos installed an airtight gate on the back, and the cave regained its humidity. Yes, there has been some breaking and vandalism, but it is minor. I was just in a cave a few weeks ago where some tourist ripped off one wing of a the Butterfly, one of the most beautiful and well know cave formations in the world. S--t happens everywhere. Think about it. The cave has been open for over 50 years with hundreds of tours without a lot of supervision. One should not expect the cave to be pristine. Given the circumstances the Sims and Bates families have done an excellent job in my opinion.

Why should we contact you? All you have done is bad mouth us.

Please cite at least one case where mining law has superseded the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act. I've never heard of any.
Dale Green
NSS 3669FE
Caverdale
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sep 4, 2005 10:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Name: Dale Green
NSS #: 3669FE, LB
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Salt Lake Grotto
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby thelivingwest » Aug 4, 2009 10:40 pm

Dale:

There is no case precedent because the Cave Protection Act specifically states that it will not interfere with mining claims:

Sec. 4308. Miscellaneous provisions
(d) Existing rights
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to affect the full operation of the mining and mineral leasing laws of the United States, or otherwise affect valid existing rights.

-SOURCE-
(Pub. L. 100-691, Sec. 9, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4550.)
thelivingwest
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 4, 2009 10:35 pm
Location: Sandy Utah
Name: Russ Hartill
  

Re: Major Utah crystal cave listed on eBay. HELP!!

Postby Caverdale » Aug 4, 2009 11:19 pm

thelivingwest wrote:Dale:

There is no case precedent because the Cave Protection Act specifically states that it will not interfere with mining claims:

Sec. 4308. Miscellaneous provisions
(d) Existing rights
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to affect the full operation of the mining and mineral leasing laws of the United States, or otherwise affect valid existing rights.

-SOURCE-
(Pub. L. 100-691, Sec. 9, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4550.)


Yes, I am fully aware of this provision in the act. I have many copies. But, have you ever heard of a case where this has actually been applied? That is what I was asking. Shuman is saying that there have been many cases. Please cite an example of where miners have mined away a cave or otherwise destroyed a cave that has been declared as Significant under the FCRPA.
Dale Green
NSS 3669FE
Caverdale
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sep 4, 2005 10:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Name: Dale Green
NSS #: 3669FE, LB
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Salt Lake Grotto
  

eBay auction of Crystal Ball Cave on TV

Postby Caverdale » Aug 5, 2009 12:08 am

A TV station in Salt Lake City had an interesting video on this evening's 10 o'clock news. View it at:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=7412960
Dale Green
NSS 3669FE
Caverdale
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sep 4, 2005 10:49 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Name: Dale Green
NSS #: 3669FE, LB
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Salt Lake Grotto
  

Next

Return to Conservation Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron