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Managing Special Provisions in Wilderness: Minerals

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This course will provide wilderness managers a comprehensive overview of their role in managing mineral rights in wilderness.

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Managing the balance between preserving wilderness character and managing mineral related activities requires a great deal of knowledge and skill. This course reviews the basic principles regarding mineral rights and examines the management steps in evaluating and authorizing mineral activities so as to preserve wilderness character to the greatest degree possible.

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Course Schedule

This course is self-paced allowing you flexibility in the time needed to complete the course. You decide the order and progression you’d like to take, allowing you to revisit and review sections in greater depth as needed.

Elements of the course:

  • Informational text
  • Real-life examples
  • Informal assessment quizzes
  • Final assessment

Following the course, you will complete an assessment which requires you to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment you will be awarded an electronic certificate of completion.

Course Chapters

  • Making Sense of Terminology and Definitions:
    • This section introduces you to the terms related to minerals and mineral rights.
  • Minerals and Wilderness:
    • This section describes the Wilderness Act's special provision for mineral rights in wilderness areas.
  • Withdrawal:
    • This section discusses the prohibition against establishing new mineral rights in wilderness.
  • Valid Existing Rights:
    • This section discusses how mineral rights established before a wilderness designation continue after withdrawal, even where they conflict with Wilderness Act prohibitions.
  • Mineral Classifications:
    • This section defines the three different classes of minerals for which valid existing mineral rights may exist.
  • Valid Existing Rights to Federal Minerals by Mineral Classification:
    • This section explains how valid existing rights are established for the different classifications of minerals.
  • Determining the Validity of Mineral Material Contracts, Mineral Leases, or Mining Claims, or Privately Owned Minerals:
    • This section discusses the process by which mineral rights are validated and the complexity of the validity exam for locatable minerals.
  • Mining Patents:
    • This section provides details regarding how mining claims can become private land through patent.
  • Non-Federal Mineral Estate:
    • This section discusses privately owned minerals and the degree to which the owner of private minerals may develop them in wilderness.
  • Access to Minerals Across Adjacent Wilderness Lands:
    • This section defines how access across wilderness lands may occur in order to develop the mineral resources where a mineral right exists.
  • Mineral Development Plans:
    • This section outlines the types of plans used to manage minerals and mining in wilderness and the basic components the plan must address.
  • I have mineral development proposed or occurring in my Wilderness-What are my responsibilities?
    • This section describes your role as a wilderness manager in the mineral development proposed or occurring in your wilderness.
  • Prospecting and Mineral Surveys:
    • This section describes the extent to which prospecting and mineral surveys may be conducted in wilderness.
  • Reclamation:
    • This section describes how wilderness areas are reclaimed after mineral extraction activities have ceased.
  • Abandoned Mine Lands:
    • This section defines the need to address abandoned mines in wilderness, and the actions appropriate for Wilderness areas.
  • Development of Minerals External to the Wilderness Boundary:
    • This section describes how minerals may be developed outside of but adjacent to wilderness and the mitigation measures that may occur.
  • Scientific Activities:
    • This section describes how scientific investigations to mineral resources may be carried out in wilderness.
  • Recreational Activities:
    • This section describes the extent to which recreational activities such as hobby collection of mineral specimens may be carried out in wilderness.
  • Conclusion:
    • This chapter summarizes and concludes the course content.

Be able to:

  • Define common vocabulary associated with mineral management
  • Recognize the various mineral related activities that may occur in a wilderness
    • Differentiate between saleable, leasable, and locatable minerals activities in wilderness
    • Understand how exploration, development, and conclusion of mining activities may take place in wilderness.
  • State what constitutes valid existing rights to minerals and by what means that is determined.
  • List principles of private mineral estate ownership in wilderness
  • Explain key laws and related case law, regulations, and policy related to mineral management in wilderness.
  • Recognize the access provisions and limitations associated with development of mineral rights in wilderness
  • Describe how to protect wilderness character to the greatest extent possible while managing mineral activities in wilderness
  • Explain the relationship of mineral activities outside of wilderness to adjacent wilderness
    • Understand how mining activities originating outside of wilderness may progress into wilderness
    • Understand how mining activities adjacent to wilderness may be mitigated
  • Describe the allowances and limitations of recreational minerals activities and their management
  • Describe the allowance of scientific mineral activities in wilderness

Recommended Background

This course is primarily for wilderness managers who have mineral rights in their wilderness.

FAQ

Aside from an internet connection, what resources will I need for the course?

No additional resources are required for this course.

Will I get a certificate after completing the course?

Yes! All courses include a final assessment to evaluate your understanding of key course concepts. A certificate of completion will be offered to you if you complete the assessment with a score of 80% or higher.

Why should I take this course?

Each Eppley e-course is designed collaboratively among experienced instructional designers, subject matter experts, and our partner organizations and institutions. The course curriculum includes current information and best practices in the field, and it is recognized by national leaders in parks, recreation, and land management. Not only will this course benefit your career by expanding your knowledge base, but it will also enhance your application and problem-solving skills.

For more frequently asked questions, please visit our Help Center.

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