Who owns the west?

Mining claims in Stevens County

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The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 2,068 acres of U.S. public land in Stevens County, acquired for as little as $0.84 per acre and held in perpetuity for a yearly rental fee as low as $0.62 an acre. Under a 132-year-old law originally intended to spur development of the West, an industry dominated by a handful of multinational corporations pays no federal royalties, and leaves behind a landscape of dramatically diminished value, scarred with tunnels, pits, and toxic waste piles.

Quick facts about mining claims in Stevens County

• Total number of claim-holders: 27

• Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 2,068 (207 typical city blocks)

• Dollars paid for each acre: as little as $0.84, and as little as $0.62 yearly rental fee

• Reimbursement to the federal government for gold, silver and other precious metals taken from public land: $0

• Land area ever claimed by the mining industry nationally, estimated: 79 million acres (the size of New Mexico)

EWG analysis of data compiled by the Bureau of Land Management.

Top Mining Claim Owners in Stevens County Ranked by Acres Claimed

Companies have been consolidated to account for subsidiaries. View this table without consolidation.

 Company/IndividualHeadquartersNumber of ClaimsAcreage ClaimedDate(s) Filed
1 Daniel S Laird Northport, WA 18 372 1995 to 1996
2 R G Roskowyk Pasco, WA 16 331 1995
3 W G Kinney Kennewick, WA 16 331 1995
4 Carol R Alford Spokane, WA 15 310 2001
5 Mines Management Inc Spokane, WA 15 310 1904 to 1966
6 Lane Mt Silica Co Valley, WA 11 220 2002
7 Irma M Menke Selah, WA 9 180 1997
8 Robert Sells Northport, WA 7 145 1960 to 1974
9 Samuel E Crumley Colville, WA 6 124 1999
10 Jay M Lee Orifino, ID 4 83 1999
See all claim holders in Stevens County

Some of the claimants in this table may be in partnership with other individuals or companies with a claim to the same land.


Examples of Mines in Stevens County

Name of MineLocation of MineMine StatusMetal MinedOwner or Parent Company of Owner
Midnite MineStevens County, WAClosedUraniumNewmont Mining Corp

Source: EWG analysis.



Source: EWG analysis of Bureau of Land Management's Land and Mineral Records 2000 (LR2000) data system. For claims, acreages are estimated based on maximum allowable size of claims. For patents, acreages are taken directly from the LR2000 database where available, and are estimated based on maximum allowable size of claim that preceded the patent where acreages are not noted in LR2000. All notices are assumed to be five acres in size, and the size of plans are calculated directly as the size of the land represented by the legal land description in the LR2000 database. The acreages we estimate through these methods would tend to overestimate the actual amount. We welcome corrections here, and would welcome a federal data management system that included the acreages involved in these important federal land transactions.