Miner Photo/Mitch Batson
The graded pit in the foreground is planned for use as a sand and gravel operation, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
Hualapai Mountain Road can be seen in the upper part of the photo along with several Sawmill Creek subdivision homes.
Local developers Jay and Tomma Schritter recently purchased the mineral rights to a 75-acre tract of Bureau of Land Management land from Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Co.
and began moving dirt in preparation for a sand and gravel pit.
Jay Schritter has declined to comment about the project.
Sawmill Creek resident Leonard Langford said Schritter told him that he bought mineral rights to a half section of BLM land and also wants to purchase the surface rights.
"They've been very responsible developers and put in some very nice developments," said Langford of the Schritters.
"We need rocks and gravel just like we need sewage plants, but you don't put the sewage plant at the entrance to the Hualapai Mountains, because that's a fantastic draw for the community."
The BLM traded for the land with an Arizona general partnership known as West Wing Associates in 1988, Langford said.
"The moral of the story is, the BLM screwed up.
What are they going to do about it?" Langford asked.
"The BLM should have gotten the subsurface rights when they traded for it."
"It's gonna tear the heck out of that road," said Sawmill Creek resident Ann Ward of the mining operation's trucks.
"I don't know what's going to happen when it rains.
None of us want it.
A lot of dirt is going to get kicked up.
It's going to affect property values."
Ward said she cares for her elderly mother and takes her to the doctor several times a week.
Ward is concerned about getting stuck behind a truck on the way to the doctor's office.
"I'm surprised that BLM allowed them to do that," said Lazy YU homeowner Richard Broussard.
"It seems like they (BLM) would've put some kind of notice in the paper.
I'm surprised there wasn't an environmental study done on it."
Sawmill Creek homeowner Terry Kennedy said, "It's a terrible thing for the community, and it's terrible for everybody in Kingman.
It's an eyesore for everybody.
It's a pathetic thing that someone would try to make money on what everybody else enjoys."
The Schritters' operation is legitimate, said BLM representative Bob Hall, which means nearby residents can't do much about it.
"This is a very difficult issue for the BLM to deal with," Hall said.
"BLM owns the surface, but not the subsurface," Hall added, explaining that the land is a split estate.
"Subsurface rights are dominant to surface rights," Hall said.
The BLM has no jurisdiction in split estate mining.
"Where BLM owns surface only … BLM can recommend but not require mitigation of environmental impacts," said Ruben Sanchez, BLM nonrenewable resources supervisor.
With regard to the old windmill and stock water tank the mining operation sits next to, Hall said if Schritter damages or destroys either of these, he would have to compensate the BLM.
Schritter still has to comply with state regulations.
The state mining inspector and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will regulate various aspects of the mining operation.
Deputy mine inspector Tim Evans on Friday said the state mine inspector's office has not received the required application for a mine from Schritter.
The state mine inspector's office regulates mines so they don't affect the health and safety of the miner, Evans said.
Evans said he will be in Mohave County checking out the mine site next week.
ADEQ has regulation over storm water runoff, dust control and air quality coming out of the mine, said local ADEQ representative Matt Capalby.
"He (Schritter) needs to get the appropriate permitting from us before he starts.
Air quality is a grave concern for all of us."
Capalby said he didn't think the operation will be much of a problem, though.
"They're (the Schritters) generally pretty good."
KINGMAN – Members of the governing board of the Kingman Unified School District will find out what district employees think of the way they do their jobs Tuesday when the board holds its monthly meeting.
"The board has asked staff members to give them an evaluation of what they do and we'll discuss it," Superintendent Mike Ford said.
The evaluation was done as a survey.
The meeting begins at 4 p.m.
in the boardroom of the district office at 3033 MacDonald Ave.
It is open to the public.
Terry White, district director of business and finance, will share classified staff salary proposals with the board in another agenda item.
"What the proposal largely does is ensure everyone is classified appropriately and some incentives are offered on things that can enhance job performance," Ford said.
The board also will consider approving a point system for retention and advancement.
Administrators have come together with a proposal designed to improve accountability with students and giving students and their parents the chance to become more involved in deciding whether a student is promoted or held back, Ford said.
The board also will address two letters on the consent agenda that will result in the loss of two principals.
Scott Cumberledge of Mt.
Tipton School in Dolan Springs has resigned, effective June 30.
Diana Logas of Palo Christi School will retire, effective June 30.
Ford said the twin principal losses open up positions to applicants.