The Bureau of Land Management is encouraging miners with claims on federal lands to "avoid the Christmas rush" by filing their annual assessments before the Dec. 31 deadline.

"The filing requirement affects holders of up to 60,000 claims on federal lands throughout Utah," said BLM State Director James Parker.Miners who do not file the assessments describing a minimum of $100 labor or a "notice of intent to hold" by Dec. 31 at 4:30 p.m. risk having their claims declared abandoned and void.

A service charge of $5 must accompany each mining claim, mill site or tunnel site covered under the law. The document must be filed with the BLM state office at 324 S. State, Salt Lake City (or by mailing to P.O. Box 45155, Salt Lake City, 84145).

The same document must also be filed with the county where the claim is located.

For more information, contact the BLM at 539-4125.