We have been looking into ways that would open Eastern lands to location for a long time, we have not had much success as they are aquired federal government lands or private property. There is not much anyone can do about private property and very little we can do about acquired lands.
To me acquired land is a Constitutional argument, meaning the government by the constitution is only allowed to own certain lands, such as military bases and post offices otherwise they are to rid there self of those excess lands. Of caurse if they do that the lands will become private.
You may want to do research and actually find out who owns the minerals, the government, mining company or a private party and see if you can make some type of deal that will allow you to work the land. You can also lease acquired lands in many cases.
It is important fdor use to continue to keep the public lands in the west for the public. Although you may not feel that this helps you, it helps in this respect: People from the East, South and North come west for vactions and to live, thus by protecting the western lands we preserve the rights of others to use them for mining if they ever do get the opportunity to come west for what ever reason. We hope that one day or until something can be done about acquired lands, that you and yours get an opportunity to come west of the Mississsippi and file a claim and utilize it.