Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Environmentalists Fighting Silver Mine in Montana Wilderness

U.S. Forest Service approval of a 30-year-long mining project puts threatened populations of bull trout, grizzly bears and water resources at even greater risk, and could despoil a wilderness area for a century, environmentalists say in court. Save Our Cabinets, Earthworks and the Clark Fork Coalition sued the Forest Service in Federal Court on Friday. They claim its approval of a 20-year, 20,000 tons-per day copper and silver mine would defile Montana's Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area in northwest Montana. Montanore Minerals Corp. wants to mine just below and next to the wilderness area. The Forest Service authorized a five-year evaluation and construction phase, followed by an anticipated 20-year operations phase, and an additional 10 years or more for "closure" and "post-closure" operations. Some of the operations will be inside the wilderness area, the environmentalists say. "Project operations within and outside the Wilderness Area contain some of the last remaining undeveloped habitat for imperiled populations of bull trout and grizzly bears in the region, designated as threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act," according to the 100-page complaint...more

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