Mount St. Helens - No Place for a Mine
Recently, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S.
Forest Service (USFS) released an Environmental Assessment (EA) on a proposed
plan for exploratory drilling that could lead to industrial-scale mining near
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Mining near this iconic monument and the surrounding
Green River Valley could have negative impacts on nearby rivers and streams,
wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and local economies. We want one, not two craters in southwest
What you can do:
Help Washington Wild work to stop this proposed exploratory drilling in its tracks before it proceeds to a full-fledged open pit mine by signing a petition to Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler, Senator Murray, and Senator Cantwell. Urge them to oppose this mine. We are working with other conservation and recreation groups to let our federal elected officials know that thousands of individuals oppose this mine.
Background:Ascot Resources Inc. applied for permission from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to conduct exploratory drilling on approximately 900 acres of land, 217 acres of which they own a 50% interest. They applied for two prospecting permits to drill test holes to explore for hardrock minerals in the Green River valley below Goat Mountain, which lies just 12 miles north and east of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The company is seeking to find a valuable deposit to potentially mine copper, gold and molybdenum.
Ascot is currently in the process to get the exploratory drilling permits approved. The BLM and FS released an Environmental Assessment in July 2012 and will most likely be releasing a Finding of No Significant Impact in August 2012. Conservation, recreation, Tribes, and other local stakeholders are weighing in on opposing the exploratory drilling.
The FS purchased this land from Trust for Public Land, in part using Land and Water Conservation Funds, for the purposes of recreation and conservation and for the protection of the Green River. The land was not intended to be used for a short-sighted plan for exploratory drilling that could lead to an industrial-scale mine near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Mount St. Helens is both a world-renowned natural laboratory for scientists and a destination for tourists. The surrounding Green River Valley draws thousands of hikers, birders, anglers, hunters, horsemen, mountain bikers and paddlers from all over the country every year, providing a sustainable flow of income to local economies. Both of these treasured landscapes should be protected for future generations.
Furthermore, the proposed mine could have negative impacts on the nearby Green River, which is less than one mile from the drilling location. The Green River is an extremely valuable human resource. The Green River eventually flows into the Cowlitz River where it is withdrawn for agricultural and municipal water supplies. It also provides habitat for listed salmon and steelhead. Any toxic releases or sediment from road ways could significantly harm and potentially destroy fish populations.
The potential open pit mine poses a real threat of damaging our national landmark, given the pollution track record of mines in this country. There are other places to mine copper and gold, but there is nowhere else in the country like Mount St. Helens.