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Exploratory Drilling Approved On Goat Mountain

Posted by Jonathan Guzzo at Dec 06, 2012 10:10 AM |
This week, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest gave the go-ahead for a Canadian mining company to begin exploratory drilling on Goat Mountain, a setback in the ongoing fight to protect Goat Mountain Trail (#217) and Mount St. Helens Monument from mining threats.
Exploratory Drilling Approved On Goat Mountain

Exploratory drilling could threaten the Goat Mountain Trail. Photo by Susan Saul

This week, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest gave the go-ahead for a Canadian mining company to begin exploratory drilling on Goat Mountain, a setback in the ongoing fight to protect Goat Mountain Trail (#217) and Mount St. Helens Monument from mining threats.

Mining to be limited to 63 holes at 23 sites

Forest officials released a 'Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact' on exploratory drilling near Goat Mountain on the northeast corner of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Ascot Resources, a British Columbia mining company, can now begin to drill 63 holes at 23 sites to assess cores for the presence of gold, silver, copper and molybdenum.

Fighting for Goat Mountain since 2006

WTA's 2006 and 2007 Endangered Trails Reports listed Goat Mountain due to mining threats. At the time, Idaho General Mines and General Moly were attempting to site mining operations at Goat Mountain. Those companies withdrew their proposals and Ascot stepped in with its exploratory proposal. While smaller in scale than a mine, exploratory drilling opens the door for larger operations.

We have grave concerns about potential mining at Goat Mountain. This project has the potential to obliterate the lovely Goat Mountain Trail, permanently impact the Lewis River Horse Camp and to seriously damage wildlife habitat. Mining in the shadow of Mount St. Helens strongly conflicts with the environmental and scientific purpose of the Monument.

The final cut is that these lands were purchased by the Nature Conservancy and donated to the Forest Service to protect it from development. At the time of the donation, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Supervisor said that the acquisition would "...aid in the preservation of the scenic beauty of this area which is to become an important Monument portal.”

Sign up to help us protect Goat Mountain

WTA is coordinating with other statewide and regional organizations to protect the Goat Mountain Trail and these important public lands.

> Sign up for Take Action Network alerts, and we will keep you posted with new developments and let you know how you can help.

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