mine Campaign history
Our Actions preventing mining near Mount St. Helens (lawetlat'la)
2004 - 2010 PAST ACTIVITY RELATING TO IDAHO GENERAL MINES, INC. (now General moly Inc.)
IGMI acquired a 50% interest in the Mount Margaret deposit
General Moly–formerly Idaho General Mines, Inc. (IGMI)–acquired mineral rights for an area bordering the Mount St. Helens National Monument.
IGMI submits mining application
In the spring of 2005, Idaho General Mines, Inc. submitted an application for a hard rock mining lease.
A coalition opposing a mine is formed
Cascade Forest Conservancy—formally the Gifford Pinchot Task Force—began organizing a coalition of organizations, businesses, tribes, and community leaders to oppose mining operations in the Green River Valley.
First public comments opposing mining are submitted
Cascade Forest Conservancy and coalition partners submitted detailed public comments expressing why this is not place for a mine.
Local governments join the cause
In June of 2006 Castle Rock passed a resolution opposing the mine. Later that year
CFC and 16 partners submit comments on the mining Environmental Assessment (EA)
In March of 2007, the Environmental Assessment (EA) completed for IGMI's mining application was released for public comments. Cascade Forest Conservancy and 16 other coalition partners submitted comments challenging the plan.
The City of Longview also passes a resolution opposing the mine
The public speaks out overwhelmingly in opposition to mining near Mount St. Helens
Over 33,000 individuals submitted public comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency in charge of issuing the mining permits. An astounding 99% of the comments submitted opposed the mine.
WIN #1: MINING LEASE DENIED
In light of the overwhelming opposition to the plan, the BLM denied IGMI's lease application.
PAST ACTIVITY RELATED TO ASCOT RESOURCES LTD.
2010 - present
Mineral rights sold to Canadian corporation Ascot Resources
After the BLM denied IGMI's application, the mineral rights were sold to a Canadian mining corporation, Ascot Resources.
US Forest Service approves Ascot's drilling plan
The US Forest Service approved Ascot's plan without the Environmental Assessment that should have been required.
Exploratory drilling begins
Ascot began to drill at a number of exploratory sites.
Proposals submitted for prospecting permits
Ascot Resources submitted a proposal for two prospecting permits in early 2011.
Cascade Forest Conservancy filed a complaint regarding the permit proposals requesting a full environmental review and injunction.
The US Forest Service suspended drilling and halted
Ascot Resources attempts to gain permission to drill restored
Ascot requested a withdrawal of the concurrence letter which had halted their ongoing drilling operations and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) through the BLM.
WIN #2: CASE DISMISSED
Ascot's case was dismissed–an important win for opponents of the mine.
Amended permit applications submitted to BLM
A month after losing in the courts, Ascot submitted amended permit applications to the BLM.
Senator Cantwell supports efforts to prevent mining
Senator Cantwell sent a letter to the Forest Service and BLM expressing support for our efforts to prevent a mine in this section of the Cascades.
The Public Scoping period for the prospecting permits begins
Cascade Forest Conservancy and a number of other organizations submit comments during the initial scoping period, once again expressing opposition to mining near Mount St. Helens.
The BLM released the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed project
The BLM released the final modified EA
Ascot is granted consent for prospecting permits
In December, the Forest Service and BLM each released decisions of Finding of no Significant Impact (FONSI) for the prospecting permits–giving Ascot approval for drilling to locate a site for a mine.
CFC appeals the decisions and FONSI
Cascade Forest Conservancy filed an appeal of the decisions to grant permits, arguing that the agencies' claims that the projects would not cause a significant impact to the environments and communities impacted by mining operations incorrect and misleading.
Administrative appeal denied
The US Forest Service denied CFC's administrative appeal, deciding instead to let the project move forward.
CFC files a complaint in Federal court
Cascade Forest Conservancy filed a complaint against the US Forest Service and the BLM over the prospecting permits issued to Ascot. Ascot Resources intervened in the case in June of the same year.
Ruling in favor of CFC
A Federal judge ruled in favor of Cascade Forest Conservancy (at the time still the Gifford Pinchot Task Force) on the majority of our legal claims and sussed a judgement declaring the prospecting permits issued by the Forest Service and BLM illegal.
Ascot files a notice of appeal
Ascot filed noticed that they planned to appeal the court's decision in September. The Forest Service and BLM also each filed placeholder notices of appeal in October.
WIN #3: APPEALS DISMISSED
The Forest Service, BLM, and Ascot Resources voluntarily dismissed their appeals to the court decision invalidating permits for the Goat Mountain mining exploration project.
Ascot Resources begins working with the BLM to improve their permit applications and prepare a new EA for exploratory drilling
The BLM and Forest Service release permit applications for public comment
Ascot Resources's Goat Mountain Hard Rock Prospecting Permit Application's modified EA is released for public comments.
CFC and coalition partners once again voice opposition
Cascade Forest Conservancy and our partners once again submitted comments about the modified EA for the second attempt to obtain prospecting permits near Mount St. Helens.
More voices oppose the mine
The City of Kelso again voted for a resolution saying they oppose a mine, and Senator Cantwell also publicly opposed the mine in a letter to the Forest Service.
Draft decision allowing drilling released
The Forest Service released a draft Decision Notice and a Finding of No Significant Impact for the project to allow drilling within the Green River Valley, kicking off a 45-day objection period to appeal the decision. CFC submitted an objection letter in October.
Forest Service decides to allow the permit process to move forward
The BLM releases its own Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact to allow exploratory drilling in the Green River Valley
Cascade Forest Conservancy files a complaint
CFC started a lawsuit in an attempt to block the exploratory drilling permits.
Arguments are heard in court
Oral arguments CFC's latest case against the US Forest Service and BLM were heard in October.
The court released the first part of its decision
A Federal judge found that the prospecting permits issued to Ascot Resources by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management violated federal environmental law. The agencies requested a stay to conduct additional environmental analysis before the court rules on remedy. The stay is in place until November 2021. Ascot has agreed that there will be no prospecting during this time.
WIN #4: The Court Order reverses the decisions that would have allowed drilling
The Court vacated decisions by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, revoking permits that had been granted to Ascot Resources, ending the matter in favor of CFC and the Green River Valley.