Open Houses Set for Prospecting Impact

The U.S. Forest Service will host three open houses next week for review and comment on its draft Environmental Impact Statement for mineral prospecting in the Superior National Forest.

The open houses are scheduled for:  April 12 from 3:30 to 7:00 pm at the Superior National Forest Headquarters, 8901 Grand Ave Place, Duluth, MN; April 13 from 3:30 to 7:00 pm at the Norse Conference Room – Mesabi Range Community & Technical College, 1001 Chestnut St. West, Virginia, MN; and April 14 from 3:30 to 7:00 pm, at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center, 2520 Dale St, Roseville, MN.

The Forest Service is planning to issue 32 federal hard rock mineral prospecting permits on the Superior National Forest for parties seeking copper, nickel, lead, zinc, cobalt, chromium, iron, titanium, platinum, palladium, silver, gold, and other associated metals. The applications are located southwest of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely, MN.

Proposed mineral exploration activities include drilling, geophysical surveying, and support activities using motorized vehicles. The draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project analyzes the potential effects of prospecting permit applications and operating plans and the potential effects mineral prospecting activity anticipated on the forest over the next twenty years.

The Forest Service is required to conduct the environmental analysis to decide whether to consent to the prospecting permits and operating plans. The Forest Service says it bases its decision on whether or not prospecting can be conducted in an environmentally sound manner and whether or not the exploration for mineral resources is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Forest Plan, applicable laws, regulation, and policy.

The draft Environmental Impart Statement for the project is HERE.

The U.S. Forest Service media release on the open houses is HERE.

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