Gary Andersen’s July 22 letter, “Exploration could lead to jobs” — which criticized the Gifford Pinchot Task Force’s lawsuit seeking to force the U.S. Forest Service to institute a needed public process of environmental review before a mine proposed by Ascot Resources, a Canadian company — overlooks several key points.
First, the question of jobs. In previous attempts to develop a mine in this location, barely outside the boundary of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, mining companies planned to import labor from outside the Southwest Washington area. No doubt that the same would be true this time. So Andersen’s claim that jobs would become available remains to be seen, and very likely wouldn’t happen.
Second, why is the USFS seeking to skip a public process when we’re talking about public land? Previous mine proposals have met with huge opposition. The USFS should not ignore this. GPTF’s suit seeks to prevent USFS from doing that.
Ascot’s belief that the proposed location is in a devastated “industrial” zone is baloney — much of the area around Goat Mountain wasn’t touched by the 1980 eruption and contains deep, old-growth forest and scenic trails. Additionally, the Green River, which flows directly below where the mine is, is a beautiful, wild river.
A mine, here? No.