Enviros seek to block drilling near St. Helens

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Environmentalists are seeking to stop exploratory drilling on forest lands near Mount St. Helens in Washington state, as a Canadian company prepares next month to drill more holes to probe for copper, gold and other minerals.

Ascot Resources, of Vancouver, B.C., plans to drill on a site within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Skamania County, Wash. The site is 12 miles northeast of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Gifford Pinchot Task Force sued the U.S. Forest Service in federal court in Tacoma last week to seek an environmental review. It says the project could lead to polluted drinking water and loss of wildlife habitat.

The company calls the lawsuit frivolous.

The forest service's Ron Freeman says his agency has done an internal review and the company has addressed concerns.