Tribes aim to stop mine beneath Mont. wilderness

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PABLO, Mont. (AP) -- Members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are trying to prevent an underground copper and silver mine beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in northwestern Montana by getting a sacred peak designated in the National Register of Historic Places.

Kootenai Tribe Cultural Preservation Officer Francis Auld tells the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/GS5MdH) that members are working to get 7,018-foot Chicago Peak recognized under the National Historic Preservation Act as a traditional cultural property.

Spokane, Wash.-based Revett Minerals Inc. wants to mine up to 10,000 tons of copper and silver in the area. President John Shanahan says the company is sensitive to the concerns of tribal members.

The mine entrance would be located outside the wilderness boundary, but mine shafts would tunnel beneath the wilderness and about 1,000 feet below the mountain.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com