A conservation group has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management over the agencies’ decision to allow exploratory drilling in the upper Green River Valley at Goat Mountain, near the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
The BLM in December found mining company Ascot Resources Ltd.’s proposal to do exploratory drilling ahead of mining would present no significant environmental impact. The decision granted the Canadian mining company two hard rock prospecting permits within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
The company’s plans call for drilling up to 63 roadside exploration holes, measuring 2 to 3 inches in diameter, to look for copper, silver, gold and molybdenum on a mining claim in the upper Green River Valley at Goat Mountain. The drilling area is about 12 miles northeast of Mount St. Helens and adjacent to, and extending northeast from, the boundary of the volcanic monument.
In February 2018, the U.S. Forest Service gave its consent to the exploratory mining.
The Cascade Forest Conservancy filed its lawsuit late last week, challenging both permitting decisions.
Both agencies “failed to recognize that mining cannot interfere with the outdoor recreational purposes for which the land was acquired,” the conservancy said in a news release Monday announcing the lawsuit.