Gold Mine Plan In Central Idaho Wilderness Draws Objections

Mar 23, 2015

A coalition of conservation groups and the Nez Perce tribe are challenging the U.S. Forest Service's approval of a gold mining company's plan to reopen a 4-mile road in a central Idaho wilderness and drill core samples to find out if two claims are profitable enough to be mined.

The Idaho Conservation League and four other groups this month filed an objection with the federal agency as a first step in a potential lawsuit.

The groups contend that the Forest Service's December approval of American Independence Mines and Minerals' plan in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness exceeds limits on activities set out in a 2002 lawsuit.

The tribe contends that mining activities will damage streams and infringe on rights granted in 1855 and 1859 treaties.