Forum Index > Stewardship > BLM reopens comment period for Methow Headwaters Mineral Withdrawal
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Nov 08, 2018 7:12 pm 
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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently accepting comments on a 20-year mineral withdrawal to protect the Methow Headwaters from industrial-scale mining threats.  Please join us in asking the BLM to approve a 20-year mineral withdrawal to safeguard this stunning area, home to some of the nation's besthiking, skiing, climbing and mountain biking.

https://secure.everyaction.com/MgsXnmvy30-upiZhLIzT8Q2
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RandyHiker
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 9:20 am 
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FWIW: If you don't know who your Congressional and state representatives are, here is a tool for looking them up:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 9:20 am 
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You can ride, hike, etc, more or less anywhere.

You cannot mine copper, anywhere. Only where it is.

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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 11:36 am 
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It isn't the mining that is the problem  It is the cleanup afterwards where the company goes out of business and taxpayers pay for any cleanup to do.

Wenatchee is one exception, 'cept for the old tailing ponds up in the Squilchuck area and I don't know what became of those.

Know any other cases where the mining company did an acceptable cleanup job?  I think the Buckhorn mine is in progress, but not complete.

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Ski
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 12:16 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
Know any other cases where the mining company did an acceptable cleanup job?

sure... they're all over!

Butte, Montana

Tacoma, Washington

need more? dizzy.gif

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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 3:31 pm 
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Butte is a shining example of responsible mining.  I forget when they said the ground water that supplies the town will be contaminated.

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Ski
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 4:44 pm 
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The question that should be asked, actually, is "Can you cite one example of a mining operation that was properly cleaned up by the mining company that was responsible for digging the hole in the first place?" (Or, in the case of the entire north end of Tacoma, the southern half of Vashon Island, and parts of Dash Point and Browns Point, the smelter operation.)

Randy, is there any contact information to send comments directly to BLM? If the comments are all sent through The Mounaineers website, odds are that BLM will consider them one comment.

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Ski
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 4:48 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
"... and taxpayers pay for any cleanup..."

Oh yeah... you mean like the entire north end of Tacoma, the southern half of Vashon Island, and parts of Browns Point and Dash Point?

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RandyHiker
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Randy, is there any contact information to send comments directly to BLM? If the comments are all sent through The Mounaineers website, odds are that BLM will consider them one comment.

You might give this a try

Quote:

Written comments should be sent to the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, P.O. Box 2965, Portland, OR 97208-2965 or may be sent electronically to BLM_OR_WA_WITHDRAWALS@blm.gov
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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 6:41 pm 
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This may be an exception, providing the dam does not give way and flush tailings into the Columbia.   Squilchuck Cr. had a flood that took out part of  the Appleyard area in the early 1900s. 

The Cannon Mine

Note that it was on the edge of town and now is part of an area of hiking trails.

Edited:

Hah!  My memory was correct.  The Appleyard flood

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Ski
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PostFri Nov 09, 2018 7:03 pm 
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thanks Randy.

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GC99
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PostWed Nov 14, 2018 8:52 am 
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Responsible mines are in abundance, you just have to know where to look since they don't leave much trace. The Cannon is the best example in WA although there are some other older ones that were smaller (most of the Republic area) that have been pretty well wiped out by private companies doing reclamation. Does it help to know that the headwaters of the Meathow already have quite a few inactive mines including some on Goat Ridge?

It's important to remember the vast majority of mines around here were started long before there were any sorts of regulations on them as far as reclamation so it's not surprising that they were not completely reclaimed when they closed. Modern mines on the other hand are required to set bonds for reclamation. It is exceedingly rare for actual tax dollars to be spent on reclamation, much of it comes from the mining companies themselves (ASARCO paid for the Monte Cristo debacle from their bankruptcy) and from a fund that is gathered from active mines all over the country and is divided among reclamation projects.

In case anyone is curious about Butte, it is not supplied by contaminated ground water at all, the town's water comes from reservoirs well above the town and a pumping station on the other side of the continental divide.
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PostWed Nov 14, 2018 9:34 am 
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ASARCO's interests were acquired by a South American company, and when they ran into financial difficulties it left homeowners all over the north end of Tacoma stuck with yards that were all torn up for months, with no resolution in sight. Only a class-action suit brought some remedy, and work was resumed.
In the end, however, nobody's yard here has been the same since. The homeowners got shafted on the deal. The principals of ASARCO got to keep their money.
In a conversion with a job site supervisor up on Pearl Street a couple years ago, he estimated that the clean-up effort here in the north end will provide job security for his business until at least 2050, if not longer.

The situation in Butte has nothing to do with the town's drinking water supply. It has to do with a toxic mix of water and chemicals that are filling up a gigantic hole from underneath.
When that water starts spilling over the top it will go right into the city of Butte and poison everything in its path.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Nov 14, 2018 9:58 am 
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There was a refinery in Everett built to handle the arsenic containing ores from Monte Crisco. When the Rockefeller’s pulled out the Arsenic plant was moved by the Guggenheim smelter trust plant in Ruston in Tacoma. For a long time it was the only smelter in the US that could handle heavily arsenic containing ores. The legacy lives on with contaminated soil in much of the South Sound. It was also the largest point source of sulphur dioxide until it shut down and the Centralia steam plant took over that dubious honor.

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treeswarper
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PostWed Nov 14, 2018 10:20 am 
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Ski wrote:
In a conversion with a job site supervisor up on Pearl Street a couple years ago, he estimated that the clean-up effort here in the north end will provide job security for his business until at least 2050, if not longer.

Guess that's the good part.  The Silver Valley in Idaho has the same kind of job security.

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