Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Records problem with Monte Christo cleanup
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Gil
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Gil
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 8:14 am 
From The Herald:
Auditor: $300,000 unaccounted for from Monte Cristo cleanup
https://www.heraldnet.com/news/auditor-300000-unaccounted-for-from-monte-cristo-cleanup/
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Schroder
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 10:45 am 
Quote:
The American Smelting and Refining Company ran a gold mining operation in Monte Cristo for nearly 100 years
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JimK
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 9:14 am 
ASARCO mined at Monte Cristo for nearly 100 years? Without a railroad, people, or equipment most of those years?
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:01 am 
Even more odd: apparently, ASARCO was mining at MC even when they weren't.

But: As controversial as this was, especially that crappy “road”, you’d think there’d be better record-keeping.
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altasnob
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:02 am 
Ya, assume Schroeder was quoting that because it is incorrect. Wikipedia says:

"The town was active as a mining area for gold and silver from 1889 to 1907"
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altasnob
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:07 am 
From the article,

"Lynnwood engineer Bill Lider filed a complaint with the state auditor in December 2019 after he said the Forest Service refused to provide him with documents detailing the cleanup’s finances."

All the Forest Service's finances are public record, as is every single document relating to this project record, so not sure why the Forest Service refused to give this guy the records he was asking for. Same for every record from Washington Department of Ecology. The article doesn't say that there is evidence of impropriety "yet." I really hope when this is all said and done all the money can be properly accounted for.
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:13 am 
He has probably already filed a FOIA, which is typical for requesting federal docs; the USFS didn't do the cleanup and Lider already has prior documents; he's been present every step of the way on this project, hoping to stop it.
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altasnob
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:37 am 
The article says, "[t]hen in May of 2015, the Department of Ecology paid the forest service its share of the settlement [paid by the bankrupt mining company] to do on-the-ground cleanup." So I thought the Forest Service is/was doing basically all the cleanup out there?
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:41 am 
No. They don't have the expertise or equipment. Their nexus is that the majority is USFS land and they got sued years ago by WEC to clean it up.  It's a CERLA (descendent of Superfund) cleanup, out of the USFS hands.

But on 2nd thought, you're likely right, now that you brought it up and I thought about it - from the USFS to DOE and Ecology, the money would come first from USFS, unless they transferred the entire award over right away, which they probably did not do. Since Lider has had a lot of dealings with USFS, he might be right in that FOIA afterall, if the USFS required any documentation to transfer money.
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altasnob
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:47 am 
The way I read it both USFS and WA Ecology screwed up here. The USFS for not documenting how they were spending WA Ecology money. And WA Ecology screwed up by not getting mad at USFS for not doing this (which USFS agreed to do).

There is no evidence the money was stolen (yet). Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Or maybe it was 100% used correctly but the agencies screwed up by not documenting this. In any event, thank you to this citizen for pestering these governments or else none of us would know about this.
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 11:55 am 
I don't think it was stolen, it was just lost or miscalculated in the morass of a maze that are the agencies, and it should be corrected.

Lider is constantly looking for ways to bash the USFS, the local office in particular, and he's been a pest for a very long time. This is not new.

But it appears there was certainly a screwup on the books, and if he's willing to spend his time on it and the money sunk into the project (fix that goddam stupid ill-built "road" they dug into the woods), that's cool.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Sep 21, 2020 8:51 pm 
I agree with Kim: that's the worst road I've ever been on.  By far.  I broke a nipple.  So glad to get back onto the trail!
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