Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Court Rejects Rock Creek Mine In Northwest Montana
Grizzly bear, bull trout habitat at stake
March 29, 2010
Missoula, MT -- In a major victory for bull trout and grizzly bears of northwest Montana, a federal judge today rejected the U.S. Forest Service's approval of a massive industrial mining operation on the edge of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area.
The court ruled that the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Forest Service Organic Act in approving the Rock Creek Mine, which would have bored under the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness in the midst of popular recreational areas and key habitat for bull trout, grizzly bears and other sensitive wildlife species.
The case marks the third time that lawsuits brought by members of the public have succeeded in invalidating federal agency approvals for the Rock Creek Mine project.
"This third strike against this mine should end the game," said Jim Costello of the Rock Creek Alliance, one of the groups involved in the lawsuits. "We've said all along that this mine simply cannot be built without contaminating the region's waters and pushing the Cabinet's fragile bull trout and grizzly bear population in Rock Creek to extinction. It's time for the government to stop this merry-go-round and start working to protect our region's waters, trout and bears."
"This mine would smother important bull trout spawning grounds under tons of sediment and disrupt thousands of acres of habitat for the region's tiny grizzly bear population, all while threatening to drain the water out of lakes in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness," said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso. "The federal permit blocked today was issued by the Bush administration and we hope the Obama administration will have a different view about undermining a federal wilderness area."
The proposed mining operation would have removed 10,000 tons per day of copper and silver ore from under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness seven days a week for 35 years. The resulting loss of more than 7,000 acres of habitat would be devastating to the few grizzly bears that survive in the Cabinet Mountains.
The mine also would have dumped up to three million gallons of waste water each day into the Clark Fork River and threatened to destroy the bull trout population in Rock Creek, a tributary of the Clark Fork.
The proposed Rock Creek Mine faced vehement opposition from a coalition of local, regional and national conservation groups, along with local business representatives, public officials and ordinary citizens.
The groups that challenged the mine are Rock Creek Alliance, Cabinet Resource Group, Clark Fork Coalition, Earthworks, Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited, Idaho Council of Trout Unlimited, Pacific Rivers Council, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Natural Resources Defense Council, Montana Wilderness Association, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness. The groups were represented by lawyers from Earthjustice and the Western Mining Action Project.
Tim Preso, Earthjustice, (406) 586-9699
Jim Costello, Rock Creek Alliance, (406) 544-1494
Natural Resources Defense Council, (406) 222-9561
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
|Yeah, whatever, we don't need smelt. It's not like salmon, steelhead or sea run cutts eat them. Psshhhaahh! -BW |
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE Print Version
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
March 16, 2010
Contact: Brad James, (360) 906-6716
Statement on the listing of eulachon smelt
as a 'threatened' species under the ESA
The following statement from Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), concerning the listing by NOAA-Fisheries of eulachon smelt as "threatened" under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
"The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) supports the listing of Pacific smelt as threatened under the federal ESA. The decline of this important forage fish species over the past two decades is a serious concern and one that deserves our best effort to reverse. During this time period, WDFW has worked closely with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to reduce the harvest of smelt to low levels without a positive response from the smelt resource. The information compiled by NOAA-Fisheries during its status determination indicates that climate change, poor ocean survival conditions, lack of adequate freshwater flows and predation by seals and sea lions have combined to threaten to smelt throughout their range from northern California to Alaska."
"WDFW will continue to work with NOAA-Fisheries, ODFW, and the Cowlitz Tribe to identify corrective actions that will lead to recovery this important resource."
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
On Wednesday March 10th, we are hosting an event at the North Bend Theater with special guests Brian O'Keefe (you've seen his photos, they're all over anything outdoor related) and Todd Moen (a filmmaking friend with more talent in one eyelash than my whole family has) from Catch Magazine will be on hand to share some films and photos and talk to you about all the cool places they've caught fish and if you want tell you how you can do it too. Jack Mitchell of The Evening Hatch will be there as well giving a presentation on Fishing in Washington. We all stand to learn a thing or two from him on our fair state.
The event begins officially at 7pm but please come early to bs with the presenters and tell us how much you love us. And drink beer. Yes, beer will be available with a donation to Trout Unlimited. The event is technically FREE but we are trying to raise money for TU so if you are feeling generous and have a pile of cash spilling out of your pockets then by all means...
See you there. Oh yeah, and Skwalas are popping on the Yakima...
Feed Fish Flies-BW