PROTECT PACTOLA AND RAPID CREEK WATERSHED: Two deadlines coming up fast!

Jan. 6, 2020 Call to Action taken to Protect the Rapid Creek Watershed and Pactola from Gold Exploration.

Mark Your Calendar for Wed. Jan. 15 for another Call to Action at the Corner of 5th and Omaha in Rapid City at 4:30 PM.

There are two important “agency” deadlines coming up in the fight against gold exploration and mining in the central Black Hills and the Rapid Creek watershed. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020, the Forest Service will have a “scoping” meeting about the gold exploration proposed by F3 Gold to be held at the Black Hills National Forest Service Ranger Station, 8221 South Mt. Rushmore Rd, Rapid City, SD from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.
Public comments on the project may be provided at the public information meeting. Comments can also be submitted via mail to 8221 S. Mt. Rushmore Rd., Rapid City, SD 57702; via email (comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@usda.gov) with “F3 Jenny Gulch Exploration Project” as the subject; or by fax (605-343-7134). Comments are requested by February 5, 2020. Comments submitted, including names and addresses of commenters, are public information. 

The scoping document can be found on the black hills national forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/blackhills/landmanagement/projects

At least two companies, Mineral Mountain Resources and F3 Gold, are exploring in the central Black Hills.  The current deadlines have to do with F3 Gold’s effort to get permission from the Forest Service to drill for gold at 42 locations in the Jenny Gulch area north of Silver City and directly upstream from Lake Pactola’s inlet. Pactola is a reservoir that supplies water to Rapid City and surrounding areas.

F3 Gold has almost 2500 mining claims in the Black Hills, including along either side of Highway 385 from just north of Sheridan Lake to north of the Lawrence County line, including directly around Lake Pactola.  This area, like the rest of the Black Hills, is of cultural and historical importance to the Lakota and other tribal members.  It is one of our most scenic areas.  This is also a place where people enjoy many types of recreation, such as fishing, hiking, boating, biking, ATVs, hunting, bird watching, and camping.  And the water from the area that gathers into Rapid Creek and Lake Pactola supplies drinking water for Rapid City and Ellsworth Air Force Base.

The company and the Forest Service say that F3 Gold is “just” going to explore.  The company goes to great lengths to say they’re not a mining company.  But we know darn well that, if they find gold, someone will want to mine it.  And federal law promotes mining.  We need to stop this project at the start.

TELL THE FOREST SERVICE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT PROPOSED GOLD EXPLORATION

The first deadline is Thursday, January 16, 2020, when the Forest Service will have a “scoping” meeting about the gold exploration proposed by F3 Gold just above the inlet to Pactola Reservoir.  [If this date has already passed, please keep reading for the second deadline.]  This meeting will be held at the Black Hills National Forest building at 8221 South Mt. Rushmore Road, on the edge of Rapid City from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.  We need people to come and talk to the Forest Service about the many issues this project raises.

The second deadline is Wednesday, February 5, when public comments on the proposed gold exploration project will be due.  Public comments can be sent to comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@usda.gov with the subject “F3 Jenny Gulch Exploration.”  You might comment on anything that matters to you in regards to this proposed gold exploration. 

Some other ideas are:

  • Exploration leads to mining.  Gold mining has a long history of polluting Black Hills water.
  • The Forest Service did not start tribal consultation early enough on this project.  Tribal consultation should come first.
  • We need healthy economic development, not short-term projects that will harm our tourism and agriculture economy – and leave expensive messes behind.
  • [Say what recreational activity you do in the central Black Hills].  The recreation activities in the central Black Hills are a foundation of the area’s economy.

PROTECT THE BLACK HILLS.  PROTECT THE WATER.  PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES. SAY “NO” TO GOLD EXPLORATION AND MINING IN THE RAPID CREEK WATERSHED

Don’t forget to include “F3 Jenny Gulch Exploration” in the Subject.


News Release

Media Contact: Scott Jacobson, (605) 440-1409, scott.j.jacobson@usda.gov

Jenny Gulch Exploration Drilling Project – Public Information Meeting

Rapid City, SD, Jan. 7, 2020 – A public meeting will be held on January 16, 2020 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm to discuss an exploratory gold drilling proposal by F3 Gold, LLC (F3). The meeting will be held at the Black Hills National Forest, Mystic Ranger District Office, 8221 S. Mt. Rushmore Rd., Rapid City, SD 57702. 

F3 is proposing the Jenny Gulch Exploration Drilling project. The project involves exploratory drilling in up to 42 locations north of Silver City, Pennington County, South Dakota in Sections 19, 30, 31, T2N R5E and Sections 13, 14, 24, 25, T2N R4E.

F3 has submitted a Plan of Operations to conduct exploration on their claims located on National Forest System (NFS) lands. A short presentation will be provided at 6:00pm to discuss details of the plan. The Plan of Operation is tentative and may be subject to change based on the forthcoming environmental analysis.

The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s (FS’s) initial review proposes to evaluate this project as an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As a result, documentation of an EA will be prepared to facilitate planning, decision making and public disclosure. The scoping document can be found on the black hills national forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/blackhills/landmanagement/projects

Public comments on the project may be provided at the public information meeting. Comments can also be submitted via mail to 8221 S. Mt. Rushmore Rd., Rapid City, SD 57702; via email (comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@usda.gov) with “F3 Jenny Gulch Exploration Project” as the subject; or by fax (605-343-7134). Comments are requested by February 5, 2020. Comments submitted, including names and addresses of commenters, are public information. 

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

-USDA- is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. 

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