On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Reviewing and Responsible Officers, the civil servants representing the Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) hosted a virtual meeting for “Objectors with Standing” regarding the proposed Jenny Gulch Gold Exploration Project. The BHNF facilitated the five-hour-long meeting with invited individuals, tribes, landowners, and organizations who had submitted comments during the Objection period ending August 22, 2022, hence “Objectors with Standing (Objectors).”
The BHNF selected Objectors from their submitted comments in hopes to be provided with “Resolutions” to those objections under various topics that addressed federal government compliances such as; Tribal Treaty Rights, Heritage Resources, Water Quality, National Environmental Policy Act, etc. The Objectors proved to represent a strong alliance of people who echoed a unified message that the BHNF must first be in compliance with their own rules and regulations;
The summary of those “Resolutions” echoed are:
- Complete a comprehensive, Indigenous-knowledge-based, respectful, and meaningful Tribal Consultation
- Rescind the FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) preliminary decision
- Complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Objectors spoke eloquently and passionately about the need for BHNF to follow regulations and mandates regarding Tribal Consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and to protect the environment under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Other topics discussed included the importance of cultural resources, rare species of wildlife, socio-economic issues, the climate crisis, drought, fire danger, noise/air pollution, and national defense.
Objectors reiterated to the BHNF how this proposed gold exploration project not only impacts the project areas but the surrounding areas too. And the majority stressed their concerns about the threat to our main drinking water source — stating the fact that water from the Black Hills flows to the Missouri River so this type of mining or exploration project would affect western South Dakota, as well.
Please join us in cautious optimism that our voices were heard and those “Resolutions” we provided are completed before any further action is taken.
We stand collectively together to protect the Waters in the HeSapa, the Black Hills, from F3 Gold’s proposed Jenny Gulch Gold Exploration Project. We welcome you to sign-on to this letter, as an “Objector with Standing” or a Supporter. Please email email@example.com if you wish to sign-on.
Rapid Creek Watershed Action
Black Hills Clean Water Alliance
Sierra Club of the Black Hills
James Preston – Objector
Justin Herreman – Objector
Jolie McCoy – Objector
Carla Marshall – Objector
Lilias Jarding, Ph.D. – Objector
Jeannie M. Bush – Objector
Faith Spotted Eagle – Objector
Ihanktonwan Oyate Treaty Committee Yankton Sioux Tribe – Objector
Brave Heart Society
Tally & Rita Chapman, Happy Trails to You
Lonnie Provost – Objector
Gena Parkhurst – Objector
Sean Fahey – Objector
Sylvia Lambert – Objector
Reno Red Cloud, Sr. – Objector – Director of Water Resources Department, Oglala Sioux Tribe, SD
Stephanie A Two Crow
To sign-on email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include “Sign-on with Objectors” in the Subject line.