Dear Members and Supporters,
The Kootenai National Forest recently released a Draft Supplemental EIS (DSEIS) for public review with a 45-day comment period ending April 19, 2016. The Rock Creek Alliance requested an extension of this short comment period to give us and our experts enough time to review the EIS and supporting documents, and report back to you about the changes and deficiencies in the mine plan. The Kootenai National Forest Supervisor denied our request, stating that the DSEIS is not a lengthy document. We think 990 pages is a lot to expect the public to read, and note that the Forest Service and mining company consultants had six years to work on the DSEIS.
It’s disappointing, but not unexpected that the Draft Supplemental EIS dismisses impacts to Idaho’s waters claiming, “No impacts to Idaho waters are expected.” Given that the mine plan still calls for a perpetual discharge of pollutants to the Clark Fork River, this is clearly untrue. Unfortunately, this proposal hasn’t gotten any better, and still poses substantial risks and known impacts to water quality, wilderness, wildlife, and local economies.
You can help by sending a letter to the Forest Service by April 4, 2016. Your letter does not have to be long, but should include substantive issues. Below are some points you can raise. We have additional talking points and a sample letter on our website: http://www.rockcreekalliance.org/