Letters From the West

Forest Service holds hearing on CuMo drilling project

The U.S. Forest Service will hold three public meetings to provide information about the CuMo Exploration project.

The agency has completed a “Supplemental Environmental Assessment” to meet a federal court order that it do an additional groundwater analysis of the CuMo exploration project 14 miles north of Idaho City. The Idaho CuMo Corp. formerly Mosquito Gold, hopes to further delineate the copper-molybdenum deposit as it moves toward completing its own mining feasibility study and environmental impact statement.

It hopes to open the mine it estimates has $16 billion of ore, which would make it the largest molybdenum mine in the world.

For Idaho and Boise County it could mean 1,000 long-term, high-paying jobs that would transform Idaho City into one of the most prosperous rural communities in the state. But the company has to convince environmentalists and regulators and likely a judge that the mine can be operated safely without degrading the water that eventually runs into the Boise River.

The Forest Service will hold the meetings so people can learn more about the analysis and the alternatives the agency considered. None of the alternatives considered mining nor look at its impacts, only the exploration program, since t has no dformal proposal before it.

The open house style meetings are scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on:
• Sept 3, Robinson Community Center, 206 W. Commercial Street, Idaho City
• Sept. 4 Best Western Plus Vista Inn at Airport, 2645 Airport Ave., Boise
• Sept. 5 Garden Valley/Crouch Community Hall, 1022 Old Crouch Road, Garden Valley

For further information contact the Boise National Forest Headquarters Office at 208-373-4100. Watch CuMo CEO describe what he’s doing in the video below.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West