The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering allowing exploratory drilling for hard rock mining on the northeast border of Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument in Washington State. In 2006, Washington Trails Association listed the Goat Mountain Trail (#217) as one of the most endangered trails in Washington and a mine application was successfully denied in 2008.
Now Ascot Resources wants to drill at the headwaters of the Green River. The Green River and the surrounding habitat is home to Northern Spotted Owls, Bald Eagles, and Pileated Woodpeckers — all birds listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Allowing a huge mine on its borders will set a disasterous precedent for development near other national monuments. The deadline for submitting public comments opposing this mine is next Tuesday, July 31.
(Northern Spotted Owl by John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS)