Exploratory drilling for hardrock strip mining threatens Washington’s Green River. This mining would be on public lands on the flanks of Mount Saint Helens in Washington state, which would put wild steelhead and clean drinking water for downstream communities at risk. These threatened public lands were acquired by the U.S. Forest Service through the Land and Water Conservation Fund due to their great value to the American people for conservation and recreation. If exploratory drilling is permitted here, it could lead to a full-scale industrial mining operation in this pristine area. That would completely destroy Goat Mountain, including a treasured recreational trail with remarkable views of Mount Saint Helens, and likely pollute the Green River with toxic drilling additives or acid mine drainage. As the largest tributary of the North Fork Toutle River, the clean, cool waters of the Green River play an important role in downstream drinking water supplies. Those waters also support a local recreation economy and fisheries in the Cowlitz-Toutle River watershed. Stopping this mine is critical to ensuring that this wild area is preserved for future generations.
The U.S. Forest Service has given its consent to allow exploratory mining, we must ask the Bureau of Land Management to protect this special place by denying the permit for this project and preventing future mining in the Green River Valley.