October 13, 2017
Rapid City, SD – In response to public interest and request, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor, Mark Van Every, announced another extension of the scoping comment period for the Mineral Mountain Resources Rochford Exploration Project. The original comment period was extended by 30 days and will now be extended by another 15 days. Scoping comments are now due no later than Friday, October 27, 2017.
Mineral Mountain Resources has submitted a Plan of Operations to conduct exploration on their claims located on National Forest System (NFS) lands. The area of the proposed exploration is located southeast of Rochford, South Dakota. Maps and detailed project information is available on the Black Hills National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52323
This project falls under the authority and guidance of the Black Hills National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and the 1872 Mining Law. The U.S. Forest Service administers exploration and development on National Forest System lands under mining regulations. As such, the U.S. Forest Service may approve the specific location or manner in which surface operations are conducted, but does not issue permits, nor control whether or not a claim can be mined.
Mineral Mountain Resources must obtain necessary exploration permits, such as a temporary permit to use public waters, from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SD DENR) Minerals and Mining Program.
“The Forest Service decision will include mitigation measures to protect wildlife, water and other resources, as well as to minimize noise or other disturbances associated with this action,” said Van Every. The company will be required to post an adequate reclamation bond prior to initiating actions.
Scoping is the process of obtaining comments about proposed federal actions to determine the breadth of issues to be addressed. The U.S. Forest Service will review all public comment statements and consider the substance of the concerns, evaluate whether they trigger a change in the analysis, and draft a response to each comment. In general, the U.S. Forest Service responds to comments by modifying the proposed action; supplementing, improving, or modifying analysis; making factual corrections; and/or explaining why the comments do not need further response.
Those interested in or affected by this proposal are encouraged to mail comments to “Mystic Ranger District, 8221 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City, SD 57702” or email: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Rochford Exploration Project” as the subject. Comments can be written within the text of emails or attached. Comments submitted, including names and addresses of commenters, are public information.
For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.