U.S. Forest Service Releases Final Record of Decision for the Rock Creek Project

Contact(s): Willie Sykes

NOXON, Mont., August 28, 2018— The Kootenai National Forest has issued the Final Record of Decision (ROD) for Phase I of the Rock Creek Project, a proposed underground copper and silver mine in northwestern Montana near Noxon in Sanders County.

RC Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Hecla Mining Company, proposes to construct, operate, and reclaim the proposed Rock Creek Mine. As proposed, this project would potentially result in more than 600 jobs in the area and produce more than 3.5 million tons of silver and copper ore per year while in operation. The mine is estimated to be viable for more than 30 years.

RC Resources owns the mineral rights to the ore deposit beneath in the Cabinet Ranger District of the Kootenai National Forest. This area is adjacent to the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.

The KNF prepared a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) in February, 2016, which responds to a 2010 U.S. District Court decision in that found deficiencies in the 2001 Rock Creek Project Final EIS and directed the Kootenai National Forest to prepare a SEIS and a new Record Of Decision (ROD).

The Kootenai National Forest issued the Final SEIS and Draft ROD in June 2017, and has finalized its decision to approve Phase I of Alternative V based on input received during the objection process. This alternative and the Final ROD can be found at:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/kootenai/landmanagement/projects .

“This is an important first step in moving forward with this project," said Chris Savage, Kootenai Forest Supervisor.  “This project has been in the planning phase for a long time and I am happy to issue the decision to start the first phase of this project”. 

Additional project related documents including the Final SEIS can also be downloaded from the Forest Service’s web page.

Copies of the Final ROD and Final SEIS will be maintained at public libraries in Libby, Thompson Falls, Heron, Missoula, Helena, and libraries at the Kootenai National Forest Supervisor’s Office and Cabinet Ranger District Office.

For more information concerning the Forest Service’s decision or to request an electronic copy of the Final SEIS and/or Final ROD contact Katelyn Miller, Project Coordinator, Kootenai National Forest, 31374 US 2, Libby, MT 59923-3022, 406-293-6211.




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