Seems that two large mining interests are closing down on portions of the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness Area. The proposed Rock Creek Mine plans to build miles of road and other facilities and employ around 300 miners, for 30 years. This will cause impacts within the Designated Wilderness Area; namely wilderness recreation, Mountain goats, protected Grizzly bear population and Bull trout fisheries. Revett Minerals is attempting to mitigate these precieved impacts and is proposing to spend millions of dollars, over the duration of the proposed mining activity. Mitigation is good, but perhaps its being directed towards areas outside the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness. I think mitigation funds and efforts should stay closer to the impact areas.
One idea would be to offer to purchase other private inholdings (Patented Mining Properties) located within or adjacent to the Cabinet Wilderness. There are two private patented mining inholdings that I’m aware of – The Fourth-of-July property above Gieger Lake (Henry Skranak) and the Way-Up Mines, up the West Fisher Creek drainage. Both of these private inholdings have proposed developments which would cause additional impact to the Cabinets.
My second idea would be to designate potential and Proposed Wilderness Areas (ie.The Proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Area), within close proximity to the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness.