BLM denies Goat Mountain Mine permit
Just across the boundary of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, the Goat Mountain trail offers hikers amazing views, abundant wildlife and cathedral-like old growth forest. For now, it looks like it's going to stay that way.
General Moly, formerly known as Idaho General Mines, Inc., owns 50% of the mineral estate under Goat Mountain, and sought a permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Yesterday, BLM announced that they were denying General Moly the permit, much to the pleasure of hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and conservationists statewide.
Several individuals and organizations raised concerns about air and water quality and wildlife habitat, as well as the socioeconomic effects of this project on communities that rely on recreation and tourism. WTA commented on the increased traffic, noise and damage to views that could occur as a result of a project of this scale, as well as the very real possibility of loss of the Goat Mountain Trail due to mine activities.
General Moly may still request a permit for mineral exploration at Goat Mountain, and BLM explicitly did not shut the door to issuing that permit. So, while the fate of Goat Mountain has been secured in the near term, hikers and other advocates must stay vigilant and make sure that the unique ecological and recreational qualities of this area are not sullied.
Watch this space for further developments.