Group sues to prohibit Mount St. Helens’ drilling

MOUNT ST. HELENS, WA - NOVEMBER 8: Mt. St. Helens is seen from State Route 504 November 8, 2004. Activity on the mountain continues as the new lava dome has grown to over 300 feet high. (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A conservation group has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management over the agencies’ decision to allow exploratory drilling near the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

The Columbian reports the BLM in December found mining company Ascot Resources Ltd.’s proposal to do exploratory drilling ahead of mining would present no significant environmental impact.

The company’s plans call for drilling up to 63 roadside exploration holes to look for copper, silver, gold and molybdenum on a mining claim about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northeast of Mount St. Helens.

The Cascade Forest Conservancy filed its lawsuit late last week, challenging both permitting decisions.

Both agencies “failed to recognize that mining cannot interfere with the outdoor recreational purposes for which the land was acquired,” the conservancy said Monday.

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