U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today praised the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for recommending the withdrawal of approximately 30,000 acres of the Custer Gallatin National Forest from mineral entry in the Paradise Valley and Gardner Basins. Daines has urged the withdrawal given the strong local support.
“The Paradise Valley and Gardner Basin are truly special places that deserve protection,” Daines said. “After an extensive process and public input, I’m glad to see that the Forest Service listened to the voices of the residents and is recommending this withdrawal.”
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“I’ve always said there are places where it is appropriate to mine and places where it isn’t. The Paradise Valley is one of those unique places. I’ve long fought for the protection of the valley since I was in Congress, and now the Department is looking at finalizing the withdrawal in the coming weeks. I thank the Forest Service for their consultation on this matter,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said.
The Custer Gallatin National Forest has completed its Environmental Assessment of possible mining in the Emigrant Gulch and Crevice Peak areas and is recommending that the Secretary of Interior withdraw approximately 30,000 acres of USFS land from mining consideration.
Today, the USFS sent a recommendation to the Department of the Interior (DOI) to withdraw approximately 30,000 acres of minerals in Emigrant Peak for 20 years.
DOI has until November 22 to approve or deny the Forest Service’s recommendation. They can formally make their decision at any time.
Currently, there is a bill moving through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that would permanently withdraw the same acres. Daines is committed to passing the bill out of Committee at the next Committee meeting.
Daines’ Work to Secure Mineral Withdrawal:
On March 29, 2018, Daines supported the Forest Service draft Environmental Assessment to recommend the mineral withdrawal in the Paradise Valley and Gardner Basins.
On July 26, 2017, Daines spoke about Paradise Valley during the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining hearing.