The KNF is now accepting comments on the Draft SEIS for Hecla’s Rock Creek Project. In accordance with 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 218.25, comments must be postmarked or received 45 days from the date the Notice of Availability of the Draft SEIS is published in the Federal Register. The Notice of Availability will be published in the Federal Register on February 19, 2016 and the 45-day comment period will end on April 4, 2016.
The document and ancillary information can be found on the KNF website.
Rock Creek Project – Background and History
- The mine has a long permitting history dating back to an application for a mining permit in 1987.
- In 1999, Sterling Mining Company (Sterling) purchased the mine property and mining claims from ASARCO. The property was ultimately conveyed to RCR, a subsidiary of Revett Silver Company (Revett). In June, 2015, Hecla Mining Company and Revett merged, and Hecla acquired Revett’s assets, which include the Rock Creek Project. Upon completion of the merger, Revett became a wholly owned subsidiary of Hecla.
- The Forest Service and Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) jointly completed a FEIS and Record of Decision (ROD) in 2001.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew its Biological Opinion (BO) in 2002 to settle a lawsuit. Without a valid BO the Forest Service withdrew its part of the 2001 ROD.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a new BO in 2003. The Forest Service issued a new ROD in 2003.
- Numerous appeals were filed on the 2003 ROD. The Regional Forester upheld the decision.
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2003 BO was litigated in 2005 and was set aside by US District Court.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a new BO in 2006.
- In 2007 the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a supplement to the 2006 BO.
- In 2010 US District Court remanded the 2003 FEIS back to the Forest Service for further action and vacated the 2003 ROD
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006 BO and the 2007 Supplement was litigated and upheld in US District Court.
- The plaintiffs appealed the issues regarding Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006 BO and the 2007 Supplement to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- In June 2011 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Fish and Wildlife Service on all issues raised by the plaintiffs.
Lead and Cooperating Agencies
The USDA Forest Service is the Lead Agency for this project. The US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers participate in the project as a Cooperating Agency.
Request More Information
For information on the project, contact:
Michael Huffine, Project Coordinator, Supervisor’s Office, 31374 US Highway 2, Libby, Montana, 59923, (406) 293-6211, or e-mail at email@example.com.