On February 11, 2011 the Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI) was issued for the CuMo Exploration Project. On July 27, 2011 a lawsuit was filed against this project; Idaho Conservation League et al. v. United States Forest Service (1:11-CV-00341-EJL). On August 29, 2012 the US District Court for the District of Idaho issued its Memorandum Decision and Order. In this decision the Court concluded: (1) As to the question of whether an EIS should have been prepared, the Court finds in favor of the Forest Service and Mosquito Mining on all but the concerns regarding groundwater; [thus] (2) The Court will vacate that portion of the EA as to the finding of no significant impact as it concerns groundwater and remand the matter to the Forest Service to undertake further analysis concerning groundwater and determine whether to issue a supplemental EA or if a full EIS is required.”
To address the analysis deficiencies identified by the Court, the Responsible Official decided to proceed with a supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) to specifically undertake and document further analysis.
The Forest Service, Boise National Forest, Idaho City Ranger District, has now completed the Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) for CuMo Exploration Project and is seeking comment. The Project is located approximately five miles upstream of Pioneerville, Idaho and about 14 miles north of Idaho City in Boise County, Idaho. The Project Area encompasses approximately 2,885 acres of land located within the Boise NF in Sections 7, 8, 17, 18, 19 and 20, Township 8 North, Range 6 East.
The SEA is presented in the form of a “Redline” EA. That is, information from the original 2011 EA that is still relevant and did not change remains in the original BLACK text, while any new analysis concerning groundwater and updates/clarifications to existing analyses are presented in RED text. As was done in the 2011 EA, the SEA evaluates three alternatives in detail: Alternative A – Proposed Action, Alternative B – Reduced Roads and Alternative C – No Action. Under Alternative A, up to 13.3 miles of new temporary roads would be constructed, involving 5 new stream crossing (total of 17 stream crossings), with up to 122 drill pads and 256 drill holes. Under Alternative B, up to 10.2 miles of new temporary roads would be constructed, involving 4 new stream crossings (total of 16 stream crossings), with up to 137 drill pads and 259 drill holes.
The 2013 SEA, 2011 EA, legal notice and other project information can be downloaded from the CuMo Exploration Project website (http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=21302 or http://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/fs-usda-pop.php?project=21302). To request a hard copy of the 2013 SEA, please contact Randall Hayman, Forest Planner, Boise National Forest by phone at 208-373-4100 or by email email@example.com.
How to Comment and Timeframe
Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements of 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B.
It is the responsibility of persons providing comments to submit them by the close of the comment period. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection under §218.
Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this SEA will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of this notice in the Idaho Statesman, the newspaper of record for the Boise National Forest. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this analysis. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.
The Responsible Official for this project is Forest Supervisor, Cecilia R. Seesholtz. Please submit specific written comments to Randall R. Hayman, Forest Planner, Boise National Forest; by mail at 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200; Boise, Idaho 83709; or by fax at 208-373-4111; or you may hand-deliver your comments to the Boise Forest Supervisor’s Office, located at 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200, Boise, during normal business hours from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an e-mail message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or MSWord (.doc) to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments may also be submitted through the CuMo Exploration Project website(http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=21302 or http://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/fs-usda-pop.php?project=21302). To submit comments using the web form, select “Comment on Project” under “Get Connected” on the right panel of the project’s web page (see Enclosure).
For objection eligibility each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification.
Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this project. Only those who submit comments or notify the Forest that they would like to remain on the mailing list for this project through one of the comment options provided above will receive future correspondences on this project. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, if a name and address are not provided, receiving further correspondences concerning this project will not be possible nor will the anonymous commenter be eligible to object under 36 CFR 218.
Three public meetings will be held during the 30-day Notice and Comment Period. They will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on the following dates, at the following locations:
- September 3 – Idaho City at Robinson Community Center, 206 W. Commercial St, Idaho City
- September 4 – Boise at Best Western Plus Vista Inn at Airport, 2645 Airport Ave, Boise, ID
- September 5 – Garden Valley/Crouch at Crouch Community Hall, 1022 Old Crouch Rd, Garden Valley
Meetings will be held in an open house manner with the following stations staffed by specialists:
- Groundwater Analysis
- Fuel Transport/Emergency Response
- EA, Supplemental EA, and Objection Process Information
Boise National Forest
Zone NEPA Coordinator
1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709