Closure Proposed at Van Pelt Mine Site in Glacier National Park
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – In 2009, Glacier National Park officials had proposed to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) and initiated public scoping to look at alternatives for six mines and eight mine features located within the park. A news release and public scoping brochure distributed in August 2009 described the issues and initial alternatives.
After conducting field surveys and further defining the proposed action, the National Park Service decided to close a 33-foot deep shaft at the Van Pelt mine site located in the Gable Mountain area north of Many Glacier. The shaft will be closed with a grate or bat-accessible gate, using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding made available to the park through the NPS’ Intermountain Region.
For all other sites no action is proposed except for placement of precautionary signs indicating the location is an abandoned mine site. Routine monitoring would occur at these sites.
The proposed closure at Van Pelt is expected to take approximately one day. The closure will require the use of a helicopter to transport materials and equipment to the site and remove the equipment at the completion of construction, for a total of 40-minutes flight time.
Given the limited scope of the action and the minimal impacts, Glacier has determined that the proposed action will result in no measurable effects on the environment and that a Categorical Exclusion (CE) is the appropriate document to meet requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) per Director’s Order 12, Section 3.4(C), Actions Related to Development, No. 17, Construction of fencing enclosures or boundary fencing posing no effect on wildlife migrations.
The CE may be viewed at http://parkplanning.nps.gov, project #26285. The CE is available for a 30-day public review period, after which time, the CE will be signed and the project will be scheduled for implementation. Please provide any comments on PEPC at http://parkplanning.nps.gov, or send written comments to Glacier National Park, Attn: Abandoned Mine Lands Project, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936 by Monday, March 22, 2010.
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Did You Know?
In 1974, 93% of Glacier National Park was recommended as Wilderness. To this day, over 93% of Glacier’s backcountry is managed as Wilderness.