Long Valley Drilling Project Approved

The following is a press release from the Forest Service on 9-27-21.

Long Valley by Jeff Sullivan
Photo credit: Mono Lake Committee

The Acting District Ranger of the Mammoth Ranger District has approved the categorical exclusion (CE) for the Long Valley Exploration Drilling Project.

The project is approved based upon the proposed Plan of Operations submitted by the proponent, KORE Mining, that is for mineral exploration only. An application has not been submitted or proposed for mineral extraction (mining). If that were to occur, that application would be processed as a separate project and have a separate National Environmental Policy Act analysis.

The initial Plan of Operations was revised based on analysis and comments received during project scoping, and many requirements were added to minimize resource impacts.

This decision approves mineral exploration, including ground-disturbing reclamation activities, for up to one year.

Kore drill sites 10 12 w roads
Photo credit: The Sierra Club

The scope of this project will total approximately 0.82 acres; 0.43 acres would be from the drill pads and 0.39 acres from the use of the temporary access roads. Twelve drill pads, measuring 53 feet by 30 feet, will be constructed and up to three core borings will be drilled on each pad.

The proposed drilling equipment will access the property across existing public roads and will utilize temporary access roads from the public roads to the drilling pad locations to minimize disturbance from road grading.

Best management practice will be employed for drilling. The time frame for these activities will be less than one year after drilling begins.

“This decision includes measures to minimize effects to natural and cultural resources by requiring post-project restoration for habitat improvement and monitors to protect cultural resources during drilling activities,” Acting District Ranger Leeann Murphy said. “These restoration activities are important to provide food and cover for native wildlife species, allow for native plant success, and ensure there is no net loss of habitat and no effect to the capability of forest species of conversation of concern to persist over the long term in the plan area.”

Activities such as monitoring, native seeding, and maintaining a sage grouse friendly fence to exclude livestock from the restoration areas are in support of the post-project habitat restoration.

To find more information about the project, including the decision memo and supporting documents, please visit the following webpage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59294
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