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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Central California District
 
Release Date: 07/16/09
Contacts: David Christy , 916-941-314  
News Release No. CA-CC-09-78

BLM Releases Final Decision on Bodie Hills Mineral Exploration


The Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office (BLM) has issued a decision record and final environmental assessment (EA) that approves a mineral exploration project in the Bodie Hills, Mono County, California.

Cougar Gold LLC, Denver, Colo., plans to conduct mineral exploration drilling activities in the Bodie Hills on public lands within the Bodie Wilderness Study Area (WSA) near the Paramount Mine.  The project is scheduled to begin in mid-August.

“We have revised portions of the original EA based on comments received during the public review process,” said Kirk Halford, acting field manager for the BLM Bishop Field Office.  “After a close review of the revised EA, I have determined that authorizing the 24-hour operation alternative for this season would be the best alternative to reduce impacts to the area’s resources.”

Cougar Gold LLC scaled back its original proposed drilling activities from 31 core holes at 27 sites to 11 core holes at eight sites.  The company also eliminated all its helicopter-based operations from its original proposal.  All drilling would be truck based and occur on existing routes within the WSA.
 
"We recognize that proposed mineral exploration activities in the Bodie WSA raises public concerns, and encourage the public to review both the EA and the legal requirements set by Congress," he said.  Official legal and policy documents are also available on the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/wilderness/wsa/regs.html

A 30-day appeal period begins with the decision announcement.   During this period, any person who participated in the EA process and believes they may be adversely affected by approval of the project may appeal this decision.  The appeal period ends on August 17, 2009.  Procedures for filing appeals are available in the Decision Record posted at http://www.blm.gov/ca/bishop/cougar_gold.html

For further information, please contact Cheryl Seath, BLM geologist, at (760) 872-5024 or Joe Pollini, BLM supervisory resource management specialist, at (760) 872-5020.




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Central California District   5152 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762  

Last updated: 07-16-2009