Public invited to review final analysis and draft decision on proposed phosphate mine in eastern Idaho

SODA SPRINGS, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management Idaho Falls District and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest are releasing for 30-day public review the final environmental impact statement that analyzes a mine and reclamation plan submitted by Itafos Conda, LLC for the proposed Husky 1 North Dry Ridge Phosphate Mine. The BLM will issue a record of decision after the end of the public review period. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is issuing a draft record of decision on the proposed mine that is also available for public review and will issue a final decision following resolution of any objections.

“Public involvement is critical for the BLM and the Forest Service to make good decisions on this proposed phosphate mine,” said BLM Idaho Falls District Manager Mary D’Aversa.

“We are pleased to make these documents available for public review and encourage members of the public to take the time to look through them and provide their input,” said Caribou-Targhee National Forest Supervisor Mel Bolling.

The Husky 1 North Dry Ridge Phosphate Mine would be located primarily on National Forest System lands approximately 16 miles east of Soda Springs. Phosphate is used in a variety of agricultural products, such as fertilizer, animal feed, and herbicides, as well as in flame retardants for wildfire suppression and everyday products including carbonated beverages, toothpaste, and matches. Mines in southeast Idaho generate 22 percent of the nation’s and 2 percent of the world’s phosphate supply. At capacity, this proposed mine would account for 40 percent of Idaho’s phosphate production.

The Husky 1 North Dry Ridge Mine would be a surface mine similar to Itafos’ existing Rasmussen Valley Mine, which is also located in southeast Idaho. If approved, operations at the new mine would begin in time to allow a transition as the Rasmussen Valley Mine becomes depleted, ensuring a continuous supply of phosphate and continuing employment for hundreds of miners.

The final environmental impact statement provides a range of management options to address environmental impacts of the proposed mine. The Preferred Alternative includes requirements to limit impacts to surface and groundwater during mining operations, would maintain public and Tribal access to National Forest System lands by rerouting Forest Road 134, and would minimize long-term impacts to Steward Creek by requiring realignment to its original location after mining concludes.

The BLM and the USDA Forest Service are using the final environmental impact statement to make separate, coordinated decisions related to the proposed mine. The BLM will decide whether to approve, approve with modifications, or deny the mine and reclamation plan submitted by Itafos Conda, LLC and modify an existing lease. The USDA Forest Service will provide a recommendation to the BLM regarding surface management and the selected alternative on leased National Forest System lands and decide whether to approve special use permits for off-lease activities; amendments to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest land use plan to adjust utility corridors; a new alignment for Forest Road 134; and adjustments to livestock grazing, as needed.

Electronic copies of the final environmental impact statement and the Forest Service draft record of decision are available on the BLM ePlanning project site at https://bit.ly/3hKzjB3 and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest project site at https://bit.ly/3EdifLC.  For further information contact BLM Pocatello Field Office Project Lead Wes Gilmer, phone: 208-478-6369; email: wgilmer@blm.gov.

- BLM -


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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Bureau of Land Management

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Bruce Hallman
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