San Francisco Peaks get mining moratorium
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — In response to a Forest Service Application, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has officially withdrawn over 74,000 acres surrounding, the San Francisco Peaks from future mineral exploration and mining. With BLM’s action, which was effective on October 16, no new mining of locatable minerals may occur on National Forest lands on virtually the entire landmass of the San Francisco Peaks for 20 years. The BLM has authority for managing mineral resources on federal lands.
“This is definitely the right decision at the right time,” said Gene Waldrip, District Ranger for Peaks Ranger District, which encompasses the affected area. “Clearly, the possibility of future mineral extraction was in serious conflict with community values regarding the San Francisco Peaks.”
Waldrip noted that the Forest Service received more than 3000 comments from the public supporting withdrawal of the Peaks and Mount Elden from mining. The BLM action does not affect existing valid mining claims.
The lands affected by this decision include Mt. Elden, Dry Lake Hills, Hart Prairie, Hochderrffer Hill, and much of the National Forest lands traversed by popular 418 and 420 Forest Roads. The Kachina Peaks Wilderness and the Snowbowl Ski Area are already permanently withdrawn for mineral purposes.