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COMMENTS NEEDED BY OCTOBER 22

Managers of the Black Hills National Forest are poised to grant a permit to a gold exploration company to drill exploratory holes in the area surrounding Jenny Gulch and Silver City. Not only is this area a priceless recreational resource, it is part of the Pactola Reservoir that provides the main source of drinking water to Rapid City, Pennington County, and Ellsworth AFB. You have the opportunity in the next several weeks to tell the Mystic Ranger District NO!

DEADLINE FOR COMMENT: OCTOBER 22, 2021

How to register your opposition to drilling in Jenny Gulch: 1. Email your opposition to comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@usda.gov with “F3 Jenny Gulch Gold Exploration Project” in the subject line.

2. Fill out a comment form to mail to Jim Gubbels, 8221 Mount Rushmore Rd., Rapid City, SD 57702. Form is located here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/.../nepa/112923_FSPLT3_5663857.pdf Protect Pactola Reservoir, Jenny Gulch, and the entire Rapid Creek watershed for our water, for wildlife habitat, and to preserve sustainable forest resources that fuel our economy and nourish our hearts and souls.

SUGGESTIONS FOR A PERSUASIVE COMMENT 1. Make it personal. State why you have a stake in preserving Pactola Reservoir for recreation. (Hiking, bird-watching, camping, hunting, fishing, bicycling, motorcycling, boating, snowmobiling, swimming, equestrian activities, and ATV/UTV riding.)

2. Tell the Forest Service you oppose F3’s Jenny Gulch gold project and support the “No Action” alternative.

3. A full Environmental Impact Statement is needed to assess the risk of drilling activity to our water, our forest, wildlife, and recreation. The assessment they have done is insufficient, relies too heavily on promises from the company proposing the drilling, and does not provide adequate time for comment: just 30 days on activity that poses a risk of decades of harm.

4. The current Forest Management Plan (published in 1997) prohibits this drilling. Tell the Forest Service their proposal to amend a Plan that is already 16 years past its last amendment (2005) is unacceptable and negligent. More than a decade of change on the Black Hills National Forest through fire, pine bark beetle infestation, and unsustainable logging practices would be ignored in the proposed “amendment” to allow mineral exploration.

5. The Forest Service has not met its legal requirements for Tribal Consultation. Not only did the agency fail to complete consultation during the scoping process on this project, they put the burden on Tribal officials to initiate requests on topics of cultural resources, sacred sites, and other issues that are mandated for consultation.

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