Feds Extend Comment Period on Plan to Close Areas to Mining
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on the agency's plan to withdraw 10 million acres of public lands from mining in six western states to protect greater sage grouse habitat.
The comment period will last about three additional weeks to Jan. 15, with public meetings scheduled in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming in December.
The proposed withdrawal of lands otherwise subject to the 1872 mining law is part of new U.S. policies announced in September intended to keep sage grouse off the Endangered Species list.
The 10 million acres are currently under a two-year freeze from new mining claims while the BLM prepares an Environmental Impact Statement before making a final decision on whether to withdraw the lands for 20 years.