Environews, Minis

Mining begins in Grand Staircase Escalante

By Amy Brunvand

A Canadian mining company called Glacier Lake Resources, Inc. has announced that it will begin exploration for an underground mine on 200 acres that were formerly inside the boundaries of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

In a press release the company boasted that the area “recently became open for staking and exploration after a 21 year period moratorium, due to the reduction of the ‘Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument’ [sic quotation marks] by President Trump in December 2017.”

The mining claim is located on Colt Mesa near Boulder, Utah and retains impacts from mining in the 1970s.

Groups working to block mining include the Wilderness Society, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Grand Staircase Escalante Partners.

A lawsuit to restore the original boundaries of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is still pending. In the meantime, Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT-2) has introduced the misleadingly named “Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act,” a bill to create a small national park instead of a large national monument. If Stewart’s bill were to become law, the Trump boundaries would be permanent and it would be difficult to stop industrial development inside the original national monument boundaries.

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners: gsenm.org

This article was originally published on August 9, 2018.