BOISE, Idaho — Documents show the U.S. Forest Service allowing a Canadian company to write a key environmental report on its proposed open-pit gold mines in central Idaho after the Trump administration became involved.
The documents obtained by conservation group Earthworks show British Columbia-based Midas Gold’s lobbying efforts after initial rebuffs from the Forest Service.
The report, called a biological assessment, would typically be written by the Forest Service or an independent contractor. Its purpose is to examine the potential effect the open-pit mines would have on salmon, steelhead and bull trout protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The assessment could sink Midas Gold’s Stibnite Gold Project if it results in habitat restoration work that makes the mines economically unfeasible.
An internal Forest Service document in February 2018 shows the agency deciding to deny Midas Gold’s request to participate as a non-federal representative in writing the assessment…
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