skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Mine exploration project near Boise River headwaters raises alarm

play audio
Play

Thursday, October 26, 2023   

Conservation groups are concerned about a mining exploration project proposed near the headwaters of the Boise River.

The Idaho Copper Corporation is seeking approval from the U.S. Forest Service to look for copper and molybdenum, used in steel alloys, about 50 miles north of Boise. Critics of the project worry it will disturb the environment and also about the company's ultimate plan to build a large open-pit mine.

Nick Kunath, conservation program manager for the group Idaho Rivers United, said water quality is a major concern.

"Being at the headwaters of a major tributary to the Boise River, which is one of the primary drinking water sources for the city of Boise and the most densely populated area in the state, if there are any issues with water contamination or a spill, it's highly problematic and concerning," Kunath contended.

The Boise River provides about 30% of Boise's drinking water supply and helps irrigate farmland in the area, according to conservation groups. Idaho Copper said exploration will have minimal environmental impacts on the region. The Forest Service is accepting public comment on the proposal through Nov. 2.

Similar proposals in the area have been struck down by the courts twice before, in 2012 and 2016.

John Robison, public lands director for the Idaho Conservation League, said because of the Mining Law of 1872, the Forest Service cannot deny exploration projects in the area.

"If we do projects like this in the same way and putting vulnerable areas at risk, we're going to end up with the same problems or worse problems," Robison argued. "Instead, we need to protect the areas that really matter to community water supplies and figure out how to responsibly manage mining moving forward."

Kunath emphasized the Forest Service's public comment period is an opportunity for recreational users like backcountry skiers and anglers to be part of this process.

"Whatever it is, if you use this area and have questions about how this project, even at this early exploration stage, will impact the reason that you care about this area or what may change, this is the best time to have your voice heard and potentially steer the direction of this project," Kunath urged.

Disclosure: The Idaho Conservation League contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021