NFBR Mining DEIS Summary

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North Fork Burnt River Mining
Final Environmental Impact Statement
Summary
Unity Office of the Whitman Unit
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
Location and Overview of the Area
The North Fork Burnt River (NFBR) Watershed (approximately 106,500 acres) is located
in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon and is within the administrative boundaries of
the Unity Ranger District of the Whitman Unit, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. It
lies to the northwest of the town of Unity, Oregon, in Baker County.
The legal description for the watershed is:
Township 9 South, Range 35½ and 36 East;
Township 10 South, Range 35, 35½, 36, and 37 East;
Township 11 South, Range 36 and 37 East; and
Township 12 South, Range 36 and 37 East, Willamette Meridian.
The NFBR is a tributary to the Burnt River, which is a tributary to the Snake River. The
NFBR originates near Greenhorn Mountain, 25 miles northwest of the town of Unity,
Oregon.
The NFBR Watershed does not include any designated wilderness, wild and scenic rivers,
research natural areas, or inventoried roadless areas.
Mining began in the NFBR Watershed in the 1860s with placer mining. Miners armed
with only picks and shovels found rich gold deposits on the Burnt River and its
tributaries. Placer mining was at its peak from 1863-1866. Placer mining began to
decline about 1890 as the richest placers were worked out. But the placer mining activity
had uncovered many rich veins, and lode mining began in earnest. One of the largest
mines, the Bonanza, operated from 1879-1898 and produced several million dollars in
gold. By 1911, lode mining was on the decline, but a new gold rush began with the
advent of bucket line dredges. In 1942, War Production Board Order L-208 closed all
precious metals mines. Increased operating costs and a fixed gold price precluded the
reopening of all but a few mines after World War II. (Wallowa-Whitman Land and
Resource Management Plan, page 2-15) Large bucket dredge operations shut down in
1957. Inflation and high gold prices in the early 1980s caused renewed interest in gold
mining.
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Today, 34 mine operators work the placer and lode deposits on public lands in the North
Fork Burnt River Watershed. Approximately 10 percent of these operators work hard
rock mines; the remaining 90 percent work the placers.
Purpose and Need for Action
Existing Condition
The 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 228.4 states that if a mine proposal is likely
to cause significant disturbance of surface resources, a Plan of Operations (Plan) is
required. 36 CFR 228.5 states that proposed operations requiring a Plan will be analyzed
by the authorized officer to determine the reasonableness of the requirements for surface
resource protection. In the North Fork Burnt River Watershed, 34 mining Plans are
currently approved. Some were approved in the early 1980s, and many have no
expiration dates. Environmental conditions have changed in this watershed since those
approvals were granted.
Five streams in the watershed have been listed as water-quality impaired under Section
303(d) of the Clean Water Act. While the existing Plans have a variety of requirements
to address water quality impacts, these requirements do not necessarily address Section
303(d) of the Clean Water Act.
Redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), which exists in the watershed, has been added to
the Regional Forester’s list of sensitive species; and three plant species currently on the
Regional Forester’s sensitive plant list (Botrychium montanum, Botrychium minganense
and Pellaea bridgesii) have documented locations in the watershed.
There are 747 miles of road (closed and open) in the NFBR Watershed. The NFBR
Roads Analysis (2002) has identified 241 of these miles as contributors to water quality
problems. The NFBR Watershed Analysis Cumulative Effects Addendum (Bradford and
Fedora, 2000) identified roads as the largest contributor of activity-generated sediment in
the watershed. Additionally, the NFBR Watershed is not within the Wallowa-Whitman
Land and Resources Management Plan (LRMP) guidelines for road density for any of the
management areas in the watershed.
Several new Plan proposals have recently been submitted by claimants for analysis and
approval. These proposals include amendments to some of the current Plans; and some
of the currently approved Plans will expire soon and the operators have requested that the
expiration dates on their Plans be extended. If these new proposals are approved, the
number of Plans in the watershed will increase from 34 to 49, with an increase in acres
potentially disturbed from 68 to 116.
Desired Condition
Desired conditions for the surface resources on the mining claims in the NFBR
Watershed are derived from goals, objectives, standards, and guidelines from the LRMP,
public scoping and interdisciplinary team input. Desired conditions provide a future
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vision for the area and can help in development of management options for the mining
operations in the NFBR Watershed over time.
Plans of Operations are approved for the mining operations in the NFBR Watershed.
Requirements are included in all Plans of Operations to ensure that adverse impacts to
surface resources are minimized.
The number of 303(d)-listed streams is reduced or eliminated.
Protect watershed values to the fullest extent possible under existing laws in evaluating
and developing mineral operating plans (LRMP, page 4-25).
A safe and efficient road system is in place. It provides access for fuelwood cutting,
gathering of forest products, private land access, mining access, hunting, fishing, and
other recreational activities, and Forest administration, while not contributing to impaired
water quality.
The desired condition for this analysis area includes rehabilitation of soil and water
resources that are in a less than satisfactory condition as a result of past human activities.
In addition, all proposed actions within the analysis area will be designed to minimize
impacts to the soil and water resources (LRMP, page 4-21 and 4-23).
Streamside vegetation along reaches that are currently shaded adequately will be
preserved (LRMP, page 4-44). Water temperatures of perennial streams within the
analysis area will be managed in an effort to meet Oregon Department of Environmental
Quality water quality standards (LRMP, page 4-22).
Where stable banks and channels occur, activities will be designed so that stability is not
jeopardized, and resulting degradation of water quality is avoided. On reaches with
unstable banks and channels, rehabilitation measures will be designed to restore stability
and eliminate additional adverse impacts on water quality (LRMP, page 4-23). As these
treatments are accomplished and begin to be effective, input of sediment to the streams
will decrease and water quality will improve. Ground vegetation and the shrub
communities within the riparian areas will be utilized by livestock and big game at levels
that will allow sustained use without a decline in the health of these communities (LRMP,
pages 4-51 and 4-52).
Areas of detrimental soil compaction will be eliminated so that they no longer present a
hazard to watershed health (LRMP, page 4-21). Road systems will be developed so that
the area can be accessed for necessary management with minimum roading in riparian
areas. Existing roads within riparian areas that are no longer needed will be eliminated
(LRMP, pages 4-24 and 4-25).
The desired condition for scenery is to manage all National Forest System (NFS) lands to
obtain the highest possible visual quality, commensurate with other appropriate public
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uses, costs, and benefits (LRMP, page 4-42). The goal of scenery management is to a)
minimize immediate impacts to scenery, and b) restore landscapes to a sustainable
condition.
Purpose and Need
The purpose and need for action is: 1) the unforeseen and changed conditions in the
North Fork Burnt River Watershed that did not exist or were not recognized at the time
approvals were granted to the currently approved Plans; 2) the submittals of amendments
to some of these existing Plans; 3) submittals of several new proposed Plans; 4) the
Forest Service’s responsibility to approve or require modifications to these existing and
proposed Plans in accordance with Federal mining and environmental laws; and 5)
several reaches of the North Fork Burnt River and its tributaries do not meet State water
quality standards for temperature and sediment. As a consequence, these reaches are
listed as impaired under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act by the State of Oregon. It
is the responsibility of the Forest Service to address 303(d)-listed waters on NFS lands
and to develop strategies that will improve water quality, based on the specific
parameters listed. A roads analysis completed for this analysis area indicates that roads
are a primary human-caused contributor to water quality degradation.
Based on the number and nature of mining operations in the drainage, the existence of
sensitive plant and animal species in the watershed, the number of roads and their
potential impacts to the North Fork Burnt River and its tributaries, and the current water
quality-limited status of 5 streams in the watershed, it has been determined that
cumulative environmental impacts exist and are significant to the NFBR Watershed, and
therefore an EIS is required to disclose those impacts in detail, to analyze alternatives to
the proposals, and to determine possible means of mitigating those cumulative impacts.
This EIS analyzes the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of mining operations and of
management actions designed to improve listed water quality parameters.
Proposed Action
The Proposed Action is to approve the current, new, modified or amended Plans of
Operations for several mining claims in the NFBR as submitted by the claim owners.
Table S-2 lists the Plans of Operations analyzed in this EIS. The Plans of Operations that
make up the Proposed Action are those listed under Alternative 2.
Issues
Key issues are those points of concern that would change among the alternatives.
Alternatives to the proposed action are based on changes to impacts to these issues.
Key Issue 1: Water Quality
Water quality in the North Fork Burnt River Watershed has been impaired by past
management practices and other human activities. Past timber harvest and road
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building has negatively affected water quality in the watershed. Hydraulic, placer,
and dredge mining have affected many of the streams. Road density is high in many
of the subwatersheds and many roads are located in riparian areas. These factors can
alter physical processes in streams and on hill slopes, leading to changes in flow
regimes, the movement and storage of sediment, bank stability and substrate
composition.
Table S-1 shows the North Fork Burnt River and several tributaries in the analysis
area that have been listed as water-quality impaired under Section 303(d) of the Clean
Water Act and their reasons for listing. (ODEQ 2002)
Table S-1
303(d)-Listed Streams in the NFBR Watershed
Subwatershed Location
Reason for Listing
Stream Name
North Fork Burnt River,
Mouth to Pete Mann Ditch
Trout Creek
83A, 83C, 83E, 83G
Summer Temperature
83D
Sedimentation
Summer Temperature
Sedimentation
Summer Temperature
Sedimentation
Sedimentation
Patrick Creek
83E
Camp Creek
Geiser Creek
83F
83G
Measurements used to compare the alternatives in relation to this issue:
Key Indicators
1. The number of Plans of Operations that include consistent requirements to
minimize impacts to water quality.
2. The total estimated acres of disturbance in the riparian habitat conservation
areas (RHCAs).
3. Total miles of road maintenance, reconstruction, closure, and
decommissioning of roads contributing to water quality improvement.
Key Issue 2: Fisheries
Ongoing placer mining operations, in an effort to expose placer deposits in the NFBR
Watershed, have removed trees, shrubs, and ground cover in the flood-prone areas
immediately adjacent to the North Fork Burnt River, Camp, Greenhorn, Simpson,
Snow, Tony, Winterville, Dry, Pinus, Jackknife, Gimlet and Geiser Creeks. This
mining-caused ground disturbance has adversely affected pool frequencies, large
woody material (LWM), and bank stability. Redband trout, a fish species listed as
sensitive by the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service (Region 6) is present.
The exposed soil on the mining access roads and the disturbed flood-prone areas
immediately adjacent to the North Fork Burnt River and several of its tributaries,
could increase the amount of sediment entering these streams, resulting in the loss of
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existing redband trout spawning, incubating and rearing habitat in the North Fork
Burnt River, and its tributaries.
Key Indicators:
1. Risk to pool habitat
2. Risk to large woody material recruitment
3. Risk to bank stability
4. Number of Plans of Operations with consistent requirements to minimize
adverse effects to fish habitat
5. Acres of disturbance in RHCAs
6. Miles of road closed, maintained, reconstructed, or decommissioned
7. Number of Plans of Operations with in-stream activities
8. Sedimentation – number of placer Plans without stream buffers
Key Issue 3: Access/Road Densities
The roads analysis indicates that Subwatersheds 83F and 83G (where most of the
mining activity is concentrated in the watershed) have open road densities of 4.2 and
4.4 miles per square mile compared to LRMP recommendations of 1.5-2.5 miles per
square mile for the management areas represented in the subwatersheds.
Key Indicators:
1. Open road densities by management area
2. Number of miles of road to be closed, maintained, reconstructed or
decommissioned
Other Resource Concerns
Other issues discussed in the EIS include noxious weeds, sensitive plant species, wildlife,
rangeland management, heritage resources, visual quality, and social and economic
concerns.
Alternatives
Four alternatives were considered in detail.
Alternative 1 represents the “No Action/No Change” Alternative, which includes the 34
currently approved Plans of Operations. These Plans would continue to operate as
approved. No new or amended Plans of Operations would be approved. See Table S-2.
Alternative 2 is the Proposed Action, which approves the currently approved, modified,
and new Plans of Operations as submitted by the miners, a total of 49 Plans of
Operations. These Plans vary in their requirements to protect water quality, fish habitat,
and surface resources. See Table S-2.
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Alternative 3 approves the 49 Plans of Operations described in Alternative 2, but with
additional requirements designed to protect and improve water quality, fish habitat, and
surface resources. These requirements will be applied consistently across all Plans of
Operations in the NFBR Watershed, depending on the activities approved in the Plan. See
Table S-2.
Alternative 4 is the same as Alternative 3, but addresses those portions of the
transportation system used for mine access which contribute to the degradation of water
quality in the North Fork Burnt River system. The activities to be implemented under
Alternative 4 are summarized in Table S-3.
Table S-2 compares the Plans of Operations approved under each alternative. For Plans
of Operations, Alternative 3 and Alternative 4 are the same.
Table S-2
Plans of Operations by Alternative
Operation Name
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
August Placer
Nothing Approved
Burnt Lode/PL
Nothing Approved
Camp Hale PL
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer, trommel, pump.
Activities: Sampling
with backhoe,
processing, use of
settling ponds.
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Proposed Equipment:
Track hoe, backhoe,
dump truck, dozer,
trommel, sluice, pumps.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing of
placer gravels,
processing, settling
ponds, ditch
maintenance, use of log
bridge
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer, trommel, pumps,
suction dredge.
Activities: Testing and
mining of placer
gravels, processing,
suction dredging pond
construction.
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R23
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
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Operation Name
Dominion Ld
Group
Don Juan LD/PL
Dream Chaser PL
EJ Placers
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Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Equipment: Excavator,
backhoe, dozer, mucker,
generators, compressors.
Activities: Exploration /
development, portal
construction, trenching,
drilling, road upgrade,
use of ponds.
Equipment: Dozer,
backhoe, dump truck,
compressors, trommel,
pumps, crusher, suction
dredge.
Activities: Testing and
mining of placer gravels,
processing, underground
sampling including use
of explosives, re-timber
portal, suction dredging,
use of ford, construction
of ponds.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, dozer,
trommel, pumps,
generator, hand tools,
suction dredge.
Activities: Exploration
and mining in placer
gravels, processing,
settling ponds, suction
dredging, use of ford.
Nothing Approved
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R23
Dropped
Dropped
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Proposed Equipment:
Excavator, dump truck,
loader, trommel.
Proposed Activities:
Testing of placer
gravels, bulk sample,
processing, use of ford.
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Operation Name
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Geiser Stream
Diversion PL/LD
Nothing Approved
Gimlet PL
Equipment: Dozer,
excavator, portable mill,
generator, compressor,
pumps, suction dredge.
Activities: Excavate and
process placer gravels
and old tailings, suction
dredging.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, dozer, dump
truck, trommel, pumps,
generator, suction
dredge.
Activities: Exploration
pits, processing, use of
settling ponds, suction
dredging.
Nothing Approved
Glory B PL
Gold Busters PL
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Proposed Equipment:
Excavator, backhoe,
dozer, loader, dump
truck, trommel
Proposed Activity:
Divert Geiser Creek into
new 200-foot channel,
mine placer gravels in
creek bed, reclaim and
return creek to original
channel, processing,
lode and placer
exploration, new portal,
underground mining,
road construction (100’)
feet and a new bridge
constructed across the
channel.
Same as Alternative 1
Activity: Same as
Alternative 2 except that
new creek channel will
be constructed and
stream will not be
returned to original
channel. Additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R23
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, trommel,
high-bankers, sluice,
pumps, generators,
suction dredge.
Proposed Activities:
Excavations in placer
gravels, processing, 3
settling ponds, suction
dredging, group
camping.
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
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Operation Name
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R22
Golden Donk PL
Equipment: Backhoe,
dump truck, dozer,
pumps, trommel,
generator, suction
dredges, high-bankers.
Activities: Testing and
mining placer gravels,
high-banking and
suction dredging,
processing, use of
ponds, group camping.
Equipment: Core or
rotary drill, trommel,
impact mill, backhoe,
dozer, pumps.
Activities: Drilling
(holes 50' or less),
exploration testing of
placer gravels,
processing, use of
ponds.
Nothing Approved
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, trommel.
Proposed Activities:
Repair ponds,
excavation of placer
gravels and stockpiles,
processing.
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Goldy PL and Mill
Nothing Approved
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Gopher PL
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer, small tractor,
trommel, pumps.
Activities: Exploration
testing, processing,
repair & construction of
settling ponds.
Proposed Equipment:
Loader, trommel, pump,
gold spinner, 5-yd dump
truck.
Proposed Activities:
Processing site for
mining at Pyx and King
Solomon Mines (Granite
Creek watershed);
process concentrates and
mill tailings, exploration
testing of placer gravels,
use of settling ponds,
campsite.
Same as Alternative 1
Gold Camp PL
Golden Bandit
PL/LD
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Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Operation Name
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Jackpot (Silver
Eagle) PL
Nothing approved.
Jay Gould LD
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, mucker,
dump truck, dozer,
generators.
Activities: Clean and
repair 2 portals,
trenching, underground
mining, milling done off
site.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, mucker,
dump truck, dozer,
generators.
Activities: Clean and
repair 2 portals,
trenching, underground
mining, milling done off
site.
Nothing Approved
Jay Gould Mine
Works
Jim Bob PL
Ladder, Rusty
Bucket PL
Nothing Approved
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, dozer, hand
tools.
Proposed Activities:
Improve access road,
site leveling & clearing,
testing with hand tools,
processing.
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R23
Equipment: Backhoe,
4" and 8" suction
dredges, trommel,
sluice, pumps, hand
tools.
Proposed Activities:
Activities: Exploration
test holes in placer
gravels, processing,
construct settling pond,
suction dredging, use of
ford.
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, excavator,
dozer, 2 5-yard dump
trucks, wash plant, test
plant, pumps.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing and
mining, processing, use
of ponds.
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-23
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
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Operation Name
Lucky 7 PL
Lucky One PL/LD
Lucky John PL
Lucky PL
Mary Dixie LD
Page S-12 of 19
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer, suction dredge,
sluice, hand tools.
Activities: Road
construction, exploration
trenching, processing,
suction dredging.
Nothing Approved
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer, dump truck,
trommel, pumps.
Activities: Exploration
and mining of placer
gravels, processing,
construct settling ponds.
Nothing Approved
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, loader, dump
truck.
Activities: Repair
portals, exploration
trenching.
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Dropped
Dropped
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, dozer, dump
truck, wash plant,
pumps, generator.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing in
placer gravels,
processing, repair or
construct new settling
ponds, road repair and
construction (1000’) of
temporary road, reopen
and sample existing adit,
drill well.
Dropped
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R23
Proposed Equipment:
Excavator or backhoe,
dump truck, wash plant,
high-bankers, dozer.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing in
placer gravels, panning
and high-banking in
existing ponds,
processing at Gold
Busters site.
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Dropped
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G19;
G22; C1-C5; H1-H12;
F1-F9; NW1-NW9; P1P2; W1-W7; L1-L2; R1R4; R6-14; R16-R23
Operation Name
Midas/Lady Bug
PL
Monarch LD
North Fork PL
Old Channel PL
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Equipment: Backhoe,
sluice, wash plant, 3"
suction dredge, highbanker.
Activities: Temporary
check dam in stream,
suction dredging, road
repair; exploration and
mining of placer gravels,
processing, construct
settling ponds.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, dump trucks,
loader, dozer, generator,
compressor, portable
ball mills, jig,
centrifugal
concentrators, portable
saw mill.
Activities: Milling with
ball mill, construct
settling ponds; new
portal and test portal
construction, timber
cutting and milling for
portal, underground
mining, trenching,
phone line and road
repair
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, dozer,
trommel, dump truck,
loader, pumps,
generator, suction
dredge.
Activities: Exploration
testing and mining of
placer gravels,
processing, use of
settling ponds, suction
dredging.
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer, loader, sluice.
Activities: Excavate and
process placer gravels.
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R23
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Page S-13 of 19
Operation Name
Parkerville PL
Parkerville PL
Mining
Playboy Placers
Prudent (#9) PL
Page S-14 of 19
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Equipment: Backhoe,
excavator, dozer, loader,
dump truck, trommel,
pumps, generator.
Activities: Exploration
testing of placer gravels,
processing on site or
adjacent private land,
use of settling ponds,
road maintenance.
Nothing Approved
Equipment: Backhoe,
trommel, 3" suction
dredge.
Activities: Excavation
of placer gravels,
processing, construction
of settling ponds,
suction dredging.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, dozer, dump
truck, trommel, pumps,
generator, suction
dredge.
Activities: Excavation
of placer gravels,
processing, construction
of settling ponds,
suction dredging.
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Dropped - Replaced
with Parkerville Placer
Mining
Dropped - Replaced
with Parkerville Placer
Mining
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, excavator,
dozer, loader, dump
truck, trommel, pumps,
generator.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration & mining of
placer gravels,
processing, construction
and use of 3 off-channel
ponds.
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-22
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Operation Name
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
R&RK #2, #3 PL
Nothing Approved
R&RK #4, #5 PL
Nothing Approved
Racer
Group/Keystone
Korners PL
Nothing Approved
Red Dog PL
Equipment: Dozer,
backhoe, excavator,
dump truck, loader,
trommel, pumps,
generators.
Activities: Mining of
placer gravels,
processing, 3 ponds,
road maintenance.
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, wash plant,
pumps, generator,
suction dredge.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing of
placer gravels,
processing, construction
of settling ponds,
suction dredging,
construction of 200’ of
temporary road, use of
ford.
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, trommel,
suction dredge.
Proposed Activities:
Excavation of placer
gravels, processing,
suction dredging.
Proposed Equipment:
Wash plant, backhoe,
dozer, dump truck,
pumps, generator, hand
tools, suction dredge.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing in
placer gravels,
processing, construction
of settling ponds, road
repair and construction
of 400 feet of temporary
road, culverts installed,
suction dredging.
Proposed Equipment:
Same as Alternative 1
Proposed Activities:
Gate installation,
additional placer
exploration and mining,
new settling ponds.
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Page S-15 of 19
Operation Name
Roberts LD
Rocker Group PL
Shamrock PL
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Equipment: Dozer,
excavator, compressor.
Activities: Reopen and
stabilize adit,
underground mining
including use of
explosives, stockpiled
ore on site, ore removed
from site for processing,
close access road.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, dozer, dump
truck, trommel, pumps,
generator.
Activities: Exploration
and mining of placer
gravels, processing, use
of settling ponds.
Nothing Approved
Silver Bell PL
Equipment: Backhoe,
wash plant, pumps.
Activities: Excavation
of trenches in placer
gravels, modify existing
in-channel ponds,
processing.
Silver Eagle LD
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer.
Activities: Open and
repair portal, sampling
underground and on
waste dumps, trees cut
for mine timbers, on-site
& off-site processing.
Page S-16 of 19
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G19;
G22; C1-C5; H1-H12;
F1-F9; NW1-NW9; P1P2; W1-W7; L1-L2; R1R4; R6-R14; R16-R23
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, dozer, suction
dredge, trommel,
pumps.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing in
placer gravels,
processing, suction
dredging, use of fords,
put culvert in NFBR to
access south side of
river
Proposed Equipment:
Generator, excavator,
loader, trammel.
Proposed Activities:
Same as Alternative 1
without use of in-stream
ponds, construct and use
4 off-channel ponds,
construct short spur
road, install gates on 2
access roads.
Same as Alternative 1
with the addition of a
dump truck and loader.
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R23
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Sluice Box PL
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, trommel.
Activities: Exploration
and mining of placer
gravels on north and
south sides of river,
processing sites, use of
settling ponds, use of
ford.
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Snow Creek PL
Equipment: Backhoe,
dozer, trommel,
generator, pumps, dump
truck.
Activities: Mining of 3
to 4 acres of placer
gravels, processing site
with 3-pond
settling/recycling
system, additional
exploration testing, fords
in creek.
Nothing Approved
Proposed Equipment:
Same as Alternative 1
with suction dredge.
Proposed Activities:
Same as Alternative 1
with additional
exploration testing
upstream on both sides
of river, water source
off-channel ponds or
spring, suction dredging.
Proposed Equipment:
Same as Alternative 1
Proposed Activities:
Additional mining and
exploration testing along
creek with 10-foot
buffer, mining of flood
channel and inland
channel areas, additional
testing excavations,
construction of short
spur roads.
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, wash plant,
pumps.
Proposed Activities:
Construct 600’
temporary road,
exploration testing of
placer gravels in
existing and new pits,
processing, construction
of settling ponds.
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe, hand tools.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing in
placer gravels, use of
ford, processing on
private land.
Operation Name
Standby/McNamee
PL
Star (Pinus) PL
Nothing Approved
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Page S-17 of 19
Operation Name
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Sunshine PL
Equipment: Backhoe,
trommel.
Activities: Excavate and
process old tailings,
dump material, and
placer gravels, pond in
ephemeral drainage.
Same as Alternative 1
Three Cent LD
Equipment: Core drill,
water tank, backhoe.
Activities: Core drilling
at 2 sites, excavations of
catchments, exploration
trenches.
Equipment: Dozer,
backhoe, excavator,
dump truck, trommel.
Activities: Exploration
testing and mining of
placer gravels, two
processing sites with
settling ponds, road
maintenance.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, loader, dump
truck.
Activities: Exploration
testing along Geiser
Creek and ridge area
west of creek,
processing at Upper
Geiser processing site.
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, loader, dump
truck.
Activities: Exploration
testing of placer gravels,
processing at Upper
Geiser processing site,
use of ford.
Dropped
Three Cent PL
Upper Geiser
Creek PL/LD
Upper Winterville
PL/LD
Page S-18 of 19
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Same as Alternative 2
except that pond must be
moved out of draw, and
new off-channel settling
ponds constructed;
additional requirements
G1-G22; C1-C5; H1H12; F1-F9; NW1NW9; P1-P2; W1-W7;
R1-R22
Dropped
Proposed Equipment:
Same as Alternative 1
Proposed Activities:
Same as Alternative 1
along with mining and
processing in East Three
Cent area, pond
repair/upgrade, water
well, pipeline.
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-R22
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G19;
G22; C1-C5; H1-H12;
F1-F9; NW1-NW9; P1P2; W1-W7; R1-R4; R6R14; R16-R22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; L1-L2; R1-R23
Alternative 1
Currently
Approved
Operations
Operation Name
West Parkerville
PL
Nothing Approved
Wild Flower PL
Equipment: Backhoe or
excavator, dump truck,
pumps, generator, hand
tools, suction dredge.
Activities: Excavations
of placer gravels,
processing, use of
settling ponds, suction
dredging.
Alternative 2
Proposed
Operations
Alternative 3
Added
Requirements
Proposed Equipment:
Backhoe or excavator,
dump truck.
Proposed Activities:
Exploration testing of
placer gravels and old
channels, processing at
adjacent Parkerville site
(private land), with
settling ponds on NFS,
existing ponds cleaned
and repaired.
Same as Alternative 1
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-22
Same as Alternative 2
with additional
requirements G1-G22;
C1-C5; H1-H12; F1-F9;
NW1-NW9; P1-P2; W1W7; R1-22
Alternative 4
Table S-3.
Road Activities Under Alternative 4.
Maintenance
NFBR Watershed Totals
Closure
Reconstruction
Decommission
ERS
Total
Miles
Miles in
RHCA
Total
Miles
Miles in
RHCA
Total
Miles
Miles in
RHCA
Total
Miles
Miles in
RHCA
Extreme
Severe
Serious
N/A
Total
0
1.6
2.6
11.49
15.69
0
0.2
0.94
0.37
1.51
2.82
3.89
9.15
47.62
63.48
2.75
2.33
2.94
0.07
8.09
7.24
3.09
6.93
7.13
24.39
3.51
0.19
0.89
0.08
4.67
2.64
1.31
0.64
6.89
11.48
2.39
1.11
0.16
0
3.66
Preferred Alternative
Alternative 4 best meets the Purpose and Need of approving mining Plans of Operations
while still meeting 36 CFR 228.8, minimizing adverse environmental impacts on
National Forest surface resources, and minimizing the impacts to water quality in the
North Fork Burnt River Watershed.
Page S-19 of 19
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