Comment Sought on Stargazing Mining Operation
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: November 7, 2020

 The Libby Ranger District of the Kootenai National Forest would like to know your concerns, questions, and suggestions regarding activities being proposed within the Stargazing Mining Operation. Operators of the Stargazing mine are proposing a mining operation that would remove approximately 100 tons of placer material from the mountainside and set up three core drilling sites to explore for minerals. This project consists of land on the south side of Little Hoodoo Mountain in Section 28 of Township 29 North, Range 31 West P.M.M. in Lincoln County, Montana. The project is located entirely on National Forest System (NFS) lands within the Libby Ranger District of the Kootenai National Forest.

The Stargazing Mining Operation is subject to the predecisional administrative review process, also referred to as the objection process. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments about this proposed activity during this or another public comment period established by the Responsible Official will be eligible to file an objection. Specific comments should be focused on the proposed action and include rationale to ensure your concerns are understood. Comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and include supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider. The responsible official for this project is Nathan Gassmann, Libby District Ranger, Kootenai National Forest.

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, oral, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of the legal notice in the Missoulian, the newspaper of record. If the end date of the comment period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, comments will be accepted until the end of the next working day. The publication date of the legal notice in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframes provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period. This is the notice and comment period for this project; a draft Environmental Assessment will not be circulated for review and comment.

Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), or Word (.doc or .docx) to comments-northern-kootenai-libby@usda.gov. Please include “Stargazing Mining Operation” in the subject line. Hand deliver or mail hardcopy comments to the Canoe Gulch Ranger Station, Attn: Luke Smith, 12557 Highway 37, Libby, MT 59923. The office business hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Faxed comments can be sent to 406-283-7531.

Please include name, postal address, title of the project, email address, telephone number, any organization you may be representing, and signature. Individual members of an entity must submit their own individual comments in order to have eligibility to object as an individual. It is the responsibility of the sender to ensure timely receipt of any comments submitted. All comments will be placed in the project file and become public record.

The proposed action is available online at:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58940. A hardcopy may be made available upon request by contacting the Canoe Gulch Ranger Station at 406-293-7773.

For more information please contact Nathan Gassmann, District Ranger, or Luke Smith, project leader, at the Canoe Gulch Ranger Station or by calling 406-293-7773.