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East Smoky Panel Mine plans approved

East Smoky
The tailings pond road near the junction with the Smoky Canyon Road

SODA SPRINGS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-The Bureau of Land Management and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest have each released a “Record of Decision” (ROD) approving the portions of the East Smoky Panel Mine and Reclamation Plan that fall under each agency’s jurisdiction.

According to BLM, the mine project near Soda Springs will sustain approximately 600 jobs for an additional three years at the existing Smoky Canyon Mine and Don Plant processing facility.  That work would generate approximately $180 million per year in associated salaries and support 1,326 indirect jobs in the region.

The federal agencies made separate, but coordinated decisions relating to the project.   The BLM ROD reviewed the mine and reclamation plan, modifying and enlarging the existing leases.  

The Forest Service provided recommendations to BLM regarding surface management on Forest System lands. The agency approved Special Use Authorizations for off-lease activities and land use plan amendments.

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