Monday, January 26, 2009
Federal court rules for mining to move forward in Western Shoshone Mount Tenabo case
BREAKING NEWS: DECISION ON SHOSHONE BARRICK GOLD BLM MT. TENABO CASE:
Mining Going Forward
By Lisa J. Wolf, Correspondent
RENO, Nev. -- Monday, January 26, 2009 at 3:00 p.m., Judge Larry Hicks "denied the Plaintiffs' motion for a Preliminary Injunction in its entirety on the grounds that the Plaintiffs had not demonstrated likely success on the merits to warrant the extraordinary remedy of a Preliminary Injunction, according to Chris Worthington, Planning & Environmental Coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management's Battle
Mountain Mt. Lewis Field Office.
Said Worthington, "That means basically they [Barrick Cortez] can go ahead and start up." Worthington expects Hick's written rule on Tuesday, January 27, 2008.
Worthington said, "On the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA Claim), the Court found that, based on the Navajo Nation Case, a substantial burden was not demonstrated in this case; and then he considered it significant that Plaintiffs would continue to have access to areas they claim for religious and spiritual purposes," including the top of Mt. Tenabo, the White Cliffs, and Horse Canyon. "He concluded that their spiritual experience may be diminished by the project, but that does not amount to a substantial burden."
Worthington, who received the legal synopsis from Donna Fitzerald, Justice Department Attorney who represented the BLM in the case, related that "On the NEPA claims, the Court described the EIS [Environmental Impact Study] as very thorough and obviously the product of thousands of hours of analysis and expertise by either the BLM or the contractor. He further concluded that BLM gave all of the
relevant issues raised by this type of project the requisite `hard look.'"
"On the FLPMA [Federal Land Policy Management Act] claim," Worthington related that "the Court reviewed the requirement that BLM take any action necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation to the public lands and determined that based on what had been presented in the Government's brief and arguments, the Agency had satisfied the standards."