The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is seeking public comment on the proposed Rustler’s Gulch, Angel Basin, Democrat Basin and Scarp Ridge Abandoned Mine Lands Physical Safety Closure Project to physically close 26 abandoned, inactive mine features (adits and shafts), which pose the greatest physical hazards to the public or other resources. Features to be closed are located on National Forest System lands north and west of Crested Butte.

Nineteen of the sites are located within the Raggeds or Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Areas. The project’s additional seven sites, located in the Scarp Ridge area, are outside of the wilderness boundaries. Closure methods for this project may include backfill, grates, polyurethane foam plugs, bulkheads and grated corrugated steel pipe.

The GMUG proposes this project in partnership with the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. Stabilization and removal of mine hazards benefit both agencies by making these lands safer for the public and the environment. Pending approval, project implementation could occur as early as summer.

All comments must be received by the USDA Forest Service by March 25.

Comments may be:

• Emailed: pamela.r.king@usda.gov with the subject header “RAD & Scarp Ridge AML Closures.”

• Mailed: Gunnison Ranger District, Attn: Pamela King, 216 N. Colorado St., Gunnison CO, 81230.

For project information, visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59565.

For questions or more information on this proposal, contact Pamela Leschak, Minerals Program manager, at 970-549-6101 or Pamela.Leschak@usda.gov.

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