Stop Destructive Open-Pit Mine in National Forest


Target: Craig Bobzien, Forest Supervisor for Black Hills National Forest

Goal: Halt plans for a proposed rare mineral mine in a national forest

A rare mineral open-pit mine is proposed for a national forest in Wyoming. There is only one other rare earth mineral mine in the U.S. The mining of these materials will destroy the surface of the land as well as pose a threat to freshwater sources. Take action now to protect this national forest from invasive surface mining and environmental degradation.

Rare Element Resources (RER), a Canadian mining company, seeks to destroy public and private land to mine rare earth minerals. The mining project, known as the Bear Lodge Project Plan of Operations, will be located inside the Bear Lodge Mountains in the Black Hills National Forest.The mine and its surrounding facility are proposed to consume 1,700 acres. RER wants to mine the area for 43 years and then restore the area to a ‘natural state.’ Rare earth minerals are actually quite common in the earth but rarely found in large concentrations. These minerals are processed for use in technological devices.

Like other types of surface mining, rare earth mining has an impact on the surrounding area, including humans and wildlife that live nearby, by land degradation and potential water pollution from runoff. Citizens are extremely concerned about water quality because the earth in the area is known to contain the radioactive element thorium, which increases the risk of developing cancer. The future mining site will be located near the start of a creek that filters water down to important water sources downstream, posing a large threat for water contamination. The $400 million mine and facility cannot guarantee that their project will have no environmental impact.

By signing this petition, you are urging the U.S. Forest Service to deny the proposal for a rare earth mineral mine.


Dear Supervisor Bobzien,

The Black Hills National Forest is enjoyed by millions every year. A rare earth mineral mine proposed for the forest will degrade the land, destroy wildlife habitat, and potentially contaminate precious water sources. The proposed site for the mine also contains huge amounts of thorium, a radioactive element known to increase the risk of cancer. This element will prove to be a huge complication in the mining process as well as a source of pollution.

Rare Element Resource’s mine will cost millions to start up as well as millions to clean up. The proposed spot sits close to creek headwaters and could easily contaminate important water sources downstream. Please take action to deny the request of this potentially destructive open-pit mine.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  Richie Diesterheft via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. caryl sawyer says:

    National forest? Doesn’t that mean I own part of it? Did anybody ask my permission for the parasitic gluttons to destroy it?

    Call your congressman!

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