Groups appeal alabaster mining permit in Avalanche Creek near Carbondale. |

Groups appeal alabaster mining permit in Avalanche Creek near Carbondale.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ­— A Carbondale environmental organization, in concert with a Denver-based, nonprofit environmental law firm, has filed an appeal of the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to permit alabaster mining in Avalanche Creek south of Carbondale.

The appeal was filed on July 8, according to Peter Hart, attorney for Wilderness Workshop. Hart, in a statement issued late on Monday, wrote that Wilderness Workshop filed the court action “through attorneys at the Western Mining Action Project,” based in Denver.

The appeal challenges the Forest Service approvals, issued in May, which were based on the 1872 Mining Law, a federal statute governing mining throughout the West.

But that White Banks Mine in Avalanche Creek, according to the appeal, is not covered by the 1872 act.

Roger Flynn, an attorney with the Mining Action Project, said in Hart’s statement that the Forest Service rules now exclude from coverage under the 1872 law any mines producing “minerals used for simple building stone, landscaping and artwork,” which Flynn said are “the intended uses for the minerals in the White Banks Mine.”

Hart also commented that the Forest Service needs to take into account “widespread local opposition to the mine, and its harmful impacts to wildlife, recreation and other public resources in the area.”

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