Simplot Company's Proposed Dairy Syncline Mine

Example – Smoky Canyon haul road across ridges with deep cut Fall, 2016||||| Example – Smoky Canyon haul road across ridges with deep cut Fall, 2016||||| |||||

Status

The Dairy Syncline Mine Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was released in mid-December 2018. This is another open pit phosphate mine on Forest Service and BLM public land near Soda Springs, Idaho. This mine is also proposed in an area already deemed to be a Superfund Site subject to Natural Resource Damages from past mining pollution.  The proposed project will further fragment the Corridor, destroy wetlands, wildlife populations, and plant communities while polluting streams in the region with heavy metals. The mine will also cause noise and safety concerns that not only affect wildlife, but also humans.  Y2U and Kieshas Preserve submitted comments on the DEIS on February 21st, 2019.  It is important to point out that reviewing, analyzing and commenting on these DEIS that are over 1000 pages in length takes hundreds of hours of staff time for each one.  We urge you to take a look at the Dairy Syncline comments as an example of the depth of analysis.  On December 8th, 2019 Yellowstone to Uintas Connection and Kieshas Preserve submitted a protest of BLM's decision to amend the Pocatello Resource Management Plan to conduct a land sale accommodating the Dairy Syncline Mine project in the Pocatello Field Office area.  The BLM has proposed a direct land sale and acceptance of a donation parcel to accommodate the tailings pond which is part of the Dairy Syncline project. According to the Draft Record of Decision (DROD), BLM has reduced the proposed land sale from 1,142.1 acres of BLM land to 500 acres and JR Simplot Co will donate a parcel containing 440 acres.  In addition, to accommodate the proposed tailings pond, the Forest Service has reduced the sale of Forest Service managed land from 631.6 acres to 160 acres with a donation of 640 acres of private land by Simplot as part of the bargain. Y2U filed a protest of BLM's decision to amend the Pocatello Resource Management Plan to conduct a land sale accommodating the Dairy Syncline Mine project in the Pocatello Field Office area on December 9th, 2019.  The November 9, 2019 Notice of Availability for the FEIS provided a 45-day comment period for responding to the proposed modifications to the Huckleberry Basin and Sage Creek Idaho Roadless Areas (IRA).  On December 19th, 2019, Y2U submitted additional comments on this proposed modification of the Huckleberry Basin and Sage Creek IRAs.  On January 2nd, 2020 Y2U filed an Objection to the Forest Service ROD.

Work Plan

  • Y2U is considering filing a Protest on the BLM ROD.
  • Y2U, along with Alliance for the Wild Rockies have secured legal representation who is looking at pursuing litigation of the project.

Expected Outcome

Unknown at this time.

See attachments below for both protests, as well as a helpful summary of the key issues.