Current Status of Red Lady
Please check this page regularly for the latest news updates and information regarding Red Lady.
Red Lady Updates
October 2017: 40 Year's of Saving Red Lady--It's Not Over Yet!
This summer, MEMC finished installing the Cone Penetrometer Testing, which is a “means of determining tailings density and pore pressure within the tailings.” (Mt. Emmons Mining Company Work Plan, p.6). The remaining activities identified in the Work Plan are expected to be carried out in the coming year. The Work Plan’s data collection results are important for identifying the current state of the tailings dams and for informing what additional reclamation activities may be necessary and could be taken to further reduce metal loading. HCCA supports the efforts to gather this information and commends MEMC/Freeport for its initiative. Ultimately, additional characterization of the site will lead to a better plan to remediate past mining impacts.
Moving forward, our shared challenge will be to work together to find a strategy that facilitates thorough remediation of the mine site while providing sufficient oversight, community participation, and adequate backstops to assure that our watershed health is protected for the long-haul. We are continuing to work with Freeport MEMC and the other MOU signatories toward the common goal of permanently protecting Mt. Emmons and our watershed so they will forever be mine-free.
March 2017 Update--Continuing Discussions
Discussions have continued to unfold regarding the withdrawal of unpatented mining and millsite claims. In March 2017, HCCA was officially invited to the table with the MOU signatories and other essential stakeholders to discuss this objective. As was mentioned at the joint Town Council and Gunnison County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, we may have to go slow to go fast. One of the issues that has come up in these discussions is the question of privatizing several hundred acres where the tailings dams, waste rock piles, treatment ponds, and the water treatment plant are located. The County Attorney’s astute analysis at this meeting sums it up nicely: “The issue now is that Freeport would feel better to privatize so as not to have the federal leash on them. But we say we are more comfortable with that federal leash on them.”
March 2017 Update--Tailing Geotechnical Investigation Work Plan for the Keystone Mine
Shortly after the New Year, the new owner, Mt. Emmons Mining Company (MEMC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, submitted a Notice of Intent to the Forest Service for a Tailings Geotechnical Investigation Work Plan for the Keystone Mine. This approved proposal permits MEMC to collect necessary data from lands disturbed by the Keystone mine and associated workings. These lands and workings are located on Forest Service managed land. The “intention [of the Work Plan] is to confirm that the closure of the Site meets current closure requirements and regulations . . . [as well as] evaluate the stability of the tailings dams.” (Mt. Emmons Mining Company Work Plan, p.1). As of this week, MEMC wrapped up installing the Cone Penetrometer Testing, which is a “means of determining tailings density and pore pressure within the tailings.” (Mt. Emmons Mining Company Work Plan, p.6). The remaining activities identified in the Work Plan are expected to continue to be implemented during the summer work season after the snow has melted out fully.
The Work Plan’s data collection results are important for identifying the current state of the tailings dams and for informing what additional reclamation activities may be necessary and/or could be taken to further reduce metal loading. HCCA supports the efforts to gather this information and commends MEMC/Freeport for its initiative.
Congratulations to Lydia Stern, Red Lady #40!
Lydia Stern is not only a talented photographer and graphic designer, but she is also a fun-loving, adventure-seeking and passionate environmental advocate. We are beyond excited to see her fill the role of Red Lady #40 while also continuing to work on a new and exciting outreach project for HCCA called Backcountry Advocates (see pg. 7). Many thanks to Suzanne Pierson for being an amazing Red Lady #39—Lydia has some big shoes to fill!
40th Anniversary Red Lady Salvation Ball--Double Header, Double Reader!
In honor of the 40th Ball, we decided to hold a double-header two-night event to paint the town red. On March 9, 2017, the Red Lady Ramblers featuring Tyler Lucas, Lizzy Plotkin, Kevin Donovan and Ryan Herr rocked the house, and along with a photo booth, red cocktail specials, and raffle, Red Lady #40, Lydia Stern, was crowned. On March 10, 2017, the one and only String Cheese Incident took center stage. SCI has deep roots in the Crested Butte community, as they began their journey playing at the Center for the Arts and on the slopes of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. SCI also played at our 25th Red Lady Ball in 2002, which has become a legendary concert for HCCA and the community. We are so honored that SCI went back to their roots to play again at the 40th Anniversary Red Lady Salvation Ball. This year’s ball(s) were definitely a celebration to remember, thank you to everyone in the community who came out to make this special double-header—double redder!
Ballot Issue 2A Passes Helping Pave the Way for Congressional Withdrawal
On November 8, 2016, Crested Butte voters approved Ballot Issue 2A by nearly 9 to 1 and helped pave the way for a community and company supported congressional withdrawal of lands on Mt. Emmons and in nearby watersheds where mining and millsite claims are located.
Ballot Measure to Help End the Threat of Mining Red Lady Initiated
On Tuesday, September 6, 2016, HCCA spoke in support of and the Crested Butte Town Council considered and approved unanimously Resolution 27, Series 2016. The Resolution was placed on the ballot as Ballot Issue 2A and would authorize the Town to utilize $2.1 million from the Town’s Land Transfer Excise Tax Fund to pay the MEMC/Freeport to permanently dispose of its mining and millsite claims on Mt. Emmons and the nearby watersheds. The funds would be transferred to MEMC/Freeport only after withdrawal is passed by Congress, signed by the President, and MEMC/Freeport has abandoned its unpatented mining and millsite claims.
WTP PoP and Reclamation Bond Calculations Provided to the Forest Service
On August 18, 2016, MEMC/Freeport submits Water Treatment Plant Plan of Operations and Reclamation Bond Calculations to the Forest Service.
Freeport/MEMC Terminates All proposed Mine Plans On Mt. Emmons
Ending the Threat of Mining Red Lady Once and For All
Congratulations to RED LADY 39, Suzanne Pierson
Town and County Approve Memorandum of Understanding
Take Action: Support Town’s Approval of the Memorandum of Understanding
High Country Conservation Advocates is pleased to share an important update regarding new developments in our 39-year long effort to Save Red Lady
As long urged by HCCA, State and Federal officials are seriously looking at a long-term solution
HCCA Sues the Forest Service
HCCA launches 2015 Red Lady Fundraising Campaign
For years, HCCA and the community, including Town and County governments, have raised concern