Help save Greater Yellowstone's unspoiled forests and streams!

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a shamefully weak cleanup plan for a mine in southeast Idaho that is poisoning local streams and wildlife with toxic selenium. And to make matters worse, the agency is weighing a proposal to expand these polluting mining operations!

Please go to right away and tell the Forest Service to develop an effective cleanup plan for the Smoky Canyon Mine, which is putting the fragile natural treasures of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem at risk. Your immediate action is crucial -- the agency is accepting comments only until next Monday, July 24th.

The vast wildlands of southeastern Idaho, including the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, comprise some of the most biologically rich areas in Greater Yellowstone. Wolves, moose, elk, lynx, mule deer, native cutthroat trout and other wildlife depend on the area's abundant streams. Countless outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the region's clean air and water, sense of tranquility and blue-ribbon trout fishing.

Yet for years, the Forest Service has allowed the JR Simplot Company's Smoky Canyon Mine to poison the area's streams with toxic selenium -- a naturally occurring element that is released when phosphate ore is mined for fertilizer. The area is now so contaminated that the mine is operating under a Superfund cleanup order.

The Forest Service has said it intends to begin cleanup efforts, but its current plan addresses only one of five sources of selenium contamination at the mine. Plus, the agency is now considering a proposal by Simplot to expand its mining operations.

Please go to and tell the Forest Service to replace its current cleanup proposal with a plan that will stop selenium contamination in these wildlands.

Thank you for helping to protect Greater Yellowstone's pristine wildlife habitat.


Frances Beinecke
President Natural Resources Defense Council


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