A Black Hills group that advocates for clean water is suing the Forest Service.
The Black Hills Clean Water Alliance wants information on exploratory gold drilling. The alliance filed a Freedom of Information Act request two years ago in 2018.
Lilias Jarding is with the alliance. She said the Forest Service is withholding records covered by the request.
“We are looking for a broad range of information on gold activities in the central Black Hills, so that would include plans of operation, it would include communication among people within the Forest Service, and between the Forest Service and members of the public and so forth,” Jarding said.
At least one company, Mineral Mountain Resources, is doing exploratory drilling now in the Black Hills. Another company, F3 Gold, has a gold drilling proposal under review. The alliance said there may be other companies pursuing drilling.
The Forest Service has not yet responded to the lawsuit and did not return messages seeking comment.
- Seth Tupper is SDPB's business and economic development reporter.