Public comment open on request to withdraw Mendenhall Glacier land from mineral exploration

    Aerial photograph map showing boundaries of the National Forest System Lands proposed for withdrawal and the existing mineral withdrawal. (Photo courtesy USDA.)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The public comment period is open to provide comments on a Forest Service request to withdraw 4,560 acres adjacent to the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area from mineral exploration and mining.

    The agency made the withdrawal request through the Bureau of Land Management, they said they made the request to help protect the recreational use and scenic integrity of soon-to-be-uncovered land exposed by the receding Mendenhall Glacier.

    The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for processing the Forest Service withdrawal application on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, who is authorized by Congress to make withdrawals of federal land to maintain public values.

    The withdrawal would withhold the requested acres from location and entry under the United States mining laws and leasing under mineral leasing laws, subject to valid existing rights, for a term of 20 years.

    The glacier’s retreat will expose new land that is not protected under the current Public Land Order 829.

    Comments can be submitted two ways from Sept. 30 – Oct. 31, 2022:  
    •    Online - Electronic comments will be accepted through the Forest Service online comment system here.
    •    Mail - Written comments may be mailed or delivered to Tristan Fluharty, Juneau District Ranger, 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, Alaska 99801. They ask individuals to write “Mendenhall Glacier Withdrawal” on the envelope when providing written comments.  

    Comment information, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record and available for public inspection. 

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