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4/17/2013 9:37:00 AM
Leaders ramp up construction at Holden Mine

Michelle Lovato
Staff Writer

Holden Mine cleanup leaders are hosting an informational meeting from 4 to 7 p.m. April 25, at Campbell's Resort. The Holden Mine project team will provide an overview of what is expected to happen at the mine for the rest of this year.
Project Manager Dave Cline and representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and Holden Village will be on hand to make the presentation and answer questions about the project.
The USDA Forest Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State Department of Ecology and Yakima Nation actively worked with Intalco to move forward with pre-construction preparatory activities at the Holden Mine Cleanup site in 2012 in anticipation of heavy construction in 2013 and 2014, said Elka Missal, information assistant for the Chelan and Entiat Ranger District in a 2012 press release.
In 2012, the clean up crews:
Created a temporary bypass bridge across Railroad Creek; made land-based improvements at the Lucerne Barge landing adjacent to the current Forest Service dock; sealed old entrances to the underground mine and development of a rock quarry and other sites.
Spring 2013 projects included relocation of Railroad Creek.
As of May 1, water bus transportation operated by Holden Village between Lucerne (at Lake Chelan) and Holden, will only operate Saturdays and Sundays in coordination with the Lady of the Lake boat schedule. The planned reduction in the number of bus trips between Lucerne and Holden is a result of increased Holden Mine Remediation activities starting this spring, said Elka Missal, Information Assistant, Entiat and Chelan Ranger Districts.
The popular Glacier Peak Wilderness trail systems, Hart Lake/Lyman Lake Trail No. 1256 and the Pacific Crest Trail No. 2000 will remain open and accessible for through-hikers throughout the implementation phase of the project. A re-route has been constructed for hikers to use between the Holden Village bus drop-off area and the Hart Lake/Lyman Lake Trailhead around the clean-up operations. Missal said.
Holden Village will not accept guest reservations between May 1 and Nov. 27 due to the heavy construction in and around the village anticipated this field season. Hikers will not be able to stay overnight at Holden Village. The Forest Service campground, located less than a mile west of Holden Village at the entrance to the Glacier Peak Wilderness area, will remain open throughout the remediation activities. Hikers that had planned to stay at Holden Village as part of a trip into Glacier Peak Wilderness Area can consider camping at the Forest Service campground in order to comply with the Saturday/Sunday bus schedule. Camping is not permitted on the leased grounds around Holden or on Holden Village private property. Holden operates under a special use permit with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
It is not possible to hike between Lucerne and Holden Village during remediation activities. Hikers must utilize the Holden Village bus transportation on Saturdays and Sundays to access the Hart Lake/Lyman Lake Trailhead and Lucerne.
The following trails and surrounding areas near Holden Village are closed until the implementation phase of the project is complete. Lower Railroad Creek Trail No. 1240 is closed from Wilson Creek to the mine tailings located between the 8 and 9 mile points. This means it is not possible to hike to or from Holden Village on this trail while this closure is in effect. Goat Trail No. 1245.1 is closed. Tailings Bypass Trail No. 1240.3 is closed. Copper Falls Trail No. 1246.1 is closed from Goat Trail intersection for one mile south. Copper Creek Trail No. 1240.21 is closed. Miners Interpretive Trail No. 1245 is closed. Monkey Bear Falls No. 1256 is closed
During the Holden Mine Cleanup, Holden Village leaders plan to upgrade Village infrastructure and facilities. After remediation construction is complete, there will then be a five-year period of testing and analysis to determine whether further work will be necessary in the eastern portion of the affected area.
The Holden Mine was an underground copper mine, located about 10 miles west of Lucerne in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, which operated between 1938 and 1957. The mine property is now the site of the Holden Village community. Operation of the mine left behind a number of environmental problems, including old underground workings, millions of tons of tailings, acid rock drainage and high levels of metals in soil and water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed the former mine as a Superfund site in the early 1990s and identified Intalco Aluminum Corporation, successor to original mine owner Howe Sound Company, as the Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) to remediate the damage. Rio Tinto later acquired certain assets and liabilities from one of Intalco's former owners; hence the relationship in which Rio Tinto is paying for and managing the cleanup, while Intalco remains ultimately responsible.
For more information or assistance in planning a trip to the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area via Holden, please call the Chelan Ranger District at 509-682-4900 for the latest updates on trail closures, re-routes and/or transportation to wilderness trailheads.
For more information about the Holden Mine Remediation Project please visit
For information about the Holden Village operations and transportation please visit the Holden Village website at:

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