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Archive of Prominent Section 106 Cases:
California: Development of Glamis Imperial Corporation Mine, Imperial County
(Closed Case Follow-up)

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

In October 1999, the Council issued formal comments to the Secretary of Interior asking that the plan of operations for the Imperial Mine project in Imperial County, California, not be approved based on the project’s serious and irreparable degradation of an area that is sacred and historic to the Quechan Tribe.

Quechan Indians tribal member, Imperial County

Fort Yuma Quechan Indians tribal member, Imperial County, CA
(Photo courtesy of Courtney Ann Coyle)

A little over a year later, in November 2000, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project which identified denial of the requested plan of operations as the agency’s preferred alternative.

Then, on January 17, 2001, Secretary Babbitt approved a Record of Decision (ROD) denying the requested permit. First among the reasons given for the denial, the Secretary noted that the project would cause unavoidable adverse impacts to an area with significant Native American values and historic properties.

The Council’s findings were cited in support of the Secretary’s decision. (Read the full text of the ROD in PDF)

In a related development, in October 2000, BLM issued a public land order withdrawing 9,360 acres in the Indian Pass area of Imperial County from filing of new mining claims and certain other uses in order to protect archeological and cultural resources considered sacred by the Quechan. The 20-year withdrawal does not apply to valid existing claims.

March 2000 report on this case

Staff contact: Alan Stanfill

Posted March 21, 2001

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