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Jerry Boyer has high hopes for the Deadwood Standard Project. And they have little to do with gold.

Boyer, president of the Spearfish Canyon Society, is looking beyond the 8 to 10 years of potential surface mining on the proposed mine site near the east rim of the canyon, a few miles west of Lead. There’s a future of public recreation waiting out there for the land, if the post-closure dreams of Boyer and others in his group come true.

“We’re working very diligently with them on the idea of public use for that land when the mining is finished,” Boyer said. “It would be a wonderful place for the public, with one of the most beautiful views of that convergence of the gorgeous Little Spearfish Creek and big Spearfish Creek.”

That convergence can be admired in a captivating view from the rim of the canyon, which is just 500 feet from the end of one proposed mining area in the Deadwood Standard Project. The rim itself is U.S. Forest Service property, along with a segment of forests a ways back from the rim.

Access is limited, however, which could change if the mined-and-reclaimed property land could be added to the public inventory, possibly through an eventual transfer to the U.S. Forest Service.

“We’re talking primarily with the Forest Service right now, primarily because there is so much Forest Service land around it,” Boyer said. “If we can grease the wheels and get that lined up for an eventual transfer to public ownership or access, that would be a very good addition to the land trust.”

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The partners in the project are actively engaged in those discussions, spokesman Dan Daly said.

“The Deadwood Standard Project owners are seriously considering the idea of turning the land over to the Forest Service when mining is complete and the reclamation bonds are released,” he said.

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Boyer is particularly excited about plans by Deadwood Standard to not just reclaim the land to be mined but also clean up as well century-old mining sites, some of them dangerous.

“Part of that project is the clean-up up there,” he said. “That thrills me to no end.”

Contact Kevin Woster at 394-8413 or kevin.woster@rapidcityjournal.com

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