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During the week of July 11 trail, area and intermittent road closures will be in effect in the Harts Pass, Cady Pass and Mill Creek areas, west of Mazama, Washington. These closures are associated with the Azurite mine clean-up project.
Beginning July 11 National Forest Land around the Azurite Mine will be closed to all public access. This closure is necessary to provide for public safety while heavy equipment is mobilized to the Site and mine clean-up work progresses. Work associated with the clean-up is expected to continue until fall snows limit access. A map of the closure area is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/okawen/news . Cady Pass Trail(#475) and the Mill Creek trail from its intersection with Chancellor Trail (#755) to Azurite Pass are also closed.
In addition to the trail and area closures, visitors should expect intermittent closures to take place on the Harts Pass road between July 11 and July 15. The closures will allow for moving large equipment needed to do the clean-up work.
"The traffic delays on Harts Pass road could last for several hours at a time as the slow moving, oversized equipment is moved into place," said Laurie Dowie, Recreation Specialist for the Methow Valley Ranger District.
Gold and some silver were produced at Azurite mine in the 1930's. Ore was extracted from underground and milled on-Site. Contaminated waste rock and mill tailings are eroding into nearby Mill Creek. The clean-up work will address this and other hazards at the Azurite Mine site. For more information about the Azurite Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act investigation and clean-up is available on the forest www: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/oka/projects/geology.shtml
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