Endangered species and land reclamation were the two biggest issues of concern during an open house for a quarry expansion project March 11.
Nearly 20 Big Bear Valley residents, United States Forest Service and Omya California employees turned out for the public scoping meeting at the Big Bear Discovery Center. The Butterfield and Sentinel quarries are located 5 miles north of Big Bear Lake.
Local residents including Sherry Moore said the mines could further disturb the Cushenbury oxytheca, a flowering plant that only grows only on calcium carbonate soils and is native to the forest. Omya wants to expand the Sentinel and Butterfield quarries to mine calcium carbonate. Moore said she has reservations about the impact on the C. oxytheca, but one idea she saw gives her hope.
Omya only uses higher-quality calcium carbonate in its products and creates tailing piles, to be later used for reclamation, near the site. The piles could potentially become expanded habitat for the C. oxytheca.
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