The Mt. Emmons Land Exchange will eliminate commercial mining from Crested Butte’s Red Lady, establish permanent non-motorized recreational access along current routes, and consolidate ongoing water treatment and remediation operations at the site.


Overview of Mt. Emmons Land Exchange

The land exchange is between MEMC and Gunnison National Forest:

MEMC to Acquire: MEMC has proposed to acquire approximately 551 acres of National Forest lands that encompass the operational footprint for the water treatment facility, tailings storage facilities and adjacent land.

USFS to Acquire: In exchange, the USFS would acquire equal value land from MEMC, to add to the National Forest. This includes land commonly known as Three Peaks Ranch, which is located at the headwaters of Ohio Creek. It contains outstanding wetlands and wildlife habitat.




The Mt. Emmons Mining Company (MEMC) which is a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, has officially proposed a deal that involves a land swap with the U.S. Forest Service, a conservation easement and ultimately a withdrawal of existing mineral rights on the nearby property. At the conclusion of the land exchange and mineral withdrawal process, MEMC will relinquish all unpatented mining claims which, when combined with the conservation easement, will effectively end the possibility of mining on the Red Lady.