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BOISE -- A conservation group and the Nez Perce Tribe have filed a lawsuit against three federal agencies seeking to stop a central Idaho gold mine exploration project by a Canadian company.

The tribe and the Idaho Conservation League filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Idaho against the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service.

The lawsuit contends the agencies didn't adhere to federal environmental laws in approving the three-year Golden Meadows Exploration Project proposed by Midas Gold, Inc.

The company wants to drill exploratory holes in the Payette and Boise national forests in Valley County to determine the feasibility of creating three open pit gold mines.

The federal agencies late last year approved the project.

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