SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- The U.S. Forest Service will start cleaning up hazardous waste at the Monte Cristo mining area on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in eastern Snohomish County this fall.
The area is popular with hikers.
Joseph Gibbens with the forest service says miners came to the area looking for gold, silver and copper in the late 1890s.
He says the waste rocks contain lead and arsenic that washes into creeks and ultimately into Puget Sound.
Crews will be removing the contaminated rocks and taking them to an on-site repository.
Crews will be clearing trees so they can move equipment into the area starting early this month.
Trail access to the area will be closed to hikers next summer.