Grass Valley, CA – July 12, 2022 – Today, MineWatch Nevada County, a coalition effort spearheaded by the Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation), announced that it has joined together with businesses, homeowners, conservationists, and others to obtain over 5,500 petition signatures and 1500 comments to showcase the community’s opposition to reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine. Signatures were collected in person and online through grassroots efforts such as information tables in front of local businesses and sharing via website and social media. The petitions were presented to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors during their regular board meeting on Tuesday.
RISE Gold Corp., a company headquartered in Canada, has proposed re-opening the mine in Grass Valley – an urbanized historic mining town. The long-shuttered mine sits just outside of the downtown, and a residential neighborhood has developed around the abandoned site.
“Despite Rise Gold’s claims to the contrary, these petitions add to the growing mountain of evidence that the people of Nevada County are overwhelming rejecting the mine”, stated Ralph Silberstein, CEA Foundation Board President. “Over a hundred volunteers helped collect these signatures. Many told me their job was easier than expected because it was extremely rare to meet anyone in favor of the mine.”
Further evidence of anti-mine activism abounds. “No-mine” opinion pieces in the local Union newspaper outnumber “pro-mine” pieces 160 to 8. MineWatch social media groups are over 2,500 members strong. And almost 500 people attended the planning commission meeting in March to review comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the mine – at 9am on a Thursday morning. Of the 101 who took tickets to speak, only one spoke in support of the mine.
Over 1500 of the people who signed online also wrote personalized messages to Nevada County Supervisors. The full collection was delivered today along with the petition signatures. Here are just a few samples.
“As a physician and Nevada County resident for 10 years, I am opposed to this mine [and] I urge you to oppose the mine. Please don’t vote to destroy the peace, quiet, and beauty of our delightful town. This is the best place I have ever lived and worked. If this mine opens, I will move, and you’ll have one less doctor here.”
“A hundred years ago a mine was appropriate. Now we are dependent on tourism and attracting people to a clean and quiet place. The mine site is surrounded by 1-5 acre parcels, [with hundreds of them] on a well. Approval of a mine in this situation opens the county up to a financial disaster.”
“As a water policy specialist, I know the impacts of mining and the value of water in this climate change vulnerable region. Water is more precious than gold, and with its terrible track record Rise Gold should not be allowed to come anywhere near our watersheds which could easily be further degraded and depleted by this mine.”
“As a renter, property owner, and leader of a soil health/agriculture non-profit, all in Nevada County, I strongly object to the proposal to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine. I’m very concerned about the impacts on water quality and underground water sources, including the impacts that polluted wells would have on our surrounding farms and food supply. I urge the Board of Supervisors to protect our community, our environment, and our economy and reject the proposed mine.”
Of the over 5500 people who signed the petition, over 85% were Nevada County residents. Another 5% were from neighboring counties such as Placer, Yuba, and Sacramento. 6% were tourists or visitors.
For more information about the potential re-opening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine visit: www.MineWatchNC.org
About CEA Foundation: Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) performs research, education, and advocacy to promote responsible land use and environmental protection policies in Nevada County. CEA Foundation is the sponsor of MineWatch, a campaign that brings together a coalition of nonprofit organizations, residents, and businesses opposed to the mine.