By Traci Sheehan - Community Environmental Advocates Foundation
We're on a mission to be the most vocal group in Nevada County. Your written or spoken comments to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors (BOS) can make a huge difference. You can send comments directly to all five of the supervisors by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. Or, for maximum impact, consider writing a letter that can be read in 3 minutes live at the Supervisor's meetings, which are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. You can: 1) read it in person from a socially-distanced kiosk or by calling in on the phone, 2) leave a recorded message in advance that will be played by the board secretary during the meeting, or 3) simply send your letter in advance by email so the secretary can read it live for you.
Why should I make a comment to the County?
Nevada County has five supervisors, who will ultimately be responsible for the decision about whether to approve Rise Gold's application to open the mine. The County is now preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) that should be ready for public review in the fall of 2021. Decisions will be made in 2022. It is up to citizens to ask questions and voice concerns about the project.
How do I submit a comment for the Board of Supervisors meeting?
The best way to make a comment to the Board is in-person, but you can also leave a voice mail that the Board will hear or a letter that the Board Secretary will read to the Board during public comment. Here are your options:
Go to the kiosk at the Eric Rood Administrative Center in Western County by 8:55 am and a staff person will give you instructions on how to comment. Public comment should begin around 9:05 am. Masks are required.
Comment live during the meeting by calling (530) 270-3474
In advance of the meeting, call (530) 264-0554 and leave a voice mail message
Email your comment to BOS.PublicComment@co.nevada.ca.us
How do I format my comments?
Your comments should be no longer than 3 minutes and focus on 2-3 points you’d like to make. We suggest writing your key bullet points or scripting your entire comment.
Begin by stating your name, the neighborhood or district you reside in, and the issue you are commenting on. View this simple district map... or go to the County website to find out what Supervisorial District you live in.
Add your personal experience or give context by explaining why you are involved and care about this issue, what your profession is, or why you like living in Grass Valley or Nevada County.
Make a clear statement of what you want the BOS to do or consider. For example “The County needs to do an economic study as part of the public environmental review process because….”
What if I'd like to comment in person, but can't wear a mask?
Masks are required to enter a County building. However, a remote kiosk center is provided outside of the Eric Rood Administrative Center for individuals unable to wear a mask.
How do I send comments directly to my supervisor? Most people prefer to send to comments to all supervisors at this address email email@example.com. They also accept comments by mail.
Nevada County Board of Supervisors
Eric Rood Administrative Center
950 Maidu Avenue
Nevada City, CA 95959
It helps to include information about what district you are in. Click on this simple map will help most people figure it out. It that doesn't work, click here to see several more ways to explore with precision.
If you prefer to write to your supervisor only, here are their individual email addresses.
Heidi Hall, Chair, Supervisor District 1, Heidi.Hall@co.nevada.ca.us District 1 includes Nevada City and the unincorporated areas of Banner Mountain, Cascade Shores, Deer Creek, and the Highway 174 corridor.
Dan Miller, Vice-Chair, Supervisor District 3, Dan.Miller@co.nevada.ca.us District 3 includes the City of Grass Valley, Cedar Ridge, the Brunswick Basin, Squirrel Creek, and unincorporated areas along Highways 49 and 20.
Susan Hoek, Supervisor District 4, Sue.Hoek@co.nevada.ca.us District 4 includes the communities of Penn Valley, North San Juan, Rough & Ready, Lake Wildwood, Spenceville, and unincorporated areas along Highways 20 and 49.
Hardy Bullock, Supervisor District 5, Hardy.Bullock@co.nevada.ca.us District 5 includes the Town of Truckee, and the communities of Soda Springs, Washington, Graniteville, Hirschdale, Boca, Floriston, and unincorporated areas along Highways 49, 20, 89, and Interstate 80.
What should I talk about?
Here are some ideas to spark ideas on your comments. Please put these concepts in your own words. Add personal experience and your own concerns. It's OK if others have talked about a subject before. The Board needs to hear a chorus of voices, not just one alone.
Water: Water is a precious resource. All the more so because of the current drought. Rise Gold's plans to dewater the mine puts wells, creeks, and aquifers at risk.
Air: Nevada county already gets an F rating when it comes to air quality and 2 times the average in lung disease. Fugitive dust from rock crushing and transport and diesel exhaust from constant truck traffic will make a bad situation truly terrible.
Power drain: Gold mining is a power-hungry business, and plans call for significant use of fossil fuels. The mine’s estimated power usage will be 12% of what the whole of Nevada County uses in a year, raising questions about further straining our power grid and effectively erasing the gains our County was planning to make in reducing power consumption to curb climate change.
Neighborhood quality of life: There will be more truck traffic, higher noise levels, and vibration from blasting. Aesthetics will also be seriously compromised as natural settings get buried beneath mountains of mine waste and a paved industrial area.
Economic risk: The few jobs gained are offset by big risks for tourism, high tech businesses, private wells, and 10’s of millions lost in property values. The current environmental review process doesn’t include any analysis or study of those economic impacts. Urge the County to include an economic analysis in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
Trust: Rise Gold is a 14 year old company that has never opened a mine and never made a profit. Their current financials are weak. And their CEO’s prior venture polluted tribal waters, went bankrupt, and left Canadians with a bill to pay for cleanup.