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Board of Supervisors Rejects Mine in Final Vote

At the Final Hearing for the Idaho-Maryland Mine on February 15 & 16, 2024, Nevada County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously 5-0 to deny the certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and deny the Rise Gold project, fully rejecting Rise Gold’s plan to re-open the Idaho-Maryland Mine!


Please, if you haven’t already done so, take a moment to thank our Supervisors by sending an email to bdofsupervisors@nevadacountyca.gov.


This is a huge victory, but it's important to know that it's possibly not over yet. Rise Gold has stated repeatedly that intend to sue the County. They still claim they have a vested right to mine, and that the County has violated their due process rights in the processing of the application. CEA Foundation attorneys, Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger, analyzed their vested rights claims and assert they "will be dead on arrival in court."


 

An Exhausting But Rewarding Marathon


American Activist Dorothy Height, once said “Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.”


And grow we did. Opposition to the mine has brought this community together like perhaps no other issue. Over the last almost 4 years, thousands of residents, hundreds of businesses, and dozens of activist groups have come together to voice their opposition to the mine. In the meantime, County planners and executive staff spent exhaustive hours working to process the application thoroughly and fairly.


Together – this community provided an example of how to participate in the process with a respectful presence and well researched analysis of the issues. Fortunately, our efforts were well rewarded. Our County’s planning department and commissioners reviewed the risks and stood up for the people. Our Supervisors and their executive staff created an outcome that will protect our air, water, and quality of life in the future.


There really are thousands of people to thank for this outcome. Civil servants, researchers, writers, speakers, demonstrators, educators, organizers, project managers, typists, filmmakers, minstrels, and more. It took ALL of us to get to where we are today. You know who you are. Please pat yourself on the back. This was an incredible community effort!


 

Hearing Highlights


Hundreds of people of gathered at the Rood Center for the hearing – despite chilly, rainy weather – proudly displaying “no mine” stickers and signs. Almost 90 people provided passionate public comments against the mine. At the same time, the County’s YouTube channel recorded over 1,500 views on the first day and 1,000 on the second.


Or re-watch your favorite parts by watching the YouTube recordings of the full hearing.


In final comments, District 4 Supervisor Sue Hoek summed it up succinctly when she said, “This one doesn’t fit this spot anymore”.


I just don't see it,” said District 3 Supervisor Lisa Swarthout whose district includes the mine. “I don't see the promise of potentially 300 jobs to override people's quality of life”.

“It’s clear that this community wants to move forward to a cleaner economic future and not go back to mining,” said District 1 Supervisor Heidi Hall.


“Brunswick Road is certainly not rural,” said District 2 Supervisor, Ed Scofield. “It’s right on the outskirts, right adjacent to the city limits to Grass Valley… That means that this operation will have the possible impact of 1,000s of people, if not more, if something goes wrong.”


Hardy Bullock, Board Chair and District 5 Supervisor wrapped up the final comments. “The final EIR has adequately described – the key word ‘described’ – the potential significant and unavoidable impacts. But the project in my mind, has not adequately removed or mitigated these environmental threats which threaten our community, our way of life for cultural and economic prosperity here.”


Lisa Swarthout made the final motion that was unanimously approved: “I make the motion that we deny the certification of the Environmental Impact Report and that we deny the Rise Gold project.”


 

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