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  • Why Say No To The Idaho-Maryland Mine?

    Quick Read: Summary of key reasons to say no to the mine — researched and validated by CEA Foundation/MineWatch researchers. Nevada County has completed both an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and an Economic Impact Report on the proposed Idaho-Maryland Mine project. Nevada County Board of Supervisors are expected to make a decision very soon. Our county is at risk. A Canadian-based company wants to reopen a gold mine under Grass Valley’s feet, changing the character of the community we love and impacting our air, water, and quality of life. JUST SAY NO to the Idaho-Maryland Mine. It has significant and unavoidable environmental impacts that are inconsistent with the County’s General Plan and endanger this community's health and quality of life – including aesthetics, traffic, and noise. There are also serious deficiencies in the Final EIR that put the County and its citizens at further risk, including air and water. A few jobs and uncertain tax revenues just aren’t worth the risk. The economic benefits aren’t worth the risk. The Economic Impact Report on the Mine showed a huge range of possible revenue outcomes from very low to very high, making actual revenue potential uncertain. Community experts recently reviewed the report and found that even the low-end numbers were overly optimistic, that real estate estimates were a big miss, and that the possible economic benefits to the community would be overshadowed by a lot of downside risk. Gold mining is a serious threat to wells and area groundwater. Water is a precious resource. All the more so because of continuing concerns about drought. Why? Rise Gold plans to pump out 3.6 million gallons every day for 6 months and another 1.2 for up to 80 years. Mine dewatering risks depletion of our region’s groundwater. It puts the health of wells and creeks at risk. The Final EIR did not address serious deficiencies identified by expert reviewers. Its claim that impacts won’t be significant aren’t supported. Nevada County already gets an F rating when it comes to air quality and has 2 times the average in lung disease. Reopening the mine will make it worse.­ Why? Even using today’s best technology, fugitive dust from continuous rock crushing, hauling, and compacting risks release of asbestos and silica particles. The huge increase in diesel truck trips amplifies the problem. The Final EIR’s conclusion that air quality impact would be ‘less than significant’ is unsupported. Nearby residents will see reduced quality of life and lower property values. Why? Nearby residents will share the roads with large trucks carrying mine waste, feel the effects of underground blasting, and hear the sounds of rock processing, loading, spreading, and compacting. Over 75 acres of woodlands will also be replaced with industrial buildings and engineered fill. The Economic Impact Report’s assertion that property values wouldn’t decline was a big miss. It failed to recognize local realtor expertise or use acceptable home appraisal methods. Local realtors say it will have long term, detrimental effects on property values. A yes vote for the mine is a no vote for climate change. Why? Mining operations would generate a staggering amount of new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rise Gold would generate over 9000 metric tons annually from the Grass Valley site, plus another 4000 if you include the cement manufacturing that would be done elsewhere. The Final Environmental Impact report chose an outdated “threshold of significance” that doesn’t align with current state and federal recommendations. The correct threshold should be “net-zero”. Mining is a toxic business that requires compliance monitoring we’re not set up to handle. Why? Mining is a hazardous business and most "compliance" measures are either self-reported or not monitored at all. The community needs to be able to trust that onsite safeguards are in place and that continuous testing is being handled by a trusted third party. Most of the compliance managed by our county today is “by complaint only” and handled with a very small staff. The mitigations described in the Final EIR do not address these significant gaps in regulatory protection. The company that wants to open the mine can’t be trusted. Why? Rise Gold is a 16-year-old company that has never opened a mine and never made a profit. Their CEO’s last company polluted tribal waters, went bankrupt, and left Canadians with a bill to pay for cleanup. Their CEO is currently on trial in Canada on charges related to spills at that mine. Since arriving in Grass Valley, Rise Gold has also made a number of questionable and misleading claims that have been widely criticized by the community. Even people who generally support mining are against this project. Why? Two reasons: 1) The project is too close to an established community which creates a much higher level of risk if bad things happen. 2) Gold is not a high priority mineral to support the growth of green technology or medical science. We already have enough gold sitting in vaults to support that for generations to come.

  • John Vaughan: The tale of a wolf, and a gold mine

    This delightful fable reveals the absurdity of the Rise Gold's financial promises. Vaughan is a retired CIO of Pride Industries. This opinion piece was originally published in The Union. January 31, 2023 I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a bit whimsical but I assure you the numbers are real, directly from the recently published “Economic Impact of the Proposed Idaho-Maryland Mine”. Once upon a time, there was a small idyllic community in the foothills of Northern California. The community attracted lots of visitors, many choosing to stay and raise their families, start their own small businesses, or retire. The people of the community loved it for its natural beauty, limited traffic, and small-town quality of life. One day, a wolf arrived in the community and purchased the property and mineral rights to a long-closed gold mine. Soon, the wolf submitted a proposal to re-open the gold mine, assuring the people of the community the mine would create lots of high-quality, high-paying jobs. The wolf’s proposal included spending money on locally hired employees and local suppliers while contributing to the communities “General Fund” based on profits from the mine. The wolf’s proposal promised everyone in the community, including their children, their grandchildren, and their great grandchildren, that for 80 years the wolf’s proposal would not do any environmental damage. No air or water pollution. No bad wells. No health hazards. No traffic accidents. No contaminated mine rock that can’t be sold. Many people in the community were skeptical and worried about degraded air and water quality, bad wells, negative health consequences, lower property values and traffic – as well as unforeseen events from the wolf’s large industrial operation. Over 5,500 community members and 250 businesses signed petitions or wrote letters to the community’s Board of Supervisors documenting their concerns about the wolf’s proposal. The Board of Supervisors paid attention and sponsored an Economic Report to help the Community understand whether everyone would benefit from the mine. Unfortunately, when the Economic Report arrived, the community realized that virtually all the data used to support the reports calculations came from the wolf’s proposal, like the claim the wolf would produce 108,400 ounces of gold every year for 80 years. The wolf had no current data to prove he could achieve that, so his proposal used ancient data from the 1940’s and 1950’s when the mine last operated. The wolf’s proposal said that after everything was built and ready for production, he would spend about $68 million each year to get the gold. He knew not all the money would be spent in the idyllic community. But the wolf told the people and their leaders not to worry, the community would still be much better off. The wolf also said that when he sells 108,400 ounces of gold each year at market price, he creates about $180 million in annual revenue. Nice! The wolf’s profit from $180 million after expenses of $68 million is…wait for it…almost $112million…every year, for 80 years. Happy, happy wolf! “How much of the profit stays in our community?”, the skeptical local folks asked. The wolf just smiled and said, “Well actually, virtually all $112 million profit goes to my shareholders, but don’t worry, your community will be much better off.” Then he smiled even wider and said, “But the profit feeds the community’s property tax calculations which the Economic Report says will add about $760,000 to the community’s General Fund. Good for everybody, right?” Now, in case you are not a financial analyst, you might be surprised to learn a $112 million profit gives the wolf an astounding, virtually magical return on Investment of just over 63% for one year’s work, every year for 80 years… cool is that? Cool enough to make the wolf smile bigger and bigger! This made many people in the community even more skeptical as none of them had ever received 63% interest on their bank accounts or any other investments, and a 63% return on investment each and every year for 80 years seemed truly unbelievable. But that’s what it said in the Economic Report, so maybe it’s true. Don’t worry though, the story ends well. The Board of Supervisors were much more savvy than the wolf thought. They could see the proposed “General Fund” contributions were based on a 63% return on investment every year for 80 years, which is really and truly unbelievable, so they chose to protect their community and just said NO to the wolf’s proposal. And everyone lived happily ever after (except the wolf). John Vaughan is a 55 year resident of Nevada County and a retired CIO of Pride Industries. Vaughan was a member of the powerhouse panel of mining and business leaders who reviewed the Economic Impact Report at the MineWatch Community Meeting in December 2022. The report left a lot of room for questioning conclusions about jobs, tax revenue, and impact on property values. Watch John's (more serious) presentation. See what the rest of the panelists had to say.

  • Just Say No': Supervisors asked to deny mine's reopening

    “We will ask you to just say no, please do not certify this flawed EIR and do not approve the project,” said Laurie Oberholtzer to the members of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors in reference to upcoming decisions on the mine. Excerpts from a Union article by Elias Funez | Managing Editor January 25, 2023 Public comments given on topics ranging from homelessness to the possible reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine were front and center [at Tuesday's Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting]. “We will ask you to just say no, please do not certify this flawed EIR and do not approve the project,” Laurie Oberholtzer said to the members of the board in reference to upcoming decisions on the mine. Olberholtzer, a current member of Community Environmental Advocates (CEA), is a former Nevada City mayor and planning commissioner, and warned of the lasting impacts that approval of the mine’s re-opening could cause. “Do we want a flawed EIR in our records that can be used in our future by the next Canadian gold mining company that comes along?” Olberholtzer said. Olberholtzer reminded the board that there are 5,500 people who have signed against the project along with 15 local and statewide groups. “The bottom line is that the community overwhelmingly does not want the Idaho-Maryland mine to reopen,” Olberholtzer said. “The many environmental impacts associated with this project as well as the inconsistency with both Grass Valley’s and the county’s land use plans, provide ample justification for denying the project.” Ralph Silberstein, also with the CEA, noted that the county’s final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), released late last year, omits plans to clean up the Centennial site, a historically contaminated 56-acre parcel off of Whispering Pines and Centennial Drive in Grass Valley. “Instead, Rise has included what it assumes are the base conditions that might occur,” Silberstein said of the proposed cleanup. “After it is cleaned up, Rise intends to dump mine waste there for about five years, but currently the cleanup is not done.” The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) states that the current conditions of a project must be assessed so that the environmental impacts and appropriate mitigations can occur. Read the rest of the article online at The Union.

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Other Pages (26)

  • Writing Kit

    WRITING KIT Looking for inspiration or facts to help you create a stronger comment letter? Here's a collection of resources that can help. Key Resources Why Say No - General Talking Points - Read a one page summary of the key reasons to say no to the Idaho-Maryland Mine. CEA Foundation / MineWatch Final EIR Talking Points - Get more d eta iled summary arguments for why the County should deny the F EIR and the whole project. CEA Foundation | MineWatc h How to Comment on the FEIR (pdf) For people who submitted DEIR comments or want technical guidance. CEA Foundation | MineWatch Supporting Resources Inconsistencies with County General Plan Goals and Policies CEA Foundation Legal Background Supporting Denial of FEIR Certification and Project CEA Foundation | Prepared by attorneys Shute, Mihaly, and Weinbe rger Wells (pdf) Publ ic Comments by Wells Coalition, CEA Foundation & San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association Mine Waste Water Impacts Public comment by CEA Foundation Centennial Site Public comment by CEA Foundation Economic Impact Report Community Review MineWatch website Community Opposition MineWatch website Additional Resources MineWatch website art icle & op-ed library ​ Got questions? Contact ​ This kit is designed to collect guidance documents and key arguments against the mine in the weeks before the County makes a decision. M ore content will be added as it becomes available. become a minewatcher Join our newsletter for updates and monthly meeting invitations. Subscribe

  • Stop The Idaho-Maryland Mine | MineWatch Nevada County

    Mining is our Past. Not Our Future. Subscribe to eNews Protect our air, water, and quality of life. Stop the Idaho-Maryland Mine. Rise Grass Valley, a junior mining company with a questionable background, wants to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine in Grass Valley, CA. ACTION ALERT! The d ecision is coming soon. It’s time to tell the County to Just Say No to the Idaho-Maryland Mine! ​ Even if you' ve written a letter before, please write a new one. Our handy new online letter-writing tool makes it quick and easy. Send A Letter! why stop the mine? Residents and businesses from all walks of life know that putting a toxic business in the middle of our beautiful community today is a really bad idea. Both a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) and an Economic Impact Report have been published. Nevada County Supervisors are expected to make a decision about the project soon. The FEIR includes significant and unavoidable environmental impacts that endanger this community's health and quality of life, including traffic, noise, and aesthetics. There are also serious deficiencies in the FEIR that put the County’s air, water, and more at even greater risk. A few jobs and uncertain tax revenues just aren't worth the risk. Learn from experts and business leaders in the MineWatch Coalition . Read the on e-pager with top reasons to say no to the mine . Read a bit more about why the County should deny the FEIR and the proje ct . See why the results of the Economic Impact Report were questionable. Here are our 8 top reasons . Risks our Health SHOULDN'T TRUST RISE GOLD Pollutes our Air HURTS LOCALS Drains our Water WRECKS NEIGHBORHOODS Devours Power & HURTS Climate dumps mine waste Learn More Take Action Follow us online ​ 1. 2. 3. Read an email or two a month to keep up with the latest project news and learn about volunteer opportunities. We won't share your info. ​ ​ Write a letter. Tell Nevada County Board of Supervisors (BOS) and Planning Commissioners to Just Say No to the Mine. Send a letter. Show your opposition. Send an email to request a Yard sign | Pin Donate - make a tax-deductible donation to help fund research, community education, and legal fees. Get a free pin Tell us where to send it Get a yard sign Please tell us your address $10 donation recommended Subscribe to eNews 4. Donate businesses ARE against the mine Businesses against the mine FEATURED news & Opinions The County should deny the Idaho-Maryland Mine and should not certify the Final EIR Ready to make the case for why the County should deny the Final EIR and the project? Read more detailed summary arguments here and get... Why Say No To The Idaho-Maryland Mine? Quick Read: Summary of key reasons to say no to the mine — researched and validated by CEA Foundation/MineWatch researchers. Nevada... John Vaughan: The tale of a wolf, and a gold mine This delightful fable reveals the absurdity of the Rise Gold's financial promises. Vaughan is a retired CIO of Pride Industries. This... Just Say No': Supervisors asked to deny mine's reopening “We will ask you to just say no, please do not certify this flawed EIR and do not approve the project,” said Laurie Oberholtzer to the... Community Review of Economic Report - Dec 2022 Meeting Listen to a powerhouse panel of community experts review the conclusions of Nevada County's Economic Impact Report for the proposed... ★ ‘Hung out to dry’: Well owners contend with Idaho-Maryland Mine report’s finding Want to know why people are so worried about impacts to wells and groundwater? This Union article is a must-read. By Shira Moolten Eric... ★ Rise Gold Shouldn’t Be Trusted. Here’s Why. Rise Gold CEO Ben Mossman's prior company polluted tribal waters, went bankrupt, and left Canadians with a bill to pay. Mossman is... Press Release: 250 Businesses reject idaho-maryland mine proposal Opposition to the Idaho-Maryland Mine runs deep in Nevada County. 150 business leaders submitted a letter to the County Supervisors. In... CONTROVERSY - RISE GOLD "STUFFING THE BALLOT BOX" During the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Report, Rise Gold submitted 1,600 reply cards and form letters as “comments”... A new gold rush pits money and jobs against California’s environment Companies are seeking to open old mines and explore in new sensitive regions, amid resistance from Californians who want the Gold Rush to... ★ Community and Local Agencies find massive flaws in Idaho-Maryland Mine DEIR Residents of Nevada County and local government agencies were shocked at the inadequacy of the 1000+ page Draft Environmental Impact... Press Release: Community Submits Petition Signatures Opposing Gold Mine Over 5,500 signatures From Nevada County residents and others were collected online and in person by an army of volunteers... showing... READY TO LEARN MORE? BROWSE our library. Play Video Play Video 02:16:31 No Mine Concert - Nevada City The community continues to stand strong against the proposal to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine in Nevada County California. We come together for a concert and picnic to celebrate our resolve, to educate and inspire those who have not joined the opposition yet. CEA Foundation (Community Environmental Advocates), leads the charge in thwarting this bid to grab gold and risk everything from water to clean air. Learn more at This free concert was held on July 31, 2022, organized by the Concerned Citizens Roundtable and co-sponsored by CEA Foundation. Play Video Play Video 03:07 Wells Run Dry - Geoff Eido (Official Music Video 2022) This is the official music video for WELLS RUN DRY. The song and video are about an actual Gold Mine that a Canadian company is presently trying to open in Grass Valley, California, which would have devastating effects on the environment including draining the wells of many of the local residents. Featured in the video is a LIVE PROTEST against the mine, as well as a FLASH MOB staged at Robinson Plaza in the heart of Nevada City, CA. Eido wrote this song to inspire people to take a stand against this mine, and to help shift the paradigm for all of us to embrace living in harmony with the environment and honoring the earth, rather than blindly plundering it. ➡️ Get this song: 🔔 Subscribe: 🚨 Follow Geoff Eido: Instagram: Facebook: LYRICS -- CHORUS Wells run dry and the people are thirsty Wells run dry and the people awake… You might say your mining claim is what everybody needs Beneath your lying promises is the heart of your greed We won’t let you slip it into the ground beneath our feet Rape our land of treasures that our people sorely need CHORUS Won’t you please do us the decency of not pretending like you care While you fill our space with toxic waste and contaminate our air Rivers have no memory of poison in their veins We will fight for every drop til you abandon all your claims CHORUS It’s time to put the planet back to the place where it belongs The sacred, righteous architect of each and every song Take dominion, exploitation, and greed without remorse Bring harmony and dignity and honoring our source CHORUS -- ✍️ Sign the Petition: Wells Run Dry is inspired by the attempt of a Canadian company to reopen a mine in Grass Valley, California. You can help fight this by signing the petition against it here: 🗒 The effect of this mine would be a massive increase in cancer risk, toxic waste, air pollution, noise pollution, river pollution and the dewatering of many of our neighbors wells. this song is an anthem for the earth and a declaration that THIS WILL NOT PASS! 🎤About Geoff Eido: Geoff Eido is a singer, songwriter, and activist. His passionate spirit inspires maverick music for the masses. The musical expression of Geoff Eido weaves wisdom, laughter, and even rage. Acting as an entertaining antidote to the distortions of our modern society. #GeoffEido #WellsRunDry #OfficialMusicVideo2022 Play Video Play Video 02:54 Anti Idaho Maryland Mine for planning Commission Play Video Play Video 13:11 Rise Beyond Gold Documentary film about reopening the mine - featured at Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2021. This community faces a foreign-headquartered company that would mine gold under its feet and leave behind a toxic legacy. Questions are raised about why we desire gold, and ultimately, is it worth it? Bonus content: - Questions & fact clarifications - - SYRCL Workshop including panelist Shelly Covert, Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal Council - Play Video Play Video 00:50 How To Help Stop The Mine Even small actions make a BIG difference. Listen to MineWatch volunteer Dr. Hazel-Grace Yates talk about why she thinks its important to take action. Play Video Play Video 12:02 Water For Gold A cautionary tale. This nearby mine shut down in the mid-90's after draining resident's wells. Play Video Play Video 03:21 Native Wildlife at Risk Rise Gold's wildlife assessment didn't find any deer, but their neighbor's trail cam tells a different story. Read more at Rise Gold's biological assessment report on the 129 acre Brunswick site says they "did not record any observation of deer," but their next door neighbor, Mike Shea, calls them out on their absurd claim and talks about how privately-funded reports can easily distort science. Play Video Play Video 08:53 83 Negative Impacts. Oh My! Nevada County is evaluating the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed Idaho-Maryland Mine. Listen to what KVMR Radio Host, Martin Webb has to say about it. See more videos become a minewatcher Sign up for our newsletter to get updates and meeting invitations. Subscribe

  • Action Kit |

    action KIT Need quick access to our best links for sharing or next-step actions? Here's a list of our favorites. MineWatch Website Subscribe to the MineWatch newsletter Donate to support the cause Send comments to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors Use our online letter writing tool to quickly compose and send a message. Write your own email and send it directly to the supervisors Make a bigger impact by getting your comments read out loud at bi-weekly ​Board of Supervisor meetings Send by mail Nevada County Board of Supervisor, 950 Maidu Ave. Nevada City, CA 95959 Heidi Hall , Supervisor District 1 District 1 includes Nevada City and the unincorporated areas of Banner Mountain, Cascade Shores, Deer Creek, and the Highway 174 corridor. Ed Scofield , Supervisor District 2 District 2 includes the communities of Alta Sierra, Lake of the Pines, and unincorporated areas along Highway 49. Lisa Swarthout, Supervisor District 3, 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 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 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. Get a free "Stop the Idaho Maryland Mine" pin Send an email with your mailing address to: Get a yard sign Send an email to ($10 suggested donation) Get a t-shirt Reach out to to Itara O'Connell. Send an email to ($30 suggested donation) ​ ​ Join our Facebook members group Follow us on Instagram Join our NextDoor group Learn about upcoming events Ask questions Comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) MineWatch DEIR information page County information page How to write DEIR comments DEIR Explainer webinar recording, PDF slides, & Q&A log View Maps Read Frequently Asked Questions Learn the talking points Watch the presentation video - or set up a meeting to share with your neighbors Check out our top stories for learning: Find articles, videos, meeting recordings and more Library - Advanced Search - Understand the Project Timeline Get handout materials for tabling or canvassing activities Send an email to ​ become a minewatcher Join our newsletter for updates and monthly meeting invitations. Subscribe

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