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  • Rise Gold files suit against Nevada County

    In May 2024, Rise Grass Valley filed a petition for peremptory writ of mandate against Nevada County. They're attempting to overturn the Board of Supervisors' denial of vested rights for the Idaho-Maryland Mine, and their decision to deny the application and use permit for the mine. Both decisions were unanimous. According to opposition leader, CEA Foundation, the lawsuit by Rise is more of the same delusional song that Rise has been singing all along. E.g., The case for vested rights has no merit. The mine shut down in around 1956, the mine was flooded, and all the structures were removed. Rise doesn’t even own the land where much of the processing took place. There has been no continuity of ‘mining operations’ taking place to warrant a claim of vested rights. The vested rights arguments made by Rise based on the Hansen case are based on a misinterpretation of those findings. The claims regarding the failure to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) are also meritless. The EIR contained significant flaws, failing to adequately address the impacts to well owners, water quality, air pollution, noise, and more. The requested zoning changes were inconsistent with the General plan when considering the current residential land uses. Investors beware. The fact that Rise Gold has raised capital through private placement offerings of corporate stock to pursue a meritless lawsuit based on such misleading information should be a big red flag. Note that they also need to raise another $3.3 million to clean up the toxic mine tailings on the 56 acre Centennial site, as per their agreement with the Department of Toxic Substances Control. NEWS COVERAGE The Union May 15, 2024: Rise Grass Valley files lawsuit based on claims of “vested rights” to mine Idaho-Maryland Mine site YubaNet May 13, 2024: Rise Gold files lawsuit against Nevada County LEGAL FILING Rise Grass Valley Filing, May 10, 2024

  • 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. Watch Supervisors’ Final Comments and Vote (apx 35 min) Or re-watch your favorite parts by watching the YouTube recordings of the full hearing. BOS Hearing Feb 15 Part 1 - 4:33 BOS Hearing Feb 15 Part 2 - 5:11 BOS Hearing Feb 16 – 4:26 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.” In the News Local News 2/17 – TheUnion.com | 'This one doesn’t fit this spot anymore': Supervisors deny proposed mine project 5-0 2/16 – TheUnion.com | BREAKING: Supervisors vote 5-0 against reopening Idaho Maryland 2/16 – YubaNet.com | Supervisors Deny Rise Grass Valley’s Idaho Maryland Mine Project 2/16 – KNCO.com | Final Rejection Of Idaho Maryland From Supes Other Insightful Summaries 2/20 CapRadio.org | Nevada County rejects controversial gold mining project 2/20 BNNBreaking.com | Nevada County Says No Amid Community Concerns TV News ABC 10 News 2/16 - Nevada County supervisors unanimously reject reopening historic gold mine 2/15 - Historic Nevada County gold mine to see final meetings before decision CBS News Sacramento 2/16 - Nevada County denies bid to reopen historic mine after days of public comment 2/16 - Nevada County supervisors reject reopening Idaho Maryland Project 2/15 - Heated debate unfolds Thursday over proposed Idaho-Maryland Mine project FOX 40 News 2/16 Nevada County officials reject Grass Valley mine reopening 2/15 - Dozens of community members speak out against proposal to revive mine 2/15 Nevada County supervisors to have final say on Idaho-Maryland mine project

  • Rise Gold’s Constitutional takings prospects - Dead on Arrival - CEA Foundation

    Read the opinion and legal analysis. CEA Foundation's attorneys weighed in on the Rise Gold's threat of legal action against Nevada County just before they unanimously denied approval of the Idaho-Maryland Mine project. "The County's decision to deny the [Vested Rights] Petition was sound and a court is unlikely to overturn it," said Ellison Folk, Attorney for Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. "No matter what sort of takings claim Rise tries to assert, it will be dead on arrival in court." Below is the full text of an opinion piece by CEA Foundation President, Ralph Silberstein followed by the legal analysis. The opinion piece was originally published in The Union on February 13, 2024... three days before the Nevada County Supervisors voted 5-0 to reject the project and not certify the Environmental Impact Report. Ralph Silberstein: Rise Gold’s Constitutional takings prospects - Dead on Arrival February 13, 2024 Ralph Silberstein, President CEA Foundation After receiving a unanimous rejection of the Idaho-Maryland Mine project from the Planning Commission, Rise Gold resorted to claims of bias and unfair handling, which gained little traction, followed by an unsuccessful effort to circumvent permitting with a Petition for Vested Rights to the Board of Supervisors. Subsequently, at the vested rights hearing and afterwards, Rise has made repeated accusations of “takings” and unfair treatment under the Constitution, threatening legal actions in federal court if the Board denies their project. Since both the Planning Commission and the Planning Staff Report have now recommended denying the project and not certifying the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), it seems likely that the Board will follow suit at the final hearing on February 15,16. In that eventuality, the question arises: how realistic is it that Rise could prevail in a legal challenge? We look to an assessment of Rise’s potential legal actions, written by the law firm of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP, and summarized here, to consider the likelihood of such a prospect. Regarding Rise’s vested rights petition, it is doubtful that State court — where the challenge must begin — would second-guess the Board’s fact-bound, thorough, and impartial decision to deny Rise’s petition. The petition contained major flaws and the mine has been abandoned since the 1950s. The burden would fall on Rise to overcome the “presumption of correctness” of the County’s findings and convince the court that the County’s “decision is contrary to the weight of the evidence.” Rise has also accused the County of bias, thus depriving Rise of due process. The bias argument has no merit. The County’s staff reports and related materials explained in scrupulous detail the legal principles and factual context necessary to make a determination on Rise’s petition. This included a point-by-point analysis, supported with numerous factual exhibits, addressing the many misleading or simply incorrect statements in the petition. That the County’s analysis reached different legal and factual conclusions than Rise does not mean County staff were biased: it means they did their jobs. And in terms of “takings,” state and federal law are unambiguous that the County’s denial of the project would not amount to a taking. Rise has only two options for demonstrating that the County’s actions would constitute an unconstitutional taking. First, they would have to prove that the County’s denial of the project deprived Rise of all economically viable use of its property. But the properties owned by Rise have multiple other permissible uses that are consistent with existing zoning, including light industrial use, rendering that argument moot. Secondly, Rise could attempt to argue a takings under the multi-factor test set forth in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York, but would be hard pressed to satisfy that test, which sets an extremely high threshold for a takings claim. In short, no matter what sort of “takings” claim Rise tries to assert, it would likely be dead on arrival. (Scroll down to see the full text of the analysis by Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger, Legal Considerations Surrounding Idaho-Maryland Mine Permitting Decisions.) So why would Rise file a legal challenge to the Board decisions, anyway? One possibility is that, having perpetrated a false narrative about the high quality of their EIR and the project’s benefits, Rise’s leaders may now believe their own falsehoods. Another possibility is that they have succumbed to incompetent legal counsel regarding vested rights and takings case law. A third and more cynical explanation for Rise filing suit is that they know they are on the losing side but imagine that launching a legal challenge in federal court would be so prolonged and costly that the County would seek a settlement agreement to end the fiscal drain on County resources. Or it could be all three reasons. Regardless of motivations, a legal challenge would likely be another big mistake for Rise because the Board, a huge coalition of environmental groups, and most of this community have already proven that they do not easily cave in to shoddy projects, marketing spin or threats. Furthermore, it’s one thing for one to lose one’s own money in a gamble or bluff, but another thing entirely to squander the capital of investors and bleed out shareholders’ equity on meritless lawsuits. Rise still owns 119 acres in Grass Valley. If faced with a no vote on their project, they should do the responsible thing and stay away from baseless legal challenges, consider the will of the community, sell the land, and move on. Ralph Silberstein, President CEA Foundation Legal Considerations Surrounding Idaho-Maryland Mine Permitting Decisions Full text: February 7, 2024 Via Electronic Mail Only Board of Supervisors Nevada County 950 Maidu Avenue Nevada City, California 95959 bdofsupervisors@nevadacountyca.gov Re:     Board’s Consideration of the Idaho-Maryland Mine Project Dear Board Members: On behalf of the Community Environmental Advocates (“CEA”) Foundation, we write regarding the County’s ongoing consideration of Rise Grass Valley, Inc.’s (“Rise’s”) proposed Idaho-Maryland Mine Project (“Project”). On December 14, 2023, the Board unanimously voted to deny Rise’s Idaho-Maryland Mine Vested Rights Petition (“Petition”), concluding that Rise does not hold a vested right to mine on the Project site. Previously, the County’s Planning Commission had unanimously recommended (1) to deny Rise’s applications for a rezone and a variance, each of which is necessary to develop the Project; and (2) to decline to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) prepared for the Project. The Board will consider those recommendations at a public hearing on February 15, 2024. We commend the County for reaching the correct decisions to date regarding the Petition and the Project entitlements. On behalf of CEA Foundation, we urge the Board to adopt the Planning Commission’s recommendations, which are well-reasoned and were delivered only after a thorough process that afforded Rise and the public ample opportunity to be heard. We also write in response to threats that Rise will challenge these decisions in court.[1] As set forth in this letter, any claims that Rise could bring against the County in connection with the Project are unlikely to succeed. In particular, it is doubtful that a court would second guess the Board’s fact-bound, thorough, and impartial decision to deny the Petition. Additionally, Rise would have no viable claim that the County has taken its property without just compensation in violation of the state or federal constitutions. In short, the County should not be swayed by Rise’s empty threats of litigation. The Board should adopt the recommendations of the Planning Commission and County staff[2] to deny certain Project entitlements, decline to certify the EIR, and put an end to Rise’s misguided Project once and for all. I. The County’s decision to deny the Petition was sound and a court is unlikely to overturn it. At the outset, it is important to emphasize that if Rise wishes to challenge the County’s vested rights decision, it must pursue that claim in state court. Longstanding precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is unequivocal on this point. In Eilrich v. Remas (9th Cir. 1988) 839 F.2d 630, 632-33, the plaintiff attempted to bring a claim against his former city employer in federal court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, arguing that his discharge violated his First Amendment rights. The Ninth Circuit held that the claim could not move forward, as a city administrative body had already rejected that exact argument in an adjudicatory proceeding and the plaintiff did not challenge the city’s decision in state court. Id.; see also Miller v. County of Santa Cruz (9th Cir. 1994) 39 F.3d 1030, 1037-38 (reaffirming Eilrich). Thus, Rise could only contest the County’s denial of its Petition by seeking a writ of administrative mandamus in state court. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. §§ 1094.5, 1094.6; Eilrich, 839 F.2d at 633; Miller, 39 F.3d at 1038. Any court reviewing Rise’s claims must afford the County’s findings a “strong presumption of correctness.” Fukuda v. City of Angels (1999) 20 Cal.4th 805, 817. The burden would fall on Rise, as the challenger, to overcome that presumption and “convince the [trial] court” that the County’s “decision is contrary to the weight of the evidence.” Id. Rise cannot possibly carry that burden. As the County explained at length at the hearing and in its written materials, there is ample evidence that any vested right to mine that may have once existed has long been abandoned. By comparison, and as the County also pointed out, there is virtually no evidence indicating that previous owners of the Project sites continuously intended to resume mining operations during the seven decades when the mine sat unused. The quality and the volume of the evidence that the County relied upon exceeds that in cases where courts have affirmed findings of abandonment. See, e.g., Hardesty v. State Mining & Geology Bd. (2017) 219 Cal.Rptr.3d 28 (unpublished); Stokes v. Bd. of Permit Appeals (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 1348. Indeed, had the County found that any vested right was not abandoned in spite of the clear historical record, a court likely would have overturned that decision. See Keep the Code, Inc. v. County of Mendocino (2018) A147544, 2018 WL 6259477 (unpublished)[3] (overturning county’s determination that company had vested right to mine aggregate; included as Attachment A). Taking a different tack, Rise has also vaguely alleged that the Board was biased when it unanimously voted to deny the Petition, and thus Rise was deprived of procedural due process.[4] Rise has tried this exact strategy before.[5] Its allegations of bias are no more compelling now than they were the last time Rise raised them. The County’s staff reports and related materials explained in scrupulous detail the legal principles and factual context necessary to resolve Rise’s Petition.[6] This included a point-by-point analysis, supported with numerous factual exhibits, addressing the many misleading or simply incorrect statements in the Petition.[7] That these materials happened to reach different legal and factual conclusions than Rise and its counsel does not mean County staff were biased; it means they did their jobs. As for the Board itself, it is blackletter law that a decisionmaker is not biased simply because they have some attenuated connection with a group that takes a stance on the project at issue. See Petrovich Dev. Co., LLC v. City of Sacramento (2020) 48 Cal.App.5th 963, 971, 974 (holding a councilmember’s active membership in a neighborhood association opposed to a project on which the councilmember voted “did not establish bias” in and of itself); see also Cohan v. City of Thousand Oaks (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 547, 559 (“[A] councilperson has a right to state views or concerns on matters of community policy without having his voted impeached.”). Rise’s complaints of bias were meritless when they were levied against the Planning Commission eight months ago, and those same repurposed allegations remain meritless today. The overall process that the County afforded Rise in connection with the Petition more than satisfied the requirements of state and federal law. Rise was able to present hundreds of pages of legal analysis and factual evidence to the Board. County staff considered those materials and disclosed their own thorough conclusions well in advance of a duly noticed public hearing. Then, over the course of that multi-day hearing, Rise and its counsel were able to present their case, rebut the conclusions of County staff, and address the Board’s questions. And the specific basis on which the Board denied the Petition—abandonment—was addressed extensively in the written materials and at the hearing itself. Rise was entitled to nothing more. See Calvert v. County of Yuba (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 613, 627 (indicating procedural due process requirements are satisfied in the vested rights context where interested entities receive “reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard in an evidentiary public adjudicatory hearing before the vested rights claim is determined”); see also Eilrich, 839 F.2d at 633-35 (indicating that where a state administrative proceeding has these basic characteristics, a federal court must give its decisions preclusive effect). In sum, Rise received all the process that it was due. That process resulted in the Board reaching a decision that was not just well-reasoned, but was the only legally defensible conclusion available. A court would not second guess the County’s sound determination regarding the Petition. II. Rise would not have a viable takings claim against the County. Rise has repeatedly asserted that if the County denies the Project, the County will have committed an uncompensated “taking” of Rise’s property in violation of the state and federal constitutions.[8] This is flatly incorrect. State and federal law are unambiguous that the County’s denial of the Project would not amount to a taking.[9] Here, Rise has only two options for demonstrating that the County committed an unconstitutional taking. First, Rise could attempt to prove that the County’s denial of the Project deprived it of all economically viable use of its property. See Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council (1992) 506 U.S. 1003, 1019. This is not a test that Rise could ever hope to pass. The parcels making up the Project site have multiple other permissible uses that are fully consistent with their existing zoning designations. Indeed, the EIR for the Project expressly acknowledges this. See Draft EIR pp. 6-11 through 6-13 (explaining how the Brunswick Industrial Site as currently zoned could be developed with over half a million square feet of new office, business, and/or industrial uses). This is more than sufficient to defeat a Lucas claim. See Shea Homes Limited Partnership v. County of Alameda (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1246, 1267 (“[I]f permissible uses exist, a development restriction does not deny a property holder [all] economically viable use of his property.”). Rise’s only alternative would be to argue that the denial of the Project amounts to a taking under the multi-factor test set forth in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York (1978) 438 U.S. 104. See 438 U.S. at 124 (listing the relevant factors as (1) the economic impact of the government’s action, (2) the extent to which the action interfered with “investment-backed expectations,” and (3) the character of the action). But for much the same reason that Rise cannot bring a successful Lucas claim, it will not prevail under the Penn Central test, either. Courts applying the Penn Central framework have repeatedly emphasized that a government action must deprive a property of virtually all economic value to amount to a taking. Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (9th Cir. 2018) 888 F.3d 445, 451 (emphasizing that even “diminution in property value because of governmental regulation ranging from 75% to 92.5% does not constitute a taking”). Again, that simply would not be the effect of the County’s denial of the Project, given the many other permissible uses of the property. Additionally, Rise would have no “reasonable investment-backed expectation” in any additional economic value it hopes to attains from operating the reopened mine. Allegretti & Co. v. County of Imperial (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 1261, 1279 (holding a “claim of loss of anticipated profits or gain is not compensable, as it demonstrate[s] no more than a possible restriction upon more economic uses of its property.” (citation omitted)). In short, no matter what sort of takings claim Rise tries to assert, it will be dead on arrival in court. III.  The Board should follow the recommendations of the Planning Commission. Any legal challenge that Rise could bring against the County is highly unlikely to succeed. However, the County would violate CEQA and State Planning and Zoning law if  the Board were to reverse the recommendations of the Planning Commission and County staff by certifying the EIR and granting the Project all necessary approvals. The recommendations to deny the re-zone and the variance are clearly correct on the merits, for the reasons that the Commission, staff, and general public have explained. Just as importantly, though, the EIR prepared for the Project is grossly inadequate. As we have discussed at length in previous letters to the County,[10] the EIR suffers from numerous fatal defects, ranging from an improper project description and environmental baseline, to a flawed analysis of Project alternatives, to inadequate analysis and mitigation of impacts to groundwater, air quality, energy, and climate change. The County cannot approve the Project unless it corrects the flaws in the EIR. ———— Again, we applaud the County for its careful consideration of the Project. The Board, Planning Commission, and County staff have repeatedly reached the correct decisions by faithfully applying the law and the facts and by resisting misleading and irrelevant claims. The Board should continue that practice by voting to deny the Project and decline to certify its EIR. Very truly yours, SHUTE, MIHALY & WEINBERGER LLP Ellison Folk Ryan Gallagher Attachments: A.      Keep the Code, Inc. v. County of Mendocino (2018) A147544, 2018 WL 6259477 cc:     Julie Patterson Hunter, Clerk of the Board, clerkofboard@nevadacountyca.gov Katharine Elliott, County Counsel, county.counsel@nevadacountyca.gov Matt Kelley, Senior Planner, matt.kelley@co.nevada.ca.us Laurie Oberholtzer, CEA Foundation Ralph Silberstein, CEA Foundation 1740001.4 [1] See Rise Gold Corp., Rise Gold Reports Result of Vested Rights Hearing 2 (Dec. 14, 2023), https://www.risegoldcorp.com/uploads/news_item/article/ARTICLE_126.pdf (quoting Rise Gold CEO Joe Mullin, who stated after the Board’s decision to deny the Petition that he “look[ed] forward to having our rights vindicated by the courts”); id. at 1-2 (implying the Board’s denial of the Petition was procedurally and substantively improper and suggesting that it would amount to an unconstitutional taking were the County to deny both the Petition and all necessary Project approvals). [2] See Brian Foss, Board Agenda Memorandum 2-3 (Feb. 2, 2024), https://www.nevadacountyca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/52237/Board-of-Supervisor-Staff-Report-. [3] Although the Hardesty and Keep the Code decisions are not published, they provide helpful guidance regarding how a court is likely to approach similar issues and facts. [4] See id. at 1-2 (alleging the Board relied on a “biased” staff report and implying the Board was not an “impartial tribunal” when it considered the Petition). [5] See Letter from Ben Mossman, President, Rise Grass Valley Inc., to Nevada County Board of Supervisors (June 1, 2023) (claiming Planning Commission was biased when it issued its unanimous recommendations regarding the Project entitlements and FEIR); see also Letter from Ellison Folk, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, to Nevada County Board of Supervisors (June 27, 2023) (addressing Rise’s previous allegations of bias). [6] Katharine L. Elliott & Diane G. Kindermann, Nevada County Board of Supervisors Board Agenda Memorandum (Nov. 28, 2023), https://www.nevadacountyca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/51714/2-Staff-Report; Katharine L. Elliott et al., Nevada County Board of Supervisors Board Agenda Memo (Dec. 13, 2023), https://www.nevadacountyca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/51825/Rise-Grass-Valley-Vested-Rights-Petition-Supplemental-Staff-Report-. [7] Katharine L. Elliott & Diane G. Kindermann, County’s Responses to Petitioner’s Facts and Evidence in the Vested Rights Petition (Including County’s Exhibits 1001-1027) (Nov. 28, 2023), https://www.nevadacountyca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/51712/4-Nevada-County-Responses-to-Facts-and-Evidence-in-the-Vested-Rights-Petition-w--County-exhibits. [8] See, e.g., Rise Gold Corp., supra note 1, at 2; Letter from G. Braiden Chadwick, Mitchell Chadwick LLP to Nevada County Planning Commission, at 4 (May 5, 2023). [9] As relevant here, state courts have interpreted the takings clause in the California constitution “congruently” with the federal takings clause. California Building Industry Assn. v. City of San Jose (2015) 61 Cal.4th 435, 456 n.10. [10] See Letter from Ellison Folk, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP to Matt Kelley, Senior Planner, Nevada County (Mar. 20, 2023); Letter from Ellison Folk, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP to Matt Kelley, Senior Planner, Nevada County (Mar. 30, 2022); Letter from CEA Foundation to Matt Kelley, Senior Planner, Nevada County (Mar. 30, 2022). Download the brief and attachment.

  • MineWatch Newsletter Archive

    Interested in learning about the latest developments in the fight against the mine? Rereading recent newsletters is a great way to catch up.

  • The Fight Against the Mine - Letter and Article Collection

    Download a PDF to see a collection of over 265 letters to the editor and almost 100 articles published during the fight against the mine. What a journey it has been! Rise Gold first submitted the application to re-open the Idaho-Maryland Mine in Grass Valley 2019. Initially, few knew about it. But as word spread, the community started weighing in by submitting letters and opinion pieces to the local newspaper, The Union. By 2024, opposition to the mine united our community like no other topic in recent decades. Conservatives and liberals alike weighed in against the mine. It seems that air, water, and quality of life are bipartisan topics! In the PDF file below, we've collected over 265 letters and opinion pieces that were submitted to The Union Newspaper from the beginning of the fight against the Idaho-Maryland Mine through February 1. 93% of them are against the mine (248 vs 19). There are also almost 100 newspaper articles from The Union, YubaNet, and others of note. Thank you to EVERYONE in the community who contributed. What an amazing community we have! Download the collection

  • Press Release: California Gold Rush Community May Reject Bid to Reopen Historic Mine

    This release summarizes key events that led up to the final public hearing and vote by Nevada County Supervisors on the fate of the Idaho-Maryland Mine on February 15 and 16, 2024. In the end, Supervisors voted unanimously to deny the project and its Environmental Impact Report. For Immediate Release: February 13, 2024 Contacts: Traci Sheehan Community Environmental Advocates Foundation traci@cea-nc.org PRESS RELEASE California Gold Rush Community May Reject Bid to Reopen Historic Mine Grass Valley, CA – On February 15 and 16, residents of a Gold Rush community in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains will be lining up for the final time to comment on a junior mining company’s bid to re-open the historic Idaho-Maryland Mine – which was once one of California’s top-producing gold mines. The applicant, Rise Gold Corp., promises a modern mine that prioritizes safety, but the project has undergone extensive scrutiny because the long-shuttered mine sits less than three miles from downtown Grass Valley, CA and lies directly beneath what is now a long-established residential neighborhood. After almost four years of preparation – including environmental and economic reports, public hearings, and intense public opposition – the Nevada County Board of Supervisors will be holding a special hearing to make final decisions on the fate of the mine.  The five Supervisors will be asked to consider rezoning and variance requests that would be necessary to proceed with the project. They’ll also make a decision about whether to certify the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR). But odds aren’t looking good for Rise Gold. Opposition to the mine has been bipartisan and intense. Last May, the Nevada County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend rejection of the project and EIR. The County’s recently-released staff report endorses that recommendation for the Supervisors vote this week. “Our community was once at the center of the Gold Rush in the late 1800’s,” said Laurie Oberholzer, former Mayor of neighboring Nevada City, CA. “But the biggest mines shut down in the 1950’s, destroying the economy and leaving a legacy of toxic damage that residents are still living with today. We’ve since turned to tourism, technology, and agriculture to rebuild and sustain our economy. Mining is our past. Not our future.” The question of community support has generated plenty of controversy. Rise initially used a survey, then later tallied Draft EIR comments to claim that a majority of residents supported the mine. Both efforts generated a firestorm of criticism, including assertions that Rise was “stuffing the ballot box”. Meanwhile MineWatch, a coalition of groups opposing the mine, gathered over 5,500 petition signatures, gained support of 250 businesses, and delivered more than 2,500 postcards and emailed letters asking the County to “Just Say No” to the project. Troubles with the project first emerged when Nevada County’s Draft EIR was released in January 2022. Rise Gold sent mailers to the public saying “The Science is Clear”, claiming The County’s report confirmed that the mine would be safe and responsible. But critics reacted harshly. The draft report was anything but final and did list some significant and unavoidable environmental impacts. Upon review of the 1000+ page report, residents and local government agencies claimed it was riddled with errors, omissions, and legal flaws. Citing deep concerns with technical reports provided to the County by the applicant, government agencies and a coalition of local organizations submitted extensive rebuttals by technical and legal experts. “Starting with the most fundamental aspects, a good EIR relies upon adequate and reliable data in order for the decision makers to be adequately informed,” stated Ralph Silberstein, President of Community Environmental Advocates Foundation about the Draft EIR.  His group echoed a comment from the City of Grass Valley requesting a revision and recirculation of the report, predicting: “We’ll see many more impacts listed as significant and unavoidable.” Little changed, however, when the Final EIR was released in December 2022. While the community was looking for revisions in key areas like air, water, mine waste disposal, and greenhouse gas emissions, very little was addressed. After an extended period of public comment, a public hearing about the Final EIR was scheduled in May 2023. The hearing was an exhaustive two day affair that included over 1,000 attendees, 139 public comments, and a remarkably-timed 5.5 magnitude earthquake mere minutes before Planning Commissioners unanimously rejected the project and the EIR. The project was deemed an “incompatible use” based on its proximity to neighborhoods. Mitigations for protecting hundreds of wells in the vicinity of the mine played a featured role. “The stakes are just too high to get this wrong”, said Christy Hubbard, spokesperson for a local group of well owners. “The plan completely ignores the complexity and expense of providing a ‘comparable water supply’ in this area. If wells fail, it would take many years and tens of millions of dollars to connect a permanent water supply.” After the Planning Commission hearing, residents thought it would be a short wait before the final hearing with the Supervisors, but faced with the real possibility of a no vote, Rise Gold made an attempt to circumvent the use permit process by petitioning for a “Vested Right” to mine. A vested right is a right to continue a business use that existed at the time a regulation changed. Rise claimed that, although the Idaho-Maryland Mine shut down and sold off all its assets in 1956 two years after the County started requiring use permits, all the subsequent owners of the property had an intent to mine and never explicitly abandoned their vested right. Another hearing was scheduled to review the claim in December 2023. It didn’t go well for Rise Gold. Lawyers for the County asserted that vested rights are not permanent and the owners of the Idaho-Maryland Mine property lost that right some time within the decade after the mine closed. “In my mind, no mining activity has taken place since the early 50s.” said Hardy Bullock, Supervisor for District 5, before he voted with other supervisors to reject the petition. “The current zoning and regulatory processes apply no matter what the reasons for the [mine] to shut down over the years.” Now finally, after years of waiting, Nevada County Supervisors are set to make a final decision about Rise Gold’s original use permit application and the EIR. The Special Public Hearing for the Idaho-Maryland Mine Project will be held February 15 and 16 at Nevada County’s Rood Center, 950 Maidu Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959, or online at https://www.youtube.com/@CountyofNevadaCA/streams. Learn more about the hearing at https://www.nevadacountyca.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=7200 Learn more about the fight against the Idaho-Maryland Mine at www.MineWatchNC.org. *** Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) performs research, education, and advocacy to promote responsible land use and environmental protection policies in Nevada County. www.cea-nc.org. CEA Foundation is the leader of MineWatch, a campaign that brings together a coalition of nonprofit organizations, residents, and businesses opposed to the mine. www.MineWatchNC.org.

  • John Vaughan: George Boardman May Need To Do Better Homework

    Local resident, John Vaughan takes issue with a Union columnist's February 6 opinion piece about the Mine. George Boardman: Supervisors’ decision on reopening of the mine is just the beginning of the end. This opinion piece was published in The Union. In response to George Boardman’s February 6th column, it appears George is generalizing a bit too much without actually doing his homework. If he had done that, Mr. Boardman might find that: The EIR lists significant and unavoidable impacts…to noise, traffic, and aesthetics. The EIR ignores dozens of expert opinions that question a long list of EIR conclusions and proposed mitigations. The supposed benefits shown in the Economic Report are based completely on data provided by Rise. Large parts of the data provided by Rise for the Economic Report do not stand up to even mild scrutiny. The Economic Report’s inability to find conclusive evidence of negative impact on real estate values was the result of ignoring their own survey of licensed local realtors and instead relying on a non-standard analysis of three mines that bear zero resemblance to our community or situation. The EIR conveniently forgot to include 2019 findings, provided to Rise by the EPA, whose test results show mine drain outflows into Wolf Creek with high levels of Arsenic, Barium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead, Manganese, Nickel, and Zinc…happening every day, right now…with no cleanup plan from Rise. The jobs Rise brags about represent less than 0.6% of the County’s current employment, are 5-10 years away, and independent experts estimate that 58% (not 32%) of Rise’s workforce would be commuters from outside the county. The new CEO is a part-time consultant with lots of experience in Mergers & Acquisitions at Mining companies but no apparent experience in day-to-day operations…which means that Mr. Mossman, convicted in Canada on 13 counts of dumping toxic waste into the environment, will likely oversee day-to-day operations. The proposed well mitigations and well monitoring plan is a joke, based on old science with no financial plan to cover costs and protect homeowners, leaving people with no permanent water supply if anything goes wrong during the 80-year permit. I could go on and on but maybe Mr. Boardman understands my point by now…Economic Reports and data provided by Rise are designed to sell a story, just like any other advertisement you see. Maybe those advertisements should be taken with a grain of salt. Then, Mr. Boardman attacks the people who oppose the mine. Yes, oh my! Some of the opponents, including me, are retired. Does that also make Mr. Boardman, who certainly looks old enough to be retired, less valuable and his opinions less useful? Does being retired actually mean someone does not understand business and the need for jobs? Mr. Boardman might consider that a person’s long experience leads them to say, “We agree, that good paying jobs are needed…but what is the real cost and risk associated with this proposal?” But I guess Mr. Boardman believes if you are retired you are not allowed to comment on jobs and economic growth. Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Boardman should consider that the people opposed to the Mine include all age groups, many of whom have done their homework and clearly understand the high risks and low rewards, and actually care about the future of this community. I agree with Mr. Boardman that Nevada County needs expansion and new business. It happens that the property Rise owns is already zoned for a Business & Industrial Park which could easily support hi-tech or any other “clean” business without the many risks associated with the Mine. I’ll also note that relying on “old standbys” is a very common business practice while waiting for the next opportunity that makes sense. Re-opening the Idaho-Maryland Mine on an 80-year permit vs. the catastrophic environmental impact and multi-multi-million cost of cleaning up any issues is not worth the risk and makes absolutely no sense. I even agree that attracting new businesses to our County is a challenge, but Mr. Boardman’s implication that nothing is being done is misinformed. The County is making strong progress on removing some of the critical infrastructure barriers of the past, including better high-speed internet access and the availability of more workforce housing. And finally, I completely disagree with Mr. Boardman’s innuendo that various people have a better idea for how to actually run government, despite their glaring lack of experience or any specifics about how they would accomplish cutting County salaries and expenses. Good luck with keeping the excellent workforce Nevada County already has if major cost cutting is your only plan. For more information, see the Minewatch site at www.minewatchnc.org or attend the Board of Supervisors hearing on February 15th and February 16th. John Vaughan, Grass Valley Retired, 56-year resident of Nevada County

  • Comment Collection - FEIR - CEA Foundation - 2023

    Read comments prepared by experts, volunteers, and legal minds from CEA Foundation and its MineWatch coalition members about the Final Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine. CEA FOUNDATION & MIneWatch Coalition CEA Foundation Final EIR Comments April 17, 2023 MineWatch Coalition - 26 Local and State Groups Call for Denial of the Mine Shute, Mihaly, Weinberger Legal Comment Letter & Exhibits FOCUSED COMMENTS ON Major Issues Major CEQA Point / Centennial Site The Final EIR failed to include the cleanup of the Centennial site, the location of the mines historic tailing Water and Wells Comments Well owners are getting the shaft - the claim that groundwater impacts won't be "significant" is not substantiated. Mine Waste Water Impacts Water quality hazards from mine waste were not adequately assessed Review of the Idaho-Maryland Mine DIER Groundwater Model Mine Waste Asbestos Impacts Comments Defects with assessment and mitigation of Air Quality and Asbestos Mine Waste Offsite Sales Comments The mine lacks a viable plan for disposing mine waste. Greenhouse Gas Comments The Final EIR used the wrong standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mine Potential Seismic Hazard Mine Exhaust Moisture Potential Hazard, Aesthetics, and Air Quality Impacts

  • JUST SAY NO! FINAL Public Hearing Feb 15 & 16 - LAST CHANCE TO SPEAK UP

    This is it! The FINAL hearing on Rise Gold’s application to re-open the Idaho-Maryland Mine. After a long four-year run-up, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors will finally get to vote on the fate of the mine. This is the most important and final step in the decision process. LATE BREAKING NEWS The County is offering FREE bus/shuttle service to the hearing (see below) Hearing hours have been extended to 7pm on Thursday night to give the public more time to comment! You can pick up tickets to speak as early as 8am! Help us show Supervisors this community’s fierce opposition to the mine. Let's FILL the chambers (and overflow rooms) - AND deliver the same level of outstanding comments to Supervisors as we did with Planning Commissioners last May. This is our last chance to tell Commissioners to Just Say No to the project... AND the seriously flawed Environmental Impact Report! Only denying the mine AND not certifying the EIR will defeat it for good! Thursday, Feb 15 is the most critical day. → Pick up your 'no mine' attendance sticker at the MineWatch booth. → Join us for a group picture during the lunch break. Thursday, Feb 15, 2024 | 9:00am – 7:00pm (EXTENDED HOURS) Friday, February 15, 2024 | 9:00 – 5:00pm (or until its done) 950 Maidu Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA Here’s a rough idea of how the schedule will go. 8:00 am Thursday Feb 15 – This is the earliest you can pick up a comment number if you want to speak, but you can pick up a number any time before comments are finished. 9:00 am– Most of the morning will be taken with presentations & supervisors questions. Public comment will begin after that. Lunch break – The exact time will be decided by the Supervisor chairperson. Join us for a giant group photo shortly after they declare lunch. Be flexible if you can. Sometimes they break before noon. Sometimes after. Afternoon to 7:00 pm / likely continuing to Friday Feb 16 Public comment continues. Note: it is possible public comment will be done by Thursday evening. If you want to comment, Thursday is your safest bet. Once all speakers have been heard, the supervisors will discuss and take a final vote. Spoken comments needed: 3 minute comments are encouraged on all related topics, e.g., environmental, economic, cultural, trust. If you made a public comment at last May’s Planning Commission hearing, consider refreshing it and presenting it again. Supervisors may (or may not) have heard your comments back then. And even if they did, let’s give them a refresher course. If you would like to make a spoken comment, your best bet is to show up Thursday morning and get a number (that number is your assigned spot). 8:30am on Thursday is the earliest you can pick up a comment number if you want to speak, but you can pick up a number any time before comments are finished. Your speaking time will likely be Thursday afternoon or early evening (which might involve a return trip for you). It is possible comments will continue to Friday morning, but we can't be certain. I depends up on how many speakers there are (and how many are actually there when their number is called). We will track speaker numbers and post them on Facebook (only) so you can keep track of when your number is likely to come up. We recommend you practice your speech in advance to make sure it fits within 3 minutes. The County's microphone will turn off automatically when your time is up. Know before you go: Carpool or take the bus if you can. The County expects overflow conditions in the Rood Center parking lot. If you can, take the bus or carpool with others. Route 1 ervice is FREE. See details below. Plan for lunch. Java Johns County Cafe in Rood Center is open for business. Or... pack your own lunch. Join us for lunch and a group photo on Feb 15 -- We will gather everyone and share the moment with a giant group photo. In addition to the Board Chambers, there will be overflow rooms for folks to sit inside. Outdoor seating will also available (weather allowing). Our goal is to have everyone seen and heard by the Supervisors. Read the County's public notice about the event to learn more about the rules of engagement. The County will be live streaming the meeting for those who can't attend in person (note that online attendance isn't counted, so if you can make it in person - it would be gratefully appreciated) https://www.youtube.com/@CountyofNevadaCA/streams More things you can do to help make a HUGE impact: Invite family and friends to attend the meeting. Share social media posts about the meeting on Facebook, Instagram, or Nextdoor. Write a letter to editor in the Union newspaper in the weeks before the hearing. Have questions? Email mineconcerns@cea-nc.org Why take the bus? It's fast - check out the timetable below. 25 minutes from Tinloy Center to Rood Center. It makes a bunch of convenient stops where you can park -- Grass Valley City Hall, Fowler Center, and Nevada City SPD to name a few. It runs on the hour- buses leave from Tinloy Center The Bus is FREE February 15 and 16! Route 1 | Nevada County, CA (nevadacountyca.gov) Route 1 departs Tinloy Transit Center, Grass Valley, at the top of the hour starting at 7 a.m. and will arrive at the Nevada County Rood Center approximately 25 minutes later; for example, an 8 a.m. departure from Tinloy Transit Center arrives at the Nevada County Rood Center at 8:25 a.m.

  • March Against the Mine at the Mardi Gras Parade!

    Join us on Saturday February 10, 2024. 1:30 – 3pm at the Mardi Gras Parade in Nevada City. Join the fun! This year's parade is the perfect opportunity to speak out against the mine and ask neighbors to attend the follow week's public hearing where County Supervisors will take a FINAL vote on the fate of the Idaho-Maryland Mine. Help us demonstrate to Supervisors this community’s fierce opposition to the mine! If you’ve marched against the mine before, you know that this is a super-fun community event and a rewarding experience. The crowd cheers, chants, and sings with us! We promise you will be glad you joined. We meet at 1:30 at the top of Broad Street in Nevada City and the parade begins at 2 p.m. You can dress up or come as you are. It’s easy. Grab your sign. Bring friends and family. We'll see you there! More info about the parade can be found here: Mardi Gras Parade 2024 - Nevada City, California (nevadacitychamber.com) More information about the final public hearing can be found here: Special Supervisors Meeting Scheduled for Idaho Maryland Mine Project on 2/15 | Nevada County Please RSVP to traci@cea-nc.org so we can track how many folks we will have and identify a few “helpers”.

  • FOX News: Report on Denial of vested Rights

    View the Fox News report on the outcome of Rise Gold's attempt to claim vested rights to reopen the Idaho Maryland Mine. View the video here. Nevada County Leaders Vote For Mine to Remain Closed

  • Vested rights for Idaho-Maryland Mine denied by supervisors

    The petition for vested rights to mine the Idaho-Maryland Mine (IMM) in Grass Valley submitted by Rise Gold Corporation was denied by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, December 14. Read the full article in The Union. Excerpts: The current zoning and regulatory processes apply no matter what the reasons for the IMM to shut down over the years, according to Hardy Bullock, Supervisor for District 5. “In my mind, no mining activity has taken place since the early 50s. There’s clear and convincing evidence in my mind, not just on the Centennial and Brunswick, but the property as a whole,” Hardy said. Hardy went on to say, “Mining activity, in my mind, is excavation, blasting, tunneling, removing, processing, or the sale of mine products of any kind… That’s what mining is. In my mind, mining is not subdividing mine land into parcels for sale as residential developments. Mining is not selling the land for industrial purposes. Mining is not sawmill or wood products.” --- Megan Wold, Cooper and Kirk out of Washington D.C. advised Rise Gold, especially on the issues of the U.S. Constitution and the Fifth Amendment which refers to private property rights among other things. Abandonment of vested rights is comparable to other constitutional rights, according to Wold. “We require affirmative evidence of abandonment before we think someone has abandoned a Constitutional rights,” Wold said. --- Ralph Silberstein, President of the Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) commented on the inevitability that the County will now be sued by Rise Gold Corp., and a Resolution drafted and made public on the second day of the hearing is preparing for that lawsuit. “We’re pleased that the Council did the right thing, and turned down this vested rights petition, and weren’t intimidated by the threat of a bunch of high powered lawyers from the East Coast threatening to sue,” Silberstein said.

  • Press Release: Mining Company Demands Vested Rights Approval - County Stands Firm

    In a tense two-day public hearing that at times seemed deeply adversarial, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected a mining company’s claim to “Vested Rights” at a long-shuttered gold mine. For Immediate Release: December 15, 2023 Contacts: Traci Sheehan Community Environmental Advocates Foundation traci@cea-nc.org PRESS RELEASE Mining Company Demands Nevada County Approve Vested Rights Supervisors Stand Firm and Reject Claim Nevada City, CA -- In a tense two-day public hearing that at times seemed deeply adversarial, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected a mining company’s claim to “Vested Rights” at a long-shuttered gold mine. Rise Grass Valley is a subsidiary of Rise Gold Corp., a mining company headquartered in Canada. The only major asset of the company is the Idaho-Maryland Mine – a mine that was closed over 60 years ago. The hearing was a highly unusual detour from the standard Use Permit process. Rise began the application process to reopen the mine in 2019. Last May, Nevada County’s Planning Commission unanimously recommended that County Supervisors reject both the Use Permit and the Final Environmental Impact Report. With chances for approval looking dim, Rise responded by submitting a petition for vested rights that – if confirmed – would allow them to reopen the mine without a Use Permit. “Demanding vested rights so late in the approval process is an act of desperation,” said CEA Foundation President Ralph Silberstein. “The notion that Rise could retain a legal right to resume mining that was abandoned over sixty years ago is absurd.” A vested right is a right to continue a business use that existed at the time a zoning regulation changed. However, vested rights are not permanent. The County first started requiring Use Permits in 1954 when the Idaho-Maryland Mine was in production. However, the mine shut down in 1956, sold off its assets, and the tunnels were allowed to flood. The key question discussed in the hearing was whether mining was abandoned in the following 67 years. On day two of the hearing, Supervisors unanimously adopted the recommendations in the County’s Staff Report, which concluded that “1) Mining operations were abandoned at the Subject Property commencing as early as 1956;” and “2) Neither the Petitioner nor any other party has a vested right to mine at the Subject Property.” The hearing unfolded with a standing-room-only crowd. Over 500 people were in attendance on the first day. While the comments were limited to the Vested Rights issue, the public’s opposition to the Idaho-Maryland Mine project was visible, with the Board Chambers full of residents donning “No Mine” stickers. Approximately 30 speakers commented on Rise Gold’s historical and legal claims. Before and during the meeting, Rise made it clear they intended to sue the County if the decision didn’t go their way. While Supervisors asked probing questions relating to the company’s claims, it became apparent that Rise Gold’s legal and historical arguments for Vested Rights didn’t convince them. The unanimous vote to reject the claim marked a significant setback in Rise Gold’s proposal to re-open the long-shuttered mine. “The mine doesn’t have a vested right because it abandoned the mining activity. The current zoning and regulatory process applies, in my opinion,” stated Supervisor Hardy Bullock. “Our community has grown and changed in how we view the environment in which we live, what we hope to provide future generations, and how our ordinances and laws support that vision.” In their deliberations, Supervisors voiced their disappointment with Rise Gold’s adversarial approach and noted that Rise only objected to the Use Permit process after the Planning Commission’s negative recommendation. Chairman of the Board, Supervisor Ed Scofield, explained this “doesn’t mean that Rise Gold can’t mine. It means that they have to get a Use Permit. And yes, that Use Permit is going to be very difficult because of what mining represents and, again, the location of where it is in its proximity to the City of Grass Valley.” In the three-plus years since Rise first applied to re-open the mine, environmental and economic impact reports and studies were released and reviewed. Community organizations and businesses opposed the plan, citing the destructive environmental and public health impacts to the community. Two key concerns were the possible impacts and risks to residents’ wells and the violation of the County’s General Plan by opening a mine in a residential neighborhood. In May 2023, the Nevada County Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the Board of Supervisors reject the Use Permit and the Final Environmental Impact Report. According to the County timeline, staff will now resume processing Rise’s application to open the Idaho-Maryland Mine and schedule a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors early in 2024 for the final vote on the Environmental Impact Report and Use Permit. A vocal opponent of the mine, reflecting on the hearing, remarked: “I’m glad the County saw through Rise Gold’s farce. The vast majority of this community is against this mine. We’re all looking forward to the day when Supervisors say “NO, and that’s final!” For more information about the potential re-opening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine, visit www.MineWatchNC.org. *** Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) performs research, education, and advocacy to promote responsible land use and environmental protection policies in Nevada County. www.cea-nc.org. CEA Foundation is the leader of MineWatch, a campaign that brings together a coalition of nonprofit organizations, residents, and businesses opposed to the mine. www.MineWatchNC.org.

  • KVMR Radio: No One Has Vested Right To Mine

    Local radio station, KVMR, reported on the County's Hearing to consider Rise's claim for vested rights. Listen to these brief segments to hear how it went. December 15 NevCo Board of Supes: No One Has a Vested Right to Mine The Idaho Maryland Mine December 15 KVMR's Al Stahler Interviews CEA Foundation President Ralph Silberstein December 14 Supes Hear Presentations and Public Comment Regarding Vested Rights, Continue Meeting to Thursday

  • Press Release: Mine Opponents Urge County: "Let's Finish This"

    A letter signed by over 1,100 residents urges the Board of Supervisors to say NO to Rise Gold's Petition for vested rights at the upcoming hearing on December 13th and schedule a final vote on the Idaho-Maryland Mine project as quickly as possible. For Immediate Release: December 5, 2023 Contacts: Traci Sheehan Community Environmental Advocates Foundation traci@cea-nc.org PRESS RELEASE Mine Opponents Urge County: “Let's Finish This” Community Coalition Presents Letter to Supervisors Before Long-Awaited Hearing Nevada City, CA -- The collective voice of Nevada County residents resounded as a community coalition delivered a powerful statement to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting on Tuesday. Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) presented a letter signed by over 1,100 residents urging the Board of Supervisors to say NO to Rise Gold's Petition for vested rights at the upcoming hearing on December 13th and schedule a final vote on the Idaho-Maryland Mine project as quickly as possible. In May 2023, the County Planning Commission unanimously recommended rejection of the environmental impact report and use permit for the project. Facing a likely NO vote from the Board of Supervisors, Rise Gold tried an alternative approach that delayed the final vote, claiming they have a “vested right” to reopen the mine without a use permit. A vested right is a right to continue a business use that existed at the time a zoning regulation changed. But vested rights are not permanent. The Idaho-Maryland Mine shut down in 1956, sold off its assets, and tunnels were allowed to flood. To claim vested rights, the burden of proof is on the applicant to establish that mining continued without significant changes for the following 67 years. A staff report issued by the County last week concluded that Rise did not provide that proof, saying “1) Mining operations were abandoned at the Subject Property commencing as early as 1956;” and “2) Neither the Petitioner nor any other party has a vested right to mine at the Subject Property.” “Let’s finish this!” said Grass CEA Foundation volunteer, Christy Hubbard. “Our community’s future depends on a definitive rejection of mining in residential areas. It is with a sense of urgency and unity that we implore the Board to reject this ridiculous vested rights claim and proceed with a final vote." “It’s obvious that Rise is trying to pull a fast one on our community.” wrote one community member as part of the letter. “Please put these shenanigans to bed. Vote No ASAP and get this over with.” The presentation of the community group letter to the Board came on the heels of an advertisement Rise Gold ran in the local newspaper asserting the company's readiness to pursue legal recourse should their vested rights claim not be approved. Grass Valley Homeowner John Vaughan takes issue with the ad. “The community and County shouldn’t be held hostage by legal threats”, he said. CEA Foundation is urging community members to attend the hearing on December 13 to show their opposition. The County has announced that the hearing will be strictly focused on the Vested Rights Petition. Hubbard provided this guidance. “If history isn’t your thing, it’s OK to take a pass on public comment this time. You attendance is what really matters.” If the Board denies the Petition, the County will resume processing Rise’s application to open the Idaho-Maryland Mine and schedule a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors early in 2024 for the final vote on the Environmental Impact Report and Use Permit. To learn more about the public hearing on December 13, go to www.minewatchnc.org/post/attend-the-county-s-vested-rights-hearing. For more information about the potential re-opening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine visit www.MineWatchNC.org. *** Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) performs research, education, and advocacy to promote responsible land use and environmental protection policies in Nevada County. www.cea-nc.org. CEA Foundation is the leader of MineWatch, a campaign that brings together a coalition of nonprofit organizations, residents, and businesses opposed to the mine. www.MineWatchNC.org. Related comments: Historical Review: CEA Foundation Review and Analysis of the Rise Grass Valley Vested Rights Petition (PDF) Legal analysis: Response to Idaho-Maryland Mine Vested Rights Petition (PDF)

  • Attend the County's Vested Rights Hearing!

    Nevada County Supervisors will consider Rise's petition for vested rights in a public hearing at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, December 13 in the Board chambers, Rood Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City; with a second day added on Thursday, December 14, if necessary to accommodate public testimony and deliberation. Wednesday December 13th is the most critical day to attend. Please attend if you can! Even though the County's staff report is recommending a NO vote on Rise's petition for vested rights, this fight isn't over yet. We need to fill the room and remind Supervisors of the overwhelming community opposition to the Mine. If they vote no on vested rights, they still need to schedule a final vote on the original use permit and weather Rise Gold's inevitable legal challenges. They need to know that this community is NOT backing down! The Board has made it clear they will be restricting public comment to testimony related to the petition only. If history isn’t your thing, it’s OK to take a pass on public comment this time and save it for the next hearing. Read on to learn about: Public Hearing Details Parking and Transit Food Public Hearing Schedule How to Participate in Public Comment Written Comments Background on Vested Rights Petition and How We Got Here Resources for Learning More about Vested Rights Public Hearing Details: Wednesday, December 13, 9 a.m. If necessary, the hearing may be continued to Thursday, December 14, beginning at 9 a.m. Eric Rood Administrative Center, Board of Supervisor Chamber, First Floor, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City. View live online on Nevada County’s YouTube Channel. Parking and Transit: Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited. In the afternoon, the parking lot will become more impacted as visitors arrive for Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas and park at the Rood Center. Food: Java John’s Nevada County Café will be open from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. to provide food and drinks for purchase. Public Hearing Schedule: Presentations from the applicant and from County staff related to the history of the use at the site and the governing law on vested rights. Public comment. Members of the public who wish to address the Board of Supervisors should attend the December 13 meeting as there may not be a second day of hearings on December 14. Please see the “How to Participate” section below. Board questions and comments. Board deliberations. The Board can then make a final determination on whether the petition for vested rights should be granted. How to Participate in Public Comment: Due to the limited nature of this hearing, those wishing to comment will have three minutes, and any comment must be limited to the historical uses of the site and factual evidence of activities that have occurred on or at the site. Because it is not relevant to this hearing, no public comment will be allowed regarding support or opposition to the mine, the Idaho Maryland Mine’s Draft Environmental Impact Report, the use permit, the reclamation plan, and/or any other land use entitlement, and/or any other potential impacts of the mine, or any history pertaining to Rise Grass Valley or related businesses. All those comments should be reserved for either of the next hearings, as described under “Next steps” below. To provide public comment, receive a number from County staff outside the Supervisors’ Chamber. Public comment numbers will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8:30 am. (They will also be available continuously until the public comment has concluded.) Speakers will provide public comment to the Board of Supervisors in the Supervisors’ Chamber in groups of ten. Written Comment: All written public comments should be received by 4 p.m. the day before the hearing (December 12) for it to become part of the public record. Email to clerkofboard@nevadacountyca.gov. Mailed to the Nevada County Clerk of the Board at 950 Maidu Ave, Suite 200, Nevada City, CA 95959. Submit eComment, available once the Agenda for the meeting is posted (December 8). Alternatively, as a last resort, you may submit printed and written copies of your comment directly to the Clerk of the Board at the Board of Supervisors’ Public Hearing. Background on Vested Rights Petition and How We Got Here At this year’s May 11 public hearing for the Idaho-Maryland Mine, the Nevada County Planning Commission voted unanimously against the Mine’s Use Permit and Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Now faced with the real possibility of a NO vote by the Board of Supervisors at the final hearings, Rise Gold is trying an unusual tactic aimed at side-stepping the normal use permit process by claiming they have a "vested right" to reopen the mine. Under both state case law and County code, a property owner may acquire a vested right to continue a use that existed at the time zoning regulations changed. Since the Idaho-Maryland Mine was open in 1954 when the County implementing new requirements, it may have had a vested right to continue mining at that time. But the right to continue is not permanent, and the burden of proof is on the applicant to establish the vested rights. If the Board denies the Petition, the County will resume processing Rise’s application to open the Idaho-Maryland Mine and schedule a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors early in 2024 for the final vote on the Environmental Impact Report and Use Permit. Resources for Learning More about Vested Rights News Coverage The Union | YubaNet Nevada County Releases Staff Report on Rise Grass Valley’s vested rights petition ahead of December 13 Hearing County Resources Petition for Vested Rights Board of Supervisor Staff Report News Flash: Nevada County Releases Staff Report on Rise Grass Valley Vested Rights Petition How to Participate in the Board of Supervisors’ Hearing on the Vested Rights | Nevada County CA Civic Alerts CEA Foundation / MineWatch Comments and Resources Press Release: CEA Foundation Weighs in on Rise Gold’s Vested Rights Petition | MineWatchNC.org Historical Review: CEA Foundation Review and Analysis of the Rise Grass Valley Vested Rights Petition (PDF) Legal analysis: Response to Idaho-Maryland Mine Vested Rights Petition (PDF)

  • Press Release: CEA Foundation Weighs in on Rise Gold’s Vested Rights Petition

    Claiming a ‘right to mine’ after a 67-Year closure is absurd. Local opposition leader CEA Foundation provided a review and analysis of the petition to help inform the Nevada County Supervisor's decision. For Immediate Release: November 1, 2023 Contacts: Traci Sheehan Community Environmental Advocates Foundation traci@cea-nc.org PRESS RELEASE CEA Foundation Weighs in on Rise Gold’s Vested Rights Petition Claiming ‘Right to Mine’ After 67-Year Closure Called Absurd Grass Valley, CA – Nevada County Supervisors will soon consider whether or not to approve an eleventh-hour petition to grant “vested rights” to Rise Grass Valley, a subsidiary of Rise Gold. The Canadian-headquartered junior mining company is aiming to reopen a gold mine that shut down 67 years ago. To inform their decision, local opposition leader CEA Foundation has provided a review and analysis of the petition. Following the regulatory changes initiated by Nevada County in 1954, mining projects were required to obtain a Use Permit. As an existing and continuing operation in 1954, the Idaho-Maryland Mine was probably exempt from the requirement at that time. Under both state case law and County code, a property owner may acquire a vested right to continue a use that existed at the time zoning regulations changed. But the right to continue is not permanent, and the burden of proof is on the applicant to establish the vested rights. According to the CEA Foundation review, the Rise Grass Valley Vested Rights Petition ignores clear mandates in the County’s Land Use and Development Code which hold that any vested right to mine expires once a nonconforming use is discontinued for one year. The mine shut down in 1956. Assets were liquidated shortly thereafter. The mine was then allowed to re-flood. All mining had ceased by 1957 and the mine has not operated since. Once the mine was abandoned, vested rights to continue mining were presumably lost. “The notion that Rise could retain a legal right to resume mining that was abandoned over sixty years ago is absurd,” said CEA Foundation President Ralph Silberstein. “Petitioning for vested rights so late in the approval process is an act of desperation, apparently in response to the County Planning Commission’s unanimous recommendations to deny the project.” Rise’s Petition, however, provides a narrative of continuing operations covering the period from 1956 to the present. To achieve this, evidence such as an owner being “...convinced the Mine would be operational again…”, a third party running a sawmill on adjacent lands, and salvaging old surface tailings to be sold as aggregate, are used to build a story about continuous operations at the Idaho-Maryland Mine. But the CEA Foundation review came to a different conclusion: that the story doesn’t hold up either legally or historically. An owner’s “intent” to resume mining doesn’t qualify for vested rights. And while sawmills and aggregate operations did happen from time to time, both activities are distinct from the core business of gold mining that would be required to qualify for vested rights. In the Petition, Rise relies heavily on selected passages of the 1996 Hansen Brothers case, which awarded vested rights to an aggregate processing operation. However, the Hansen ruling was made under very different and more restrictive conditions. While Hanson Brothers did pause one type of quarrying for a period of time, they kept the business operational and never abandoned their plant, equipment, or utilities. In addition, rights were awarded specific to a single work product that produced an ongoing revenue stream – river and hillside rock combined to sell for aggregate. “If anything, a careful reading of the Hansen case further diminishes Rise’s claim of vested rights”, said Silberstein. CEA Foundation’s review concludes that almost all of the Rise Petition misses the main point – that there is ample evidence the mine was abandoned after 1956, and any vested rights were lost within a year. For example: There has been no recurrence of gold mining at the Idaho-Maryland Mine since it shut down. The EPA has determined it is an abandoned mine. Ben Mossman, recent CEO of Rise Gold, stated “...it has been closed since 1956.” Nevada County Supervisors will consider Rise’s Vested Rights Petition in a public hearing at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, December 13 in the Board chambers, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City; with a second day added Thursday, December 14, if necessary to accommodate public testimony. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. Public comment will be restricted to historical testimony related to the Petition. If the Board denies the Petition, the County will resume processing Rise’s application to open the Idaho-Maryland Mine and schedule a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors early in 2024 for the final vote on the Environmental Impact Report and Use Permit. A CEA Foundation review of the historical aspects of the Petition can be found at https://bit.ly/CEA-Historical-Analysis-Rise-VR. For more information about the potential re-opening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine visit: www.MineWatchNC.org. *** Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) performs research, education, and advocacy to promote responsible land use and environmental protection policies in Nevada County. www.cea-nc.org. CEA Foundation is the leader of MineWatch, a campaign that brings together a coalition of nonprofit organizations, residents, and businesses opposed to the mine. www.MineWatchNC.org. Related comments: Historical Review: CEA Foundation Review and Analysis of the Rise Grass Valley Vested Rights Petition (PDF) Legal analysis: Response to Idaho-Maryland Mine Vested Rights Petition (PDF)

  • Comment Collection - Vested Rights- CEA Foundation

    CEA Foundation submitted the following technical, historical, and legal comments to Nevada County in advance of the Vested Rights hearing for the Idaho-Maryland Mine in December 2023. Technical and historical analysis from CEA Foundation Legal analysis from CEA Foundation attorneys, Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger, October 17, 2023

  • Former B.C. mining mogul fined $30,000 for past environmental infractions

    Recent Rise Gold CEO, Ben Mossman, was CEO and Mine Manager of Banks Island Gold in British Columbia in 2015 when environmental regulations were breached. After being found guilty of 13 counts, he was sentenced to $30,000 Canadian dollars. Read the full article in The Northern View. Excerpts: “By failing to ensure that the Yellow Giant Mine had protocols in place to avoid the very failings for which he was convicted, Mossman is the author of his own misfortune,” said Judge David Patterson, Prince Rupert B.C. Provincial Criminal Court. - While Patterson determined Mossman was remorseful for his actions, the Prince Rupert judge said the former CEO and his company were “lucky” their actions did not lead to a full-blown environmental disaster. - The mine’s environmental breaches affected not only the island, but also the Gitxaała people, according to Patterson. “Not only does violating mining permits potentially jeopardize the environment,” he said. “But in the present case, the offences jeopardized the rich resources and economy of the Gitxaała Nation as well as the spiritual beliefs of its people.” - While Gitxaała Chief Councillor Linda Innes said the Nation is happy to see Mossman held accountable, she was dissapointed in what the Nation deemed an insufficent punishment. “While Mr. Mossman is certainly accountable for the horrendous example of what happens when bad mines are allowed to operate without clear oversight and accountability to Indigenous Rights and Title holders, these shamefully light administrative penalties amount to nothing but small fractions of the costs of correcting the devastation left behind,” Innes said.

  • MineWatch Meeting Sept 2023- VESTED RIGHTS

    The MineWatch Community Meeting in September was a rare in-person event. View the recording below or download the PDF below for a quick overview. Opening - Shafted - Filmmakers Lou Douros and Larry Huntington introduce a new chapter in their series of short films about the mine project. 01:11 – Rise Gold News – CEA Foundation volunteer, John Vaughan talks about the outcomes of Rise Gold CEO Ben Mossman's trial in Canada and the company's appointment of a new CEO. 06:23 – Project Update / Vested Rights - CEA Foundation President Ralph Silberstein gives an update on project status and in-depth overview of Rise Gold's petition for vested rights. 21:15 – What's the Risk? – CEA Foundation volunteer and Wells Coalition organizer, Christy Hubbard, talks about what's at risk if vested rights are granted. 28:25 – Questions and Answers 41:40 – Never Again – CEA Foundation volunteer and Wells Coalition organizer, Gary Pierazzi, talks about the cost to the community of fighting efforts to reopen the mine and calls for a future action to protect homeowners from future battles. 47:50 – Take Action - CEA Foundation organizer Traci Sheehan helps attendees understand how to take action in the coming months. Note: Shafted is a GoFundMe project. Learn more. Note: CEA Foundation's legal team is preparing a response to Rise Gold's vested rights petition. Please considering making a donation to help. PDF SLIDES

  • MineWatch Community Meeting Sept. 26

    It’s time to ACTIVE-ATE with FREE PIZZA! Join us on Tuesday September 26th, 6:00 to 7:30pm. Nevada County will be making final decisions about the Idaho-Maryland Mine in the coming months. We need all hands on deck to prepare for two critical hearings coming in October and December. This will be a rare IN PERSON community meeting from 6:00 to 7:30pm at the Nevada County Associations of Realtors’ Esterly Hall. 336 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley, CA. Please join us! Here’s a peek at the agenda. - Status report – Vested Rights vs. Condition Use Permit - Refresher – Why this project can’t be fixed - Organize – What we can all do to take action - Social time – Gather & mill with fellow rabble-rousers WITH Pizza! Bonus – We may be doing some cheering too since Mossman’s sentencing date for his guilty verdict in Canadian court is currently set for the same day, September 26. If you can’t make it to the meeting in person, consider joining by Zoom. Please REGISTER in advance to get a personalized link.

  • March Against The Mine!

    Join us on Sunday September 17, 1:30 – 3pm at the Constitution Day Parade in Nevada City. Rise Gold would like nothing better than to see the community stand down and stop fighting. In an LA Times article last year, their CEO even told the reporter he figured local activists would "wear down. Eventually." Let's prove him wrong! We need all feet on Broad Street! If you’ve marched against the mine before, you know that this is a super-fun community event and a rewarding experience. The crowd cheers, chants, and sings with us! We promise you will be glad you joined. We meet at 1:30 at the top of Broad Street in Nevada City and the parade begins at 2 p.m. Grab your sign, a friend, and a flag, and we will see you there! There will be a free shuttle to the parade. The shuttle runs SUNDAY from Noon to 6 pm Park for free at the Nevada County Government Center just off Highway 49 at 950 Maidu Avenue. Take the shuttle into town for free. More info about the weekend events can be found here: Constitution Day 2023 - Nevada City, California (nevadacitychamber.com) Please RSVP to traci@cea-nc.org so we can track how many folks we will have and identify a few “helpers”.

  • CEA Responds To Vested Rights Maneuver

    "..the biggest challenge for Rise Gold is to prove that mining activities have been ongoing continuously since before the current use permit requirements were enacted…" August 21, 2023 Listen to KNCO Radio's interview with Laurie Oberholzer from CEA Foundation here.

  • Rise Gold may apply for “vested right to mine”

    Required public hearing will delay BOS decision on Rise Gold application. Read the full article in YubaNet. Excerpts from a YubaNet article August 15, 2023 During the recent Board of Supervisors meeting an agenda item by County Counsel’s Office, increasing the contract price for legal services pertaining to the Rise Gold project, yielded a new development. Rise Gold, via their lawyer, informed the county they consider filing a petition granting them the “vested right to mine.” If Rise Gold moves forward with the petition for vested rights, Nevada County will have to hold public hearings on the matter. A California Appeals Court decision in 2006 requires vested rights decisions cannot be simply determined by the lead agency (generally a county or a city) but are subject to noticed public hearings. ... Any vested mine does not need to apply for a mining permit to the county and no California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document for the mining operation itself is required. Another exemption concerns grading permits for roads, landing pads, staging areas, etc. Culverts and diversion ponds are also exempt from any oversight under the vested right to mine. Read the full article in Yubanet.

  • Press Release: Rise Gold seeks to side-step requirements for mining use permit

    Rise Gold is attempting to circumvent the County’s permitting process by claiming they have “vested rights” to mine. For Immediate Release: August 22, 2023 Contacts: Traci Sheehan Community Environmental Advocates Foundation traci@cea-nc.org Rise Gold seeks to side-step requirements for mining use permit Grass Valley, CA – At this year’s May 11 public hearing for the Idaho-Maryland Mine, the Nevada County Planning Commission voted unanimously against the Mine’s Use Permit and Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Now faced with the real possibility of a NO vote by the Board of Supervisors at the final hearings, Rise Gold is trying an unusual tactic aimed at forcing the County to let them reopen the mine. In a maneuver that would circumvent the normal Use Permit requirements of Nevada County, Rise Gold has met with County representatives and announced that they intend to petition for “Vested Rights” to mine the Idaho-Maryland Mine. Katharine Elliott, County Counsel, stated at the Board meeting on Aug 8 that “…in meetings with Rise Gold recently, they have asserted that they have a vested right to mine. A vested right is a legal principle that asserts that they have a legal right to mine on the Brunswick site. They have not yet filed the petition, but they have told me that they are planning to file that petition. Once they do that, we have a mandate to address that and to take that first before the Planning Commission and then to the Board of Supervisors.” ( See Nevada County Board of Supervisors Meeting August 8, 2023 Part Two | YouTube) Vested rights are rights held by entities that were already in operation prior to the establishment of the current, more restrictive regulations. A mine operating before the inception of the current Use Permit regulations can, in certain cases, establish vested rights and be exempted from those regulations. If the County determines that Rise Gold meets the conditions for “Vested Rights”, the Use Permit that is currently headed for the Board of Supervisors for a final vote would not be required. In effect, Rise would be able to operate without having to comply with many of the conditions of approval and mitigations required under the current Use Permit application. The granting of Vested Rights is a discretionary decision that would be made by the County. After Rise submits a petition for Vested Rights, draft documents would be available for review and Rise would present its case to the Planning Commission in a Public Hearing. The Board would subsequently take the Commission’s recommendation and make the final decision. The burden of proof is upon the applicant to demonstrate the vested rights claim. The most challenging requirement is to prove that mining activities have been ongoing continuously since before the current Use Permit requirements were enacted. In the case of the Idaho-Maryland Mine, that means that Rise must prove that, after the mine shut down in 1956-57, some level of legal mining activity has persisted at the Idaho-Maryland Mine site over the 65 years since the shut-down. This is not the first time the issue of Vested Rights has surfaced locally. Rise Gold’s attorney, Braden Chadwick, petitioned for Vested Rights in 2010 while representing the Blue Lead Mine. In that case, the Blue Lead applicants made the claim that they didn’t need a Use Permit because of vested rights, but a closer examination of the facts showed that photos submitted were from other mines and the evidence was unsupported. Because of this, the Planning Commission denied the request, and Blue Lead was required to obtain a normal Use Permit. Currently, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to make a decision on the Idaho-Maryland Mine Use Permit at public hearings on October 2nd and 3rd. This is the final step of a process that began in 2020. The final EIR for the project was released in December 2022. In response, over one thousand comments were submitted by citizens to the County expressing serious concerns about the risks of the mine and the inadequacy of the environmental report. In May 2023, the County Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the Board of Supervisors not certify the EIR and not grant the Use Permit. In an unusual coincidence, Rise Gold CEO Benjamin Mossman is scheduled to be sentenced on pollution charges in Canada on September 26th, just one week before the Board of Supervisors’ final vote. Mossman was found guilty in British Columbia for the environmental damage caused at the Yellow Giant Mine, which polluted tribal waters, went bankrupt and left Canadians with insufficient funds to clean up the damage. The sentencing could include prison time. Ralph Silberstein, CEA Foundation President, stated “This maneuver to obtain vested rights at this stage of the approval process is very questionable. If Rise felt that they had vested rights, why spend years of time and millions of dollars to get to this point in the normal Use Permitting process? It seems very unlikely that Rise has a valid case. Perhaps they are simply seeking to delay the final hearings.” More information on the project can be found on the County project webpage. 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 leader of MineWatch, a campaign that brings together a coalition of nonprofit organizations, residents, and businesses opposed to the mine. Read this in The Union newspaper.

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