Idaho: Massive strip mine on national forest to forever alter famed Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

If you know anyone in this area, they need to be alerted. Taxpayers have already cleaned up last mess……with corporate polluters and resource raiders given a free pass by the current administration, your quality of life is about to change. Action page below.

Canada-based Midas Gold is proposing a massive strip mine on national forest land at the doorstep of the famed Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and within the headwaters of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. The 2.4 million-acre River of No Return Wilderness is one of the wildest areas in the lower 48, and the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River is popular for recreation and critical for endangered species. The South Fork of the Salmon flows through the Wilderness downstream of this proposed mine.

The project area is a reclaimed Superfund site—taxpayers spent $13 million to clean up mercury and arsenic there in the late 1990s. Now Midas Gold wants to re-open these former mine pits, putting not only the Wilderness at risk, but also this important river and endangered species such as bull trout and salmon. The proposal includes 2,000 acres of mine pits, facilities, stockpiles, roads, and other infrastructure within a nearly 30,000-acre project area.

Midas Gold is also proposing to process all gold and silver on site, which only creates more likelihood of toxic pollution.

Midas Gold is trying to entice local communities near the mine site to sign a “Community Agreement”—a legal document binding them to the company, in exchange for profit sharing and funding for local projects. It’s imperative that Valley County—where the mine will be—rejects this agreement. Eight communities have signed on already, so it’s important that Valley County has support to not cave to pressure.

This mine proposal is an issue of national significance. Federal public lands belong to all of us, not to a foreign-owned mining company. We will keep you posted on opportunities for public comment.

But, for now, if you live in Valley County, ID, please take action and urge your commissioners to reject Midas Gold’s “Community Agreement”.