Water quality is a huge concern at Idaho Rivers United, and mining by its very nature almost always works against it. High prices for gold, silver and other valuable minerals are driving a mining boom across the West, and a number of Idaho's river basins are threatened as a result.
In the Bose River watershed a Canadian company is proposing to explore what it claims is the largest un-mined molybdenum deposit in the world for its CuMo Project. In the South Fork of the Salmon River, a different Canadian company is proposing to re-open and vastly expand an open-pit gold mine at Stibnite.
Click the buttons to the right for information on specific mining proposals. Click on newsroom items below for the latest current events.
If I had to describe Idaho’s South Fork of the Salmon in one phrase, I’d call it the rowdy cousin to its more famous and beloved drainage to the east, the Middle Fork. I’d even go a little further and call it the three-bourbons-deep, wrassle-you-to-the-ground, slap-your-ass-and-leave-some-pawprints babe of a cousin to the Middle Fork. I had the pleasure of getting my first taste of a solid South Fork welcoming slap a couple years ago.
The work of protecting and defending Idaho’s rivers is bigger than any one organization or person can accomplish. At this year’s annual Auction for the Rivers, IRU recognized eight individuals and/or organizations who have gone above and beyond in their defense of Idaho’s rivers and fish.
On the banks of Payette Lake, I stood beside land owners, business owners, anglers, kayakers, hunters, boaters, teachers, tribal members and my 5-month old nephew. Myself, and over 200 people on September 1, gathered for the Rally for the South Fork Salmon. We raised our proud, clear voices in uneasy opposition for the Midas Gold Stibnite Project. We spoke our truths, truths which haven’t been tarnished by the Midas dollar.
Earl Dodds served as Big Creek District Ranger on the Payette National Forest for more than 25 years. He writes here about Midas Gold an the need for the communities of west central Idaho to push back.
Midas Gold is advancing its work to make partners out of west central Idaho communities and has offered to create a trust in an apparent bid for political support. According to a McCall City Council agenda, Midas is focusing its efforts on McCall, Cascade, Council, Donnelly, New Meadows, Riggins and the village of Yellow Pine, as well as Adams, Idaho and Valley counties; and the West Central Mountains Community Partnership—basically every municipality in proposed mine’s direct area of impact.
Hundreds of Idahoans attended two events in Boise and McCall this month to share why the specter of mining in their beloved South Fork of the Salmon River scares them.
The South Fork of the Salmon River in Central Idaho was named today as one of America's Most Endangered Rivers.
Sense of place is about finding connection in the world. The people pictured and quoted here have nurtured an intimate connection with the South Fork of the Salmon River, a place threatened by new mining activity at its headwaters.
The Payette National Forest on February 2 released a summary of the 536 public scoping comments it collected regarding the Midas Gold Stibnite Project. A majority of comments expressed concern. A noteworthy percentage highlight serious apprehensions for environmental quality, human health, and wildlife and species conservation on the forest.
Approximately 200 people attended a meeting at Payette Brewing in Boise to learn more about the CuMo Project and potential impacts from mine exploration and development. The meeting was hosted by local and statewide conservation groups.