Last week a packed Boise State Andrus Center room listened in rapt attention as both Congressman Mike Simpson and Governor Brad Little spoke at a conference on energy, salmon, agriculture, and community. Restoring Snake River salmon and steelhead runs that are dangerously close to blinking out was the conference’s major theme. Meeting energy needs and maintaining agricultural ways of life were important caveats to the discussion.
The South Fork of the Salmon, a whitewater river with important spawning habitat for migrating fish, has again been named a Most Endangered River on American River’s annual list. The reason and threat are still the same: Midas Gold’s Stibnite Project, a proposed gold mine at the headwaters of the river, that threatens downstream tribal nations, communities, and species that rely on a healthy South Fork.
Ben Lzicar, a Boise resident and avid river recreator, shares his concerns with how Idaho Power’s clean energy goals have failed to acknowledge hydropower’s drawbacks. He brings up the detrimental impacts dams have on Idaho’s native fish populations, as well as the fact that the reservoirs dams create emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases.
Aveda is credited with raising over $60 million dollars through their Earth Month program between 1999 and November 2018. Idaho Rivers United is lucky enough to be one of the beneficiaries of Aveda salon efforts in Boise, Twin Falls, Hailey, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Join us this April to celebrate Earth Month, our partnership with Aveda and the phenomenal people who make it all possible.
On an advertising panel in Boise’s Camel’s Back Park, Midas Gold lays out the attractions of their proposed Stibnite Project located in the headwaters of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. The advertisement claims the project will boost Idaho’s economy, provide employment opportunities, and restore fish migration to the nearby rivers and streams. Nowhere on the sign does Midas acknowledge that the Stibnite Project is a massive open-pit gold mining operation that will put a unique and cherished place at risk of losing its wild heart.
This week a judge has ruled in favor of the Forest Service in their case against 35 placer mining claims located along the South Fork of the Payette River. The decision signifies a victory for the numerous local outfitters, rafters, kayakers, businesses, and conservation groups that opposed the development of mining activities along this stretch of river.
Following a public meeting where Valley County residents expressed to their commissioners a strong opposition to the proposed agreement, Midas withdrew their offer. Moreover, the Idaho Attorney General’s office has raised valid issues regarding Midas Gold’s Stibnite Advisory Council. At IRU, we were leery about this partnership agreement from the very beginning, Assistant Chief Deputy Brian Kane solidified our concerns.