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.
A Puget Sound orca in late July brought the plight of endangered killer whales to the national and international spotlights when a grieving mother swam with her dead calf on her nose for a week or more. The tragedy was broadcast widely, but one of the underlying causes of the decline of Puget Sound killer whales—the decline of Columbia and Snake river salmon—was practically nonexistent in those stories.
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.
Since early May IRU Conservation Associate Ava Isaacson has traveled to every corner of Idaho meeting with dozens of outfitters and hundreds of raft guides. The point of this far-reaching two months of intensive work is to teach the teachers, who collectively have the ability to reach thousands of people in the course of a summer season.
New placer mining on the South Fork of the Payette River faced strong opposition from conservation interests during an administrative hearing June 6. “I do not accept that mining is the highest and best use on a Wild and Scenic river, or an eligible Wild and Scenic river,” said IRU Executive Director Kevin Lewis.