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 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.
The advertising space is provided for by Boise Greenbike, a service that emphasizes its ties to the community and the fact that it is a sustainable, clean transportation option. While Greenbike is a subsidiary of a public transportation company, it relies on corporate sponsors and rider fees to exist. However, the fact that Greenbike chose a destructive gold mining operation with no community ties to Boise as a sponsor is unacceptable. The picture it has allowed Midas Gold to portray through advertisements is misleading and wrong.
In reality, the pollution from the operation will pose unacceptable levels of risk to Idaho’s native and endangered salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. It will bury valleys with millions of tons of waste rock and tailings. It will also present water quality hazards that have the potential to effect the wildlife and local communities reliant on a healthy South Fork Salmon River system.
Midas focuses on the before and after of their project and the restoration they promise to do. They fail to acknowledge the danger such a mining operation would pose to a unique and beautiful area that provides crucial habitat for Idaho’s wildlife and recreational opportunities for Idaho’s citizens. They are taking advantage of the fact that the site has been historically mined and degraded and attempting to do more of the same, setting the bar for any reclamation they actually do very low.
IRU recently voiced our concerns about Boise Greenbike’s relationship with Midas Gold. To view our letter to Greenbike click here.
If you share similar concerns over Boise Greenbike’s relationship with Midas Gold, email the Director Dave Fotsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While progress should never come to a halt, there are many places it should never come to at all. — Paul Newman