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.
Midas Gold has been working diligently to convince the communities of the West Central Mountains to sign a partnership agreement which is being touted to investors in exchange for rising stock prices. This past Monday notched a big win for those who oppose the Stibnite Gold Project. After due diligence by the City of McCall, the Council unanimously voted not to sign an agreement with Midas Gold.
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.
Fall 2018 semester, IRU was fortunate to work with Boise State University’s Service Learning Program. We coordinated with Professor Mari Rice’s Environmental Studies class to recruit passionate students to join IRU for a semester. Over the course of the semester, students researched conservation policy, assisted in our education program, and created helpful communication tools we plan to implement over the next several months. These eight students surpassed our expectations.
Idaho Rivers United teamed up with BSU Environmental Studies students to create river education projects that engaged over 330 students in the Treasure Valley.
IRU had the privilege of working with eight BSU college students to extend specific communications, policy and education projects. The education program paired up with Boys and Girls Club in both the Meridian and Garden City locations.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission recently closed Idaho’s steelhead season effective December 9, 2018. This is a challenging issue as we value our friends and supporters. We also realize that Idahoans make a good portion of their living from steelhead guiding during the lean winter months. Equally challenging is the deplorable state of Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead species. We are now in year three of a dramatic downturn of returns and next year could be even worse. Idaho Rivers United would like to offer some clarification about this decision and what it means for Idaho’s communities and fish.