Nearly 100 community members turned out to an early morning rally and presentation organized by the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association (SJRTA) on the potential impacts of the proposed San Juan Ridge Mine. Following the rally, the Supervisors received over 1,300 signed postcards from concerned citizens.
In her comments to the Supervisors, SYRCL Board President Barbara Getz emphasized that the proposed mine concerns the entire Yuba Watershed. “SYRCL is very concerned that the mine could pose risks to the South Yuba watershed and its tributaries, Spring and Shady Creeks, including impacts to water quality and quantity, fish and wildlife, and vegetation. We request your leadership in protecting the watershed from the proposed reopening of the gold mine on the San Juan Ridge.”
SJRTA Vice-President and former Planning Commissioner Kurt Lorenz, who in the mid-1990s helped to negotiate a plan with the mine operators to protect the community’s water resources, addressed the Supervisors. “It didn’t work! We know what we’re up against and we can’t go there again. We can’t allow 3.5 million gallons of water per day to be used by the mine. We can’t allow the destruction of property values for hundreds of families in order to export wealth from Nevada County to outside investors. We can’t allow the loss of 200 existing jobs for some speculative, temporary jobs.”
Volunteers from SYRCL and SJRTA collected the 1,300 postcards during SYRCL’s recent Wild & Scenic Film Festival. The postcards state “water is more precious than gold” and feature an image of the mythological King Midas, who wished for the ability to turn anything he touched into gold but later regretted his decision after turning food, water and even his own daughter into the precious metal.
Other speakers at the morning rally included Gary Parsons, SJRTA Board President; Sol Henson, SJRTA Board member and hydrologist; and Mike Pasner, local farmer and active community member.