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September 5, 2013
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Environmental movement wants your money

A while back the Sierra Fund put an article in the paper that talked about the concerns of eating fish contaminated with mercury. This was nothing more than emotional environmental posturing that will lead to more donations and government grant money being wasted.

They need to check their facts. A California State Water Board study released May 22 indicates that mercury in fish in the Gold Country is not a problem. The study (available with this story at TheUnion.com) is the most comprehensive and wide-ranging study to date conducted by the Water Board, and the results show that mercury is not a problem.

An article in the International California Mining Journal, written by Scott Harn, states, and I quote: “The study was the third in a three-part study extending over seven years that sampled 63 rivers and 568 fish to determine the health of California sport fish. Without exception, the fish in the mountains and gold-bearing areas of California were either well below or significantly below established criteria for consumption. 87 percent of locations sampled tested below mercury threshold levels and 100 percent of rivers in the Gold Country tested below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thresholds. The only areas found with levels of mercury exceeding advisory criteria were in the Sacramento Delta, which is consistent with earlier testing.”

Other facts issued by the California State Water Resources Board and other experts can be read at http://westernminingalliance.org/.

So why would an environmental group come out with an editorial warning people about eating contaminated fish? So they can get everyone’s emotions stirred up. Environmentalism isn’t about the environment, it’s all about money. These organizations get hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars in government grants to do their “scientific” studies. They get emotions stirred up first, like they have done with the mercury issue and suction dredging.

Why can they dredge Combie Lake to eradicate the mercury, but it’s not OK for the miners to dredge for gold in the streams and rivers? Money, that’s why. There are millions to be made in government grants for these businesses and environmental groups regarding mercury eradication.

A recent letter in The Union newspaper talked about the dredging that was going to be done at Lake Combie by NID and Teichert aggregate. What they failed to mention in the article was the $6.5 million that Sen. Feinstein has allocated to do this.

Another article I read said they were hoping to retrieve 75 pounds of mercury by dredging the lake; 75 pounds for $6.5 million. I think our tax dollars could be better spent somewhere else.

What about the methyl mercury they will create? That’s why they claim they don’t want miners suction dredging any longer.

In playing to these emotions, they use people in the scientific society who follow the same agenda, so they get the results to prove their agenda while ignoring science that points to the contrary.

That’s why Sierra Fund CEO Izzy Martin has said that the “science is settled” concerning mercury and dredging. That’s what you say when your science hasn’t proven your theories and when there is science that contradicts yours.

They’re doing this because of millions of dollars in government grants for the eradication of mercury, even after it’s been determined that it’s not a problem.

They want to stop the miners from suction dredging so they will give up their claims, because they can’t dredge on someone’s mining claim.

They do this because environmentalism is a business. It doesn’t have to produce a product and doesn’t have to produce a profit in order to stay in business. The website www.guidestar.org lists the Sierra Fund in 2011 as having received $482,363 dollars in contributions and $514,223 in government grants. They list total expenditures at $995,573 dollars. For what? To pay their attorneys to file endless lawsuits against government agencies to influence regulations created from those agencies?

They label themselves a nonprofit and play to that so everyone thinks they’re only in it for the environment. Remember, this is just one environmental organization. That’s why there are “friends of this creek” and “friends of that creek.” It’s a money-making business that doesn’t have to produce anything.

I’m left to wonder why our politicians hand out money hand over fist for environmental groups while Social Security and Medicare are underfunded, along with police, fire and schools. Work needs to be done to dry up the money that gets funneled to these environmental groups.

Wes Hawkins lives in Grass Valley.


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The Union Updated Sep 5, 2013 09:22PM Published Sep 7, 2013 10:37AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.