Robin Hart: The real Nevada County gold
I have been a resident of Nevada County for more than 20 years. My husband and I moved here for the small-town charm, robust arts scene, natural beauty (as the gateway to the Sierra), as well as a good place to retire someday.
When we recently sold our home in Alta Sierra after 20 years, we decided we loved this area so much that we stayed and moved closer to town to spend our retirement years. Now Rise Gold has plans to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine and spoil all of this.
After the mines closed in the 1950s, Grass Valley and Nevada City reinvented themselves as tourist and retirement destinations. Thousands of people come every year for our fair, many concerts, festivals and street fairs like Cornish and Victorian Christmas and destination weddings. People enjoy our historic downtowns in both places. They also come to play in our forests and lakes.
When we moved up to Nevada County, Grass Valley and Nevada City areas were in the top cities to retire to. That is all in jeopardy now if the mine reopening is approved.
Who will want to come and visit us if all they are treated to when they get into town is the constant noisy parade of large commercial trucks hauling loads from the mine, not to mention the dust and debris that we can expect over the towns, the constant explosions underground that who knows if we’ll hear or feel, and the potential degradation of our waterways?
Who will want to live here if our towns become an industrial wasteland? The short-term financial gains from the mine reopening may be the long-term devastation of our local economy and the real estate market here. It’s hard enough with the threats of drought and fire to have this added to the mix too.
Our real estate boom may become a real estate bust if people sell off to move to a better place without these issues and people shun our area as an undesirable place to live. How will the county operate if the property tax revenues plummet from devaluation? Think of all our local businesses that have struggled through the pandemic only to have this happen to them.
I love our towns and don’t want to see this miserable future for us for the next 80 years that would affect our children’s children. I hope the county supervisors will see what the real Nevada County gold is, and that is our beautiful part of western Nevada County. iI is not the mine.
If you are concerned about this possible future for our towns, please write or call your county supervisor to let them know you oppose the reopening of the mine.
Robin Hart lives in Grass Valley.
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