Barbara Raymond: Worried about fire impacts |

Barbara Raymond: Worried about fire impacts

Today there was a fire at Idaho Maryland and Brunswick roads. Fortunately our amazing response team was able to put it out quickly and save our community.

But as I listened to the air attack team flying hard overhead and anxiously refreshed my phone for updates, I had a sudden sharp thought: oh my gosh – a mine would make this so much worse.

There are many reasons why all of us in Nevada County should rigorously investigate the question of a new mine, but doesn’t this recent fire tell us the only thing we need to know?

Every year in California we are faced with new levels of devastating wildfire. Fires start nearly every day and burn for weeks, the smoke alone causing serious damage. And of course, fire and drought go hand in hand.

We see rural communities across northern California running out of water with startling speed (Ukiah, Lakeport, Bolinas, Healdsburg, and Fort Bragg to name a few).

So. Given this reality, why would we in Nevada County take even the slightest chance of destabilizing our own water table? Do we really need the state emergency orders to let us know this is a bad idea?

At SPD recently I heard a young child ask his dad: “If the mine pumps out the water, won’t the trees die? Isn’t that bad?” The boy was about to start second grade. I also went to second grade in this town. I was proud of our gold mining past and spent hours panning at the NID ditch (unsuccessfully).

But the thing is, that was our past. If we look at our present, isn’t it crystal clear that a new mine is a risk that we cannot take? We can think as well as a second grader, can’t we? Are we willing to jeopardize the future of our home, our well-being and future prosperity? Even the very existence of the town? Goodness. Wouldn’t it be an irony if gold mining once built up this place and now burned it down?

Barbara Raymond

Grass Valley

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