If you have not already heard, a copper mine has been proposed for the Sheep Creek drainage. This drainage is the spawning grounds for almost half of the Rainbow Trout in the Smith River. The mine will be pumping large amounts of groundwater in order to release the copper from the sulfide ore it is trapped inside. This process produces sulfuric acid as a by-product and once started is virtually unstoppable.
No mine lasts forever. Once a mine is no longer economically viable it is shut down and basically abandoned. The companies in charge are required by law to set aside money for clean-up efforts but these funds pale in comparison to the overall amount of money it takes to fully clean a mine site. When these funds run out who do you think pays the rest of the bill? We do with our tax dollars! The cost we pay can run high into the tens of millions of dollars. There has never been a mine that has not created enviromental pollution.
If you would like to join the fight to save the Smith River please go to SaveOurSmith.com. It is also a good idea to call or write your local state representative.
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