Idaho has a long history of hardrock mining, with one of the nation’s most toxic mine sites in the north and a large phosphate mining region in southeast. Our work in Idaho is focused on holding mining companies accountable for cleanup of their pollution and protecting communities and the environment against the harmful effects of new mining, such as the proposed Stibnite Mine in the Salmon River headwaters.
We partner with the Crow Creek Conservation Alliance, a group of frontline private landowners adjacent to Simplot’s Smoky Canyon Mine, to hold the company accountable for severe selenium pollution in fish and water downstream of the mine. We conduct field work to monitor and map the selenium pollution, rigorously review mine plans and activities, and advocate for a cleanup remedy under CERCLA (the Superfund program) to treat the severe pollution and protect public and private lands, water and wildlife.
Earthworks also supports the efforts of the Nez Perce Tribe and local and state conservation allies to protect the Salmon River watershed from the harmful effects of the proposed Stibnite Mine, a massive open pit cyanide leach gold mine.