The wild Salmon River is one of Idaho’s greatest treasures. I became a river guide to help people experience the wonder of a river canyon, and as a guide on the Salmon, I witness visitors from all over the country fall in love with the place. They return year after year as tourists to support Idaho businesses in towns like McCall, Salmon and Riggins and take a stake in the protection of Idaho’s wild places. Many businesses and guides like myself rely on the Salmon running clean and wild for our incomes.

Midas Gold’s proposed mining project jeopardizes this special piece of Idaho and the livelihoods built around it. We all use the metals that are mined. But the headwaters of the South Fork, draining to the lower 135 miles of the Salmon River, in a Wild and Scenic corridor, is not a place for this type of mining. There is no way to safely construct and operate an open-pit cyanide vat-leach mine here. When things go wrong in the headwaters, everyone downstream suffers.

It’s hard to put a price on the value of a free-flowing and clean river. There’s an infectious joy about it, one that’s hard to find the right words for. Idahoans are incredibly lucky to have this experience in their backyards.

Submit comments to the Forest Service by Oct. 28 and support groups that are standing up for the South Fork of the Salmon River. Do your part to protect one of Idaho’s greatest treasures.

Nicole Cordingley, Stanley

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