The Idaho Headwaters Economic Study Group is a group of over 50 Valley County businesses that, using a collaborative, consensus-based model, seek to better understand and assess the potential impacts of the Stibnite Gold Project (SGP) proposal on the sustainability and greater good of our community, our way of life, and our business climate. As stakeholders in everything that vibrant, durable local economies provide, we are committed to asking reasonable questions and obtaining high-quality economic data to inform the decisions we make about the future health of our communities and our individual and collective businesses.
WHEREAS, already rapidly growing regional economies in West-Central Idaho are highly dependent on tourism, recreation and attractive natural amenities. Such amenities must be preserved for future economic vitality;
WHEREAS, the Salmon River, its tributaries and surrounding areas, are constantly visited and used by Valley County residents, tourists, and Tribal members seeking opportunities to fish, camp, hunt, gather, hike, snowmobile, paddle, explore, and seek solitude; and the South Fork Salmon River has been found by the USFS as suitable for Wild and Scenic River designation. Such designation should be rightly acknowledged;
WHEREAS, the sheer scale of “Stibnite Gold Project” (SGP) mining operations, as proposed, presents potentially unpredictable and complicating factors to the sustainable foundations on which Idaho’s dynamic businesses and economies are based; the potential economic effects of an environmental catastrophe on the nearest business communities and their workforces should be considered;
WHEREAS, the USFS recently determined that, due to insufficiencies, a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement is required before the SGP proposal can move forward;
WHEREAS, a benefits-only economic analysis, commissioned by Perpetua Resources, articulated virtually no inherent risks/costs and was without examination of any benefits of a “no action” alternative and there currently exists no rigorous, comprehensive, independent and unbiased economic analysis of the SGP proposal;
WHEREAS, while mining is an important part of Idaho’s history and economy, not all mines or ore bodies are created the same, nor should any areas be mined without regard to impacts on proximate existing business ventures and community cultures;
WHEREAS, the USFS DEIS found that: 1) Valley County public agencies and service sectors could experience adverse impacts from wage inflation and/or workforce shortages ; 2) SGP may affect public safety on the roads used by mine vehicles during construction, operations, and closure and reclamation; 3) public utilities and the Valley County school systems have the most potential to be impacted by population increases due to mine operations; 4) it is possible that major adverse affordable housing availability impacts could result from operations of the SGP;
WHEREAS, virtually no tax revenues from SGP will aggregate locally and will almost entirely accrue to state and federal government, while local businesses are currently experiencing immense socio-economic burdens of affordable housing scarcity, wage-scale deficiencies and infrastructure challenges. All profits from the proposed SGP operations would accrue to a foreign owned entity;
WHEREAS, managing growth has become a keystone responsibility for elected leaders such as local city councils and county commissions, who have the capacity to support, request, and obtain independent socio-economic analyses of large-scale industrial projects that potentially impact business stakeholders and other residents in the communities they represent;
WE RESOLVE, a rigorous, independent, comprehensive economic analysis focusing on ALL the drivers of local economies must take place and be evaluated for impacts not only to West-Central Idaho’s business ecosystem as the most closely affected, but also to the greater surrounding areas and communities, such that the project’s true economic costs and benefits are understood and accounted for;
THEREFORE, we request that Valley County Commissioners act within their vested authority and discretion to commission a rigorous, independent, comprehensive economic analysis on the effects of the Stibnite Gold Project proposal and present the findings of said analysis to the USFS and general public according to standard practices of the body.
If you'd like more information about our efforts to get an independent socio-economic analysis of the SGP proposal, or want to have your business added to the names of resolution co-signers, please let us know!