Howdy! Happy autumn. There is so much going on. Thank you to everyone who made it out to the last few events, including the Youth Salmon Celebration in Lewiston. We’ve got one big win and several events:
Illegal South Fork dredging lands $150k fine
Hats off to Idaho Conservation League and the legal team at Advocates for the West, for their legal victory in the South Fork of the Clearwater. This is an important step in enforcing existing regulations on dredge mining, and helps protect critical habitat for salmon, steelhead, bull trout, and other sensitive species.
This week, federal Magistrate Judge Raymond Patricco levied a $150,000 fine against California suction dredge miner Shannon Poe, who polluted the South Fork of the Clearwater River and refused to secure a permit as required under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The fine represents one of the largest CWA penalties against an individual in Idaho. The ruling also prohibits Poe from mining on the South Fork in the future unless he secures and complies with a CWA permit.
Advocates for the West represented the Idaho Conservation League in the lawsuit, filed against Poe in August 2018 for his repeated flouting of the law and illegal suction dredge mining. For years, Poe and his organization, the American Mining Rights Association, have encouraged miners to ignore federal rules on the South Fork of the Clearwater River and across Idaho.
FOC has been involved in advocating for the protection of the South Fork for many years, and was deeply involved in the process of monitoring illegal activity in the river. If you want to see some of FOC and ICL’s work in action, and learn more about the issue, watch a video that explains the environmental harms of suction dredge mining.
Buffalo Field Campaign
This week the Buffalo Field Campaign is on the road, and folks up and down US 95 have a chance to learn about conservation, culture, and America’s National mammal. James Holt, the executive director of BFC, will be speaking. He is also a former FOC board member and enrolled Nez Perce Tribal member.
Spokane Show: Wed. Oct. 5, 7 p.m. @ Magic Lantern Theater
Moscow Show: Thurs. Oct. 6, 7 p.m. @ One World Cafe – Free to all
Lapwai Show: Fri. Oct. 7, 7 p.m. @ Nez Perce Pi-Nee-Waus Community Center
Annual Meeting – November 5th
Saturday, November 5th is the day to celebrate our wild corner of the world, indulge in potluck delicacies, and bid in the silent auction. If you are on the fence the last day to donate an item to the auction will be October 21st, just to have enough time to get everything ready for the event. It will be at the 1912 Center in Moscow, Idaho.
Ugly Sweater Hangout – November 18th
If you won’t be able to attend the November 5th meeting, consider joining FOC staff and board via Zoom on November 18th. That evening we will talk about the events of the year, play bingo, and award prizes for ugliest (and wildest!) sweaters. If you want to join, just email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link. (There won’t be a password or anything, it will be simpler than last year!)