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Hello all Friends of « Friends of the Nemaiah Valley »;
These are desperate times. Rarely do we send out a special request to our supporters.
As you know, the Federal Panel Hearings into Taseko Mine’s application for their Prosperity Mine are now into the second week. If Taseko gets approval for this mine it will destroy Teztan Biny (Fish Lake), Nabas (Little Fish Lake) and Fish Creek. There will be significant cultural loss and social upheaval in the Nemiah Valley. Fraser River salmon runs may very well be imperiled.
Quite simply, this mine must be stopped.
In April, we are heading into the technical and topic-specific hearings. Taseko has seemingly limitless funds and a highly paid team of hired experts and lawyers at the hearings.Those who make presentations in opposition to the mine will be aggressively cross-examined by Taseko and they must be present to respond to these questions.
Taseko’s environmental team has put in 110,000 hours, or 56 person/years in the last year just to address the concerns raised since their Environmental Impact Study (EIS) review a year ago. Though heavily outgunned, the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG), First Nations, environmental groups like FONV, Mining Watch, Council of Canadians and other dedicated groups and individuals, are holding their own against great odds.
Highly respected biologists, economists and mining professionals have been hired. WE CANNOT GET THEM TO THE HEARINGS!
Some of these experts have donated pro bono services but they need to be in Williams Lake to defend their studies. The testimony of these world class experts in these areas is absolutely vital but there is no money to get them there. It is the technical issues that may very well decide this case.
« It’s clear the technical issues will be one of the most heavily weighted and critical issues for the panel to weigh. Water quality, acid mine drainage and fishery impact will be the biggest focus….There is no substitute for having the experts here to answer questions directly. If we don’t have this capacity, Taseko’s challenges will go unanswered and I fear all of our work will be compromised. We have come so far in the battle to protect lakes from being destroyed by mining waste and to further the justice of First Nation’s rights to self determination, that I despair we will lose just because we lack funding to support our efforts in the 11th hour. » (Amy Crook, Centre for Science in Public Participation and currently working with the TNG)
Specifically, Dr. Kevin Morin is one of the most respected experts in North America on acid mine drainage. He found many inadequacies in Taseko’s work. We need him at the hearings to testify. Stratus Consulting has the expertise in hydrology, geochemistry and fisheries toxicology that we need. Dr. Anne Maest and Stratus’s fisheries toxicologist must be at the hearings. We need respected fisheries biologist Dr. Hartman to testify at the hearings.
We do have an opportunity to win this case with these experts there.
Bringing these people to the hearings is expensive and requires funds that are not there.
TNG lawyers to this point have been able to attend only via teleconferencing. This is ridiculous!
A budget has been developed that will cover all these costs that amounts to $9,780.00. Your FONV Board of all volunteer Directors has dug deep into our own pockets and contributed over $2000.00 towards this.
Every dollar counts.
If you are able to make a donation, in any amount, then we are asking you to please make a contribution via cheque made out to R.A.V.E.N. (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs), or via the RAVEN web-site at: http://raventrust.com/
Write CSP2 in memo line for a tax deductible receipt.
Cheques can be sent to:
2nd Floor 844 Courtney St.
To follow the Hearings, click here: http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/05/documents-eng.cfm?evaluation=44811&type=2
To read Rafe Mair’s article about Fish Lake, click here: http://thecanadian.org/rafe_fish_lake.html (Please Note: Rafe’s article includes a link so you can watch the film ‘Blue Gold’ on your computer)
We know you can make this happen!!!
We did have a significant victory, and thanks to everyone (there were a lot of you!) who wrote to the Panel asking that « Blue Gold » be shown, well, the Panel agreed. Furthermore, this may be the first time a documentary has been used in a federal environmental assessment review hearing.
P.S. If any of the links don’t work, please copy and paste into your browser.
Here is the updated link to the panel hearings and submissions. There are written documents and audio files as well – Linda