For Immediate Release: January 3rd, 2024 Contact: Mason Voehl, Amargosa Conservancy, (702)900-7589, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nye County Sends Letter Opposing Mining Activities Near Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
PAHRUMP, NV. – The Nye County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on January 3rd to amend and approve a letter expressing concern for future and proposed mining activities near Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and calling on the Department of the Interior and Congress to analyze and pursue a mineral withdrawal for public lands in this sensitive area.
Ash Meadows is a vibrant oasis in Southern Nevada near the gateway to Death Valley National Park. The refuge is renowned for its network of interconnected springs and wetlands which harbor at least 26 species of fish, plants, insects and snails that are found nowhere else on Earth, giving it one of the highest concentrations of endemic species in North America. Twelve of these species are protected under the Endangered Species Act. The United Nations has designated the refuge a RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance.
“We are grateful to Nye County for leading in this effort to safeguard Ash Meadows from mining on its borders. Ash Meadows is a crown jewel of the Mojave Desert, and we are heartened to see so many people stand up for the refuge during this critical moment,” said Mason Voehl, executive director at the Amargosa Conservancy.
Officials from the nearby towns within Nye County of Beatty and Amargosa Valley have also submitted letters supporting the need for lands bordering Ash Meadows to be withdrawn from mining out of concern for impacts to groundwater relied upon by wildlife and people alike.
“An Administrative or Congressional Mineral Withdrawal will provide long-term protection and certainty of the Refuge’s status. It will also demonstrate our Federal Leadership’s commitment to the environment by hearing and acting on their constituents’ concerns,” writes Erika Gerhling, chair of the Beatty Town Advisory Board.
This action from Nye County comes just two weeks after it was announced that a Canadian mining company called Rover Metals has submitted a new plan of operations for an exploratory drilling project near Ash Meadows. The company had initially planned to conduct drilling during the summer of 2023, but strong public opposition and litigation prompted a decision from the Bureau of Land Management in July to halt the project until a more detailed plan could be developed and reviewed.
“Some places are simply too important to risk losing and need to be taken off the table when it comes to mining,” said Voehl. “The communities of Nye County have made it clear that Ash Meadows is absolutely one of them. We will do whatever it takes to see to it that Ash Meadows flourishes for generations to come.”
Raise your voice today: sign the petition calling on decision makers in DC to save Ash Meadows from mining!
The Amargosa Conservancy is a Nevada and California nonprofit organization dedicated to working towards a sustainable future for the Amargosa Basin through science, stewardship and advocacy.