With this reminder of our mission, let's get straight to the point: Can you lend a few hours of your time at our information booth at this year's Black Hills Sports Show and Expo here in Rapid City this coming weekend? This event aligns perfectly with our mission, attracting Recreation Enthusiasts, Water Lovers, and Wildlife Watchers alike. You'll find many fantastic vendors, just like us, whom you can visit as well. 😊
This year, our focus is on raising awareness among those who cherish recreation in the Black Hills, whether they're locals or tourists. We want them to know about the extraction companies pursuing gold, lithium, and other minerals that will directly affect our watershed. These projects have far-reaching consequences for our cherished recreational spaces, culturally significant sites, and wildlife ecosystems. These aren't your typical hobby miners; they are global exploration companies that can sell their mining claims to the highest bidder for large-scale mining in the future. This prospect threatens to devastate large areas of Black Hills land, deplete our precious water resources, and harm natural ecosystems. The mere thought is heart-wrenching, and that's why we are fully committed to safeguarding the watershed.
Is water more valuable than mining? Absolutely! Clean water is essential for quality recreation, food production, and overall health. Don't you agree?
In 2022, recreation in South Dakota contributed more than $1.7 billion to the State's GDP as reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Outdoor recreation growth here has exceeded the national average. Conversely, the mining sector, on a national average, employed around 574,200 jobs in 2022, comprising 0.4 percent of all total nonfarm employees and contributing 1.9 percent to the GDP. It's important to note that on Public domain lands, these companies pay only $1 per acre per year as a "rental" fee. Furthermore, they freely tap into water wells approved by the state or purchase water from local municipalities for their exploration and mining ventures.
To volunteer, please reach out to us at email@example.com and let us know your available time slot—1, 2, or 3 hours will work just fine. Our RCWA board members are juggling many responsibilities, so any time you can contribute will be immensely valued. We'll be in Booth 204 (Vendor booth map).
Let's come together to protect our water, wildlife, and the joy of recreation in the Black Hills! We'll see you soon. Thank You!
Can't help this time. Your generous donations are always greatly appreciated.
Q: What is happening in Jenny Gulch?
The Black Hills National Forest announced on July 8, its intention to grant a gold exploration drilling permit to F3, a Minnesota mineral exploration company. The preliminary decision was made after the Forest Service published an environmental assessment for public comment in October 2021. The proposed Jenny Gulch Gold Exploration Drilling project is located north of Silver City, Pennington County, South Dakota.1
Q: What is F3 Gold?
The corporation F3 Gold, LLC, is an exploration and prospecting company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As of April 20, 2022, there were about 172,000 acres under active mineral claims. F3 Gold has almost 2500 mining claims in the Black Hills, including along either side of Highway 385 from just north of Sheridan Lake to north of the Lawrence County line, including directly around Pactola Reservoir.2
Q: Why is the Black Hills National Forest issuing a permit?
The 1872 Mining Act allows mining interests to develop mines and remove minerals from claims it has made on any public land. Land west of the Great Plains managed by the US Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management, unless designated as wilderness area, is generally open to mining claims. If the Forest Service manages lands that have mining claims, such as those in the Black Hills National Forest, it cannot deny activities to explore mineral claim areas.
Q: Who decided to greenlight the permit?
The District Ranger of the Mystic Ranger District on the Black Hills National Forest is the delegated lead agency’s responsible official for this National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the Jenny Gulch Project.3 That is NEPA talk for the head honcho.
To see the rest of the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, download the "faqs_f3.pdf" below.
Thank You for a Productive 2021!
We looking forward to a Fantastic 2022.
Together we will Protect our precious Rapid Creek Watershed!