By Lisa Giovanniello, StopWildcatMine.com
La Plata Canyon is located in southwest Colorado 15 miles from Durango. This canyon is visited by many for its beauty and diverse recreational purposes. The tranquil community of Mayday is nestled at the mouth of La Plata Canyon. Unfortunately, in 2006 Wildcat Mining Corporation began the pursuit to mill and mine in Mayday. This corporation plans to establish an industrial operation, located just above the pristine La Plata River. The operation will be detrimental to wildlife, water quality, and vegetation specific to the area.
On January 13th Wildcat Mining Company filed a new amendment to mine 264.8 acres of our La Plata Canyon. Wildcat Mining plans to convert their previous application from an area that was less than 10 acres to an enormous amount of land at 264.8 acres.
Before I go on about Wildcat Mining’s lack of prudency and complete failure to comply with environmental rules and regulations, I would like to refresh everybody’s memory about Superfunds in Colorado. According to the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environmental Agency there are currently 18 Superfund Sites in Colorado and 2 proposed sites on the list. Of course, this number is staggering. Personally I do not want our La Plata Canyon to make this list.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Wildcat Mining, the residences up in La Plata Canyon have been subjected to their illegal activities for 4+ years now. We have protested as bridges have been torn down and rebuilt, multiple roads created, 2 mills moved in, illegal portals dug (which have already collapsed) Little Deadwood Creek dammed up and tailings ponds placed directly above our La Plata River! Wildcat has faced multiple violations already. Unfortunately, to this day there have been little or no repercussions. Keep in mind that all of this has been done under the watchful eye of our Federal, State, and County officers. There are multiple photos of Wildcat Mining’s destruction taken directly from the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety records on our website at: www.stopwildcatmine.com.
Right now is the Public Comment Period for letters of disapproval concerning Wildcat’s mining and reclamation permit for the 264.8 acres. I am asking those of you who enjoy La Plata Canyon or the La Plata River (and La Plata County) to take a minute of your time and write a letter expressing your concerns to the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, with attention to Wally Erickson at 691 County Road 233, Ste. A-2, Durango, Co. 81301, (970) 247-5469. You are asked to include your name, address and telephone number in your letter and reference M-1981-185 (Wildcat’s file). In return of your efforts you will automatically receive updates on their permit process from DRMS in the mail. Please, let’s not add La Plata Canyon to the Superfund list.
Thank you, Lisa Giovanniello