Letter — Stop gold mining to preserve the environment

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2022

To the Editor:

I am the manager of the Yogaville farm, which is 6 acres on the banks of the James River.  We water our crops from a freshwater stream that eventually flows into the James River.

We run an organic farm, meaning we do not use any chemical pesticides to protect our crops. We protect them by covering the rows with very thin sheets of fabric that let in sun and rain but keep out bugs.

I know that I will not be manager of this farm forever. I see my role not only as the manager of today but as the steward of tomorrow, for future people who are learning to farm in the naturally healthy way we do.

The more I hear from the experts who are reporting to the National Academies of Sciences Committee for the Study of Potential Impacts of Gold Mining in Virginia, the more I am concerned about the potential harm that could come to our farm from this activity. Research shows that the bonds the mines have to put up do not cover the costs of mitigation and that many gold mines end up being superfund sites. This becomes expenses that are handed down to future generations of taxpayers.

I want the board of supervisors to not only be managers of the county of today, but good stewards of tomorrow as well.  Let’s learn from the mistakes of others and not repeat them. Having a toxic gold mine up the road will invariably impact our water in Buckingham in general, and our farm in particular. 

I was really happy to hear that the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors approved the development of an ordinance to protect us from gold mining July 11. Let’s stop this idea of gold mining in Buckingham in its tracks, pass the proposed rights-based ordinance and protect us all from the toxic trespass that is clearly documented and would come with industrial gold mining. 

Sign the petition now at bit.ly/bhamord.

Frederick MacIsaac