For years, illegal mining at the Zimmerly property in eastern Clark County harmed neighbors, Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Gibbons Creek, and the sensitive and unique resources of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. In 2019, Friends of the Columbia Gorge and neighboring property owners obtained a ruling from the Columbia River Gorge Commission that the mining was illegal because it lacked any land use permits. Now Zimmerly seeks permits from Clark County to resume mining at this site, but without the comprehensive environmental review required by law.
Your help is needed to urge the Clark County Land Use Hearing Examiner to make the right decision on Zimmerly’s mining proposal. Clark County will hold a virtual public hearing on the project on Wednesday, March 1, at 6 p.m.
The County is also currently accepting written comments on the proposal. Please ask the hearing examiner to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the Clark County Code, including requiring the preparation of a full environmental impact statement for this massive project. In addition, please ask the hearing examiner to deny the proposal for a dangerous “haul route” for the mining operation, which would be positioned in a residential area where mining activities are not allowed.
Send Your Comment Now (Deadline: March 15)
Please also participate in Clark County’s public hearing on the Zimmerly proposal, on March 1 at 6 p.m. This will be a virtual hearing, conducted via Webex (a video conferencing system similar to Zoom). It will also be possible to connect by phone. Please see the public hearing info below.
If it is easier for you to send your written comments directly via email (for example, if you would like to send photos or attachments), please use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and send your comments to Joe Turner, Clark County Land Use Hearing Examiner, c/o Richard Daviau, Clark County Planner.
Based on Clark County’s public hearing notice, we expect the record to be open for written public comments at least until March 8 at 5 p.m.
The Zimmerly mining threatens the Gorge and the community in a variety of ways, but perhaps most well-known are the massive numbers of mining trucks hauling gravel through the National Scenic Area. In 2018, Zimmerly allowed as many as 226 trucks per day to haul gravel from the site, past the Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge and through the National Scenic Area. Most of these gravel trucks are double-loaded (nearly as long as a semi-truck), all of them are uncovered, and in 2018 they damaged the roads so much that the roads had to be immediately rebuilt.
In July 2018, one of these trucks crashed into the BNSF train tracks, destroying the tracks and blocking train traffic for more than twelve hours. The dangerous gravel truck traffic generated by this mine poses a significant safety threat to the families who live along the proposed private “haul route,” to all those who use and enjoy the National Scenic Area, and to schoolchildren arriving to and departing from the nearby Columbia River Gorge Elementary School and Jemtegaard Middle School.
Please take action today and ask the Clark County Land Use Hearing Examiner to require a full environmental review for this proposed harmful project. Send in your written comments and add your own personalized message to your comment about how this project threatens the qualities you love about the Columbia River Gorge.
Reach out with any questions or concerns.