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Know the West

Making mining pay


Kudos to Judith Lewis for her insightful and balanced report on Nevada's bondage to the mining industry (HCN, 4/26/10). As one who lives within 20 miles of a Barrick behemoth, I am deeply distressed at how megacorporations like Kinross-Barrick ravage Nevada's unspoilt wilderness areas to satisfy their quest for profit. As the leach pads pile ever higher and the pits spiral ever deeper, Nevada's rugged and sublime landscape becomes irrevocably altered. No amount of "reclamation" can ever repair these giant pockmarks. No doubt we are a state inextricably tied to mining. Mining has given Nevada a lot, namely high-paying jobs and tax revenues. Yet, as Lewis' article rightly points out, mining companies have taken far more from our wonderful state than they have ever given back. Ever since the Comstock days, Nevada has been synonymous with quick and easy profits, all of it ripped out of the ground in the most reckless of manners. Just as we Nevadans have enjoyed a free ride for too long with our lack of state and corporate income taxes, so too have the mining companies enjoyed near-colonial profits and privileges within our border. It's time for all Nevadans to pay their fair share.

Bradley Berthold
Manhattan, Nevada