Community Stories

Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho, U.S.–Stibnite Gold "Project"

In 2020, the Nez Perce Tribe used the IEN-WMAN Mining Mini-Grant to continue gaining mining technical expertise through the hiring of a mining engineer.

The SFSR watershed is within the Nez Perce Tribe's aboriginal territory, where the Tribe holds treaty-reserved hunting, fishing, gathering, and pasturing rights. The Tribe’s Department of Fisheries Resources Management, Watershed Division has been implementing habitat restoration work in the SFSR watershed for the past 12 years, in an effort to increase the number of Endangered Species Act-listed Chinook salmon (Nacòx) and steelhead (Hey-ey).

The Tribe has worked hard to bring back Nacòx in harvestable numbers, in part due to the fact that historic mining pollution led to the extirpation of Nacòx directly downstream of the proposed Project site. The East Fork South Fork Salmon River continues to have elevated levels of heavy metals, notably arsenic and mercury from historic mining activities at the Project site. The metals concentrations in the river currently exceed the human-health-based water quality criterion (USGS 2015) at the proposed Project site.

The Tribe would like to sincerely thank both the Indigenous Environmental Network and Western Mining Action Network for providing it with the opportunity to contract with an experienced, professional mining engineer to help provide meaningful technical comments to the Payette Forest Service on this Project. Watch the video Dig for the Truth to learn more about Nez Perce Tribe’s work to protect this watershed.

Learn more about #Digforthetruth at