These partnerships comprise the community-based sustainable development efforts working as the “Gold Belt Coalition” in support of:
- Collaborative associations for educational and informational exchange.
- Coordinated local partnerships to explore post-mine uses of facilities. This is done using, in part, mine site databases from across the region describing mine site and regional infrastructure suitable for industrial uses and/or regional planning application, known as the FIND Project: Future Industrial Needs Discovery.
- Promoting community capacity for engaging with public land agencies in Resource Management Planning (RMP) processes as they relate to community sustainability.
- Advancing synergies for community sustainability through activities such as recycling, developing healthy rangeland ecosystems, alternative energy projects, and others.
In November 2003, a two-day workshop sponsored by the Northeastern Nevada Stewardship Group (NNSG) (information found at www.nnsg.org.) titled, Mining and the Community – A Partnership, was held at Great Basin College in Elko, NV. Featured, were presentations from industry experts specializing in community sustainability.
Attendees included the area mining companies, Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service, University of Nevada (including GBC and UNR Mining Life Cycle Center), Elko County, community leaders and organizations and representatives of conservation groups.
Presentations included inspirational success stories from several out of area communities engaged with mining companies to find post-mining facility uses. The Northern Nevada Partnership – Elko (NNP-E) was formed following the initial workshop.
The 2003 gathering was followed by workshops on Mining and the Community – A Partnership in 2005 in Lander County, and in 2007 with Humboldt and Pershing Counties. From these workshops, two additional groups were formed, Lander County Sustainable Development Committee, and the Humboldt/Pershing Sustainable Development Partnership (HPSD).
Each community is pursuing specific interests and agendas appropriate to their needs. However, important to regional success is the work that transcends political and county boundaries, those activities that produce results across the corridor.
The formative activities of the Coalition were recognized for their collaborative principles and activities by the Bureau of Land Management in 2007 with the Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award.
Themes that serve all mining communities are pursued through the Steering Committee meetings for exchange of ideas, as well as, an annual Sustainable Development Conference. Nevada BLM provided a grant opportunity to establish the web page www.northernnevadapartnership.com, for use as a resource for sustainable development interests.
Opportunities and Needs:
The vision of the Gold Belt Coalition outlines ambitious goals, designed to meet many contemporary concerns related to community sustainability. Several areas of opportunity seen at this time are:
- Benefits to individual mine projects through life cycle planning and permitting;
- Effective coordinated community and regional planning;
- Expanded collaboration between all who support viable partnerships, and;
- Defining opportunities for reuse of mine-site infrastructure to facilitate regional economic viability through the FIND project.
The Gold Belt Coalition vision will further the implementation of principles and objectives found in the management of public lands for multiple use and sustained yield, according to the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA).
We invite you to become engaged with us in this challenging work.