It was at this point in the calendar that local residents on the Comstock Lode began to hear about a scheme to pit mine in the Virginia City National Historic Landmark, and to organize against it.
We’ve begun to fight, drawing on our experience with earlier attempts to dig enormous pit mines here. One of these previous companies, Houston Oil & Minerals, did dig a huge crater where the original 1859 discovery was made in Gold Hill, and it remains there today, long after the mining company itself dissolved into thin air. A big slab of Sun Mountain is slowly sliding into the big hole, and a bilious green pond has appeared at the bottom.
A few years later another company tried to pit mine in Silver City. The local folks organized a successful resistance, and Lyon County ruled it incompatible with the zoning in the county Master Plan, and turned it down.
This time the struggle is complicated by the fact that the company, Comstock Mining Inc., is active in both Lyon and Storey counties, which have different ordinances and different attitudes behind them. We will have to fight on two fronts. But having both counties involved means more citizen involvement, and CMI will have to fight on two fronts as well.
Overheard at Main Street Shops in Austin: “I’m telling you, Larry, you don’t have to be smart to be a clear thinker, but you do have to be brave.”