To whom it may concern,
Virginia is currently ranked #26 in the country in regards to wildlife acreage and #19 in the country in terms of pollution/water quality. In addition Virginia currently only possesses one national forest. It is my observation that states with more national forests and higher rankings in cleanliness and pollution tend to be states that people in todays world are flocking to. Instead of prospecting gold mines, we should be focusing our efforts and public funds on buying back private forestry land from companies like Weyerhaeuser and restoring our hardwood forests and natural habitats and waterways health. Please consider the long term potential risks of a new open pit gold mine over the short term potential gains. Virginia has many superfund sites as is, the last thing we need is another mine.