Battle brewing over mining operation in El Monte Valley

LAKESIDE (KUSI) —Some people call it “The Yosemite of San Diego County”. It sits in the shadow of El Capitan Peak in Lakeside and the locals are afraid it could be wiped out by a mining operation.

“Our entire lifestyle is being threatened. This would wipe out the environment, local businesses and tear into sacred Indian Burial grounds”, says Lina Levy of San Diego Riding Academy.

The issue is very real and very urgent. The ‘mining company’ has already filed their “environmental impact report” and applied for a permit to start ripping the land apart.

“I feel like our way of life is being threatened”, says Levy. “We will lose our only dairy farm, the only pumpkin farm and our horse riding business.”

At this stage, it’s up to the San Diego County Supervisors to approve or reject. At a firey meeting in Lakeside, hundreds of angry locals vocally rejected any such plans. Blatantly not present, Supervisor Diane Jacob. That’s her district and she was a no show.

“Something funny is going on here”, says Tina Murdoch.

This is one of those issues with so many potential side effects. This area is considered environmentally sensitive, with endangered species. It’s also considered ‘sacred grounds’ by the Kumeyaay Band of Indians. Along with that, there is an underground ‘aquifer’ that supplies all the water to the area.

There’s also the possibility of “Valley Fever” from the flying dust. “Valley Fever is very real. I know two people who had it. It took years to recover”, says Lori Strangle of Lakeside.

If you’d like to respond, one way or another, contact your local county supervisor. Once again, this is the district of Diane Jacob. Since she didn’t show at the meetings, perhaps you can send her a message in other ways.

Categories: Local San Diego News