Proposed Sand Mine Draws Hundreds in Lakeside

Lakeside residents gathered Tuesday night to learn about a proposed 200-acre sand mine in the El Monte Valley.

The project would use 530 acres between the El Capitan Dam and Ashwood/Wildcat Canyon roads about 30 miles east of downtown San Diego.

El Monte Nature Preserve plans to mine millions of pounds of sand from the area over a period of 15 years.

Crystal Howard with Enviromine Inc., a company that specializes in gathering environmental information for mine permit requests, said the project is an important one for the local construction industry.

“There is a severe shortage of concrete grade sand here in San Diego, currently there are no significantly permitted sites in the county and has to imported from Mexico, Riverside county, imperial county,” Howard said. “So this will be an important local resource.”

Opponents say they're worried about water contamination and that the mining would destroy the natural beauty of the valley.

Some residents voiced concerns the proposed mine would take away miles of horse trails that equestrians use on a daily basis.

El Monte Nature Preserve, Ltd. posted its proposals on its website saying they would
provide alternate riding trails while the excavation work is underway.

They also say they will restore the habitat with natural vegetation within four years.

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