Reclaiming the Sierra

Reclaiming the Sierra 2015

Reclaiming the Sierra 2015: The New Gold Rush was held April 20-21, 2015 in Sacramento, California. Thank you to the speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and all the participants who make it such a successful event!

Outcomes of Reclaiming the Sierra 2015 will be posted on this website soon, including videos, PowerPoint presentations, student posters, notes on each session, and more

In the meantime, check out some of the photos from the event here

The Sierra Fund’s bi-annual conference, hosted at the heart of the glitter and devastation of what was California’s original Gold Rush, is the state’s primary venue for collaboration and action around addressing the ongoing effects of historic mining.

This outcomes-oriented event draws hundreds of participants who are leaders in their field including policymakers, landowning and regulatory agencies, scientific researchers, water quality experts, reclamation firms, mining companies, public health specialists, and environmental advocates.


Conference Highlights:

Tonight_Show_SQ_no-info“Reclaiming the Sierra Tonight Show” featuring conference keynotes and the Sacramento State Jazz Quartet

Monday, April 20, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

This link between cleaning up our legacy mines and educating consumers about the need for responsible mining practices will be featured on the opening night of Reclaiming the Sierra 2015. This talk show-styled panel includes leaders representing completely different perspectives, from international ethical jewelers working to identify “fair mined gold,” to protecting and restoring tribal culture devastated by the Gold Rush, to state regulators working to clean up California’s mine-impacted rivers and forests. Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, CEO of The Sierra Fund will serve as the host and kick off the program with a quick outline of The Sierra Fund’s vision for the triple bottom line benefits that mine reclamation will bring to California. Keynote guests on the “show” include Greg Valerio, Mark Nechodom, Ph.D., and Fran Spivy-Weber. Each of the guests will address the audience before sitting down with Izzy to discuss with each other their ideas.

Conference Synthesis Panel

Tuesday, April 21, 4:35 pm

As the closing item on the conference agenda, four panelists who have been observing and processing each of the four conference tracks will take the stage to discuss their impressions.  The panel consists of Stephen McCord, Ph.D. and Kendra Zamzow, Ph.D., track facilitators of the conference Prioritization and Best Available Techniques tracks respectively, and Adrienne Alvord and John Regan who are Members of The Sierra Fund Board of Directors.  This panel will bring together the diverse facets of the conference, through a facilitated discussion of the conference themes.

Sierra Crest Awards

Tuesday, April 21 during conference reception, 6:00 pm

The Sierra Fund’s awards are annually presented to an organization, an agency, and an individual demonstrating exceptional leadership and initiative in their work to address the impacts of historic mining in California.


The Sierra Fund is a nonprofit community foundation dedicated to increasing investment in the natural resources and communities of the Sierra Nevada. In 2006 we launched our “Reclaiming the Sierra” Initiative to address the long term human health, environmental and cultural impacts of legacy mining in California. To learn more about The Sierra Fund,  visit our website