Reclaiming the Sierra

2019 Conference Proceedings

October 16-18, 2019 – Gold Miners Inn, Grass Valley, CA 
A conference to catalyze action around a regional strategy to abate the impacts of mercury  – from the Sierra to Sea.

About the Conference

Reclaiming the Sierra 2019 was a conference to catalyze action around The Sierra Fund’s (TSF) Headwater Mercury Source Reduction (HMSR) Strategy – a vision of adaptive recovery for the environment and communities that are still blighted from the 19th century Gold Rush. The 2019 RTS conference leveraged over a decade of research to understand the legacy of historic mining and brought together land managers, policy-makers and scientists to identify critical next steps in order to address the impacts of the Gold Rush and promote the resiliency of natural and human resources from the Sierra to the sea. The conference culminated with a call to action urging conference attendees to sign a voluntary resolution in support of the HMSR Strategy and the collaborative approach it outlines.

Read the HMSR Strategy.
Download and sign the Resolution of Support

Four strategic targets for addressing headwater sources of mercury were explored at the three-day event:

  1. Hydraulic Mines and Mine Features
  2. Mercury in Forest and Land Management
  3. Mercury-Contaminated Sediment in Reservoirs
  4. Mercury Exposure via Fish Consumption

The Conference launched on Wednesday October 16 with an evening reception, Art at the Edge of Extraction, a multidisciplinary creative reflection on Gold Rush impacts. The second day of the Conference consisted of the Headwater Mercury Source Reduction Workshop featuring technical presentations and panels that encouraged robust discussion of each of the four strategic targets for mercury. The final day of the Conference was the Mercury in the Headwaters Tour, providing a tangible, on-the-ground opportunity to discuss mercury abatement.