Reclaiming the Sierra

Working Group

About the Mining Toxins Working Group

A new collaborative structure to address California’s oldest environmental pollution


Support stakeholders and communities within affected areas to recognize and believe in the problem; help incubate and implement science, business and policy solutions to address the problem; inspire leaders to move affected communities into action to fix the problem; and create an accessible clearinghouse of information and funding to support these activities.


The Mining Toxins Working Group is made up of four committees:

  • Human Health
  • Environmental Science
  • Public Policy
  • Outreach

The Science and Health Committees focus on cutting edge research and new technologies, while the Policy Committee works to refine regulations and bring more funding to address historic mining contamination. The Working Group maintains a clear separation between its scientific and technological review activities and any policy activities.

The Outreach Committee facilitates a two-way flow of information between the Working Group Committees and Sierra communities and leaders so that research, the community voice and policy actions mutually inform one another. The Outreach Committee also ensures collaboration among all Working Group Committees.


Public participation is encouraged in all aspects of the Working Group, because in order to effectively address the Sierra Nevada’s ongoing impacts from historic mining, the citizens who are affected must be knowledgeable about the problems, and involved in creating solutions.

Existing and potential members of the Working Group include representatives of: Sierra communities and leaders; tribal peoples; local, state, federal and tribal agencies; businesses; industry; experienced miners; academic researchers and students; nonprofit organizations with a focus on health, recreation, watershed restoration, or land conservation; foundations; and health care providers. Each committee will continue to network and recruit new members.