Reclaiming the Sierra

Forest Service wields an uncommon mining law

February 1, 2013

The Mining Law of 1872 is famously generous to miners when it comes to granting them rights to the riches on public lands. But in northern Idaho, a scuffle between miners and the Forest Service hinges on a related, but lesser-known law: the Mining Claims Rights Restoration Act of 1955. And unlike the 1872 law, […]

What the Sierra Nevada Conservancy can do about abandoned mines and mercury

December 6, 2012

MARYSVILLE, 6 December 2012 – The Sierra Fund CEO Izzy Martin briefed the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Board of Directors on abandoned mines and mercury issues in the Sierra at their December 5-6 meeting in Marysville. On December 6, she presented “Reclaiming the Gold Country: Opportunities for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy” which included background on […]

Draft TMDL Plan Focuses on Protecting Waters, Not Just Restoring Impaired Ones

August 28, 2012

from Daily Environment Report™ Tuesday, August 21, 2012 By Amena H. Saiyid State agencies may be able to assess and develop plans to protect healthy waters alongside those to restore impaired ones as part of a yearlong effort by the Environmental Protection Agency and state water agencies to reform the process for writing total maximum […]

State Water Board Approves Mercury Control Strategy for Fish in Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins

July 25, 2011

From the State Water Resources Control Board SACRAMENTO, 21 June 2011 – The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has approved a strategy designed to ultimately reduce the amount of mercury and methylmercury impacting fish inhabiting the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Valley […]

Oregon adopts strictest standards in United States for toxic water pollution

June 23, 2011
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From The Oregonian By Scott Learn 16 June 2011 – Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission today adopted the strictest standards for toxic water pollution in the United States. The new rules, adopted on a 4-1 vote, are designed to protect tribal members and others who eat large amounts of contaminated fish. Oregon’s current water quality standards […]

Increase the Gold Fee

December 15, 2010

While the price of gold has skyrocketed in recent years, the associated gold fee has stayed constant.  The Sierra Fund recommends increasing the gold fee, and letting it vary depending on the price of gold, while directing this new funding stream to clean up the impacts of abandoned gold mines.

Model the Lead Protocol for Mercury

December 15, 2010

The lead protocol is well established and includes product guidelines, child testing and public education mechanisms.  A very similar treatment should be implemented for mercury.  This requires a strong policy coalition including concerned parents, health care providers, fishermen, midwifes, nutritionists, schools and many others. The Sierra Fund recommends that a state-wide or nation-wide health advocacy […]