Reclaiming the Sierra

2010 Conference

Summit Proceedings

Click here for a PDF package of all Summit Proceedings.  (If that doesn’t work and you have an older version of Adobe Reader, try this version.)  Notes and presentations from individual workshops are available below.


At the Summit reception on Monday, November 8, three Sierra Crest Awards were presented recognizing “Visionary Leaders Helping Communities Reclaim the Sierra.”

  • Dr. Charles Alpers of the United States Geological Survey
  • Sherri Norris of the California Indian Environmental Alliance
  • Ron Nelson of the Nevada Irrigation District

Science Poster Competition prizes were awarded to the following people’s choice nominees:

  • First Place to Evelyn Soltero for her poster “Groundwater Recharge in Fractured Rock”
  • Second Place to Brandon Davison for “Mercury and the Sierra Nevada Toxic Legacy:  Water quality impacted by historic gold mining at Cherokee, Butte County, California”
  • Third Place to Madeline Flandreau for “Geochemical Analysis of Abandoned Mine Land Soils in Foresthill, California using Chemical Analysis and X-ray Powder Diffraction”

Community Summit Ideas

On the last day of the conference, all conference participants gathered into one room to offer their best ideas and priorities for addressing the problem of legacy mining toxins in the Sierra.  Their ideas and solutions addressing human health, science and technology, outreach and policy are available here.

Keynote Presentations

Videos of our two excellent keynote speakers’ presentations are forthcoming in the next couple months.  In the meantime, click here for a close look at Gray Brechin’s fascinating slides for his presentation “Downwind, Downriver and Downtime:  The Environmental and Social Consequences of Mining and the Wonderful Stuff We Get From It.”

Workshop Notes and Presentations

Click on the workshop title to view notes and the speakers’ presentations (if provided).

Abandoned Mines and the Conservation Movement–Jason Rainey, South Yuba River Citizens League; Ellison Folk, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP; Elizabeth Russell, Trout Unlimited. Facilitator David Brownstein, Wolf Creek Community Alliance.

Encouraging Voluntary Cleanups–Debbie Schechter, EPA Region 9; Phil Woodward, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board; Steve Becker, Department of Toxic Substances Control; Tim Vendlinski, Sustainable Conservation. Facilitator Leah Goldberg, Meyers Nave.

Talking about Local Fish Advisories in Sierra Clinics: Importance, How To, and Raising Awareness–Jane Hightower, MD; Becky Damazo, CSU, Chico; Sherri Norris, California Indian Environmental Alliance. Facilitator Peter Van Zant, Sierra Watch.

Research around Human Exposure to Mining Toxins–Robert Brodberg, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment; Perry Myers, Department of Toxic Substances Control; Carrie Monohan, The Sierra Fund. Facilitator Dr. Fraser Schilling, UC Davis.

Remediation Case Studies–Richard Sykes, East Bay Municipal Utility District; Elizabeth Russell, Trout Unlimited; Rick Humphreys, State Water Resource Control Board; Daniel Reidy, attorney at law. Facilitator Dr. Stephen McCord, Larry Walker Associates.

Stimulating Gold Country Economies:  Building the Workforce, and Smart Growth–Reinette Senum, Nevada City Council; Joe Heckel, Grass Valley Community Development Agency; Steve Wilensky, Calaveras County Board of Supervisors; Bill Finley, Private Industry Council. Facilitator Dr. Jonathan Kusel , Sierra Institute for Community and Environment.

Federal Policy:  1872 Mining Law Reform–Velma Smith, Pew Charitable Trusts; Lauren Pagel, EARTHWORKS; Bob Joehnck, The Sierra Fund. Facilitator Tom Mooers, Sierra Watch.

Financing Remediation on Public, Tribal, Nonprofit and Private Land Ignacio Dayrit, Center for Creative Land Recycling; Jon Blinder, Gold Country Lenders, Inc.; Bill Haigh, Bureau of Land Management.  Facilitator Jim Branham, Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

How to Conduct Public Outreach about Human Health and Mining Toxins–Ken Cutler, Sierra County Public Health Officer; Sherri Norris, California Indian Environmental Alliance; Wesley Nicks, Nevada County Environmental Health; Mike Thornton, The Sierra Fund. Facilitator Dr. Roger Hicks, YubaDocs.

Green Mining and Abandoned Mine Reclamation–Becky Wood, Teichert Materials; Adam Harper, California Construction and Industrial Materials Association; Mike Miller, 16 to 1 Mine; Jim Pompy, CA Office of Mine Reclamation. Facilitator John Lane, Chico Environmental Science and Planning.

Best Management Practices & Stimulating New Technologies–Victor Izzo, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board; Dr. Charles Alpers, US Geological Survey; Tim Crough, Nevada Irrigation District; Facilitator Dr. Alice Rich, AA Rich & Associates.

California Tribal Peoples Leading Cultural and Environmental Healing–Mark Franco, Winnemem Wintu; Steven Haberfeld, Ph.D., Indian Dispute Resolution Service, Inc.; Don Ryberg, Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe. Facilitator Steve Rothert, American Rivers.