Reclaiming the Sierra

2012 Conference Proceedings

Presentations, notes, videos, and other materials from Reclaiming the Sierra 2012:  Green $olutions to Abandoned Mines are now available.  If you have any questions about this content or requests for something you do not see here, please contact Kerry Morse.

Program and Abstracts

Click here to view the Reclaiming the Sierra 2012 conference program as a PDF.

Click here to view abstracts of presentations at Reclaiming the Sierra 2012.  


At the Conference reception on Friday, May 4, three Sierra Crest Awards were presented recognizing “Visionary Leaders Helping Communities Reclaim the Sierra.”

  • Rick Humphreys who recently retired from the State Water Resources Control Board
  • Karuk Tribe accepted by Leaf Hillman
  • California State Parks accepted by Marilyn Linkem, Sierra District Superintendent, and Syd Brown of State Parks

Science Poster Competition entries were judged by a committee of three and the following prizes awarded:


The following speakers made presentations at Reclaiming the Sierra on May 3 or May 5, 2012.  Presentation slides (when available and permitted by the speaker) may be viewed by clicking the presentation title or speaker.

KEYNOTE:  Mark Nechodom, Director of CA Department of Conservation

Green Solutions Workshop Track

Green Solutions to Abandoned Mines

Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, CEO, The Sierra Fund

Framework for Responsible Mining – An Alaskan Perspective

Kendra Zamzow, Ph.D., Center for Science in Public Participation

Sustainable Remediation and Green Resource Extraction Practices of Acid Mine Drainage Sites

James Jacobs, Environmental Bio-Systems

PANEL:  Green Solutions to Abandoned Mines

James Pompy, California Dept. of Conservation, Office of Mine Reclamation
John Lane, Teichert Materials
James Jacobs, Environmental Bio-Systems
Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, The Sierra Fund

Policy & Coordination Workshop Track

Addressing Administrative Challenges to Abandoned Mine Site Cleanup

Stephen McCord, Ph.D., McCord Environmental & Delta Tributaries Mercury Council

Greg Reller, Burleson Consulting

Transport of Mercury Past a Recreational Dam on Deer Creek in Nevada County, CA

Justin Wood, Sierra Streams Institute

PANEL:  Mercury and Reservoir Operations (1 hour)

Carrie Monohan, The Sierra Fund – facilitator

Tim Crough, Nevada Irrigation District

Andy Fecko, Placer County Water Agency

Stephen McCord, McCord Environmental & Delta Tributaries Mercury Council

Robert Shibatani, The Shibatani Group, Inc.

Case Studies & Remediation Technologies Track

Mercury Old and New on the Kuskokwim

Kendra Zamzow, Ph.D., Center for Science in Public Participation

Reclaiming Hydraulic Gold Mine Sluice Tunnels

Rick Humphreys

Marrall Chrome Mine Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection, Tahoe National Forest

Rick Weaver, US Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest

Proposed North San Juan Mine

Tim Callaway, Shasta Gold Corp

Revegetation for Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control in CA Mine Reclamation

Leah Gardner,  Office of Mine Reclamation

Remedial Technologies for Mine Wastes – an ITRC Web Based Guidance (1 hour)

Paul Eger, Golder Assoc., Inc.

Semi-Passive Bioreactors for Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage

Timothy Tsukamoto, Ph.D., TKT Consulting, LLC

Engineered Pumpable pHoam:  A New Innovative Method for Mitigating Acid Rock Drainage

Paul Eger, Golder Associates, Inc.

Leona Quarry Reclamation:  Soil Treatments, Native Plant Revegetation & Long-term Monitoring

Patrick Reynolds, H. T. Harvey & Associates

Penn Mine Ecosystem Restoration Project:  Effective Soil Remediation and Revegetation Techniques on Pyritic Mineral Deposits at an Abandoned Copper and Zinc Mine

Max Busnardo, H. T. Harvey & Associates


Policy & Legal Workshop Track

A Short Course on CA Mining Law & CEQA (1 hour, for MCLE credit)

Ellison Folk, Shute Mihaly & Weinberger LLP

Update on 1872 Mining Law Reform, and How it Pertains to Californians

Elyssa Rosen, Pew Charitable Trusts, Campaign for Responsible Mining

Update on CA Suction Dredge Mining Regulation, Legislation, Litigation

Steve Evans, Friends of the River

Case Studies Related to Technical Tours

Malakoff Diggins/Humbug Creek Watershed Assessment

Carrie Monohan, Ph.D., The Sierra Fund

Three Centuries of California Gold

Michael Miller, Original Sixteen to One Mine

Assessment of Mercury and Mine Waste Deposits at Stocking Flat in the Deer Creek Watershed, Nevada County, California

Charles Alpers, Ph.D., USGS

Alternative Methods for the Evaluation of Arsenic Bioavailability:  Reclaiming Mine-Scarred Lands While Protecting Human Health

Valerie Mitchell, Ph.D. and Perry Myers, CA Dept. of Toxic Substances Control

Installation and Operation of a Passive Treatment System at Empire Mine State Historic Park

William Agster, Golder Associates, Inc.

Reclamation of the Spenceville Copper Mine

Stephen Reynolds, California Geological Survey

Healthcare Professionals Workshop Track

Mercury Health:  Information on Mercury in the Environment and the Human Body (1 hour, for CME or CNE credit)

Sherri Norris, California Indian Environmental Alliance

Angler Survey and Trails Assessment:  Two Studies on Gold Country Exposure to Mining Toxins

Carrie Monohan, Ph.D., The Sierra Fund

Environmental Health History Pilot Study at Sierra Clinics

Becky Damazo, R.N., California State University Chico

Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit Training Program for Healthcare Providers

Anthony DeRiggi, M.D., Physicians for Social Responsibility

Community Workshop:  Mercury and Fish

Fraser Shilling, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

  • How did mercury get into the fish here?
  • Is it safe for me to eat the fish I catch?
  • Is it safe for my kids to eat the fish we catch? 
  • Where can I get information about which kinds of locally caught fish are safe to eat?

Gregory Weisswasser, N.D., Whitewater Naturopathic Medicine

  • How can I test my body for the presence of heavy metals?  
  • Who should get tested and who should seek treatment for heavy metal toxicity?

David McGuire, M.P.H., Got Mercury Program

  • Is it safe to eat fish I buy from the store?
  • Where can I get information about what kinds of fish that I buy are safe to eat?
  • How can I get involved in the movement to address mercury in fish?

Community Workshop:  Mine-Related Property Concerns

Jason Muir, Holdrege & Kull

  • What kinds of problems do abandoned mines cause for private property owners?
  • How do I know if there was an abandoned mine on or near my property? 
  • Is it better to not know if there was a mine on my property?   
  • How can I get my soil tested to learn whether there are heavy metals?

Chauncey Poston, Nevada County Real Estate

  • What are the responsibilities of agents and property owners to pass on information to prospective buyers?

Jason Fouyer, Cranmer Engineering, Inc.

  • How do abandoned mines affect groundwater?
  • How can I get my well tested and what should I test for?
  • What can I do if I learn there are heavy metals in my well water?

Community Workshop:  What to Do if a Mine is Proposed in My Community?

James Pompy, CA Dept. of Conservation, Office of Mine Reclamation

  • What are the rules for siting a mine?
  • What mitigation measures or financial assurances does a mine have to put up before it opens?

Tom Grundy, CLAIM-GV

  • What are CLAIM’s concerns about the proposed Idaho-Maryland Mine (Grass Valley) & how were they voiced?
  • What is the current status of the Idaho-Maryland Mine proposal? 

Elyssa Rosen, Pew Charitable Trusts, Campaign for Responsible Mining

  • What are some examples of new or reopened mines?
  • What have people in those communities done to hold them accountable? 
  • How can I get involved in mining law reform?