Mining Pollution Legacy and Clean-Up

In the mid-1850’s hydraulic mining filled the stream channels and muddied the waters all the way down to the Pacific Ocean.

Mercury was used in sluice boxes to amalgamate gold. “It is estimated that ten million pounds of mercury were lost into the streams,” comments Kyle Leach, Geologist for Sierra Streams Institute.

“The tale of the Gold Rush is a greedy tale,” says Shelly Covert, Nisenan Tribal Council Secretary. “Miners came for the land and for the gold. All of the trees, waterways, fish, and plants that  our families lived on were gone.”



Crow’s Range: An Environmental History of the Sierra Nevada, by David Beesley [KXJZ, Insight interview 35:46]

Nisenan Tribal Members Collect Scientific Data to Restore the Land (2017)

Abandoned Mine Clean-Up | Sierra Streams Institute

  • Providence Mine (2015)
  • Stiles Mill (2013) – Under Pine Street Bridge
  • Pioneer Park (2017)
  • Providence Quartz Mill (ongoing) – off Providence Mine Rd.



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