Update on SMARA reform bill (SB 209)


The Sierra Fund continues to track the progress of SB 209 (Pavley), a bill to improve SMARA, which has now passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee and will be heard in Appropriations later this spring. This bill will likely be amended to include the language that is being developed through weekly stakeholder meetings being convened by Governor Brown, which The Sierra Fund has been participating in.

Deer Creek Tribute Trail Fundraiser: Sunday June 14


The Deer Creek Tribute Trail’s annual fundraiser will again feature a live auction and intimate house concert at a private home in Nevada City. Plan for an afternoon of light refreshments and toe-tapping entertainment on Sunday June 14 starting at 4:00 p.m. Suggested ticket donation for this live concert benefit is $50.00 per person. Space is very limited and this event will sell out soon! To reserve your seat, please click here to complete the online RSVP form. All proceeds will benefit the trail.

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership seeking host organizations for 2015-16

SNAP logo

The Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership, a program of the Sierra Nevada Alliance, is currently accepting applications from California Sierra Nevada conservation organizations and agencies to become a Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Host Site for the upcoming 2015 – 2016 SNAP Program.

Qualifying organizations will receive a full-time AmeriCorps Member or Members to serve 11 months at their organization/agency from October 15, 2015 – September 15, 2016. SNAP Members conduct valuable watershed restoration and assessment projects, as well as watershed education projects, and volunteer recruitment and support.

Environmental Working Group seeking participants for hair mercury study

Environmental Working Group and Mercury Policy Project are studying mercury exposures for American women. The project is seeking to enroll 200 to 400 women who eat seafood frequently, and a comparison group of women who eat little or no seafood. Study participants will be asked to provide a small sample of hair for analysis, and […]

TSF’s Reclaiming the Sierra 2015 conference a success


Last week, April 20-21, over 200 experts in their field came together at California State University, Sacramento, to address the issue of the ongoing impacts from legacy mines in California. This bi-annual conference, presented by nonprofit organization The Sierra Fund (TSF) of Nevada City, was attended by local, State, and Federal level agencies, technical experts, […]

Conference Brief: Best Available Techniques for Mine Impacted Lands


The Sierra Fund’s third bi-annual conference, Reclaiming the Sierra 2015: The New Gold Rush, will devote an entire conference track to examining the Best Available Techniques for Mine Impacted Lands (BATMIL). BATMILs represent state of the art options for abating contaminants in the environment. Best Available Techniques should be considered when addressing AMLs during mine site assessment, remediation, and post-remediation effectiveness evaluation.

TSF Releases New Technical Report on Malakoff Diggins and the Humbug Creek Watershed


Today, The Sierra Fund is releasing a new report, the result of more than five years of collaborative science-based data collection, research, and analysis at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, part of the California State Parks system. The newly released Report outlines an assessment of the various physical and chemical characteristics of this legacy hydraulic mining park, including the pit or “diggins”; tunnels and shafts from the old mining operation; and the discharge from these features into downstream watersheds. The assessment portion of this Report used a variety of methods to learn about the nature of the pit itself as well as the Humbug Creek (into which the “diggins” discharge) including:

Humbug Creek Watershed Assessment and Management Recommendations Report (2015)


This 216-page report and 8-page executive summary are the result of the first phase of The Sierra Fund’s Malakoff Diggins Project, more than five years of collaborative science-based data collection, research, and analysis at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park (MDSHP), part of the California State Parks system.

Reclaiming the Sierra 2015 opens on April 20 with “The Tonight Show” featuring conference keynotes and the Sacramento State Jazz Quartet


This link between cleaning up our legacy mines and educating consumers about the need for responsible mining practices will be featured in the opening night of The Sierra Fund’s “Reclaiming the Sierra” conference on Monday, April 20 at CSU Sacramento. This talk show-styled panel includes leaders representing completely different perspectives, from international ethical jewelers working to identify “fair mined gold,” to protecting and restoring tribal cultures devastated by the Gold Rush, to state regulators working to clean up the mine-impacted rivers and forests.

Monday night’s program takes the format of a television talk show, with Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, CEO of The Sierra Fund serving as the host. She will kick off the program with a quick outline of The Sierra Fund’s vision for the triple bottom line benefits that mine reclamation will bring to California. Each of the next speakers will get a chance to make a presentation before sitting down with Izzy to discuss with each other their ideas.

Conference Brief: Multiple Benefits of Legacy Mine Reclamation Track

Sediment in Combie Reservoir at low water, October 2013

Today’s potential for consumer-driven environmental action has exciting potential to reverse the dire impacts of legacy mining in California, particularly in the context of the State’s reservoirs. The Multiple Benefits Track on April 20 at Reclaiming the Sierra 2015 offers technical experts, regulatory agencies, industry representatives, Tribal entities, and fair-trade jewelry activists a series of three workshops that will examine the many benefits of conscientious sediment removal from reservoirs and the potential market for E3 Gold that is ecologically sourced through reclamation and restoration efforts, including sediment removal activities.