AML Property Acquisition Project

The goal of the project is to create a model pre-acquisition assessment for evaluating both cultural resources and environmental impacts on properties that contain historic mines.


The Sierra Fund launched this project in 2013, with funding from the California Resources Agency River Parkways program.   We are conducting research on legacy mining contaminants and cultural features as

Collecting soil samples, fall 2013

Collecting soil samples, fall 2013

due diligence on a property we have secured grant funds to acquire for the City of Nevada City.  Nevada

City hopes to turn the property into a public park and potentially extend the Deer Creek Tribute Trail.  Emulating our process will help buyers and sellers better understand the due diligence process that is required for areas with historic mining impacts, to learn what a property holds before it changes hands.

Project Efforts

For this project, The Sierra Fund collected soil samples and conducted historical research to compile a comprehensive report of the property’s rich history and current chemical contamination levels. The cultural resources evaluation for the project was conducted by Mark Selverston, M.A., RPA, archaeologist with the Anthropological Studies Center, California State University Sonoma. A final report document including assessment methods and results will be produced to serve as a template for other organizations or agencies looking to acquire historically mined properties.

We are grateful to The California Resources Agency for making this project possible through its generous grant funding.

See Also:

Malakoff Diggins – Where The Sierra Fund has spearheaded the science for the restoration of one of the largest and most iconic hydraulic mines in the Sierra.