Malakoff Diggins

Since 2011, The Sierra Fund has been working to assess and address the ongoing sediment and mercury discharge from one of California’s largest and most iconic hydraulic mines, Malakoff Diggins.  The historic 2 mile by 1 mile hydraulic mine pit is the centerpiece of California’s Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, and on the National Register for Historic Places.

Goals of the project include reducing the harmful water quality discharge from the site, preserving its unique cultural values, and creating a model for scientific assessment and collaboration that can be replicated at similar sites across California.

Key partners on this project include State Parks, California State University Chico, and the South Yuba River Citizens League.  Technical assistance is provided by The Sierra Fund’s Working Group of advisors.  Cultural resources evaluation for the project has been conducted by Mark Selverston, M.A., RPA, archaeologist with the Anthropological Studies Center, California State University Sonoma.  Engineering evaluation and permitting expertise is provided by Holdrege and Kull.

In April 2015 The Sierra Fund published the findings of the first four years of work on this project in the Humbug Creek Watershed Assessment and Management Recommendations report.  Click here to view the full 200-page report, or the 8-page Executive Summary.

We are grateful to the project funders for making this work possible:  Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Department of Water Resources, Bella Vista Foundation, Teichert Foundation, Patagonia, the Joseph & Vera Long Foundation, and the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment.