The ecological footprint of the California Gold Rush, the phenomenon that put our State on the map is vast and spans a significant time frame. The Sierra Fund’s third bi-annual conference, Reclaiming the Sierra 2015: The New Gold Rush, April 20-21 at California State University Sacramento, will devote an entire conference track to exploring restoration activities that will ameliorate historic destruction while simultaneously conveying benefits to current and future residents of the Sierra Nevada and California at large.
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.
Conference registrants attending the Track will gain insight into the technical issues associated with sediment removal from reservoirs and the socio-political mechanisms required to codify and market E3 Gold. The track aims to improve California’s capacity for executing pilot sediment removal projects that embody the multiple benefits associated with reclamation and restoration of mine-scarred landscapes and watersheds, and will bring consumers one step closer to the purchase of a gold ring that resulted in a net benefit for California’s environment.
The first workshop, sponsored by Forsgren Associates, will involve technical presentations by Remleh Scherzinger, General Manager of the Nevada Irrigation District, Ajay Goyal, Chief, Statewide Infrastructure Investigations Branch of the Department of Water Resources, and Alberto Ramirez, Teichert Materials, on the feasibility of increasing reservoir storage capacity through sediment removal in the context of rigorous water quality standards and the simultaneous production of useful or marketable materials including precious metals, minerals, and gravels. Nevada Irrigation District’s Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project will be featured in this workshop, and conference participants will have the opportunity to visit this project in person as part of the Gold Country Mines Tour on April 20, the first day of the conference.
Definitions of standards for what constitutes ethically, environmentally, and economically sound E3 Gold obtained through watershed reclamation will be explored in the second workshop, with critical input from Sherri Norris, Executive Director, California Indian Environmental Alliance, Greg Valerio, international fair trade jewelry advocate, Jennifer Krill, Executive Director, Earthworks, and Amy Crook, Executive Director, Fair Mining Collaborative. The third workshop will focus on market analysis of E3 Gold, including techniques for promoting a product that adheres to strict consumer accountability standards. This workshop will be informed by the expertise of Mark Choyt, jeweler and co-founder of Fair Jewelry Action, Martin Taber, jeweler and Boardmember of Ethical Metalsmiths, and Alberto Ramirez, Teichert Materials.