NEVADA CITY, 21 November 2012 – The Sierra Fund is excited to announce new and continuing funding for our mining initiative activities in 2013: Bella Vista Foundation will again support our cutting-edge pilot project to assess mine contamination in the Humbug Creek Watershed; while the Firedoll Foundation has become our newest partner in the effort to reform suction dredge mining in California.
Our project at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park’s Humbug Creek has earned a $50,000 grant from the Bella Vista Foundation. These funds will be used to pay for additional scientific evaluation of the site by CSU Chico students who are working on our project which was started with funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and in partnership with State Parks. The funds will cover travel expenses and costs of laboratory testing samples taken by the nearly dozen graduate and upper-division students working under the supervision of our Science Director, Dr. Monohan, who also serves as adjunct professor at CSUC.
This project was conceived by our Mining Toxins Working Group as a pilot project to address the many issues associated with historic mining contamination. This approach allows us to address several scientific, legal and regulatory challenges, while building relationships—all of which serve as a model for similar sites throughout the Sierra. We selected the Humbug Creek Watershed as the best site for a model assessment and remediation project. The site has the potential for a feasible, small scale management strategy that will result in major habitat benefits—and can serve as a stepping stone to addressing contamination at other sites.
We are also excited to announce that the Firedoll Foundation has chosen to support our work for the first time. With a $15,000 grant from Firedoll, we will be gathering our allies to think about how to frame the conversation about suction dredge mining, in preparation for next spring when the Department of Fish & Game brings forward their report on how to manage the public health, cultural, and environmental impacts of suction dredge mining in a regulatory format.