Mining Initiative meets with Senator Feinstein’s office, and more!

From Mike Thornton, TSF Mining Project Community Organizer

Let me take a couple of minutes to let you know some of what’s been happening regarding The Sierra Fund’s Mining Initiative over the last few weeks:

US Senator Feinstein’s office invited The Sierra Fund CEO Elizabeth Martin and I to meet about our Mining’s Toxic Legacy Initiative.  We had a productive meeting with Senator Feinstein’s State Director James Molinari in San Francisco.  Mr. Molinari assured us that the Senator is aware of and very interested in seeking solutions to the problems caused by legacy mining and abandoned mines sites.  We’re looking forward to working more with the Senator and her staff as these issues progress.

On August 26th Dr. Carrie Monahan (Mining Project Science Advisor) and I were guests on Capital Public Radio (CPR) KXJZ 90.9 (NPR in Sacramento) on the station’s flagship public affairs program “Insight” hosted by Jeffery Callison to talk about “Mining’s Toxic Legacy”. This was a great opportunity, as CPR has an audience of some 300,000! We were joined by Adam Harper, a representative of The California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (Cal-CIMA).  You can listen to the program on CPR’s website.

The program confirmed that the problems laid out in the Sierra Fund’s report Mining’s Toxic Legacy are indeed legitimate and need to be dealt with.  Nearly everyone agrees that much work needs to be done to better understand mining toxins, their effect on human health as well as prioritizing sites for cleanup and then actually moving those cleanup projects forward, but the question of how this will be funded remains. 

Needless to say, we’re thrilled that The California Endowment has agreed to fund the next phase of the mining Initiative.  This grant will enable me to continue outreach to community health centers and clinics across the Sierra to protect the health of low-income and ethnic residents. 

On Monday, September 8th I had the opportunity to make a presentation in Chico, CA at the invitation of the Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance. We want to thank them for inviting us to present our information and to hear what Chico residents have to say about the project and the issues we’re working on.

If you would like more information on the mining Initiative or have any thoughts or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me at or give me a call 530-265-8454 ext. 10.