TSF Releases New Resource Guide on Mining’s Toxic Legacy

NEVADA CITY, 4 March 2010 – On Tuesday, March 2nd The Sierra Fund unveiled a new guide for land trusts and other land and water conservation organizations on how historic mining issues affect their work, and what they can do about it.

The purpose of Protecting Public Health and the Environment from Legacy Mining Toxins: A Primer for Nonprofit Organizations in the Sierra Nevada is to summarize the key issues that confront nonprofit organizations facing legacy mining issues in their communities.

Many California land trusts have purchased or been donated property contaminated with legacy mine wastes and/or with physical hazards, or they may be considering purchasing such lands,” says Elizabeth Martin, CEO of The Sierra Fund. “Other nonprofit organizations may encounter mining toxins during restoration projects such as development of wetlands, building trails, or restoring streams on public lands. Legacy mining toxins can include mercury, asbestos, chromium, lead, acid mine drainage and more.”

The Sierra Fund’s new Primer answers three key questions:  What are the modern-day effects of historic mining in the Sierra Nevada? Why do nonprofit organizations need to be aware of these impacts? What can nonprofits do to respond to legacy mining hazards in their communities?

“The Sierra Fund has been working for several years to raise awareness when it comes to ‘Mining’s Toxic Legacy’ and to seek real solutions to what is California’s oldest environmental pollution,” notes Martin.  “We believe that this primer (along with the other educational materials we are currently developing) will help nonprofit organizations, medical practitioners and decision makers at all levels of government to take positive action in protecting public health and the environment.”

The new document was distributed for the first time at the California Council of Land Trusts Annual Symposium, held March 2-3 at the Clarion Hotel in downtown Sacramento.  It is available online at www.sierrafund.org/campaigns/mining/resources, or by contacting The Sierra Fund.