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Photo of the Animas River, immediately after the spill. Photo by Tom McNamara of the La Plata County Emergency Management Office

8 Hard Truths About Hardrock Mining

8/17/2015 // By Lacey McCormick

The Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado was an accident waiting to happen. It’s not a unique situation, in part because the laws regulating mining are inadequate on several fronts. Rivers shouldn’t be the color of mustard. But that’s just …

At least 3 million gallons of wastewater from an old  gold mine have fouled Colorado's Las Animas River. Photo by Tom McNamara, La Plata County Office of Emergency Management

What We Can Learn from the Colorado Mine Waste Spill

8/10/2015 // By Judith Kohler

Oftentimes when we talk about conserving our public lands, fish and wildlife and protecting our clean air and waterways, there is an overarching impulse that transcends all politics and economics. That impulse is the deeply felt desire to see wildlife continue …


Toxic Mining Waste: Just Moments from a Disaster for Wildlife

8/12/2014 // By Avelino Maestas

When I saw footage last week of a tailing dam collapse at Mount Polley Mine, my immediate thought was of the Chino Mine near my hometown of Silver City, New Mexico. There’s a tailing dam 4 miles long and a …

Contaminated groundwater. Photo courtesy Earthworks.

Tribes Demand Responsible Mining and Clean Water

1/15/2014 // By Tony Turrini

This week, leaders and environmental staff members from eight tribes and tribal organizations are flying to Washington, D.C. to ask the Obama Administration to address a problem that impacts us all.  Mining companies are discharging huge quantities of untreated, toxic waste …

House Members Speak Up for Clean Water, Safe Communities

5/23/2013 // By Tony Turrini

Yesterday, Representatives Raul Grijalva (AZ), Rush Holt (NJ), Colleen Hanabusa (HI) and eleven other members of the House of Representatives wrote to the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Army Corps of Engineers, and White House Council on Environmental …

Photo: USFWS

Pebble Mine Even More Disastrous Than First Thought

5/20/2013 // By Robyn Carmichael

After months of cold and ice, Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska is beginning to spring to life. With summer will come millions of bright red sockeye salmon returning from the sea to spawn in the pristine rivers and streams from …

Tribal Member

Honoring the River

4/25/2013 // By Tony Turrini

Everyone knows that mining can be a dirty business, but it turns out that mines are particularly bad news for tribal communities. For more than a century, American Indians and Alaska Natives have suffered the impacts of mining while enjoying …

Lower Slate Lake, Alaska

The Clean Water Act: 40 Years and Still a Work in Progress

10/17/2012 // By Tony Turrini

This week marks the 4oth anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).  This complex and far-reaching law was a milestone back in 1972 and remains a pillar of America’s environmental policy and commitment to future generations. The CWA reflects a …

Grizzly Bear

You Ask, We Answer: Why Pebble Mine is Bad News

7/13/2012 // By Robyn Carmichael

We’ve been getting some really good questions about the proposed Pebble gold and copper mine, which poses unacceptable risks to the wildlife of Bristol Bay, Alaska. Here we do our best to answer them. Q: What sort of mining process …

Shane Rucker: Wisconsin Natural Resources

Hardrock Mining–Baggage in Hand–Arrives in the Great Lakes

5/29/2012 // By Tony Turrini

Fueled by high metals prices, the nation’s hardrock mining boom has swept into the Great Lakes.  In a region with almost no history of hardrock or “sulfide” mining, there is now extensive exploration, a score of proposed developments, and one …

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