U.S. Mining Database: Mining Law Threatens California's National Parks; Other Areas at Risk

Publication Date: October 2007

Publisher: Environmental Working Group

Author(s): Dusty Horwitt

Research Area: Environment

Keywords: mining; national park

Type: Report

Coverage: California


Driven by sky-high prices for gold and other metals, a surge in mining claims is threatening California's national parks, national monuments, wilderness and roadless areas. An Environmental Working Group analysis of government records shows 21,365 claims within 10 miles of these protected areas, with almost 7,400 staked since January 2003.

Within 10 miles of California's national parks alone, mining interests have staked nearly 3,300 claims, more than 1,000 of them in the last four years (BLM 2007). Many of these claims are in locations that would threaten or destroy critical water resources, landscapes, or habitat if developed as mines.