Our WorkProtecting Nevada Land, Water & Resources
Protection of Sensitive Lands and Environs
Hard rock mining and other resource extraction results in a permanent change to the landscape and cultural value of the land. We track existing mining and other industrial development within the Great Basin through the following National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) processes and by other means, draft technical reviews as needed, and take action when appropriate to prevent or ameliorate impacts on the Great Basin.
- Habitat destruction
- Impairment of wildlife migrations
- Sensitive species like sage grouse
- Loss of road-less areas and potential wilderness
- Protection of the North Pequops range
- Bald Mountain mine
- Public lands and their environs
- Protection of Mt. Hope environs and water resources
- Protection of Sage Grouse populations from mining and oil/gas extraction
- Rhyolite Ridge – lithium exploration and extraction
Resource extraction in Nevada results in the drafting hundreds of billions of gallons of Nevada’s precious groundwater. Much of this water is consumptive used by the mine activities and gone from the basin forever. In addition many operations create pit lakes after mining concludes. Pit lakes, often hundreds of feet deep can be toxic to humans and the environment. Furthermore the water in these pit lakes will go used forever, and water evaporating form these pit lakes is also lost and unaccounted. Mining and other extractive operations have caused groundwater contamination and clean reclamation of these sites remains a long-term problem.
- Toxic leakage from waste rock dumps, tailings impediments, and leach pads
- Groundwater degradation due to pit lakes
- Acid mine drainage
- Massive groundwater pumping
Supporting Communities Impacted by Mining and Extraction
At Great Basin Resource Watch, we don’t see the human communities of the Great Basin as separate from the natural landscape. We recognize that people and the work they do to support their families is an integral part of what we call “the environment.” Therefore, we provide community support to help foster sustainable economies, moving away from Nevada’s boom and bust business, and protect the rich cultural traditions that may be impacted by resource development. We envision communities with information and resources to advocate for their own environmental and cultural health.
- Loss of cultural land regions
- Negative effects on community quality of life
- Economic instability
- Economic transition from extraction
Project Monitoring and Reform
We track existing mining and other industrial development within the Great Basin through the following National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) processes and by other means, draft technical reviews as needed, and take action when appropriate to prevent selected projects from significantly impacting the Great Basin. We also work to reform systemic problems with the local and federal laws in order to protect communities and their environment.
Reform of the 1872 mining law
Reform of the CERCLA law
Development of a State of Nevada Environmental Quality Act
Extractive projects we are tracking > Rochester Mine > Hollister Mine > Jerritt Canyon Mine > Pumpkin Hollow Mine
- Minerals for renewable energy technologies > Thacker Pass Proposed Lithium Mine > > Gibellini Proposed Vanadium Mine