Our Work

Protecting 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.

General Issues

  • Habitat destruction
  • Impairment of wildlife migrations
  • Sensitive species like sage grouse
  • Loss of road-less areas and potential wilderness

Current Campaigns:


Water Protection

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.

General Issues:

  • Toxic leakage from waste rock dumps, tailings impediments, and leach pads
  • Groundwater degradation due to pit lakes
  • Acid mine drainage
  • Massive groundwater pumping

Current Campaigns:


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.

General Issues:
  • Loss of cultural land regions
  • Negative effects on community quality of life
  • Economic instability
  • Economic transition from extraction
Current Campaigns:

 


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.

Current Campaigns:

  • Reform of the 1872 mining law

  • Reform of the CERCLA law

  • Development of a State of Nevada Environmental Quality Act

  • Extractive project we are tracking

  • Rochester Mine, Gibellini Mine, Hollister Mine, Jerritt Canyon Mine, Pumpkin Hollow Mine