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Gold mine lands on tap for workshop Sunday at Wild & Scenic Film Fest

This weekend’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival will take a political turn with a workshop on potential new roles for Nevada County’s historic abandoned gold mines.

The free event takes place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday at Nevada City Hall, 317 Broad St. Guest speakers include Izzy Martin of The Sierra Fund and Ignacio Dayrit of the Center for Creative Land Recycling.

“This workshop is relevant to anyone that lives in Nevada County or who lives in the vicinity of historically contaminated or blighted lands,” said Sol Henson, president of the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association.



The association is actively opposing a plan to reopen the San Juan Ridge Mine. As chronicled in a 36-minute film, “Water for Gold,” by Ridge residents Tom and Debra Weistar, an earlier attempt to reopen the mine resulted in drained groundwater wells throughout the area.

“This workshop is relevant to anyone that lives in Nevada County or who lives in the vicinity of historically contaminated or blighted lands.”
Sol Henson
president of the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association

“Water for Gold” is being screened both Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the festival. (Saturday 1:15 p.m. at Oddfellows Hall, Nevada City; Sunday 2:30 p.m. at Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Stone Hall, Nevada City.)




“We’re letting folks know that mining at the expense of the economic and natural resources of our communities is not the only option for our historic mine lands,” Henson said. “We will be talking about removing harmful materials from the places we live and replacing those with economic and recreational opportunities.

“The workshop,” Henson said, “is about finding land uses that are both beneficial and sustainable to the surrounding community.”

Henson added that clips from “Water for Gold” will also be shown during the workshop.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival, which runs Jan. 15-18, includes more than 100 environmental and adventure films spread out at venues throughout Nevada County. Music, art and various other workshops are also planned.

For tickets or more information on schedules, see http://www.WildandScenicFilmFestival.org. Schedules, information and tickets will also be available at the festival headquarters, 300 Spring St., Nevada City.

The Union will also run a story on the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Thursday’s Prospector magazine.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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