The San Juan Mining Conference will celebrate its third year of free, public education April 18-19 in Lake City's Moseley Arts Center. The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) founded the event in 2010 under the name the San Juan Hardrock Mining and Water Quality Conference. UWP and their partners have since worked to forge relationships between historic mining communities, conservation groups, and industry professionals.
Last year the conference drew more than 100 participants, who discovered the geologic context for mining in the San Juans, learned best practices in reclamation and water quality monitoring, and heard industry perspectives on regulation. This year UWP is collaborating with Lake Fork Valley Conservancy, Hinsdale County, and Mountain Studies Institute to spark a dialogue about the benefits legacy and operational mines can bring to communities. Case studies featuring Lake City's operational gold mine, the Golden Wonder, and the historic Ute-Ulay townsite, silver mine, and milling complex will frame the discussion and support this emphasis.
Talks begin Thursday morning with a focus on transforming legacy mines into community assets, and reclamation methods that revive lost history and preserve natural resources. Mine operators and regulators will share their strategies for success and identify partnerships that benefit employees, the environment, and the bottom line. To be as inclusive as possible in the discussion, the conference is free and open to the public. Visit www.lfvc.org or www.mountainstudies.org for details and free registration.