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Salmon Gold Partner Wins Sustainable Development Award

Dean and Chris Race’s mining operation to be recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Washington D.C.

Salmon Gold’s first partner, Dean Race and his son Chris, were just awarded a Sustainable Development Award from the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for their placer re-mining operation and world class reclamation at Jack Wade Creek in the Fortymile region of Alaska.

They operate in a beautiful part of the state with a Wild and Scenic designation. Dean and Chris are experienced placer mine operators and clearly have a talent for restoration. They are committed to leaving this part of Alaska as good or better than they found it. As Chris put it, “when I’m done with it, it’s going to look like a park.”

Improving a stream is both a science and an art. Dave Baker and I met Dean and Chris as they we working on a series of reclamation projects with Matt Varner, of the BLM, and his colleagues. Two summers ago we had an opportunity to tour Jack Wade Creek with Dean, Chris, Matt, and Dakota (Dean’s other son). We saw the pioneering techniques they were using to create better fish habitat. We felt their pride as we walked the stream.

It did not take long to realize that Dean and Chris were a perfect match for Salmon Gold. Their land ethic matched ours. Their techniques, with guidance from Matt, were perfect for Salmon Gold restoration projects.

Historical placer mining sites, where tailing is left behind from mining that dates to the gold rush, are an opportunity for miners and restorers like Dean and Chris, agencies like the BLM, and organizations like RESOLVE. Our Salmon Gold partnership is an ambitious effort to create the incentives, tools, and techniques to improve streams and habitat across a region that spans more than 2500 miles, from British Columbia, through the Yukon, to the western edge of Alaska. We work with partners like Dean and Chris to re-mine the old tailings, left on or near the stream, then we restore the stream—stabilizing it and them improving habitat with pools and riffles designed to help fish spawn.

These first pilots are about building confidence, testing and learning. Over the next three years we will scale the project, working with placer miners, indigenous communities, large scale developers, conservation groups and our downstream partners. Gold that Dean and Chris produced is now in the products of our partners Tiffany & Co. and Apple.
If you missed the Salmon Gold launch in August, here is our press release and an article from the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

To learn more go to our website.

Congratulations to Dean and Chris. We’re honored to be their partners. 

 

Stephen D’Esposito
President, RESOLVE
October 21, 2019

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