The mercury washes which were used in gold mining are, 150 years later, still dispersed in water-ways and among the fish spawning and dying in those waterways. In terms of diversity among populations, the gold rush was responsible for the decimation of Native American populations.
Hydraulic drilling, the main method of finding gold during the Gold Rush, led to irreparable damage of the state’s environment and changed the landscape at large. Entire mountains were washed away to get to the gold, so now we have man-made cliffs where majestic peaks once stood.
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