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Report of Legislature

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Mr. Speaker: Your Committee on mining Debris….have taken voluminous testimony touching the subject matter of the investigation….At the date of the early settlement of the State the water of the Sacramento and its tributaries was entirely free from the detritus with which it has become heavily charged since hydraulic mining was introduced to the mountains….Debris from the mines has not only filled up the channels of the Yuba, Bear, and Feather Rivers….but also as to thereby causes the destruction of thousands of acres of most valuable farming lands….Fertile farms, immense orchards, blooming gardens, costly improvements, and homes happy with all the surroundings that embellish communities and enrich a Sate – all are engulfed in a common destruction, and their owners have gone out bankrupted form the merciless invasion of a foe that has left them penni-less….None will underrate the value to a community of those who assail mountain sides with the energy that brooks no obstacle, and an enterprise that laughs at any expense – looking only at the achievements of science and the victories of skill which tear them from their foundations and pour millions of wealth into the lap of the world. Yet the vanquished mountain, like a sullen foe, turns with resentless fury upon the plain and destroys it, and at every flood, like an angry tide, it goes on widening and deepening until nothing is left to destroy. (Majority Report of the Legislative Committee on Mining Debris, 1878)

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