Hydraulic mining was probably the most environmentally devastating event in the 1800s. If it continued to go unchecked the results would have been even more astronomical. Land far down the valley, all the way to San Francisco Bay could have been destroyed for agricultural use, fish that died in great numbers could well have been wiped out completely. California’s high ranking in the world economy would be non-existent.
Considered “the researchers gold mine” you can learn more about hydraulic mining and California’s gold rush by visiting the Searls Library in Nevada City.