Newberry wrote about the Blue Ledge Mine's facelift
Joe Creek has been a biological desert for decades. This small and unassuming stream flows north out of the Red Buttes Wilderness in Siskiyou County, California, and passes below the abandoned Blue Ledge Mine, after which its otherwise pristine water turns into a toxic brine as acidic as vinegar where only algae survives.
Though this copper mine was in full operation only from about 1906 to 1930 and the environmental damage was documented in the mid 1990s, cleanup of the mine site only began in 2010. The obstacles Joe Creek has faced in its long journey toward health include several legal and jurisdictional dramas that have only recently been cleared up.