Gold Metal Waters
286 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Apr 2022

Gold Metal Waters

The Animas River and the Gold King Mine Spill

University Press of Colorado
Gold Metal Waters presents a uniquely inter- and transdisciplinary examination into the August 2015 Gold King Mine spill in Silverton, Colorado, when more than three million gallons of subterranean mine water, carrying 880,000 pounds of heavy metals, spilled into a tributary of the Animas River. The book illuminates the ongoing ecological, economic, political, social, and cultural significance of a regional event with far-reaching implications, showing how this natural and technical disaster has affected and continues to affect local and national communities, including Native American reservations, as well as agriculture and wildlife in the region.
This singular event is surveyed and interpreted from multiple diverse perspectives—college professors, students, and scientists and activists from a range of academic and epistemological backgrounds—with each chapter reflecting unique professional and personal experiences. Contributors examine both the context for this event and responses to it, embedding this discussion within the broader context of the tens of thousands of mines leaking pollutants into waterways and soils throughout Colorado and the failure to adequately mitigate the larger ongoing crisis.
The Gold King Mine spill was the catalyst that finally brought Superfund listing to the Silverton area; it was a truly sensational event in many respects. Gold Metal Waters will be of interest to students and scholars in all disciplines, but especially in environmental history, western history, mining history, politics, and communication, as well as general readers concerned with human relationships with the environment.

Contributors: Alane Brown, Brian L. Burke, Karletta Chief, Steven Chischilly, Becky Clausen, Michael A. Dichio, Betty Carter Dorr, Cynthia Dott, Gary Gianniny, David Gonzales, Andrew Gulliford, Lisa Marie Jacobs, Ashley Merchant, Teresa Montoya, Scott W. Roberts, Lorraine L. Taylor, Jack Turner, Keith D. Winchester, Megan C. Wrona, Janene Yazzie
‘The coverage of this single event is comprehensive—every important aspect is considered by disciplinary experts who are able to write in prose accessible to nonspecialist readers. This will be a very useful addition to the environmental history of the western United States.’
—Ellen Wohl, Colorado State University
‘Those interested in environmental and natural/technical disaster areas will find this book quite rewarding. Specialists in river management, land policy, mining mitigation, and/or training in these fields will find this a useful case study from which they can draw lessons for their own work in other areas.’
—Jeff Crane, Saint Martin’s University

‘This is a highly accessible, informative text about the sad legacy of human extraction of resources from the environment without regard to the consequences.’

‘Approachable and illuminating. . . . Gold Metal Waters is an excellent book for understanding the complexity of the Gold King Mine spill and its impact on the region. Its usefulness extends beyond the content—the interdisciplinary format in examining the event provides a blueprint for how environmental disasters should be studied.’
—Electronic Green Journal  

Brad T. Clark is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Environment and Sustainability at Fort Lewis College. His original research has been published in the Society and Natural Resource Journal, Environmental Practice Journal, and Social Science Journal.

Pete McCormick is professor in the Department of Environment and Sustainability at Fort Lewis College where he has served in various teaching and administrative capacities including associate dean and associate provost. He is a governor-appointed commissioner on the Southern Ute Indian Tribe–State of Colorado Environmental Commission; has published over twenty articles, book chapters, and book reviews; and was the book review editor for the American Indian Quarterly.
Find what you’re looking for...

Free shipping on online orders over $40

Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters

Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.