Surface Mining

The State of California has laws and regulations that pertain to surface mining and reclamation of surface mines through the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA).

SMARA provides that surface mining activities are primarily regulated by the local government that has jurisdiction over the land use of the mining project. Tuolumne County has adopted Chapter 8.20 of the Tuolumne County Ordinance that is the local enacting ordinance regarding land use regulation and reclamation for mining operations.

Current Mines in Tuolumne


The primary regulatory activities include issuance and enforcement of conditional use permits and reclamation plans, and annual inspections and consideration of changes to reclamation financial assurances for operating mining activities. At this time, operating mines in Tuolumne County gather limestone and dolomite, and various forms of crushed rock, gravel, and sand products.