FRESNO — The discovery of gold in 1848 put California on the map and helped inspire its glamorous nickname: "The Golden State."
But today, more than 47,000 abandoned mines are a treacherous legacy of the search for minerals and metals. Thousands of holes burrow into the Sierra foothills and around the six-county region.
Federal and state officials say many 19th-century mines have tunnels and shafts that pose dangers ranging from bad air, contaminated water and rotting timbers to rats, rattlesnakes and bats. They’re working to close off the most hazardous places — a task that could take decades.
Read the complete story at sanluisobispo.com