The California Gold Rush had an impact on the environment. The ways the miners found their gold destroyed nature. For example, hydraulic mining destroyed the mountainsides, killed trees, and the animals. This happened to get the gold in the mountains, but was very destructive and ruined the mountain. When the pressurized water hit the mountainside, the sediments came off and fell into the river, taking up space in the river. This caused the water level to rise, giving the mining towns a flood.
Panning for gold polluted the rivers. It also took dirt off the ground, causing the ground to be at the level of the river. Then, the water from the river spills out, also making floods. For warmth, miners made fires but they sometimes got out of control. This destroyed trees and animals, as well as mining towns. It also made forest fires.
The miners and the nature were both affected in the California Gold Rush, but the animals were affected by the Gold Rush too. The water that the animals drank from was polluted in the streams, and the miners also killed and ate the animals because they were hungry, too. The California Gold Rush had a huge impact on the environment, in a bad way.