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Reclamation Unit

What is Reclamation?

Reclamation is the combined process by which adverse environmental effects of surface mining are minimized and mined lands are returned to a beneficial end use.  End uses may be open space, wildlife habitat, agriculture, or residential and commercial development.  Some components of reclamation include practices that control erosion and sedimentation, stabilize slopes, and avoid and repair impacts to wildlife habitat.  The final step is usually topsoil replacement and revegetation with suitable plant species.  Reclamation is often phased to e concurrent throughout the life of the mining project. 

Examples of successful reclamation projects include:

  • A company reclaimed its mining pit to a strawberry field.

  • A gravel extraction area at Mississippi Bar was returned to a riparian wildlife habitat.

  • An aggregate mine on agricultural land operates in four phases. The intent is that not more than 95 acres is out of agricultural production at any time during the project's life.

  • Other mined lands have been reclaimed to grazing and production of crops such as alfalfa, corn, grapes and tomatoes.

For further details regarding the requirements of a Reclamation Plan submission please visit the SMARA Reclamation Plan Submittal Procedure page.