The Division of Mine Reclamation (DMR) is sponsoring an awards program to recognize excellence in surface mining reclamation in California. Reclamation may involve returning a mined site to a more natural state through recontouring or revegetation, or adapting the site to a beneficial end use, such as a park. Gold and silver awards will be presented annually to mine operators, potentially acknowledging their consulting team and the lead agency responsible for administering SMARA, the state's mining law.
The Department Director will present the awards at the appropriate Board of Supervisors or City Council meeting, and the awards will be acknowledged on DOC's website.
Reclamation projects completed during the previous fiscal year (July 1-June 30) will be considered for nomination by staff from DMR, the State Mining and Geology Board, and DOC executive staff.
The awards have been established to recognize excellence in reclamation implementation. DOC's panel of judges will select reclamation projects based on the following criteria:
- The reclamation plan has been approved by the SMARA lead agency. If the plan includes federal lands, it must also have been accepted by the appropriate federal agency.
- Reclamation was completed within the previous fiscal year.
- The surface mining operation must be in compliance with SMARA at the time of nomination.
- The extent to which reclamation met or exceeded the approved reclamation plan or statewide reclamation standards to mitigate the environmental impacts of mining.
- The extent to which mined lands have been reclaimed to a usable condition which is readily adaptable for alternative land uses.
- Any other achievements that make the reclamation project unique or distinctive.