Department of Conservation's Mine Reclamation Awards (2021)
The Division of Mine Reclamation (DMR) is sponsoring an awards program to recognize excellence in surface mining reclamation in California. Reclamation involves completing the approved reclamation plan and returning a mined site to a more natural state through recontouring and/or revegetation. Gold and silver awards will be presented annually beginning December 2021. Award categories are for mine operators (and may include acknowledgement of their consulting team) and the lead agencies responsible for administering SMARA, the state's mining law.
The Director of the Department of Conservation (DOC) will present the awards at an appropriate Board of Supervisors' or City Council meeting, and the awards will be acknowledged on DOC's website.
Reclamation projects completed during the 2020-2021 fiscal year (July 1-June 30) will be considered for nomination by staff from DMR 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.