Sweetwater County, Wyo- On June 16, 2014, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Abandoned Mine Land Division (AML) received Reclamationist of the Year from the American Society of Mining and Reclamation (ASMR).
The Linokol Project was recognized for “notable efforts in land and water reclamation”. The project was implemented in four phases over a six year period and was completed in 2013.
Over 320 acres were reclaimed that included four open mine pits, mine spoils, underground mine portals, shafts, subsidence features (sink holes), and the restoration of over 5 miles of degraded mainstream drainage’s.
“I think this award is special because it is not just from a group of our peers in other state and tribal reclamation programs,” said Bill Locke, AML Program Manager. “It’s a group of peers in the academic field, mining and reclamation industry nationwide whose mission is supporting and promoting excellence in reclamation throughout this country.”
According to Locke, one of the major challenges with this project was the sheer size
of the reclamation.
BRS Engineering in Rock Springs, WY, was the consultant on this project and assisted the AML Division on implementing a new technology called geomorphic reclamation. This technology helps develop a stable, diverse, reclaimed landscape which matches the surrounding area.
“Since we have been using geomorphic reclamation, we have reclaimed over 4300 acres,” said Alan Edwards, AML Administrator. “This award not only recognizes the Linokol Project, but also the work the program has done to date.”