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ODNR’s Abandoned Mine Land Program Wins Award


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program has won the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (USDOI) Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation National Award for its work on the Dessecker Mine Project in Tuscarawas County. ODNR will be honored at the 2019 AML Reclamation Awards in Pittsburgh on Sept. 9.

“Restoring this land clears the way for safe and fun recreation for generations to come,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Congratulations to the community and ODNR’s AML program staff on this accomplishment.”

The Camp Tuscazoar Foundation and the Boy Scouts own the project’s land. Before, the site had problems with polluted water, open mine entrances and dangerous equipment presenting a hazard to the public. ODNR staff worked with contractor Red Malcuit Inc. and closed the entrances, got rid of dangerous highwalls and removed debris. Scouts, visitors and locals can now safely enjoy the former mine site.

The AML Reclamation National Award is presented by USDOI’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). ODNR’s AML Program is run by the Division of Mineral Resources Management.

The AML Reclamation Awards were established in 1992 and recognize exemplary state and tribal reclamation projects for coal mines abandoned before 1977. Eligible projects are funded totally or in part by OSMRE’s AML Reclamation Fund. ODNR received $10.2 million in 2019 AML funding from OSMRE.