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Cottonwood Wash Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project: A Partnership in Watershed Reclamation.

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Presentation on theme: "Cottonwood Wash Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project: A Partnership in Watershed Reclamation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cottonwood Wash Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project: A Partnership in Watershed Reclamation

2 Clean Water Action Plan National Watershed Restoration Program Part of the President’s Clean Water Action Plan of 1998 Purpose: “For federal land managers to work in partnership with state and local agencies, tribes, and private parties to develop strategies for the restoration of watersheds affected by abandoned mines.”

3 Partners Utah Bureau of Land Management USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program Division of Water Quality

4 Project Organization Steering Committee: Agency Directors Ensure availability of resources Provided dispute resolution Technical Committee: Resource Specialists and Decision Makers Conducted project level work

5 Partner Contributions BLM contributed AML inventory, exploration road inventory, water quality testing, biological assessment, project archaeologist and radiological studies AMRP contributed contract procurement and administration, construction management, bat surveys, and assisted in AML inventory

6 Site Selection: Why Cottonwood Wash? Mixed federal ownership: BLM and FS Water State listed impacted watershed Mining impacts

7 Cottonwood Wash Background Watershed comprises 143,000 acres, ranges from 4,500 feet to 9,500 feet in elevation BLM lands - 33%; USDA-FS - 60%; State - 4%; Tribal - 3%. 9 decades of mining for vanadium and uranium Water with elevated alpha radiation



10 The Problems Dangerous mine openings Radon gas Mined waste dumps contributing sediment and uranium to the stream Exploration roads contributing sediment

11 The Solutions Close mines that present a risk to human health and welfare Stabilize mine waste dumps that are eroding into the streams and affecting water quality Reclaim unneeded access roads and mineral exploration roads Stabilize the primary road in Cottonwood Wash

12 The Approach: Studies and Surveys AML inventories Water quality studies Radiological surveys Bat surveys Cultural resource inventories Exploration road surveys Biological assessments and evaluations

13 The Products Compilation of all relevant GIS layers EA TMDL analysis Cultural survey report Bat survey report Radiological reports of waste dumps, water, mines, and mill site

14 Products (continued) 3 issues of San Juan County Historical Commission’s Blue Mountain Shadows Mining History of Cottonwood Wash Pre-history of Cottonwood Wash People and Cottonwood Wash Specifications for reclamation construction Utah Geological Association article Prehistoric site testing report

15 On-The-Ground-Results Four BLM projects completed 122 mine portals sealed 24 mine shafts sealed 200 drill holes sealed 5 miles of exploration road reclaimed 61,000 cyds. of earthwork 124 acres seeded





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