"Income Opportunities on Reclaimed Mine Lands"

Monday, January 29, 2018
Sponsored by:
"Income Opportunities on Reclaimed Mine Lands"
Monday, January 29, 2018 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Charleston Civic Center
200 Civic Center Drive 
Charleston, WV  25301

Income Opportunities on Reclaimed Mine Lands in West Virginia

Surface coal mines prior to 1950 in the U.S. were generally left without any reclamation. As government regulations advanced, mine operators were required to backfill the area and plant grasses or trees. After the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) was passed in 1977, mine operators were required to conduct pre-mining analyses of the site and designate a land use that could be achieved after mining.

Reclamation on today’s American surface coal mines is fully integrated with the mining operation. A suitable and effective post-mining land use that is sustainable for future generations is crucial to the long-term success and profitability of the mining business and to the future economic benefits of the landowner. Post-mining conditions should provide ecosystem services and produce lands capable of supporting societal needs in the future.
Post-mining land uses in Appalachia are

1) hay land and pasture,
2) agriculture,
3) biofuel crops,
4) forestry,
5) wildlife habitat, and
6) building site development.

Establishing agricultural enterprises on mined lands has recently gained attention because of the large acreages of flat or gently rolling reclaimed land that is available. While about six percent of the land area of West Virginia has been mined (about 900,000 acres), much of this land, especially in past decades, has been reclaimed to herbaceous species for grassland and hay land.

The use of reclaimed land for agriculture and crop growth has only been practiced on a few sites and on relatively small acreages due to much of the reclaimed land having steep slopes and unsatisfactory soil conditions. But, it is estimated that as much as 25 percent of this reclaimed land area may be suitable for agricultural crops such as livestock production, vegetables, grains, and specialty crops. Specialty crops include lavender, hemp, apples and other tree fruits, Christmas tree plantations, and horticultural crop production in greenhouses. Soils are a key component and are necessary for site quality and productivity of the crop grown.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an overview of a few income opportunities available to those who own, or have access to, reclaimed surface mined lands with favorable surface characteristics in West Virginia.


Income Opportunities on Reclaimed Mine Lands
January 29, 2018
Charleston Civic Center
Room 202
Sponsored by:
West Virginia Coal Association
West Virginia University

Charleston Civic Center Room 202

1:00 pm “Opening Remarks and Introduction”
Bill Raney, President, WV Coal Association, Charleston, WV

1:15 pm “Building Southern West Virginia’s Economic Opportunities”
Representative Evan Jenkins, WV 3rd District, Beckley, WV

1:40 pm “Patriot Guardens, Development of an Apple Industry in WV”
Sargent Major Darrell Sears, WV National Guard, Charleston, WV

2:00 pm “WV National Guard Armories for Agriculture Production”
Melissa Stewart, WV National Guard, Charleston, WV

2:40 pm “The Mine 22 Agricultural Project”
Nathan Hall, Reclaim Appalachia, Huntington, WV

3:00 pm Break

3:20 pm “The Bechtel Summit National Boy Scout Camp”
Matt Monroe, Boy Scouts of America, Beckley, WV

3:45 pm “The Green Mining Model Business Program”
James Ross, GMMBP, Charleston, WV

4:00 pm “Bioenergy Crops on Reclaimed Lands”
Jeff Skousen, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

4:15 pm “Growth and Uses of Hemp in WV”
Louis McDonald, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

4:30 pm “Rare Earth Elements from Reclaimed Lands”
Paul Ziemkiewicz, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

4:45 pm “High Tunnels for Horticulture Crops on Reclaimed Lands”
Greg Stone, NRCS, Morgantown, WV

5:00 pm Wrap-up
Bill Raney, WV Coal Association, Charleston, WV


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