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The 2012 BLM Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska is inviting nominations for the 2012 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards. The filing deadline is Feb. 10. These awards recognize operations that embody the principles of sustainable mineral development or represent outstanding examples of environmental stewardship through mining reclamation.

The five categories are:

  • The Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award recognizes efforts in environmental stewardship. This category recognizes achievements demonstrating continuous or repeated efforts to successfully meet or exceed Federal, State, or local reclamation requirements with minimal oversight.
  • The Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award recognizes projects that show concern for community responsibilities and the economic benefits of mineral development. This award recognizes successful coordination of projects with local and regional stakeholders. Projects that contribute to quality of life or show concern for a community’s long-term health are also eligible.
  • The Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award recognizes efforts in environmental stewardship of operators with fewer than 15 employees. Similar to the Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award, this award recognizes achievements demonstrating continuous or repeated efforts to successfully meet or exceed Federal, State, or local reclamation requirements with minimal oversight.
  • The Hardrock Mineral Director’s Award recognizes outstanding achievement in a particular area of sustainable development. The award will recognize an operator whose dedication and commitment to excellence has resulted in the use of a new or innovative design or technique that allows or enhances successful operations in technically challenging conditions or in critical environmental settings.
  • The “Fix A Shaft Today!” (FAST!) Award recognizes active participation in the FAST! Campaign, which is a partnership initiative aimed at eradicating unsafe abandoned mine land features, especially open mine shafts.

Alaska has significant mineral resources. John Hoppe, the BLM Sustainability Awards Program Coordinator for Alaska said, “I think this awards program highlights where Alaska’s minerals community is headed in the future. Mining companies and family mines are working together with agencies and their communities to minimize impacts, leave the land better than they found it, and provide economic sustainability.”

To complete the nomination form, go to: http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/minerals/reclamation.html, or contact John Hoppe, BLM-Alaska Geologist, at (907) 271-3218.

In 2011, two Alaskan groups won awards for outstanding work in the minerals community. The BLM recognized Alaska Miners Association Small Scale Mining Committee with the Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award for coordinating development of the “Alaska Placer Mining Claim Operations Guide” between the BLM, U.S. Forest Service, and Alaska Departments of Natural Resources, Revenue, and Fish and Game-Habitat. Compass Mining, Inc. received the Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award for their efforts to minimize the footprint of their underground frozen placer operations on Linda Creek near Coldfoot. In addition to conducting high-quality reclamation work, the winner of this award undertook extraordinary measures to reduce the footprint of the operation on the land, reducing the need for reclamation. 

 

The BLM manages more land – 256 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including 75 million in Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.

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