Photos, Prints, Drawings Partially reclaimed highwalls
Photos, Prints, Drawings
Cabin Creek Plateau (W. Va.)
- Partially reclaimed highwalls
- Contributor Names
- Hufford, Mary, 1952- (Photographer)
- Created / Published
- November 23, 1997
- Subject Headings
- - Fall
- - Reclamation
- - Landform complex
- - Made land
- - November
- - Cabin Creek Plateau (W. Va.)
- - Ethnography
- - Photographs
- - West Virginia -- Kanawha County -- Cabin Creek
- - Tour of Reclamation Sites in White Oak and Surrounding Area.
- - "Stacy Edmunds conducted a tour of sites she'd been using in her field study for her master's thesis in ecology. As she went, she explained the concepts of reclamation at work for contour mining (used in the 1960s and 1970s) and for mountaintop removal. We began at the Little White Oak Creek site in Orgas, where the growth was in "mid-succession" (12-25 years old). This plan did not allow for trees, having been switched from "forest" to "wildlife habitat" as a post-mining use. Stacy distinguished between the landform complexes created in mountaintop removal and in contour mining.
- - Contour mining leaves two complexes: 1) a highwall elimination complex, comprising a long slope, a bench, and a field area. The "pre-law" highwalls tend to slump and fall, and are hazardous to wildlife. The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) requires that highwalls be eliminated. This is done through backfilling (CO68-09 through C068-12). 2) wetland drainage complex (C068- 11)
- - Contrasting the two forms of mining, Stacy pointed out that in mountaintop removal the undisturbed ground surrounds the perimeter of the actual mine site, and that fragments of forest run adjacent to the mine site along the valley fills. In contour mining the undisturbed ground is above and below the mine site. This location of undisturbed ground affects the ratio of native to exotic species coming in, since seed dispersal is aided by gravity. Natives like poplar, red oak, and white oak will begin at the top and creep down. Stacy observed that she saw the highest number of native species below the toe. Seedlings planted in reclamation include nitrogen fixing species like black alder, autumn olive, and black locust. She pointed out lots of volunteer sycamore seedlings near a drainage area. The upshot is a very broken up area, with young forests coming up on old terraces, vegetation sprouting from pushfill over the sides, broken rock tucked into grassy slopes, big terraces created with 1990s technology. Meanwhile, people recreate on the hybrid patchwork of land, inscribing slopes with off-road vehicle trails. "They come back up in here," said Randy, "And just shoot over the edge."
- 35 mm Color Slide
- Call Number
- AFC 1999/008: CRF-MH-C067-12
- Source Collection
- Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
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