Photo, Print, Drawing Partially reclaimed highwalls
About this Item
- Partially reclaimed highwalls
- Hufford, Mary, 1952- (Photographer)
Created / Published
- November 23, 1997
- - Fall
- - Reclamation
- - Landform complex
- - Made land
- - November
- - Cabin Creek Plateau (W. Va.)
- - Photographs
- - Ethnography
- - West Virginia -- Kanawha County -- Cabin Creek
- - Event: 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.
- - Mountaintop removal leaves three complexes: 1) a highland or upland complex, comprising a mound site (see CO68-02) with an extensive field nearby covered with hard, coarse vegetation (for example, lespedeza species, which are not used as much now as they were, and which Randy [Sprouse] and others call "sawgrass" – "It'll cut your socks to ribbons," Randy explained. Lespedeza is native to the steppes of Asia and the Gobi desert (see CO67- 18). 2) a valley fill, always adjacent to the highland or upland fill, marked by "groin drainage" in what was formerly a cove. 3) a wetland drainage complex, comprising a "gathering" pond at the field at the top of the valley fill, and a "bottom" pond at the "toe". The top pond is clean, "ready for ducks," as the West Virginia Surface Mining and Reclamation Association publication "Greenlands" puts it. Ponds have drainage outlets running into unbroken ground. Water caught in the bottom pond is treated with ammonia and manganese.
- - 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/Physical Location
- AFC 1999/008: CRF-MH-C067-08
- Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
- American Folklife Center
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.
The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.
Copy photographs of numerous historical still photographs owned by Woody Boggs and Rick Bradford were made and are reproduced here with permission of the owners.
Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.
Coal River Folklife Project collection (AFC 1999/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Hufford, Mary. Partially Reclaimed Highwalls. Kanawha County Cabin Creek West Virginia, 1997. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/cmns001125/.
APA citation style:
Hufford, M. (1997) Partially Reclaimed Highwalls. Kanawha County Cabin Creek West Virginia, 1997. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/cmns001125/.
MLA citation style:
Hufford, Mary. Partially Reclaimed Highwalls. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/cmns001125/>.