The historic mining of hardrock minerals such as gold, lead, copper, silver, and uranium was a powerful incentive for exploration and settlement of the American West. Mineral development often provided the economic base on which many remote communities were established. But when ore bodies were mined out and miners left to find other new deposits, they often left behind a legacy of abandoned mines, safety hazards, and contaminated land and water.
California Desert District Field Offices and their “Cooperative Conservation” partners mitigate hazards to protect public health and safety, and restore watersheds for resources, recreation, and wildlife.
The Bureau of Land Management's primary goal in the AML program is to provide a safe experience to the public when they are visiting public lands, as wells as assuring that mining related features and facilities abandoned on public land are remediated to minimize damage to the natural environment, while recognizing and protecting the historical importance of selected features and facilities.