Nevada ARRA Projects

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Clark County Abandoned Mine Project
Project Eliminates Hazards on Abandoned Mines in Southern Nevada

Project: Involves permanent closure of high-priority hazardous abandoned mine sites by using environmentally and culturally sound methods to preserve historic features and wildlife habitat. Site work includes conducting cultural and biological surveys, building and installing bat gates and grates, or backfilling with dirt or blown-in foam.

ARRA Funding Level: $1,601,000

Progress:

February 2, 2011: $1,600,606 obligated, $1,002,788 spent. Crews have filled, closed or remediated 111 shafts, adits and other hazards near Las Vegas and other southern Nevada communities.

May 6, 2011: Have closed another 46 sites for at total closed of 157.

Contracts: The project is funded through a $1,600,000 interagency agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. The work is being done by crews from the Bureau of Reclamation’s Snake River Area Office in Boise, Idaho.

Local purchases: Include supplies, crew support, vehicle maintenance, lodging and meals for crews, and steel for construction of bat gates

Completion date target: Sept. 30, 2011

Benefits and Needs: Thousands of historic abandoned mines are scattered throughout Clark County. These abandoned mines can be hard to see for off-highway vehicle recreations and can be an attractive, dangerous nuisance for hikers and other outdoor recreationists.

Background: Abandoned mines are among the most recognizable and attractive national icons of the western landscape and many of them are also habitat for bats and other valued wildlife.  Nevada contains thousands of abandoned mines from the 1800s and early 1900s when miners simply walked away. The BLM is working with the state of Nevada to locate these sites, and to prioritize the remediation and securing of these sites. Mining companies today are required to reclaim mine sites when activities are completed. Location and remediation of abandoned mines on public lands is a national priority for both the Department of the Interior and the BLM. 

The helicopter has just lowered the culvert gate into the shaft and the crew is preparing to mix and apply foam around it.       Close-up of bat gate lowered into a mine shaft.
The helicopter has just lowered the culvert gate                 Close-up of bat gate lowered into a mine shaft.
into the shaft and the crew is preparing to mix
and apply foam around it. Foam bags awaiting use
are visible to left of shaft.