Nevada ARRA Projects

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Tuscarora and Spruce Mountain Abandoned Mine Lands Cadastral Surveys
Surveys Determine Federal Land Boundaries for Abandoned Mine Lands

Project: Conduct surveys to determine federal land boundaries in advance of reclaiming abandoned mine lands in Elko County, Nevada.

ARRA Funding Level: $401,000

Progress:

February 2, 2011: $360,829 obligated, $360,804 spent.

Contracts: The $219,666 Tuscarora contract was awarded to Tri-State Surveying, Ltd. The $79,484 Spruce Mountain contract was awarded to E. Schaaf & Associates.

Completion date: The Spruce Mountain survey was completed and closed out Dec. 23, 2010. The Tuscarora contract work was completed Feb. 2010 and the contract was closed out Dec. 1, 2010.

Jobs: The Tuscarora survey employed 10 contract workers for 3-4 months, and the Spruce Mountain survey employed 6 contract workers for 3-4 months.

Local purchases: Contract workers purchased lodging, food, fuel and other operational supplies in the Wells area for approximately 2-3 months.

Benefits and Needs: These surveys have clarified land ownership and management responsibilities in areas of historic mining activity, where ownership boundaries have been poorly determined in the past. Thousands of historic abandoned mines are scattered throughout Nevada. 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.