Wilberg Mine Reclamation effort pictured above
By Julie Johansen
Representatives from the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining (DOGM) addressed the Emery County Public Lands Council regarding several projects that will impact Emery County. Reclamation of the Cottonwood-Wilberg Mine was just completed and Deer Creek mine will be finished this summer. It is estimated these projects will take a 10-year regrowth period to restore the habitat. Crater-type holes have been dug to help with moisture retention in the regrowth of vegetation. It was also reported that there has been a settlement reached with Huntington Irrigation Company regarding Flat Canyon and water loss in Electric Lake. The lake is being monitored for proof that water has been lost.
Following the scheduled meeting, DOGM provided a presentation on the Green’s Hollow Water Monitoring plan. This plan includes the area near Sufco Mine and the extension permit for which the mine has applied. This would add approximately 6,175 acres to the mine. There are 28 springs and 25 stream sites to be monitored within, and adjacent to, the Green’s Hollow Tract.
Sufco will be monitoring 103 sites (53 springs, 41 streams and nine wells). A USGS Gauge on the Muddy Creek will record instantaneous flow. Stock pond monitoring will be completed twice annually in the fall and spring. This will include photographs, notice of cracking inside and within drainage area, depth and surface area of water in the ponds, soil moisture conditions and general pond conditions. There will be no subsidence mining beneath perennial reaches of Muddy Creek, Green’s Hollow and Cowboy Creek.
Overburden ranges above proposed longwall will only be 1,000 to 2,500 feet and longwall maps will be submitted to the division monthly. This has been in reply to requests made by Emery Town, Muddy Creek Irrigation Company and the stockmen in that area because of the decrease in water for these entities.