OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Forestry Reclamation Excellence
|Description of Photo: (From left) Don Cooke and Dave Maynard, both from Appalachian Fuels, LLC, accept the Appalachian Region Regional Reforestation Initiative’s 2007 Excellence in Reforestation Regional Award from Brent Wahlquist, Director, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. (OSM photo by Linda Keene)|
Logan, WV – The Appalachian Region Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) named Appalachian Fuels, LLC recipient of its 2007 Excellence in Reforestation Regional Award here recently.
This award recognizes those individuals, operators and organizations that exemplify excellence in forestry reclamation on surface coal mine sites. ARRI is a partnership of individuals and organizations, including OSM, interested in growing healthy forests on reclaimed surface coal mine sites. Winners must meet ARRI’s exacting standards to win at the state level. The best of the best is selected for this regional award.
The award was present on behalf of ARRI by Brent Wahlquist, Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, to Don Cooke, Engineer, and Dave Maynard, General Manager, both from Appalachian Fuels, LLC.
“This award means everything,” said Cooke. “Our land owners want to know their land is being reclaimed properly.
This award is our proof.” He added, “It also motivates our people and lets the state agencies know we will go the extra mile.”
Appalachian Fuels, LLC, was recognized for its Bent Mountain mine site near Meta, Kentucky. It has become a premiere research site and a public showcase for forestry reclamation techniques. Appalachian Fuels, LLC has a long-standing partnership with the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources (DNR) and the University of Kentucky to advance and promote the science of forestry reclamation that results in the success of high-value Appalachian hardwoods. Appalachian Fuels, LLC actually revised the permit plans on their Bent Mountain facility to incorporated DNR’s Reclamation Advisory Memorandum # 124 reforestation techniques which promotes the establishment of forest land. Through a cooperative effort between Appalachian Fuels, LLC and University of Kentucky, a number of large scale research projects have been established on the Bent Mountain site by research scientists.
The University of Kentucky has planted approximately 110,000 high value forest species on more than 150 acres of research cells on this site. Many of these research projects will continue into the far future. Appalachian Fuel, LLC’s commitment to reforestation goes well beyond the use of the land. They have used their personnel, resources and funds to prepare research cells prior to research planting. The impact of the combined efforts of Appalachian Fuels, LLC, the DNR and the University of Kentucky reach beyond Eastern Kentucky. This mine site has played host to over 3,000 people from across the nation with an interest in the Forestry Reclamation Approach.
Nominees were submitted by each State and judged based on the following:
This year’s recipient was chosen by the ARRI Core Team from a field of extremely strong nominees that had won the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative’s Excellence in Reforestation State Awards in their respective states.
This year’s Regional Award recipient was chosen by the ARRI Core Team from a field of extremely strong nominees, each having won the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative’s Excellence in Reforestation State Awards in their respective states. Each site exemplified the five-principals of the Forestry Reclamation Approach that ARRI promotes.
These steps are:
ARRI’s past Excellence in Reforestation Awards have been earned by researchers, landowners and operators. The awards recognize excellence for the reclamation of both active mine sites and abandoned mine lands.