Company honored for mine land reclamation

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COLUMBUS — A Coshocton-based mining company has been recognized for increasing the use of trees in its mine land reclamation program.

The firm partnered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to implement the reclamation technique, which improves the state’s land and water resources and enhances the wildlife and beauty of previously mined areas.

2009 award

The Oxford Mining Company, LLC was presented the 2009 Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) Excellence in Reforestation State Award for implementing the Forestry Reclamation Approach to reclaim 100 acres of its Jockey Hollow West mine site in Harrison County.

Chuck Ungurean, president of Oxford Mining, accepted the award from ODNR Deputy Director Rich Milleson April 3 at the Jockey Hollow Wildlife Management Area.

Typically, once an area has been mined, regraded and resoiled, soils are left compacted, which severely limits tree seedling growth and survival when traditional planting methods are used.

Different approach

The Forestry Reclamation Approach uses a non-compacted topsoil and subsoil mixture to create a growth medium that favors the establishment of forest cover.

Tree seedlings are then planted directly into six foot piles of soil, which allows increased water penetration to the root zone and deeper rooting, ultimately increasing seedling survival.

In Ohio, in order to receive a mining permit, a mine operator must create a reclamation plan detailing how a mined area will be reclaimed to a usable condition.

Seedlings planted

The award announcement was in conjunction with the Arbor Day tree planting of 2,080 American Chestnut seedlings. The trees were planted on property that was mined by Oxford Mining, owned by the State of Ohio and managed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

This is the second ARRI award for Oxford Mining. In 2007, the company was commended for working with BARK (Barnesville Area Reforestation Kommittee) to plant trees on mine sites in Belmont County, also using the Forestry Reclamation Approach.

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