Award Winning Work
Swastika Mine and Dutchman Canyon Maintenance and Stream Restoration Project:
OSMRE Small Project Award 2023
The Swastika Mine and Dutchman Canyon Maintenance and Stream Restoration Project, designed by Oxbow Ecological Engineering and constructed by Sweatt Construction, mitigated storm damage to a stream channel reconfigured in 2012. The new design keeps high flows from scouring buried coal waste in the stream banks and allows sediments to settle out and support vegetative growth. The project also addressed gullying in the surrounding upland areas with the addition of one-rock check dams and media lunas.
Cookes Peak Mine Safeguard Project:
NAAMLP Hardrock Safeguarding Award 2022
The Cookes Peak Mine Safeguard Project was a collaboration between the New Mexico Abandoned Mine Land Program and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management – Las Cruces District Office. The project entailed seven phases of construction that took place between 2014 and 2021, safeguarding more than 291 hazardous mine openings. These features were abandoned long ago and included adits, shafts, stopes, highwalls, and other dangerous conditions left over by legacy mining.
The Swastika Mine and Dutchman Canyon Reclamation Project:
OSMRE Western Region Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Award 2021
The New Mexico Abandoned Mine Land Program completed the Swastika Mine and Dutchman Canyon Reclamation Project in 2013. A century of coal mining near the town of Raton, New Mexico left behind steep gob (waste) piles adjacent to a channelized ephemeral stream. The reclamation project entailed moving and contouring the exposed coal gob into geomorphic contours that blended with the surrounding natural terrain and capping it with soil. The stream was reconfigured from a straight channel into a sinuous configuration, while adding 300 feet to its length. And a ranch road that ran along the straightened channel was rerouted and engineered with proper grading and culvert crossings. At the nearby Dutchman Canyon Mine, a wetland was created to treat rerouted drainage water before it was released into the channel.
The Sugarite Gob Reclamation Project won both the U.S. Office of Surface Mining’s Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Western Regional Award and People’s Choice Award in 2002. Summary and PhotographsThe steep slopes on which these coal gob piles were located made this a challenging reclamation project.
The Socorro West Mine Safeguarding Project won the U.S. Office of Surface Mining’s Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Western Regional Award in 1999. Located outside Socorro, New Mexico this project reclaimed 24 abandoned mine shafts, adits, and stope openings while preserving a highly significant bat habitat in the mine workings. Because the mine workings were home to a large population of bats, gates were constructed that allow ventilation and bat entry, but keep people safely out. The hibernating populations of Townsend’s big-eared bats have increased steadily since the mine features were protected with bat-compatible closures. The recovery of the bat populations at this abandoned mine site is a direct result of the well designed bat compatible closures applied to the mine openings.