BLM closes 148 abandoned mine sites

The Bureau of Land Management said last week it completed closure of 148 potentially dangerous abandoned mine sites in Humboldt and Lander counties.

Funding for the project came from $1.5 million received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to permanently close dangerous abandoned mines in northern Nevada.

A related project, also funded by the federal program, closed 203 similar sites on BLM-managed lands in Clark County.

The BLM said much of the money was spent in the private sector for the purchase of supplies, lodging and meals for crew members, vehicle maintenance and steel for bat gates.

Each site was surveyed for archaeological and cultural values, wildlife and rare plants. Abandoned mines can be closed by backfilling, using gates that allow bats and wildlife to pass through them or with polyurethane foam.

The BLM and the Nevada Division of Minerals work together to identify clusters of hazardous sites that receive significant public use that could be closed as groups to minimize costs.

The federal agency has estimated that somewhere between 265,000 and 310,000 abandoned mining features are located on public and private lands in the state.

Mostly dating from the 1800s and early 1900s, the abandoned mines range from remnants of full-blown mining operations to unmarked holes in the ground that can be several hundred feet deep.


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