Mining was a driving force in America’s frontier legacy. A century and a half ago, prospectors and miners began pouring into the Mountain states from Montana to Arizona, in search of wealth or at least a living. As a result, the landscape is peppered with old mines they left behind. And while they’re a fascinating part of the history of the West, abandoned mines can pose a present-day challenge.
In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear from Corbin Jensen, a geologist with Barr Engineering who works on mine reclamation projects, both the underground hazards and the environmental risks they pose. We’ll also hear from Steve Fluke, the administrator of Utah’s Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program. While they’re working to eliminate the dangers of old mines, both say their history is as much of a treasure as the gold and minerals they once yielded.