Happiness is knowing that whatever road in life you are on,
it will always lead you home.

Reclaiming Strip Mined Land

In several phases, our land is being reclaimed from what was many deep walled strips of water with piles of shale soil all along their perimeter, to fields and rolling hills with ponds carefully placed to retain drainage water. 

It is very interesting and exciting to come home from work to changes in the landscape that happen in one day due to the heavy equipment working steadily to contour the land. The pictures below document the dramatic change in the land from late 2006 (left) to early 2009 (right) to be more safe and usable.

    Reclaiming the land in 2009 Before reclaiming the land

The inconvenience of dust and constant rumble of the earth moving equipment is small for the impressive final results of this land reclamation. 

The body of water with high walls and no bank was moved and now has a more friendly safe gradual slope for access.  In the process of "moving" the location of the water, we found many mature fish survived and some have been caught.  In the interest of science and conservation we will continue to fish as often as possible to be sure the population of fish remains productive.

Before reclaiming the LandReclaiming the land in 2009
September 2012 Update:
The land can be moved around where men want, but, water will go and reshape where it flows.  Runoff caused some problems that had to be sodded with Bermuda mixture to help prevent further formation of deepening crevices.
The new pond dried up completely in 2010, but, has since recovered some. That is not unusual as it happened when the first reclamation on the land was completed.  Seems once it dries up, it begins holding the water better and has water in it at the end of this summer.
The grass that was originally seeded seems to have taken hold throughout the new field even though the last two summers have provided little rain and record heat in Oklahoma. 

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One More Time!

Twice in twenty-five years we have seen the remarkable transformation of the land from old strip mining piles of shale and deep, dangerous pits of water with tall, steep sides to beautiful, green and useful fields.

There have been plans for ten years to do the final stage of reclamation and we will be excited to see it happen. There have been indications that this stage will begin this year.

Our view to the east will be opened up.
Through much rumbling of equipment and dust blowing they will reshape the land to much as it was before it was touched by coal mining except for the trees that may have been there.

This cannot happen soon enough as two new schools have been built within a mile of the strip mined area and more  housing that is suitable for young families and first time buyers is going up every day.

4/15/15 cy

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