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a. Mining as it pertains to the economy for this region and as being associated with “dirty energy”

b. The ecological impact that this industry has had on the natural resources in this region.

i. Differentiate restoration literature like reclamation, restoration, rehabilitation, etc.

 
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a. Biodiversity

i. Habitat loss

1. Water contamination

a. kills & disrupts aquatic species

2. Aesthetically unappealing

ii. Forest loss

1.  loss of carbon stock

2. soil degradation

b. Coal ash

 
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a. Environmental Justice

b. Health impacts on local/regional residents

i. Drinking water pollution & air contamination

ii. Disease

1. lower life expectancy

2. heart/respiratory complications

3. increased cancer rates

 
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a. Pertaining to legislature that has been passed/how that may limit or improve the study region

b. Forestry Reclamation Act & Surface Mining Control Reclamation Act (SMCRA) & Stream Protection Rule are inadequate

c. Abandoned Mine Land fund (other funding sources)

i. National Mining Association- stating that funds are used inadequately & priorities should be shifted to bring bring coal jobs back and environmental regulations should be lessened (supported by president Trump)

d. RECLAIM Act (http://appvoices.org/tag/reclaim-act/)

i. Meeting requirements: sections 403(a)[5] (of 30 USC 1233[6]) & 416(c)

ii. 30% can be used for acid mine drainage/10% for planning and admin

no more than 50% can be used for mine land restoration

iii. Role of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)

 
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a. The potential to better utilize or rehabilitate these sites based on various geographic data sets to improve both the people and the environment with data driven decision making.

i. Brief overview of GIS analysis and applications. This tool as a land rating system based on related factors mentioned below.

ii. Examples of the factors that influence the land use that will be used in the model. This “Land Sustainability Spectrum” is a rating tool for sustainable landscape planning as it pertains to ecological restoration versus economic development for surface mine sites

1. Economical: Size of site, proximity to societal vibrancy, social conditions, proximity to features, land use/zoning, site capacity (power, water, sewer connection)

2. Ecological: Wildlife migratory routes, invasive species, vegetation change, habitat capacity, soil properties, impaired water, outdoor recreation/viewsheds, slope, wetlands, conservation easements, etc.

iii.     Data limitations

 
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a. SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of mine land

    i. Regarding physical nature and socio-economic conditions

               1. Success stories

               2. New investments

    ii. Milestones and focused recommendations

    iii. Brief Input/Output Analysis (logic model)

 

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL

Surface Mining change over the past 3 decades in the Heart of Appalachia. This study area location is contained within the region outlined by the heart in the following image(click image for source)

Surface Mining change over the past 3 decades in the Heart of Appalachia. This study area location is contained within the region outlined by the heart in the following image(click image for source)

The study found that 2,900 km2 of land has been mined over the last 30 years. Adding this more-recent mining to mines prior to 1985, a cumulative mining footprint of 5,900 km2 has been estimated.

The study found that 2,900 km2 of land has been mined over the last 30 years. Adding this more-recent mining to mines prior to 1985, a cumulative mining footprint of 5,900 km2 has been estimated.

This map is of the study area for a study recently published that extensively mapped the Central Appalachian Region for present of surface mines using vegetation change from satellite imagery over the past three decades when land cover data first became available in 1985. This study by SkyTruth and Duke University Dept. of Biology gives us the temporal resolution necessary to give an accurate representation of surface mine locations like we have never seen before.

This map is of the study area for a study recently published that extensively mapped the Central Appalachian Region for present of surface mines using vegetation change from satellite imagery over the past three decades when land cover data first became available in 1985. This study by SkyTruth and Duke University Dept. of Biology gives us the temporal resolution necessary to give an accurate representation of surface mine locations like we have never seen before.

This is a map showing the literal “Heart of Appalachia,” the Central Appalachian Mountain Region that “stands out“ due to the color red representing poor health and the height representing poverty levels. It just so happened to actually make the shape of a heart with this visualization technique.  In other words, this map is colored based on rankings for counties in the US for over 20 health-related metrics including length and quality of life, as well as access to clinics and quality of care. The top 1,000 counties (of ~ 3,000) appear in blue, while the lower are colored red. Some of the specific socio-economic factors pertaining to health also include diet, exercise, substance/alcohol use, sexual activity, insurance, education, employment, income, and the overall environmental quality such as air or water contaminants. The extrusion value is based on poverty rate, represented as the height of each county polygon. Many of the red counties (i.e., poorer health) also have a higher poverty rate.  To learn more about the model, please visit the County Health Rankings website at: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/explore-health-rankings/what-and-why-we-rank.  Click for link to download html file of this US health map.

This is a map showing the literal “Heart of Appalachia,” the Central Appalachian Mountain Region that “stands out“ due to the color red representing poor health and the height representing poverty levels. It just so happened to actually make the shape of a heart with this visualization technique.

In other words, this map is colored based on rankings for counties in the US for over 20 health-related metrics including length and quality of life, as well as access to clinics and quality of care. The top 1,000 counties (of ~ 3,000) appear in blue, while the lower are colored red. Some of the specific socio-economic factors pertaining to health also include diet, exercise, substance/alcohol use, sexual activity, insurance, education, employment, income, and the overall environmental quality such as air or water contaminants. The extrusion value is based on poverty rate, represented as the height of each county polygon. Many of the red counties (i.e., poorer health) also have a higher poverty rate.

To learn more about the model, please visit the County Health Rankings website at: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/explore-health-rankings/what-and-why-we-rank.

Click for link to download html file of this US health map.

This map also shows the Appalachian Region but from a different angle, this time more closely resembling the shape of an actual human heart. Regardless of how you look at the Heart of Appalachia, it is not difficult to see what shapes this area, which is its “distressed” status as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission as seen in the top left corner. The distressed status is based on a variety of data pertaining to poverty, income, and unemployment.

This map also shows the Appalachian Region but from a different angle, this time more closely resembling the shape of an actual human heart. Regardless of how you look at the Heart of Appalachia, it is not difficult to see what shapes this area, which is its “distressed” status as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission as seen in the top left corner. The distressed status is based on a variety of data pertaining to poverty, income, and unemployment.

 

A scenario matrix describing the apex of resource availability and community buy-in which are the two primary factors in the implementation of successful, strategic planning. The top right is the best case scenario and the bottom left is the worst. The Heart of Appalachia as a region could be best described as a ”bleeding heart” as apathy and under-funding generally persist. The “HEART Model” aims to influence decision makers to increase funding and bring greater awareness to the issue to ultimately turn the “Bleeding Heart of Appalachia” into a “Warm Hearth.”

 
 
A diagram of surface mining from undisturbed state to the ecological, socio-economic, political problems associated with restoring or reclaiming the landscape

A diagram of surface mining from undisturbed state to the ecological, socio-economic, political problems associated with restoring or reclaiming the landscape