Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences


Revegetating surface-mined soils of the western United States is a major problem facing natural resource managers today. The Surface Mine Reclamation and Conservation Act (SMRCA, Public Law 95-87) requires that the opera tor: "… establish on the regraded areas, and all other lands affected, a diverse, effective and permanent vegetative cover of the same seasonal variety native to the area of land to be affected and capable of self-regeneration and plant succession at least equal in extent of cover to the natural vegetation of the area ... "

Historically, most of the coal produced in the U.S. came from the eastern states; recently, production has shifted to the West (U.S. Dept. of Energy 1982). The reason for this shift in coal production is economic. Net production costs are lower and higher recovery rates are possible in the West where the coal is closer to the land surface. Effectively revegetating disturbed areas will become more important as strip-mining increases in the western states.

Included in

Agriculture Commons



Faculty Mentor

Patricia S. Johnson