Mineland Reclamation

Even though it was wet and muddy, Hibbing Elementary students successfully toured Hibbing Taconite and planted 800 grouse packets (mixture of Gray and Red Osier Dogwood, Highbush, Cranberry, Hannyberry, Juneberry, Crabapple and White Spruce). May 2013

Northeastern Minnesota’s land is one of its most valuable resources – today and tomorrow.  The agency’s Mineland Reclamation program helps make yesterday’s iron ore mining lands usable for future generations by eliminating safety issues, preventing erosion, establishing wildlife habitat, building recreation opportunities and stimulating economic development.  The goal of a mineland reclamation project is to change lands that mining disturbed in ways that make the land better suited for other uses.  The program was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1977 to provide for the reclamation, restoration or reforestation of minelands not otherwise provided for by the state law "for the purpose of reclaiming, restoring and enhancing those areas of northeast Minnesota adversely affected by mining taconite and iron ore” (Minnesota Statutes 298.223 1977). 

Mineland Reclamation activities have historically included:

    - Eliminating safety issues around abandoned mine areas
    - Reshaping and vegetating mine pit wall and stockpiles
    - Planting tree seedlings and transplanting larger trees with the tree spade
    - Capping old underground mine openings
    - Establishing wildlife habitat
    - Building public boat accesses at mine pit lakes
    - Stocking fish in mine pit lakes
    - Constructing campgrounds, hiking and biking trails and other recreation areas
    - Environmental education of local residents
    - Converting minelands into future commercial and residential building sites
    - Promoting tourism  

Since 1984, the fish stocking program has planted more than 192,000 pounds of fish in abandoned mine pits.