The Surface Mining Control And Reclamation Act Of 1977 And Potential Impacts On Fish And Wildlife

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 was enacted into law on 3 August 1977. Successful implementation and enforcement of the environmental performance standards of the Act will reduce or eliminate many of the previously recognized environmental perturbations of surface mining, and will result in numerous positive benefits for fish and wildlife. However, fish and wildlife will continue to be adversely affected by surface mining due to losses of specific habitat types and reclamations which result in postmining changes in habitat type and interspersion of habitats. The proposed program for reclaiming abandoned mine lands has great potential for benefiting fish and wildlife, but the actual benefit or loss will depend upon the conditions of each mine site and the site-specific reclamation plan authorized. Knowledgeable personnel within fish and wildlife management agendes will be charged with most of the responsibility for ensuring protection and equal consideration for the needs of fish and wildlife in proposed reclamation plans.

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