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Temple Mountain Project


Workers build a wall out of block to restrict access to the mine.

The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining's Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program recently completed work on 141 sites in the San Rafael Swell at Temple Mountain. The work took place in the spring and Chris Rohrer from DOGM recently reported on the project at the Emery County Public Lands Council meeting held on Aug. 13.

Rohrer said, "This was really a health and safety issue and making the mines safe for the public as opposed to a rehabilitation project. When we did the preliminary study work on the mines there were actually ATV trails leading into the abandoned mines. This posed a real danger to those riders. Abandoned explosives were also found on two separate occasions and an explosive ordinance disposal team from the Tooele Army Depot came onsite to dispose of them. There are many dangers lurking in abandoned mines.

"The bid work went out last year and the project was finished with a cost of just over $176,000. The work at the sites included filling mine openings and building block walls. We also installed steel gates and grates. Even while the project was ongoing there were separate incidents of vandalism at the sites. They tried to prior apart the gate and they also hit the places where the gates were welded together.

"We also filled some of the shafts with a polyurethane foam, this was done on a large scale to plug the vertical shafts. They were then sealed with a concrete cap. We tried to retain all of the historical values of the mines and not change their outward appearances. We did our best to keep the mine closures compatible with the natural environment without alterations," Rohrer said.

Gates bar entry to old mines.

Margaret Fugate-Swasey, commented that she had been to the area and it was hard to tell that the work had been done.

Rohrer said that the repair work on the places where the vandalish had occured had already been completed. He also said they completed a photo file of before and after pictures of the project. He has these photos available for people to examine and use in connection with the history of the sites.

Bat grates were installed on five of the mines that allows the bats to continue to use them as habitat. Rohrer said they are pleased with the outcome of the project and the fact that the work was done so as to not detract from the natural history of the area.

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