[Arizona Mining] FROM THE EDITOR: State needs help filling gaping holes from mining (Green Valley News – April 16, 2017)


There are trade-offs when you live in a mining state. Mining brings jobs, feeds economies, and pulls minerals out of the ground that make our lives better. But in Arizona’s case, mining also leaves tens of thousands of gaping, abandoned holes across the landscape.

Nearly 30 years ago, a group of Green Valley men decided to do something about it. You read about them in our paper last Sunday. The group calls themselves the Hazardous Abandoned Mine Finders, and they have plotted the locations and posted warning signs at about 10,000 shafts in Southern Arizona.

For much of that time, they did it with the blessing of several government agencies, who often provided the signs. Now, they’ve been pushed aside in favor of … well, pretty much nothing.

The Green Valley group was always careful about who joined. New recruits — they never had more than nine members — went through an interview process. Know-it-alls didn’t make the first cut, neither did people with difficult or impulsive personalities. In the end, the group was made up of people who had strong career track records, superior management and interpersonal skills, and several who had backgrounds in geology. They knew what they were doing.

For years it worked. Now, it doesn’t, and it comes down to one word: Liability. “This administration doesn’t encourage that because of the safety issues,” Julie Swartzbaugh told our reporter. She’s the deputy director of the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s office, and she wasn’t the only one who said that.

For the rest of this editorial, click here: http://www.gvnews.com/opinion/from-the-editor-state-needs-help-filling-gaping-holes-from/article_6e5dac26-2215-11e7-a60e-3b522766f957.html