Abandoned Mine Lands – Building Trust & Taking Action

The summit was held at the Holiday Inn Airport,
Phoenix, AZ on April 6, 2022

In Partnership with Trout Unlimited, University of Nevada Reno,Colorado School of Mines and The University of Arizona School of Mining & Mineral Resources

This Summit is the fourth in a series of public forums convened by MMSA and its growing coalition of partners to bring stakeholders with a vested interest in improving landscapes impacted by Abandoned Mine Lands together.

Status updates of the ongoing Good Samaritan legislative and administrative efforts will be provided and opportunities for more collaboration will be discussed. Building on the lessons learned from previous Summits, delegates will continue to share their work experiences from the field and explore the best paths forward to ensure that legacy mine lands in the West are improved to the benefit of wildlife and communities.


Moderator: Ann Carpenter


Session Objective: Provide status updates on Good Samaritan legislation, administrative remedies and overall progress on improving Abandoned Mine Lands across different jurisdictions.

  • Good Sam Legislation: How Discussions Between Stakeholders and Legislators Have Evolved Since 2018 – Tawny Bridgeford – Deputy General Counsel & Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, National Mining Association –Slides
  • Conservation Perspectives on AML Progress – Corey Fisher – Public Land Policy Director, Trout Unlimited – Slides
  • State of Arizona Perspectives on AML Progress – Natalie Muilenberg, PMP, CAPM – Program Manager, Watershed Improvement Unit, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality – Slides
  • Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Activities – Melvin H. Yazzie – Principal Mining Engineer, Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Department (NAMLRD) – Slides


Moderator Jeff Parshley – Corporate Consultant (Mine Closure), SRK Consulting


Stakeholder Insights on Legacy Mine Lands

Session Objective: Examine how lessons learned by industry, land managers, conservation organizations, academia and other stakeholders can be leveraged for future success on legacy mined lands. Case studies in project planning, collaboration, site characterization, success monitoring and ongoing field research will be shared.

  • Quantifying Abandoned Mine Lands in the US – Jeffrey L. Mauk, PhD – Research Geologist, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center, USGS  Slides
  • Where Does the Iron Terrace Technology Fit on the Periodic Table of Passive Treatment? – James Gusek, P.E. – Senior Project Manager, Linkan Engineering  Slides
  • New Mexico AML Project: Inventory and Characterization of Inactive/Abandoned Mine Features  – Virginia McLemore, PhD – Principal Senior Economic Geologist and Minerals Outreach Liaison, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology  Slides
  • Making Improvements One Watershed at a Time – Jason B. Willis, P.E. – Colorado AML Program Director, Trout Unlimited  Slides
  • Implementing Best Practices in Site Improvement and Revitalization: Planning for Net Positive Impact at the Cactus Mine – Travis Snider – VP Sustainability and External Relations, Arizona Sonoran Copper Company – Slides
  • Using Biochar and Traditional Environmental Knowledge to Revitalize Legacy Landscapes in the Sierra Nevada – Carrie Monohan, PhD – Program Director, The Sierra Fund  Slides



Session Moderators: Ann Carpenter / Jeff Parshley 


Tribal Monitor Program: A Model for Collaboration on Mine Impacted Landscapes in AZ

Session Objective: Presenters will participate in an interactive roundtable discussion, presenting their diverse perspectives on mine impacted landscapes and how emerging tribal monitoring programs are helping to advance mine site reclamation and permitting efforts. Discussions will also focus on how best to integrate these practices into AML work across the West.


  • Willard Antone III, Sr. Manager – Permitting & Approvals, Resolution Copper – Slides
  • Maricela Solis De Kester – BHP Manager of Corporate Affairs for Legacy Assets – Slides
  • LeRoy Shingoitewa – Hopi Tribe, Tribal Monitor Group Manager, WestLand Resources – Slides
  • Bernadette Carra – Ak-Chin Indian Community, Field Director, WestLand Resources
  • Avi Buckles – Director, WestLand Resources



Session Moderators: Ann Carpenter / Jeff Parshley


Afternoon Summary & Closing Remarks Session

Session Objective: Continue reflecting on the information and ideas shared earlier in the day and in previous summits, informal Q&A will focus on the below:

  1. Define what a successful AML project looks like (site characterization criteria, release metrics, etc.).
  2. Create a list of potential candidate pilot/demonstration sites in the Western US and rank them.
  3. Add to the growing list of known partnerships and collaboratives working on AML.
  4. Identify new organizations to invite to the coalition.
  5. Suggestions for “next steps” to build more momentum to advance AML work .