November 4, 2005
Washington – The United States Congress has approved $100,000 for the restoration of the American Fork Canyon Watershed.
These funds were approved as part of the FY2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, which Congress today sent to the President. This measure, which was introduced originally by Utah Senator Robert Bennett, will support the cleanup of abandoned hardrock mines in the American Fork River in northern Utah.
“This appropriation will provide a tremendous boost to abandoned mine restoration efforts throughout the West,” said Ted Fitzgerald, Coordinator of Trout Unlimited’s American Fork Home Rivers Initiative. “We thank Senator Bennett for his ongoing interest and involvement in this project. His support proves that collaborative efforts and dedicated funding truly make a difference for cleaning up these sites.”
The American Fork restoration is the flagship project of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Good Samaritan Initiative, a ground-breaking policy agreement that clears the way for the cleanup of abandoned gold and silver mines throughout the West. Prior to this agreement, liability concerns often prevented the cleanup of these sites.
Trout Unlimited just completed the first phase of the American Fork project. This significant step of site preparation will enable the removal of the mine waste that is leaching into the river. The project is funded by federal appropriations secured by Senator Bennett as well as private contributions from the Tiffany & Company Foundation. The cleanup of the American Fork serves as a model for collaborative efforts to restore abandoned mine lands throughout the West.