Federal officials tour mine

U.S. Secretary of the Interior visits Dessecker mine site

In March, Camp Tuscazoar hosted U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, and several officials from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Secretary Haaland visited Camp Tuscazoar to survey the Dessecker Mine Project, a strip mine reclamation project funded by the ODNR’s Abandoned Mine Lands Program, and the winner of the OSMRE’s 2019 National Reclamation Award. See video: https://youtu.be/XdkxrfQLHjQ

ODNR chose to showcase the camp’s project because it demonstrates a successful private/public partnership, and because it was the first reclamation project where the mine and its facilities were documented prior to demolition. The documentation video is posted at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWvRMAur_Ds

The Department of the Interior is highlighting these projects because the federal government is committing hundreds of millions of dollars to reclaim old mine lands in the United States, and Ohio stands to get a share of that money to clean up abandoned mines such as ours. ODNR is interested in doing more of these projects throughout Ohio, and in the Tuscarawas County area, and briefed the Secretary on other lands in the area of the camp that might benefit from future projects—including the camp’s latest property acquisition.

You can read more about Secretary Haaland’s visit in this article from The Bargain Hunter:

https://thebargainhunter.com/news/features/federal-official-visits-camp-tuscazoar# >

For more information on mine reclamation, visit:

Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program >
Division of Mineral Resources Management >
Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Programs >
Citizen’s Guide to Mining and Reclamation in Ohio >

From left: Chad Kinney (ODNR-DMRM); Winnie Stachelberg (OSMRE Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator); Alicia Davis (ODNR-DMRM); Kevin Bratcher (ODNR-DMRM); Senior Presidential Advisor Mitch Landrieu (White House, former mayor of New Orleans); Dave Tschantz (Camp Tuscazoar Foundation); Ben McCament (ODNR-DMRM); Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland; Steve Maxwell (OSMRE); Sami Grimes (Chief of the Program Assistance Division of the OSMRE); Division Chief Dave Crow (ODNR-DMRM); Director Thomas Shope (Regional Director for OSMRE); Deputy Director Ben Owens (Deputy Regional Director for OSMRE); and Marissa Lautzenheiser (Northern Programs Director, Rural Action)

One of the briefing panels about the mine reclamation project prepared by ODNR.

Secretary Haaland (third from right) talks with (from left) Ben McCament (ODNR), Kevin Bratcher (ODNR-back to camera), OSMRE Regional Director Tom Shope, Sami Grimes (OSMRE), Senior Presidential Advisor Landrieu and Winnie Stachelberg (OSMRE).