Arch Coal Commits $50,000 to WVU Reforestation Study
Arch's Samples Mine, WVU's National Mine Land Reclamation Center break ground in first-of-its-kind research in West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (May 24) - Continuing its efforts to advance the science of land reclamation, Arch Coal today announced its Samples mine has entered into a long-term research fellowship with West Virginia University's National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC).
Arch's Samples mine, one of the largest surface coal mines in the eastern U.S., presented $50,000 to establish a first-of-its-kind graduate fellowship at the NMLRC for the support of research leading to improved practices in the conversion of surface mine lands to forests.
"We're pleased WVU is working on this ground-breaking reforestation research with us," said Peter Lawson, president and general manager of Arch's Catenary Coal subsidiary and Samples mine. "As an industry leader in reclamation, Arch intends to share our findings with regulatory agencies and other coal companies to improve future reclamation efforts in Appalachia."
Researchers will conduct the study at Samples mine, located primarily in Kanawha County, W.Va. The study includes 14 experimental plots, approximately one acre each. The experiment will test the growth potential of two types of subsoil and three types of topsoil. Nearly 21,000 seedlings of red, white, black and pin oak, white ash, Norway spruce, sugar maple, black walnut and white pine are required for the study.
"The take-away from the research fellowship is the identification of the best combination of topsoil and subsoil for the promotion of hardwood growth," says Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of NMLRC. "This study of native hardwoods and soil handling will measure real-life variables and see what works and what doesn't work. These experimental designs will yield rigorous, yet easy-to-interpret, scientific results that will end the speculation."
About Arch Coal, Inc.
Arch Coal is the nation's second largest coal producer. Nearly 2,000 people are employed at Arch's operations in West Virginia. As one of the largest surface coal mining operations in the eastern U.S., Samples mine produced roughly 6.1 million tons of low-sulfur, high-quality coal in 2001. Arch Coal is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.
About National Mine Land Reclamation Center
In 1988, Congress recognized the need for an organization to specifically address reclamation challenges and authorized the formation of the National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC). The NMLRC functions within West Virginia University as a program development agency, an administrative unit and a research unit. The Center is funded through grants and contracts with private, state and federal agencies. The Center concentrates on project progress and completion, which bridges the traditional academic method of project conduct and the results oriented world of the private and public sectors. More information is available at wvwri.nrcce.wvu.edu/centerNMLRC.htm.