ASL Students Tour UVA-Wise Reclamation Sites

Grundy, VA (May 2, 2017) — Appalachian School of Law Natural Resources Law Center and Policy students recently toured a 300-acre former surface mine site located on and behind the campus of UVA-Wise for a firsthand look at multiple reclamation initiatives being explored at the site.

“This was an outstanding opportunity for ASL students, some of whom are new to the Appalachian region, to learn of the reclamation efforts which occur following land disruption caused by surface mining operations, as well as the unique challenges the area faces in attempting to reclaim such lands and make productive use of them,” said ASL Professor Mark (Buzz) Belleville.

Among the initiatives explored were a large reforestation site behind the campus on which thousands of native Appalachian hardwoods — including American Chestnut seedlings — have been planted to replace invasive Autumn Olive. Plans are to also plant industrial hemp on the site to explore that plant’s ability to grow on former mine lands.

Campus Wetlands were also explored. The wetlands project was first developed in 2004 and was centered around remediating some acid mine drainage issues in a stream on campus.

UVA-Wise Natural Resources Department Biology Professor, Dr. Walter H. Smith conducted the tour.

Those in attendance included ASL students Constance Mutong, Dedra Brown, Murphy Mullins, Nicole Bauerle, Kimberly Smith, John Beamer and Brandon French; ASL Fellow, Natural Resources Law Center, Paul La Barr; and ASL Professor Belleville. UVA-Wise professors, Dr. Ryan Huish, Dr. Phil Shelton and Dr. Wally Smith also took part in the tour.

Media Contact: Cathy St. Clair – 276.202.0383 or