Selecting Projects for Conservation Reclamation


The purpose of land management is to preserve public health and safety and projects are selected on the basis of the potential danger they pose. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission routinely conducts an evaluation of the existing mine land sites in the state and the risks they present, creating an inventory to reference for selecting future projects.


Conservation Districts, the division staff, and the public provide input to identify sites. If a new site is identified by the public, the conservation districts or the division staff, it is added to the program inventory. To submit a site, please contact the OCC-LM Program by calling 405-521-2384 and ask to speak to someone in the program.

Projects are selected from the inventory on the basis of:

  • Public health and safety concerns
  • Conservation district recommendations
  • Reclamation criteria

The division staff visits each site and ranks the potential project using the Project Selection Matrix. Once a project is ranked it is added to the ongoing project selection list based on the Matrix score.  This list is then used to select projects as funding becomes available.


Reclaiming the abandoned mine land starts with a representative of the Conservation Commission or the local conservation district meeting with the landowners. The Commission then obtains a written right-of-entry to enter the property and conduct exploratory investigations and data collections.  Based on the site information collected, a conceptual design is created and discussed with the landowner.  Once the landowner and the Commission agree on the conceptual design, the preliminary design process begins.

Once the design is completed and funding is available, the project will be contracted for the performance of reclamation.  Contracting for the project is managed by the state, in adherence to state contracting regulations.


For land to be eligible for reclamation, the following conditions must be met:

The land was mined for or affected by mining or processing. 
The land was left either unreclaimed or inadequately reclaimed by the mining operator or a prior landowner of record at the time mining occurred.
There is no continuing responsibility for reclamation under state or federal laws. 
The land is in a condition that endangers the health or safety of the public.