Ground Truth Trekking

Moose tracks in settling pond

A moose wandered across this settling pond at the partially reclaimed Gold Run Pass mine operated by Usibelli in Alaska.

One of the effects of mining is greatly increased erosion of mud. Unvegetated loose silt and clay wash downslope in the rain. If no countermeasures are put in place, this mud clouds streams and suffocates fish eggs. To prevent this, Usibelli's mines use settling ponds that allow silt to settle out and use special chemicals to cause clay to settle out too.

This settling pond is at the mostly idle Gold Run Pass mine. Moose and porcupines have been eating the young willow and cottonwood growing up in the reclaimed area of the mine, and here a moose squelched across the soft settling pond mud.

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By Bretwood HigmanErin McKittrickGround Truth Trekking

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