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Reclamation Policy

Reclamation defined--the act or process of reclaiming : the state of being reclaimed


The Forest Service reclamation policy is found in FSM 2840 and is summarized as follows:

2840.2 -Objectives.
The Forest Service manages the reclamation of lands disturbed by mineral and associated activities in order to:

  1. Minimize the environmental impacts resulting from such activities.
  2. Ensure that disturbed lands are returned to a use that is consistent with long-term forest land and resource management plans.

2840.3 – Policy

  1. Reclamation shall be an integral part of Plans of Operation that propose surface disturbance.
  2. All lands disturbed by mineral activities shall be reclaimed to a condition that is consistent with forest land and resource management plans, including applicable State air and water quality requirements.
  3. All reclamation requirements included in a Plan of Operations shall include measurable performance standards.  Reclamation requirements shall be those reasonable, practicable, and necessary to attain standards.
  4. Reclamation shall be undertaken in a timely fashion and occur sequentially with ongoing mineral activities.
  5. Reclamation bonds, sureties, or other financial guarantees shall ordinarily be required for all mineral activities that require a Plan of Operations; dollar amounts of such guarantees shall be sufficient enough to cover the full cost of reclamation.
  6. To the extent practicable, reclaimed National Forest System land shall be free of long-term maintenance requirements.

FSM 2840 goes on to describe general requirements for reclamation components to be addressed in plans of operation, as well as reclamation performance standards, reclamation bonding and monitoring.


Training Guide for Reclamation Bond Estimation and Administration April 2004 publication that contains more detailed explanation of what to consider in evaluating plans of operation including information that a plan should include, potential environmental effects, mitigation measures, reclamation standards and bond calculation. 
It is important to remember that the FS implements its reclamation policy and guidance within a framework of mineral and environmental law that govern its activities.  The application of these laws will vary with the commodity in question, the status of the land involved, as well as the surface resources that could be affected by the project.  For this reason specific reclamation requirements must be developed for a specific site after thorough analysis of the proposed plan.

Reclamation Performance Bond Form: Sample form for reclamation bonds under Forest Service Manual 6506.