Mining in the Loess Hills (Susanne Hickey, Loess Hills Conservationist)
Susanne Hickey, Loess Hills Project Director for the Nature Conservancy, talks about how managing tourism and mining will lend themselves to the success of working landscapes.
Transcript: Mining in the Loess Hills
Mining is occurring out here in the Loess Hills. We consider the Loess Hills a working landscape. There are areas within the Loess Hills where human use is simply not compatible with conservation of the natural resources and mining is one of those activities that has a direct and negative impact. The thing we've got to do is we've got to weigh the benefits of mining -- you know the gravel that we might get out, the fill dirt that we might get from the landform from that mine -- versus the protection of the geological resources and the natural resources in the Loess Hills. And I think what you would find if we were to seriously sit down and weigh those two factors, I think that you would find that there are other places that we could get fill dirt that would impact the landscape far less than the mining that is taking place here in the Loess Hills. Particularly with the mining for fill dirt. Basically, what they're doing is they're taking the loess, the silt, that makes up the landscape -- makes up the land form - they're taking that and tearing it down and putting it in low areas that might flood and they're building those areas up. And I think what we need to do is look for places where we could have that and not impact both the visualness and the scenic value of the Loess Hills as well as the natural resources.