The Forestry Reclamation Approach: An Essential Tool for Controlling Invasive Exotic Plants on Active Mine Sites

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Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative

Mining companies use the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) when reclaiming mined land with the aim of establishing functional forests as a post- mining land use. Invasive exotic plant species (IES) can interfere with successful reforestation. Thus, reclamation of active mine sites should aim to prevent colonization of IES plants if native forest restoration is the end goal. Once IES become established, they are difficult to eradicate and can potentially delay bond release. Therefore, it is best to manage for IES before they become established. Following the FRA is a good way to accomplish this. In Advisory No. 16 (Adams et al. 2019), the problems of IES on legacy and abandoned mine sites were described, along with detailed descriptions of common IES plants and control measures. This Advisory (No. 17) explains the issues related to IES plants on active mine sites and presents guidance on controlling IES to ensure successful reforestation.