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The Indiana Society of Mining and Reclamation (ISMR) formed in 1986 as an advisory to then DNR director James Ridenour. Initially it was called the Coal Mining and Reclamation Task Force (CMRTF). Shortly thereafter the group identified a permanent and ongoing need for such a diverse and professional group. As a result, the term “Task Force” was no longer appropriate.
ISMR is a professional alliance providing opportunity for education and communication of technical advances in mining and reclamation. When formed, its mission was to “communicate, coordinate, and aid in obtaining funding for research in the areas of coal mining and reclamation of mined land.” Five years later, the funding objectives were removed and the focus sharpened to communication and multiple forums of technology and information exchange.
The single most successful means of exchange has been the annual Technology Transfer Seminar. The first was held in 1987 as a one-day workshop featuring primarily local miners, land restoration specialists, and members of academia. Since its inception, it has grown to a full two-day seminar. The first day is set aside as a series of workshops run simultaneously for specific technical topics and recertifications. The second day remains devoted to brief presentations of research and developments in mining and land restoration.
Proceedings from previous workshops are available here:
The Executive Committee of the Indiana Society of Mining and Reclamation comprises of 11 members appointed by the director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The chair is the DNR- deputy director for the Bureau of Regulatory Management. Additional members include four representatives of large and small mining companies; one from the DNR Division of Reclamation and one member from the Indiana Geological Survey. Other members include a representative from the Office of Energy and Defense Development with direct working knowledge of State energy policy, various coal forums, and energy committees; a representative of the U.S. Office of Surface Mining; and three positions from the academic community with interests and/or expertise in the mining and reclamation process. There is also a representative from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and an at-large representative who may be a member of a public environmental organization, private industrial consultant, or an individual who has some project that relates to the purpose of the Society. Individuals are appointed to the Executive Committee for a term of three years. The terms are staggered and renewable.
As part of the annual summit, mining and reclamation awards are presented. They are the Vance “Pat” Wiram Award for Innovation in Reclamation and Mining Technology sponsored by ISMR and, the Indiana Excellence in Mining and Reclamation Award selected by the DNR Division of Reclamation.
This award honors an individual who has gone that extra step in applying new and innovative ideas to the enhancement of surface mining and reclamation. It is presented each year for contributions made to the development or implementation of new technologies or concepts in mining and reclamation. This award, previously known as the Innovation Award, was renamed in honor of Vance “Pat” Wiram. A founding member of ISMR, Pat enthusiastically promoted and supported sound and responsible environmental concepts. In addition to his leadership throughout the coalfields, he was an enthusiastic and tireless resource champion in his own community and countless other social and professional outlets. His name was added to the Innovation Award as a tribute to his dedication after he passed away suddenly in 1996
Vance “Pat” Wiram Award for Innovation in Reclamation and Mining Technology winners:
There was no presentation for 2008.
This is the Indiana Department of Natural Resources-Division of Reclamation’s highest award for outstanding achievement in the field of surface coal mining and reclamation. It is presented to a company for exemplary performance at a specific mine site. The winner is placed in nomination for the National Mined Lands Reclamation Award presented by the National Association of State Land Reclamationists and the Office of Surface Mining Regional Awards.
Indiana Excellence in Mining and Reclamation Award winners: