Nevada State Parks resolves safety hazard at Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park trench before being filled in.

OVERTON, Nev.–The Nevada Division of State Parks recently completed the reclamation of an old gypsum mine in the backcountry of Valley of Fire State Park, located about one hour from Las Vegas. The mine site was a danger to recreation enthusiasts visiting the park. “This project eliminated a hazard to the public and a liability for the state,” said Allen Newberry, chief of operations and maintenance for the Nevada Division of State Parks. “The trenches were a danger to off-highway vehicles and hikers.” The reclamation came about as a result of an agreement with the Art Wilson Co., a mining company based in Carson City, Nevada.

Under an agreement made in partnership with the Nevada Division of Minerals, the Art Wilson Co. agreed–in lieu of paying a fine to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection–to team-up with State Parks to help reclaim the land and mitigate the safety hazard at Valley of Fire State Park in southern Nevada.

The site consisted of two trenches that were up to 90 feet deep and 700 feet long. The Art Wilson Co. reclaimed the land by filling in the trenches.

“This was an outstanding project for us, and it represents a positive, cooperative effort among the Divisions of Minerals, State Parks and Environmental Protection,” Newberry said. “The project to fill in the trenches is something I’ve wanted to do for 20 years.”

The project’s cost, which was covered by the Art Wilson Co., was estimated to be about $50,000.

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The Nevada Division of State Parks plans, develops and maintains a system of parks and recreation areas for the use and enjoyment of more than 2.3 million visitors a year. The division was established in 1963 by the Nevada Legislature to form a new state park agency within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The division manages and maintains 24 parks in Nevada.

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