Browsing Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 07 (1977) by Subjects
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Reclamation of Orphaned Mine Sites and Their Effect on the Water Quality of the Lynx Creek WatershedLynx Creek Watershed is located eight miles southeast of Prescott, Arizona, on the Prescott National Forest. The watershed consists of 13,600 acres, which are National Forest Lands. Approximately 600 acres in the watershed are patented mining claims. Gold was discovered in Lynx Creek in 1863 and the watershed was extensively mined for gold, silver and copper. The aftermath of the mining has resulted in numerous mine shafts, waste dumps and mill tailing ponds that were abandoned after the ore was played out. Drainage from the orphaned mine sites contribute a certain extent of toxic mineral and sediment pollution into Lynx Creek and eventually into Lynx Lake. Lynx Creek carries runoff which is slightly acidic in nature and has high concentrations of copper, manganese, iron, zinc and sulfates. The mineral pollutants have reduced the recreational and fisheries potential of the Lake. The Sheldon Mine complex consisting of a waste dump and the mill tailing dump were considered the major sources of pollutants into the Lake. The Sheldon Tailings pond was rehabilitated during the summer of 1975 and the waste dump during the summer of 1976 as part of a reclamation study that is being sponsored by SEAM (Surface Environment and Mining). The study is being conducted cooperatively by the School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, and the Prescott National Forest. Both sites were culturally treated and dressed with lime and topsoil. Studies are currently being conducted to measure the beneficial effects of the reclamation projects.