There are over 200,000 abandoned mines covering hundreds of thousands of acres in the western United States. Seen from the air, they create surreal, haunting, yet somehow beautiful landscapes of mind-boggling scale. But these scarred landscapes are only temporary: by law, mining companies are required to reclaim them, and the process of renewal exposes many physical, philosophical, technological, environmental, political, regulatory, and ethical issues.
Using aerial photography, maps, designs, charts, and analyses, Alan Berger provides a colorful and insightful overview of the possibilities-and dangers-of converting these altered landscapes. Reclaiming the American West covers the historical background and policy, as well as representational, technical, and design challenges presented by working with these enormous toxic sites, many of which have been converted into landscapes of extraordinary beauty. In addition, the book gives us an unprecedented vantage point above the sublime landscapes.