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May102013

High School students learn of mining history and impacts today

Butte-High School students had the opportunity to step behind the gates that guard the Diamond Mine on Thursday morning. They also visited the Granite Mountain Memorial, the Alice Mine Overlook, the Colorado tailings, the Parrot Tailing and the Groundwater Capture Treatment Facility. They learned about the history of mining and the ongoing reclamation and restoration that continues today.

"What we have here now, including the cleanup and all of its remnants from a hundred years of mining, it's all history," said Chris Fisk, a history teacher at Butte High School.

There still exists 10,000 miles of underground mining tunnels, according to Sara Sparks, remedial project manager for the EPA. Sparks lead the students around the Granite Mountain Memorial. She explained that the memorial acts as a cap-preventing hazardous materials from reaching our water systems. The memorial is a tribute to nearly 170 miners that were lost in a fire in 1917.

The EPA and CFWEP.org teamed up to bring nearly 120 students in grades 9-12 from Butte High School to these historic sites on Thursday.

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