This report presents estimates of coal-bearing acreage and coal tonnage in environmentally-sensitive areas. The analysis was conducted to provide data for rulemaking by the Federal Office of Surface Mining (Watson and others, 1995). The rulemaking clarifies conditions under which coal can be mined in environmentally-sensitive areas.
The area of the U.S. is about 2.3 billion acres. Contained within that acreage are certain environmentally-sensitive and unique areas (including parks, forests, and various other Federal land preserves). These areas are afforded special protection under Federal and State law. Altogether these protected areas occupy about 400 million acres.
This report assesses coal acreage and coal tonnage in these protected Federal land preserves. Results are presented in the form of 8 map-displays prepared using GIS methods at a national scale. Tables and charts that accompany each map provide estimates of the total acreage in Federal land preserve units that overlap or fall within coal fields, coal-bearing acreage in each unit, and coal tonnage in each unit. Summary charts, compiled from the maps, indicate that about 8% of the Nation's coal reserves are located within environmentally-sensitive Federal land preserves.