Surface-Mined Land in Indiana (CO-15)
Before the 1920's, nearly all coal produced in Indiana was mined underground. Since then the amount of coal produced by surface mining has gradually increased, so that now nearly all coal is mined in Indiana by stripping overburden from above the coal.
Early attempts to reclaim mined land were concurrent with large-scale mining, but these voluntary attempts were limited to reforestation. Indiana's first compulsory-reclamation law was passed in 1949. Reclamation has improved, so that in many places it is difficult to determine whether an area has been mined. Some land is considerably improved after surface mining.
Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Coal