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Five-year collaboration transforms mine into a wild prairie

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. - A study has transformed a reclaimed Wisconsin frack sand mine into a successful wild prairie.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls partnered with industrial sand mining firm Superior Silica Sands and Chippewa County's Department of Land Conservation and Forest Management to learn how sand mining impacts soil that is stripped away, stored and replaced after mining operations.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that researchers are hopeful the findings can be used at other mining operations around the state.

Students and UW-River Falls geology and soil science professor Holly Dolliver since 2013 have been taking hundreds of samples from land owned by Superior Silica Sands in the Town of Auburn.

Chippewa County Land Conservation and Forestry Management Director Dan Masterpole says the reclamation study serves an important function in the state.


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