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The nonreclamation spending is made possible by a split of the program into two sections one for traditional reclamations and another to be spent at the discretion of the state Legislature. The latter, referred to as the prior balance fund, is from previously promised funding that the federal government earlier diverted from the AML program.

´╗┐Abandoned Mine Lands funds

behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

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Wyoming faced scrutiny last year over how it chose to spend its AML funds. Approximately $82 million of 2012's $150 million allotment went to projects not generally considered traditional mine reclamations, including road work and a Gillette water project. Edwards said in October that the vast majority of those projects had direct impacts on communities impacted by energy development.

Shannon Anderson, an organizer for the Wyoming based Powder River Basin Resource Council, said Thursday that the cuts hurt, but some of Wyoming's nonreclamation projects made the program an easy target.

The state could eventually recoup some of the $1.5 million chopped due to the federal budget cuts, Edwards said. If the Office of Surface Mining doesn't face the steep cuts it's expecting, then it may pay out some or all of the remaining AML funds under the cap, he said.

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"We acknowledge that it was legal what the Legislature was doing," she said. "But it was an easy target for Congress when it's supposed to be for abandoned mine land and Wyoming is using it as a supplemental budget for the state."

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Edwards said program work for the near future will be near normal, as the program uses up funds remaining from fiscal year 2012. As the program starts to line up future construction projects, it will finally feel the effects of the cuts. The program will be able to do less work to mitigate environmental impacts from past mining projects, and it will contract less with local construction companies. Edwards said he's afraid local communities will take a Nike Jacket Maroon hit as a result.

"It isn't just what's reduced for reclamation; it's the secondary impacts that represents that's one of the really sad features of this," he said. "It's just another chip away at the economy."

Wyoming had expected a cut in its AML share. In September, Congress capped the state's annual allowance at $15 million, a far cry from funds received in previous years. In 2012, for example, Nike Long Sleeve Shirt With Hood

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"It's obviously discouraging that not only did they take the cut but they feel they've got to take a little bit more," he said. "It's obviously frustrating."

Wyoming received $150 million in AML funds.

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State officials would likely have bristled even had they been promised the full $15 million, but cutting a tenth only adds more frustration, said Alan Edwards, abandoned mine lands program director for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

Wyoming's cut from the federally collected state mine land reclamation is a lot smaller than it could be, and millions of dollars less than previous years a victim of dubious spending and Congressional budget wars. Office of Surface Mining announced Thursday it's handing $13.5 million in Abandoned Mine Lands funding to Wyoming.

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If your comment was not approved, perhaps.

That's less than the $15 million cap placed on the state's share last year. The cut comes as a result of "congressional inaction" to avoid a pending $1.2 trillion across the board federal budget cut, the agency said.

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"It's going to take a lot longer to get all our reclamation done, what reclamation we can complete with the money they left us," he said Thursday. "There's no way we're going to be able to finish the reclamation with the $15 million they left us."

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Edwards estimated in October that his department would lose about $713 million in funding over the next decade, an 83 percent cut. He said at that point more than $400 million in identified abandoned mine lands projects had yet to be funded.

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