There are a number of environmental groups up in arms about the new Alton Coal Mine in Southern Utah. I fell in love with the town of Alton in 2009, before the mine started operations. I have been watching things carefully to see if Utah’s first open pit mine would be run responsibly OR produce the dire results predicted by the Sierra Club and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
My visits to the mine and discussions with people who live near it suggest that the impact has been minimal. Here are my pictures of the mine from above the town. You can’t even see the operations unless you are looking, which makes me very happy. I think this valley is a gem. However, I am concerned that the northward expansion plans for mine will bring the operations closer to the town and destroy the hill that hides the pit and overburden piles from the homes and ranches that are in, and near, the town.