Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program

Virginia Energy is one of nine state and tribal programs chosen by Congress to receive $10 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to develop and repurpose Abandoned Mine Lands. The 2020 Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program (AMLER) funding is made available and administered by the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), in accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Public Law 116-93). First authorized in 2016, Virginia has received $10 million in Fiscal Years 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Projects must follow eligibility and other guidelines set forth in OSMRE’s AMLER Guidance document and adhere to Virginia Energy’s terms and conditions. Applicants are encouraged to submit projects with the greatest potential to achieve the economic development goals of the AMLER Program. Priority will be given to projects that promote innovative renewable energy solutions, innovation in agriculture and specifically projects that promote the creation of high-paying jobs and stimulate the revitalization of historically disadvantaged communities. Virginia Energy also encourages applications that present solutions to economic development challenges.

Forms and information needed for anyone interested in proposing a project for review will be included on this web page when they become available.

Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Projects

Country Cabin Picture
Country Cabin II Facility Improvements
Wise County
Grant: Recipient: Appalachian Traditions, Inc.
2018 Funds Awarded: $47,420

Already capitalizing on traditional mountain music, the Country Cabin II can now offer more opportunities for visitors with a year-round venue. The music venue is located on a reclaimed abandoned mine land and AMLER Program dollars was spent on insulation and paneling for the interior walls and sealing the floor. The completion of this project has created an increase of marketability for the venue. Weddings, reunions, birthday celebrations and high school proms have been or are scheduled to be held at the County Cabin II Facility.

Cranes Nest Picture
Cranes Nest Trail & Portal Closure
Dickenson County
Grant: Recipient: Dickenson County
2017 Funds Awarded: $711,100

This project has closed nine AML portals and the old mine access road has been improved and connected with the existing Cranesnest multi-use hiking/biking/equestrian trail. The trail now extends 3.5 miles to a campground maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers on the Cranesnest River in Dickenson County.

Dante Community Picture
Dante Community Redevelopment Project
Russell County
Grant Recipient: Russell County
2018 Funds Awarded: $269,000

Dante is a historic coal camp with rows of houses, remains of a company store and other visual reminders of coal mining from years past. The Community Association wants to share the rich history with visitors. AMLER Program dollars would be used to build connector trails to historic sites in the town and create eight miles of trails along an old railroad. With plans for an ATV trail from St. Paul to Dante, the number of visitors is expected to increase.

Devils Bathtub Picture
Devils Bathtub
Scott County
Grant Recipient: Scott County Economic Development Authority
2017 Funds Awarded: $283,000

The Devils Bathtub geologic feature is a regional and national tourist destination located in the Jefferson National Forest in Scott County. This AMLER project will make parking improvements, close two AML portals, and make safety improvements to the trail including the elimination of several stream crossings. In addition to bringing in more visitors, the project aims to reduce the strain on local emergency responders who rescue dozens of lost, stranded, or injured hikers each year.

Ecotourism Picture
Ecotourism in Nature's Wonderland
Buchanan County
Grant Recipient: Southwest Virginia Sportsmen, Inc.
2018 Funds Awarded: $2,254,750

Wildlife viewing and, eventually, hunting opportunities will become accessible to the public through the Ecotourism in Nature's Wonderland project. The grant dollars will be used to improve 350 acres of historic mined land resulting in an ecological and economic benefit to Buchanan County. The wildlife habitat will be managed by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources as part of their elk reintroduction initiative and is expected to support a variety of game species.

Enhancing the Mountain View Trail System
Russell and Wise Counties
Grant Recipient: The Nature Conservancy
2018 Funds Awarded: $222,000

The Mountain View Trail system is an ATV trail that connects Coeburn and St. Paul. The trail covers about 2,500 acres of land that was once mined. It is part of a larger trail system that has a significant existing economic impact on the region-- the Spearhead Trails. AMLER Program dollars will be used to reclaim abandoned mine land features that could be safety hazards for riders such as auger holes, highwalls and more.

Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum Picture
Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum
Tazewell County
Grant Recipient: Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission
2017 Funds Awarded: $1,500,000
2018 Funds Awarded: $379,178

The Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum is the only exhibition mine in Virginia. Visitors can get a feel for being in an underground coal mine. AMLER program dollars was spent on the refurbishment the exhibition mine and the neighboring museum. The AMLER grant funds help create space for an on-site restaurant and will provide an optional tram service for visitors to ride through the mine. Pocahontas is also home to the Spearhead and Hatfield-McCoy ATV trails which is bringing more visitors to the site.

Project Greenhouse Picture
Project Greenhouse
Russell County
Grant Recipient: Russell County Industrial Development Authority
2019 Funds Awarded: $2,000,000

Project Greenhouse will construct a commercial greenhouse growing space in the southwest Virginia coalfield region. AMLER program dollars will go to a 35,000 square foot commercial greenhouse that is fully equipped with related infrastructure such as improvements to the existing access road, connections to the public water that is onsite, a basic waste treatment system, and potentially a renewable energy package. Project Greenhouse will be the catalyst to create jobs and a new tax base within this fast growing industry cluster.

Project Intersection Picture
Project Intersection
Wise County
Grant Recipient: Norton Industrial Development Authority
2017 Funds Awarded: $3,500,000
2018 Funds Awarded: $1,782,685
2019 Funds Awarded: $1,417,400

Project Intersection will provide and economic boost to four localities in the Lenowisco Regional Industrial Facilities Authority region. Removal of a highwall left by historic mining that oversees the intersection of two major highways in Norton. The 200-acre property will reclaimed in order to host three industrial sites. Project Intersection is the top-ranked site for development within Lee, Wise and Scott Counties and the city of Norton.

Project Reclaim Picture
Project Reclaim
Russell County
Grant Recipient: Russell County Reclamation, LLC
2017 Funds Awarded: $3,199,553
2018 Funds Awarded: $1,645,340

Project Reclaim is a 67-acre industrial site. The project is close to rail, has access to electricity and substations, a developed road, and existing natural gas and water supplies. Various old structures from previous mining were removed and the land reclaimed to support future development of an industrial site.

Project Throughbred Picture
Project Throughbred
Wise County
Grant Recipient: Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority
2019 Funds Awarded: $2,000,000

Project Thoroughbred will redevelop an abandoned coal loadout facility, situated in the City of Norton, into a grain processing, storage, and distribution terminal. AMLER program dollars will be utilized for land acquisition, site development, environmental work, site work, building construction, setup, and equipment placement. The project will serve as an integral piece of a much larger agricultural economic development initiative for the entire Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (LPRIFA) region. A Southwest Virginia grain terminal will be a catalyst for creating economic activity in two areas: the upstream agriculture base and the downstream craft beverage industry.

Real McCoy Cabins Expansion Picture
Real McCoy Cabins Expansion
Tazewell County
Grant Recipient: Real McCoy Cabins
2017 Funds Awarded: $527,361

Real McCoy Cabins offer diverse lodging choices for adventure tourist, specifically ATV enthusiast with the town of Pocahontas being home to the Spearhead and Hatfield-McCoy AVT trails. AMLER money will be used for the expansion of Real McCoy Cabins with the addition of a large family/group style cabin, six treehouses, a bathhouse an arcade and tent camping locations. Booked at full capacity during the majority of the year, this would help Real McCoy Cabins accommodate an additional 72 visitors per night.

Red Onion Picture
>Red Onion Industrial Site
Dickenson County
Grant Recipient: Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority
2019 Funds Awarded: $859,584

The project will combine AMLER funds with $1.7 million in other funding to develop a 99 acre site with redundant broadband fiber, infrastructure, and three pads totaling 47 acres. The site is located on the border of Dickenson and Wise Counties, in close proximity to U.S. 23, and the surrounding land has potential for renewable energy development opportunities.

Splashdam Waterline Extension Picture
Splashdam Waterline Extension
Dickenson County
Grant Recipient: Dickenson County Public Service Authority
2018 Funds Awarded: $356,500

This project saw public water made available to a campground in Haysi through AMLER program funds. The infrastructure installed also serves 11 homes and a church. Access to reliable public water has enabled development of additional campsites and a bathhouse at the Thunder River Campground. The campground is on previously mined land next to the Russell Fork River and hosts visitors hoping to hit the ATV trails, go fishing, raft or kayak, visit Breaks Interstate Park, and enjoy the beauty of the Appalachian mountains.

Trammel Community Revitalization Picture
Trammel Community Revitalization
Dickenson County
Grant Recipient: People Inc.
2017 Funds Awarded: $150,000

AMLER funds will be used to support blight removal and sidewalk restoration in a historic coal camp as part of a broader community revitalization effort. Other funding sources will complete housing rehabilitation, fiber optic internet connections, road widening, stormwater drainage mitigation, and develop a community common space.

Wise County IDA Solar Project Site Preparation Picture
Wise County IDA Solar Project Site Preparation
Wise County
Grant Recipient: Wise County Industrial Development Authority
Funds Awarded: $500,000

The first large scale solar development in Southwest Virginia will be deployed on a previously mined site with AMLER funds. The project will prepare the site for a solar array installation that will generate over three megawatts of clean energy to be used by the Mineral Gap Data Center. Preparation and installation will create several jobs and the Mineral Gap Data Center is expected to increase customers due to the use of renewable energy.