Those old strip mines carved through the landscape are no longer scenes of utter desolation. They’ve become lakes brimming with fish and rich in waterfowl. Adjoining wetlands, native grasslands, oak and hickory forests are now home to deer, wild turkey, quail, cottontail rabbit, fox and mink. This is the Mined Land Wildlife Area, a devastation-to-restoration story that plays out over 14,500 acres in Cherokee, Crawford and Labette counties.
The Mined Land Wildlife Area includes 46 tracts of land. The land was reclaimed following the departure of the coal companies, which had surface mined in the region from the late 1800’s through the early 1970’s. The 200-plus strip mine lakes vary in size and depth and are filled with different kinds of sportfish. In addition to fishing and hunting, camping and canoeing are permitted on many of the tracts.
So grab your fishing pole or hunter’s gear, binoculars and hiking boots, load up the boat or canoe – and prepare to enjoy some quality time on beautifully restored wildlife habitat in the southeastern corner of the state. For additional information go to www.ksoutdoors.com.