(1)It is declared to be the policy of this state that the extraction of minerals and the reclamation of land affected by such extraction are both necessary and proper activities. It is further declared to be the policy of this state that both such activities should be and are compatible. It is the intent of the general assembly by the enactment of this article to foster and encourage the development of an economically sound and stable mining and minerals industry and to encourage the orderly development of the state’s natural resources, while requiring those persons involved in mining operations to reclaim land affected by such operations so that the affected land may be put to a use beneficial to the people of this state. It is the further intent of the general assembly by the enactment of this article to conserve natural resources, to aid in the protection of wildlife and aquatic resources, to establish agricultural, recreational, residential, and industrial sites, and to protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state.
(2)The general assembly further declares that it is the intent of this article to require the development of a mined land reclamation regulatory program in which the economic costs of reclamation measures utilized bear a reasonable relationship to the environmental benefits derived from such measures. The mined land reclamation board or the office, when considering the requirements of reclamation measures, shall evaluate the benefits expected to result from the use of such measures. It is also the intent of the general assembly that consideration be given to the economic reasonableness of the action of the mined land reclamation board or the office. In considering economic reasonableness, the financial condition of an operator shall not be a factor.
(3)The general assembly further finds, determines, and declares that:
(a)It is the policy of this state to recognize that mining operations are conducted by government and private entities;
(b)All people of the state benefit from the reclamation of mined land;
(c)The funding to ensure that reclamation is achieved should be borne equitably by both the public and private sectors;
(d)The funding for enforcement and other activity that is conducted for the benefit of the general public should be supported by the general fund;
(e)It is the policy of this state to allocate resources adequate to accomplish the purposes of this article.
Section 34-32-102 — Legislative declaration,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-34.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).