(1)The general assembly hereby declares that the extraction of construction materials for government and private enterprise and the reclamation of land affected by such extraction are necessary and proper activities that are compatible. It is the intent of the general assembly to foster and encourage the development of an economically sound and stable extraction materials industry and to encourage the orderly development of the state’s natural resources while requiring those persons involved in extraction operations to reclaim land affected so that it may be put to a use beneficial to the people of this state. It is the further intent of the general assembly to conserve natural resources, aid in the protection of wildlife and aquatic resources, establish agricultural, recreational, residential, and industrial sites, and protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state.
(2)The general assembly further declares that a reclamation regulatory program shall be developed under which the economic costs of reclamation measures shall bear a reasonable relationship to the environmental benefits derived from such measures. When considering the requirements of reclamation measures, the mined land reclamation board or the office of mined land reclamation shall determine the economic reasonableness of the action by evaluating the benefits expected to result from the use of such measures. When considering economic reasonableness, the financial condition of an operator shall not be a factor.
(3)The general assembly further finds and declares that:
(a)It is the policy of this state to recognize that extraction operations are conducted by both government and private entities;
(b)All residents of this state benefit from the reclamation of land;
(c)The funding needed to ensure that reclamation is achieved should be borne equitably by the public and private sectors;
(d)The funding for enforcement and other activities conducted for the benefit of the general public should be supported by the general fund; and
(e)It is the policy of this state to allocate resources adequate to accomplish the purposes of this article.
Section 34-32.5-102 — Legislative declaration,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-34.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).