“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Eckley in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Land Use Consequences

Land Use Consequences Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, October 19, 2019
1. Land Use Consequences Marker

Industrial timbering cleared large swaths of stable old-growth woodland. This type of forest-clearing significantly changed the character of the land by removing key components of a stable ecosystem. These new ecosystems facilitated plant growth previously hindered by the dense canopy and created new habitat that supported the growth of deer, turkey, bear, and small mammal populations. Some of the cleared lands were later converted into state forests or game lands.


As coal was mined, companies dug deep shafts and tunnels below the surface. Mining disrupted ground water patterns by creating new subsurface channels and pools sometimes harboring acidic chemicals. As coal was mined below ground or later in surface pits, waste materials were concentrated in large mounds called culm banks or overburden piles. As industry declined, the region was left with abandoned rail corridors, canal ways, underground mines, houses, commercial buildings, disrupted ground water patterns, culm banks, and deep stripping pits.

Some abandoned rail corridors have been converted into recreational

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trails while abandoned canal ways, commercial buildings, and mining villages have been turned into heritage sites. Some of the large waste piles have been re-mined for the waste coal they contain which is being burned to make electricity and some of the new underground water pools are being used for geothermal heating.


The first federal mine reclamation act was passed in 1977 as a direct response to significant landscape changes brought on by mining and required permits and bonds to ensure that projects were executed properly and money was available for clean up and reclamation once a mine was closed.
Erected by Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1977.
Location. 40° 59.5′ N, 75° 52.033′ W. Marker is in Eckley, Pennsylvania, in Luzerne County. Marker is on Main Street, on the right when traveling west. On the grounds of the Eckley Miners' Village & Museum (Ghost Town). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Weatherly PA 18255, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Land Use (approx. ¼ mile away); Eckley Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Slate Picker's House (approx. half a mile away); Laborer’s Double Dwelling

Land Use Consequences Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, October 19, 2019
2. Land Use Consequences Marker
(approx. 0.6 miles away); Eckley Miners’ Village (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Church of the Immaculate Conception (approx. 0.6 miles away); Exploring the Corridor (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Eckley Miners’ Village (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eckley.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 28, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 150 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 28, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 23, 2023