About the Handbook

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Dear Friends,

I am very happy to announce the release of a pre-publication draft of the new edition of The Strip Mining Handbook.  

We are announcing this draft to a select group of interested parties with experience and expertise on coal mine regulation to solicit your comments and ideas for making this publication the best it can be.  Eventually, we will publish a final draft on-line, and if there is interest, we will also consider a print edition. 

At the end of each chapter you will see a place to comment.  If you are commenting on something specific please do your best to direct our attention to that part of the text by referencing a section heading or paragraph number. We would particularly like your feedback on the following issues but we welcome all comments and suggestions. 

  • Coverage – Is the book sufficiently comprehensive?  Is it too overwhelming? What did we miss, or what should be covered in more detail?  Are there sections with too much detail?
  • Accessibility – Is the book readable and accessible to the interested public.  Are there changes that you might recommend that would make it more accessible without compromising the substance of the materials?
  • Diagrams/TablesWe are hoping to include more diagrams and graphic depictions in the new book. Please help us identify materials that might benefit from an explanatory diagram, flow chart, or other visual aide?  If you are aware of a website where pertinent public domain graphics are available, please share that with us
  • PhotosIn the previous edition of the Handbook, we included some great pictures.  Most of them were taken by Earl Dotter.  We have been in touch with Earl Dotter and he is willing to provide photos for the new edition of the book but he has requested an honorarium of $2,000.  The great thing about Dotter’s photos is that they depict the human interest aspect of mining.  We have not yet pursued other sources very aggressively, though some public domain photos of mining activities and equipment are available.  Is it worthwhile to include Dotter’s photos?  Are you aware of other photographers whom we might consider?  Do you have any ideas about how we might obtain a grant to cover this expense?
  • Print editionAs noted above, we are considering a print edition of the new edition of the book.  Is that a good idea, or should we limit this to an on-line publication? If we decide to have the book printed we hope we will be able to either self publish or find a donor who is willing to arrange for the book to be made available free of charge.  If you have ideas on publication, please share that with us.  It may be difficult to (Whether we do a print edition or not, we are planning to constantly update the web-based version of the book.)
  • Links – We hope to have links to all of the references in the book, so that you can simply click on a term or footnote and go directly to the glossary definition or the source material?  How helpful is this feature?

Thanks for your help.  We look forward to your feedback.  If there is sufficient interest we would be happy to schedule one or more conference calls to further discuss your comments and ideas.


Warm regards,

Mark Squillace

Meg Leta Jones,
Aug 13, 2009, 8:05 PM