LINCOLN — Following more than six years of environmental clean-up work, the state is opening the Mike Horse drainage east of Lincoln for recreation.
Crews have spent years -- and millions of dollars -- cleaning up the damage that was left when the dam at the old Mike Horse Dam failed in the mid-70s, sending tons of contaminated soil into the headwaters of the Blackfoot River.
The cleanup involved moving more than a million cubic yards of mine waste and setting up water treatment systems. Because of the heavy construction equipment, the valley remained closed to the public for several years.
Now, the state is re-opening the area, and the Blackfoot Challenge group will organize a self-guided tour of the restored area, explaining the cleanup and mining history.