"There are over 200,000 abandoned mines covering hundreds of thousands of acres in the western United States. Seen from the air, they create surreal, haunting, yet somehow beautiful landscapes of mind-boggling scale. But these scarred landscapes are only temporary: by law, mining companies are required to reclaim them, and the process of renewal exposes many fault lines - physical, philosophical, technological, environmental, political, regulatory, and ethical." "Using aerial photography, mappings, designs, charts, and analyses, Alan Berger provides a colorful and insightful overview of the possibilities offered by converting these altered landscapes. Reclaiming the American West covers the history, policy, and technical and design challenges presented by these enormous toxic sites, many of which have been converted into landscapes of extraordinary beauty."--BOOK JACKET.