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Zoning and Land Use Planning As They Affect Coal Mining

George L. Raymond, Proceedings of 23rd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1977)

Today one of the more serious and lasting threats to Illinois land and agricultural production is that posed by the new push for expanded coal production and coal conversion complexes.1

New Coal mines and coal conversion facilities must be restricted from siting on Illinois' prime agricultural land..., but no new mines should be allowed to locate in any area of prime land in any coal county.2

We have treated our land as if it were a limitless resource. Traditionally, Americans have felt that what they do with their own land is their own business. This attitude has been a natural outgrowth of the pioneer spirit. Today, we are coming to realize that our land is finite, while our population is growing. The uses to which our generation puts the land can either expand or severely limit the choices our children will have. The time has come when we must accept the idea that none of us has a right to abuse the land, and that on the contrary society as a whole has a legitimate interest in proper land use. There is a national interest in effective land use planning all across the nation.3

I believe that the problems of urbanization which I [174] have described, of resource management, and of land and water use generally can only be met by comprehensive approaches which take into account the widest range of social, economic and ecological concerns. I believe we