Thursday, February 14, 2008

What should we call the merged agency?

Critics of the proposed merger between AZGS and ADMMR point to the dropping of the word “mines” from the ADMMR name as a major sticking point. HB2584 sponsor Rep. Theresa Ulmer made the offer to ADMMR last week to change the name in the bill if they would make recommendations or offer suggestions. Since none have come forward, I’m asking the mining, mineral resources, and geologic community for your input. Rep. Ulmer confirmed to me this morning that she is open to making changes to address stakeholders concerns.

Should the name of the “Division of Mineral Resources” in the merged AZGS be changed, and if so, to what?

Should the name of the Arizona Geological Survey be changed to indicate the combined missions? If so, to what?

Of the 51 state geological surveys, 42 currently use “geological survey” or some slight variation for their names, including some big mining states like Idaho. Nine states have some variation of “mines,” “mining,” “mineral resources,” or similar in their names:

Geological Survey and Resource Assessment Division (Missouri)

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources

Oregon Dept of Geology and Mineral Industries

Area de Recursos de Agua y Minerales (Puerto Rico)

Bureau of Economic Geology (Texas)

Vermont Dept of Mines, Minerals, and Energy

Division of Geology and Earth Resources (Washington)

If we change the name of the AZGS, is it necessary to have a legislatively mandated internal division that combines both current ADMMR divisions, the Museum of Mining and Mineral Resources and the Mining Information Center, or should we allow them to be managed as they are now, as separate functions?

Let me know - post a comment here for others to weigh in on, or email me directly at I'll post the ideas (without attribution unless you want your name attached).


  1. Anonymous1:34 PM

    I am alarmed at the tone of this discussion. It would seem that the discussion is about a done deal, and not pending legislation. I do not believe that this merger is in the best interest of the stakeholders. Arizona is one of the USA leaders in mineral production, and NEEDS its own agency that is responsive to the mining industry, academics, and the citizens of the state.

  2. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Of the states bordering Arizona, here is what they have decided to do:

    California has two independent agencies “State Mining and Geology” and “Mining Reclamation” (similar to AZDMMR) in addition to a Geologic Survey.

    Nevada has a Bureau of Mines and Geology.

    New Mexico has a Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

    Utah has a Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining.

    Colorado has a Department of Natural Resources.

    Seems like Arizona’s neighbors are telling us that the proposed merger is not a good idea, and at the least should require the AZ Geological Survey to change THEIR name…

    PS: Idaho ranks 26th of 50 states for mining

  3. Lee Allison replies:

    ADMMR does not do any mining reclamation, as the separate agencies in California do. The California "State Mining and Geology Board "serves as a regulatory, policy, and appeals body representing the State's interests in geology, geologic and seismologic hazards, conservation of mineral resources and reclamation of lands following surface mining activities."

    All regulatory functions in Arizona are handled by the State Mine Inspector. Similarly, in Utah, the Div. of Oil, Gas, and Mining is a regulatory agency. The Utah Geological Survey (which I headed for 10 years) carries out all the mining and mineral resource inventories and studies that are separated in Arizona between AZGS and ADMMR.

    There has been talk for years in Arizona about creating a Department of Natural Resources that would combine not only the mining-related agencies (including the Mine Inspector), but also State Lands, Game and Fish, Parks, and others. That is the model Utah and others use.

    New Mexico recently changed their name from Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources to Geology and Mineral Resources. It carries out the functions proposed for the AZGS-ADMMR merger.

    All these things say to me that the merged functions are prevalent throughout the West, except for regulatory functions. And no one is proposing merging the State Mine Inspector with either AZGS or ADMMR.

  4. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Too bad Disney can't be used as a name.