To all of us in government, universities, the mining industry and the consulting industry, Tony Milligan was the grandfather of mine reclamation in British Columbia. In the early 1970’s, there was little experience in mine reclamation, especially in the subalpine areas of the Rockies. Tony and his crew at Kaiser Resources led the way in the practical application of reclamation technology, proving to us all that large scale open pit coal mining could be reclaimed to a very high standard, and that the large elk and deer populations of the region could coexist with mine development. This pioneering work was undoubtedly responsible for improving the health of the mining industry and allowing new mines to develop, pointing to Tony’s achievements and successful reclamation. Tony and his crew won the Annual Mine Reclamation Award four of the first seven years it was presented.
Tony was well respected by his colleagues in government, as well as by the mining industry. There are few individuals, who, by their consistent honesty, integrity and positive outlook can easily move from industry to government, use the same approach and philosophy to strive for excellent mine reclamation, and be as successful as Tony.
The Tony Milligan Book Award was created in recognition of the many contributions Tony made to mine reclamation in British Columbia, and to the activities of the TRCR. The award is presented each year to the author(s) of the paper from the previous year’s symposium, which best exemplified Tony’s interests in the practical aspects of reclamation and the operational application of sound scientific principles in a cost effective manner.