Illinois was an important location for innovation and evaluation of mine reclamation regulations, techniques, and approaches. Active surface and underground mining for coal is not what it was in the latter half of the previous century and before, but the reclaimed areas are a testimony to the efforts of the early pioneers in restoring mined and subsided land to their former agricultural productivity. Illinois has some of the best agricultural soils in the world, and underneath of much of that area is coal, thus promoting an enhanced sensitivity to good quality mined land reclamation. The University of Illinois was the lead agency in mine land reclamation research and established research plots to test various reclamation techniques and systems. Many of those plots remain in agriculture and the long term success of reclamation will indicate that the post mining improvements in the soils and landscapes are permanent and not a result of the intense management applied initially.