The U.S. West is dotted with abandoned mines that pollute water and impair habitat, the legacy of earlier generations’ pursuit of wealth and industrial feedstock. In our 2005 report on abandoned mines, the Center of the American West made the case for “Good Samaritan” legislation that will facilitate the cleanup of thousands of deserted hardrock mines. In an effort to prevent the creation of a new generation of legacy mines, mining today involves much more detailed environmental analysis than was applied in the past. More and more, these environmental analyses are predicting that an increasing number of mines will require “perpetual” active management in order to avoid significant environmental degradation after the valuable minerals have been removed. These long-term commitments relate directly to current policy debates over model reliability, the stability of financial institutions, and the meaning of sustainable development.