Montana's biggest paper on Sunday ran a front-page story on one of the two proposed gold mines we're fighting north of Yellowstone National Park.
The Billings Gazette framed the story as an indicator of the changing West: As mining and other resource extraction industries no longer dominate Western economies, the recreation, tourism, and creative-class economies are growing stronger. Local business owners wanting to protect their livelihoods from these potentially destructive gold mines spoke powerfully in the story:
“Obviously it will hurt my business because people come here for a getaway,” said Cheryl Standish, owner of Crevice Mountain Lodge, which borders the proposed mine site.
She’s also worried that drilling at the mine could pollute or dry up her well water, as well as create acidic mine runoff into the Yellowstone River that roars past 3,000 feet below the high mountain retreat she’s valued for 50 years.
Standish’s closest neighbor, hunting outfitter Warren Johnson, agrees. For a guy who’s spent his lifetime wrestling broncs and the occasional grizzly bear, it’s the possibility of mine exploration and the traffic, noise and pollution it might create — along with the effect that might have on his business — that has him worried.
He says trucks hauling mine rock down the road would disrupt the solitude of the business he’s built from the ground up — “all by grit” — over the past 34 years with his wife, Susan.
Although Johnson noted the area “has a rich history of mining,” he said it also has “a rich history of biodiversity.”
His question now is: If the mining proceeds, how might it affect the region’s wildlife and scenic values? Are the two even compatible?
You can read the whole story by clicking here.
Television station KBZK (Bozeman, MT) also covered the concerns about Crevice. The story aired not only in Bozeman, but in other major Montana towns including Billings, Helena, and Missoula.
We're so grateful to the Gazette and to KBZK for covering this story. Enormous thanks to Hells-A-Roarin Outfitters for hosting the tour of the proposed Crevice mine site. It was an honor to work with you on putting this together!
We proudly support the Johnsons, Cheryl Standish and the other 250 members of the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition. Visit the Business Coalition website today, and add your name to the long list of people who agree: Yellowstone is more valuable than gold.
-- Beth Kampschror, Communications Coordinator