How about a big win for Yellowstone to start your holiday celebrations! Today, more than 31,000 acres of public lands on Yellowstone’s northern boundary were protected from gold exploration for the next two years!
This morning in Montana’s Paradise Valley, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the start of a process to enact a mineral withdrawal. With two gold mines proposed near the park, this two-year “time out” gives the community a chance to better understand what’s at risk if foreign-backed companies are allowed to mine in the gateway to Yellowstone.
By working closely with local landowners and businesses, we’ve been able to demonstrate once again that Yellowstone is more valuable than gold. This community understands that healthy trout streams, abundant wildlife, and access to some of the most spectacular public lands in the country are what drive our economy and sustain our way of life. Together, we spoke with one voice and decision makers responded.
This is a big win, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating this historic day in Greater Yellowstone!
However, we’re not done yet.
· Early in 2017, we’ll get a chance to participate in a public process and voice our support for withdrawing these lands from mining activities. Stay tuned to learn how you can get involved.
· While no exploration can take place on public lands, a Canadian company is still proposing to explore for gold on private lands. Click here to tell Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality that this proposal is flawed and poses serious risks to Yellowstone’s lands, waters, and wildlife.
· We need Montana’s congressional delegation to keep listening and working with us and with the community to find a way to permanently protect these sensitive lands from gold mining.
· And keep an eye out for our year-end fundraising appeal, which is all about how you can help us fight these mines. This year, your support is more important than ever! If you’re in the Bozeman area, you can learn more and support our work by joining us at Map Brewing on Nov. 30.
Yellowstone’s doorstep is no place for gold mines. Thank you for all you do to help us protect Greater Yellowstone, the wild heart of North America – now and for future generations.
-- Caroline Byrd, Executive Director