Montana's biggest paper: Protect Paradise Valley from gold mines

The Billings Gazette agrees with us and with local business owners fighting two gold mines north of Yellowstone: Yellowstone and Montana's Paradise Valley are more precious than gold.

Emigrant Peak (right) and its namesake gulch north of Yellowstone are where a Canadian gold mining company has staked 2,500 acres of mining claims. Montana's biggest newspaper is supporting local businesses that want to protect current jobs from potentially toxic and industrial gold mines. (Photo William Campbell.)

Emigrant Peak (right) and its namesake gulch north of Yellowstone are where a Canadian gold mining company has staked 2,500 acres of mining claims. Montana's biggest newspaper is supporting local businesses that want to protect current jobs from potentially toxic and industrial gold mines. (Photo William Campbell.)

Today's Gazette editorial cited a recent economic report commissioned by the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition to back the Gazette's stance that gold mines would risk too many Paradise Valley jobs. From the editorial

In short, the strong outdoor economy of this spectacular Yellowstone gateway is far more precious than the limited, short-term profits of gold mining. Mining brings with it traffic on rural roads and road building on public land. Extracting diffuse gold from large amounts of earth creates large open pits or deep mines that bring acidic ore to the surface.

The paper also applauded Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Ryan Zinke for opposing the mines, and called on Sen. Steve Daines to do the same.

Now is the time to protect the outdoor assets that make Yellowstone’s north gateway a great place to live, work and grow diverse businesses. Tester and Zinke have recognized the intrinsic and economic values in this public land. Daines should join them; it will take a united delegation to move a protective bill through Congress.
Last month, the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition asked the U.S. Forest Service to administratively withdraw 34,000 acres of forest land in Park County from mineral development. Such a temporary withdrawal would give Congress time to work on a permanent protection in law.

Enormous thanks to the Gazette for supporting our friends at the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition. For more information, or to join the Business Coalition, please click here.

-- GYC staff