Yellowstone bill clears House, Senate committees

A bill that will keep gold mining away from some 30,000 acres of our public lands at Yellowstone’s northern gateway has cleared two committee hurdles in both the House and the Senate in the past 10 days. This is great news! The Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act is now one step closer to becoming law after these hearings.

 The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting on October 2, 2018. (Photo GYC.)

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting on October 2, 2018. (Photo GYC.)

Montana Sen. Jon Tester’s bill got what’s called a markup today in a key Senate committee, which paves the way for the bill to pass the full Senate. And last week, Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte’s identical House bill passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee in a 28-4 vote.  

Big thanks to Montana Sen. Steve Daines for doing his part, and making good on his commitment to move the bill out of this key Senate committee. This is the bipartisan cooperation that Montanans know is the key to getting popular bills passed to protect our lands and waters near Yellowstone.

With Tester getting this started, and Gianforte and Daines stepping up and taking action in the Republican-led Congress, we’re finally seeing the bipartisanship we’ve been asking for.  

What’s next: As a bundle of public-lands bills comes together this fall, to be considered in the “lame duck” session between the November election and the end of this Congress in January, we are hoping that the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act is one of the bills in that bundle. You can help: Sign up for our e-alerts today and we’ll let you know when you can make your voice heard.

We and hundreds of local Montanans agree that passing this bill is critical. We mentioned last month that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may sign a 20-year timeout on mining here, but the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act would protect Yellowstone’s gateway from mines forever. Thank YOU for supporting our work to get this bill passed. We’ll let you know this fall how you can help keep fly-by-night mining companies away from Yellowstone, forever.  

—Joe Josephson, Senior Montana Conservation Associate