Spring is here and the frigid winter we all endured in Montana is fading into the distance. We spent one of those days where the cold just hurt with our friend and colleague Neil Barnosky on his cattle ranch outside of Sheridan, Montana.
If you’re reading this blog, you likely have a love for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In honor of Earth Day and Week, here are a few tips for all of us to help preserve the lands, waters, and wildlife of Greater Yellowstone for future generations. Thank you for all that you do for the wild heart of North America!
Yesterday, a Montana district court ruled in our favor and denied a permit that would have allowed Canadian mining company Lucky Minerals to explore for gold in Emigrant Gulch just north of Yellowstone National Park. Along with the passage of the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act that permanently protects public lands, this stunning victory further drives a stake through the heart of the proposed gold mining threatening the Yellowstone River and Paradise Valley.
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is committed to visiting with the ranchers of the Ruby Valley to hear their stories, focusing on their livestock and carnivore encounters. While we know that grizzlies are expanding and ranchers are in their path, we don’t know what’s happening on the ground. Montana Conservation Coordinator Darcie Warden and I are leading the charge to lend an ear and learn about what ranchers and their employees need to live and thrive on the landscape with grizzly bears.
Today, the president signed the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act into the law of the land. Included in this sweeping, ground-breaking legislation was the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act. Now and forever, 30,370 acres of public land on the northern doorstep of Yellowstone National Park will be protected from destructive and toxic gold mining.
Today, we have achieved a remarkable victory. The United States House of Representatives passed the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, which will forever prohibit gold mining on 30,370 acres of public lands at Yellowstone’s northern gateway. It now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law, making it an extraordinary bipartisan win.
You have the chance to help determine the future of our wild backyard for the next 30 years.
We are lucky to call the Gallatin and Madison mountains home. They provide abundant wildlife, clean drinking water, and wild trails – but for how much longer? Between skyrocketing populations and a changing landscape, these constants of mountain living are starting to look a lot less certain. Now the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s management plan is up for its once-in-a-generation revision, giving us our chance to secure our mountains’ future.
As a community organizer, I spend a lot of time thinking about how and why people come together. In today’s age of polarizing politics, common ground is admittedly hard to come by. Fortunately for us in Montana, we’ve got plenty of it – over 30 million acres, in fact. Our abundant public land is the literal common ground upon which all manner of Montanans stand to celebrate, enjoy, and defend.
(Photo Eliza Wiley.)
Today, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) as co-sponsor, reintroduced the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act into the 116th Congress. When passed, the law will prohibit large-scale mining on 30,370 acres of our public lands at Yellowstone’s northern gateway forever.
(Photo Bill Campbell.)
While we had a very successful 2018, we’re looking even more forward to the endeavors of 2019. We’ll be wrapping up a few campaigns, diving deeper into some big projects, and keeping an eye out for new issues in the ecosystem that needs our attention. We asked our staff what they’re most excited for in the New Year and this is what they had to say.
(Photo Louise Johns.)