Yesterday, 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.
We applaud the continued bipartisan efforts from Sen. Tester and Sen. Daines to keep their promises and make the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act one of their first orders of business in the new year. The original bill was introduced by Senator Tester in April 2017. This reintroduction offers a safeguard if the larger public lands bill package, which currently includes the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act fails to pass. We are grateful for this milestone today, but our job is not over yet. We need to get this bill through the Senate soon, and we will continue to push it through.
We look forward to Congressman Greg Gianforte extending his steadfast support of the bill by reintroducing his House version of the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act in the coming days.
Two fly-by-night companies are proposing risky gold-mining projects in Montana, north of Yellowstone National Park. Both companies have leases on private lands, surrounded by public national forest, but this law will limited their ability to expand onto public lands. Our economy, outdoor heritage, and communities don’t run on foreign-owned gold mines. They thrive because of Yellowstone National Park, our public lands, agriculture, a clean, free-flowing Yellowstone river, and Montanans.
What’s next? If the public lands bill package does not pass, we trust our entire delegation will continue to push the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act until it becomes law. We are confident our Montana team will see this bill through to the end no matter what.
We’re so close to passing this bill, and so much of it is thanks to you! We are grateful for your continued support to permanently protect Yellowstone’s northern gateway. Together, we are proving Yellowstone is more valuable than gold.
-Joe Josephson, Senior Montana Conservation Organizer