A bill to prevent mining north of Yellowstone National Park cleared a key congressional hurdle Wednesday.
Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte’s ‘Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act’ permanently withdraws mineral rights and bans mining on 30-thousand acres of public lands east of the Paradise Valley.
The measure survived several amendments including one that would have watered-down its provision for a permanent mining ban to one lasting seven years.
Gianforte expressed his support for the mining industry, but added, “Some places just don’t make sense for a mine. I know many of my colleagues have questioned the wisdom of an administrative withdrawal and think Congress should reclaim its authority to do its job. This bill is an opportunity to do just that.”
A Senate committee is expected to take up a similar bill next week that’s sponsored by Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester. The Forest Service Friday endorsed a plan to block mining north of Yellowstone National Park for 20 years.