MTPR

Chico Hot Springs

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has scheduled a visit next week to Montana, where he's expected to finalize a proposal to block new mining claims on the forested public lands just outside Yellowstone National Park.

Zinke, a former Montana congressman, plans to sign documents and make a "major announcement" about conservation on Monday in the Paradise Valley area, Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said Thursday.

Swift declined to give further details except to say it was an issue Zinke had been working on for years.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
Corin Cates-Carney

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior visited Montana Monday to announce a plan blocking mining on public lands just north of Yellowstone National Park.

Emigrant Peak north of Yellowstone, near the area of a proposed Lucky Minerals mine exploration.
Flickr user Sean Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

A group of businesses north of Yellowstone National Park has formed a new coalition to fight two proposed gold exploration projects in the area.

Emigrant Peak north of Yellowstone, near the area of a proposed Lucky Minerals mine exploration.
Flickr user Sean Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

Caroline Byrd describes south-central Montana's scenic Emigrant Gulch in the Paradise Valley as Yellowstone National Park's "northern backdoor".

"It's got wildlife. It's got water. It's got scenic beauty and it's got real ecological importance for keeping the whole place knit together," says Byrd.

Byrd, the executive director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition says that's no place for a mine.