Montana Public Radio

Lucky Minerals

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that canceled state regulator approval of mining on private land north of Yellowstone National Park.

The unanimous ruling found that state lawmakers violated the state Constitution with a 2011 law that prevented district court judges from blocking projects approved by regulators, even if environmental harms were expected.

In Montana's Paradise Valley, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signs an order extending an Obama administration ban on new mining in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park by 20 years, October 8, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order yesterday extending an Obama administration ban on new mining in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park by 20 years.

Zinke stood with this back to the Absarkoa Mountain Range, the peaks half hidden in clouds hanging low over the Paradise Valley, as he said some places should not be mined, even though he describes himself as “a pro-mining guy”.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A proposal to ban mining near Yellowstone National Park got its first hearing in the U.S. House today. It has the unconditional support of Montana’s lone representative, Republican Greg Gianforte.

Congressman Gianforte is an ardent supporter of the natural resources extraction industries. Even so, he testified against mining before a House Natural Resources subcommittee Thursday.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A Montana judge has chastised state environmental regulators over a mine exploration project near Yellowstone National Park.

The ruling out Park County Wednesday says the Montana Department of Environmental Quality gave Lucky Minerals the go ahead last year to explore for gold in Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone without looking closely enough at whether it would impact sensitive wildlife habitat and water conditions.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


An environmental assessment released today from the U.S. Forest Service recommends a 20-year ban on new mining developments on public land in the Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park.

The agency recommends withdrawing more than 30,000 acres from mining exploration.

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)

Environmental groups today sued the state of Montana, attempting to block a mining company’s plans to begin exploring for gold and other precious metals in the mountains just north of Yellowstone National Park.

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)

State officials say a Canadian company’s proposal to explore for gold and other precious metals near Yellowstone National Park will have no significant environmental impact. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality today released its draft environmental assessment of Lucky Minerals’ plan.

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.

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