Photo Credit: Jacob W. Franks, NPS
NewsAuthor: S. Shaw
Senator Jon Tester has introduced legislation that would permanently ban new mining in an area of Montana just outside Yellowstone National Park’s borders.
The Montana Democrat says the are just outside of Yellowstone is incredibly important to the state’s economy and should be protected.
"Hundreds of businesses and local residents support this collaborative legislation because it protects jobs and preserves our outdoor way of life," Tester said. "Responsible natural resource development plays an important role in Montana's economy, but there are simply some places where you just should not dig or drill, and the doorstep of Yellowstone Park is one of those places."
The senator’s proposal would withdraw federal mineral rights on some 30,000 acres of public land in the Custer Gallatin National Forest just north of Yellowstone.
The move was celebrated by conservation groups and some Montana business leaders alike.
"On behalf of all our employees, our retail partners and the state of Montana, I thank Senator Tester for what he's doing with this bill," said K.C. Walsh, President of Simms Fishing Products. "The Yellowstone is one of the critical rivers to our business and one of the most important in the state of Montana. There are plenty of places to develop mines but this isn't one of them."
The Obama administration placed a temporary, two-year ban on mining in the area late last year.