Local opposition continues to mount against a proposal by Crevice Mining Group to mine for gold just north of Yellowstone National Park.
According to KTVQ, residents and business owners, such as Hell’s A Roarin’ Outfitters operator Warren Johnson, are speaking out against Crevice’s plan to mine outside Gardiner.
In early September, officials at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality rejected an application from Crevice for the second time, expressing concerns over the Crevice’s requested permits—which could be used to dodge a reclamation bond—and wastewater disposal. Crevice had previously resubmitted their application in July, after it was rejected in April 2016. From KTVQ:
It means a lot more noise, disruption of wildlife, disruption of my business,” Johnson said. “I take horseback rides along the Yellowstone Park line. To make a living you have to protect it, not only for my business, but because I want to.”
That is why Johnson, along with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition hosted the tour, to raise awareness and explain to people why he and so many others are opposed to mining here.
GYC’s Joe Josephson led the tour from the Crevice Mountain Lodge, which is a short drive from Hell’s A Roarin’. He pointed down a hill to a stand of aspens, the border of Yellowstone National Park. “Imagine,” Josephson asked, “ 6-700 feet below us they’d be mining.”
The proposal to explore and possibly mine on Crevice Mountain comes from the Crevice Mining group. Along the tour route, evidence of old mining operations can been seen all over, holes in the rock and mounds of earth.
“Gold was discovered up here since the late 1800’s and people were prospecting up here for many decades in the early part of the century,” explained Josephson. “Back in the day, they were up here with a pick and shovel and mules poking around a lot of these holes are visible but are recovering. Now we’re next to Yellowstone. There a lot of other things driving our economy here, tourism, pristine waters and wildlife”
Opponents of the proposed exploration said a full scale gold mine could jeopardize that and not just with because of large trucks, drills and dynamite
Geologist Steven Koehler explained to the group some of the dangers to the ecosystem.
“If these underground workings, exploration declines fill with water then you have to be concerned about where that water will go because it could be contaminated.”
Crevice did not respond to KTVQ when they reached out for comment.
The Crevice project is not the only mining project in the Greater Yellowstone Area facing local opposition. In June, the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition penned a letter to the U.S. Forest Service, asking officials to place 31,400 acres of land just east of Paradise Valley under “administrative mineral withdrawal.” The Coalition stresses establishing a mine so close to Yellowstone National Park would be a blow to business.