Crevice Mountain Mine: Mining at the Doorstep of Yellowstone National Park


In addition to the exploratory drilling proposal in Emigrant Gulch, Crevice Mining Group, LLC (CMG) hold leases to multiple mining claims in the Crevice Mountain area, near Jardine. Crevice Mining Group has shared his mining vision with the Park County Commission, touting a large-scale gold mining operation that would bring millions of dollars of revenue and job creation to Park County. He has approached the County multiple times since September 2012 trying to gain road access to his claims. These claims are within eye shot of Gardiner and the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, and some go up to the park boundary.

The Crevice Mountain area contains multiple drainages that flow directly in to the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. It is important habitat for a variety of wildlife. If allowed to develop, this mine would have potentially devastating implications for water quality, wildlife, and the tourism-based economy in Gardiner, Park County and beyond.

CMG’s Exploration Plan of Operations can be accessed at DEQ’s website at
The application proposed some 64,000 feet of drilling, blasting, an exploration road, a waste rock storage area, surface drilling pads, a topsoil stockpile area, and a Land Application Discharge (LAD) area. The application also proposes the construction of the first 200 feet of an exploration. CMG indicates it will make “minor improvements to existing road network”. CMG’s representative Mike Werner has been in talks with both the Park County Commission and the Forest Service  regarding access to the site, but an agreement has not yet been reached.
Environmental Impacts
  • Location: Lands and mineral rights controlled by Crevice Mining Group literally border the Yellowstone National Park and the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. Claims are surrounded by public lands and currently only accessible with a Forest Service Road.
  • Wildlife:  Mining operations would fracture roadless areas that are critical habitat and migration routes for wildlife such as the endangered Yellowstone grizzly bear, lynx, bison, wolverine, big horn sheep, elk, and trout.
  • Water: Drilling operations are at risk of acid mine drainage (AMD) because minerals are in sulfide-bearing rock. Groundwater and tributaries in the Crevice Mountain area flow directly into the Yellowstone River. The disturbance area includes both stream channels and wetlands which are important water sources for wildlife in this area. Previous mining operations at this site negatively impacted water quality.
  • Geothermal: Crevice Mountain is within a known geothermal resource.

Economic Impacts

  • Tourism is the real treasure of the Treasure State. Tourists support 53,000 jobs statewide, and have a combined economic impact of $5.1 billion annually. Of the $3.9 billion spent by non-resident tourists in 2014, $970 million (24%) was spent in the YNP region. As the original entrance to the world’s first national park, Gardiner is an important Gateway community. Most businesses in the region rely directly or indirectly on tourist spending. Mineral exploration could undermine the visitor experience with increased traffic and noise. Any impact on the wildlife and water caused by mining operations could have devastating economic consequences.
  • Crevice Mountain Lodge and Diamond Bar D Ranch are guest ranches located on the Crevice Mountain Road. These family-owned small businesses would be heavily impacted by mine operations and truck traffic. Their well water quality was impacted by previous TVX Gold mining operations in the 1990s.
  • Restaurants, retail stores, hotels, entertainment venues, outfitters and guides draw millions of visitors and employ thousands of families in Park County. These businesses depend on an intact ecosystem to draw visitors.
  • The Yellowstone River is lifeblood for agriculture. Farmland accounts for 43.1% of Park County’s land area and for 6% of jobs, bringing in $9 million in employment annually. Farmers and ranchers across the state depend on clean, available water from the Yellowstone River to water livestock and irrigate crops. Protecting the headwaters of the Yellowstone River is imperative to the $4.2 billion ag industry, the livelihoods of Park County’s ag community, and the hundreds of farmers downstream.
  • Montana’s ability to attract new business. Breathtaking scenery, recreational opportunities, relaxed lifestyle – it’s the quality of life we enjoy in Montana that attracts new business and qualified employees to Montana. Industrial development in Park County will have good employers – especially those in the tech industry—looking elsewhere to base their business.
  • Drain on the taxpayer. Public funds are being tapped to prepare documents for the benefit of a Washington-based company. Agencies should use resources in a way that benefits Montanans.
  • Consider the legacy of mining in Montana. AMD from mines, both historic and modern, has contaminated ground and surface waters and destroyed aquatic life. Failed mining operations have already cost Montana’s taxpayers millions and will last for generations.

Cultural Impacts

  • The vast majority of residents in Gardiner and landowners in the Jardine area road oppose this endeavor. The only support is coming from the mining proponents themselves.
  • Nuisance to local landowners and disruption of quality of life.
  • Access and enjoyment of public lands and private guest lodges. Tourists and locals recreate in this area in all seasons for hunting, hiking, backcountry skiing and more.