Despite overwhelming opposition from local residents and businesses, the Canadian company Lucky Minerals has not given up its plans to explore for gold up Emigrant Gulch, just north of Yellowstone National Park.
Montana DEQ released its Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of Canadian company Lucky Minerals’ plans to explore for gold in Emigrant Gulch yesterday. DEQ’s environmental assessment recognizes potentially significant impacts of Lucky’s proposal on the pristine waters and intact wild lands that are vital to our local businesses and economy. DEQ ultimately concluded, however, that there would be no significant impacts from Lucky Minerals’ operation.
The DEQ has opened a 60 day public comment period on the Draft EA. Public input is of the utmost importance and we’re going to need everyone to join us in submitting comments and make our communities voice heard. Public engagement in this process is vital to ensure that impacts are accurately evaluated and thoroughly considered.
You can submit comments: HERE, until December 12th. PCEC will provide a thorough summary of the 182 page draft EA for our members as soon as possible. We are 100% committed to working with our community to protect our economy and our way of life from industrial mining.
In the meantime, PCEC and our partners are working to seek a long-term, made-in-Montana solution – a law that would outline a small-scale mineral withdrawal that would permantently protect our public lands from mining. The law would not impact private property rights and would be similar to the recent bipartisan North Fork Watershed Protection Act, supported by both US Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines. But legislation takes time, which is why we are also asking the federal government for administrative pause buttons, to allow time for a Montana-made solution to flourish.
The Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition asked the US Forest Service to initiate a mineral withdrawal as soon as possible to ensure that exploration does not occur while Congress considers legislation to protect these economically and ecologically critical lands near Yellowstone National Park. Pressing this administration pause button would not affect any private patented claims nor verified existing rights on public land.
Yesterday, Senator Jon Tester asked high level cabinet officials to support our community and the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition’s request for mineral withdrawal. Listen HERE. And if you have a minute to call Senator Tester’s office to thank him, that would mean a lot! 406-586-4540. Read more HERE.
Thank you to our partners at the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition, Earth Justice, National Parks Conservation Assocaition, Greater Yellowstone Coalition and everyone in this community for working together to protect our home and our jobs from industrial mining in Yellowstone’s Gateway.