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Conservation group raises enough funds to stop mining development near Yellowstone

Photo of the proposed Mine Site along the border of Yellowstone.
William Campbell
Photo of the proposed Mine Site along the border of Yellowstone.

A conservation group raised enough funds to prevent a gold mine from being developed just north of the Yellowstone National Park boundary.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition met its October 1st deadline of raising $6.25 million dollars. Executive Director, Scott Christensen, says the deal with Crevice Mining Group closed the last week of September.

“The purchase entails mineral rights, mining leases covering private lands, unpatented claims on public lands. All that together covers almost 1600 acres literally right on the boundary of Yellowstone National Park,” he said.

Christensen says the proposed mining site on Crevice Mountain was not far from the Yellowstone River and would have been visible from the town of Gardiner.

“Yellowstone is more valuable than gold. It’s a massive economic driver in our region, hundreds of millions of dollars are pumped into local economies because of the park and its wildlife and wild rivers,” he said.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition plans to transfer the land and mineral rights to the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Those public lands near the park will then be protected from mining development under a federal law known as the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.