clear
Tuesday October 16th, 2018 4:49AM

New mining claims banned on public land near Yellowstone

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

EMIGRANT, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approved a 20-year ban on new mining claims in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday, after two proposed gold mines raised concerns the area could be spoiled.

Zinke signed the mineral ban at an outdoors ceremony in Montana's Paradise Valley, with Emigrant Peak breaking through the clouds in the background. The former Montana congressman was joined by local officials, business owners and others who pushed for the ban after companies several years ago began drafting plans for new mines in the area.

"I'm a pro-mining guy. I love hardrock" mining," Zinke said. "But there are places to mine and places not to mine."

The rocky peaks and forested stream valleys covered by the ban are popular with hikers and other recreational users. It's an area where grizzly bears, wolves and other wildlife roam back and forth across the Yellowstone border. The scars of historical mining still are visible on some hillsides.

Zinke's order extends a temporary ban imposed in 2016 under former President Barack Obama on new claims for gold, silver and other minerals on 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares) of public lands in the Paradise Valley and Gardiner Basin.

Most of the land is within the Custer Gallatin National Forest, but the underground minerals are overseen by the Interior Department.

Mining companies and industry representatives said the area includes historical mining districts that shouldn't be barred from future development. Mining claims give their holders legal rights to explore for minerals.

Monday's action does not stop mining on private land or take away pre-existing mining claims on public lands. But supporters said it would make a large-scale mine in the area much less likely because public lands would be needed to make such a project economically feasible.

One company so far has not backed down. John Mears, president of Lucky Minerals said the company plans to press ahead with exploration work next year on private lands around Emigrant Peak that are inside the area where mining has been banned.

Mears was parked down the road from the site of Monday's event with a large sign propped against his truck that read, "Sec. Zinke...Why won't you meet with me?"

"It's up to the government to decide if we have valid existing rights but in the meantime we'll carry on," Mears said. "We won't be able to acquire any more ground, but we have enough."

Mining opponents expressed optimism that the ban would make it impossible for Lucky Minerals or any other company to develop mines.

"When you take the public lands out of the equation, it really dampens it," said Bryan Wells, who lives in the small community of Old Chico at the base of Emigrant Peak.

Asked about Lucky Mineral's plans, Zinke he did not see a path forward for the company. He cited in part the extensive environmental reviews that would be needed for such a project.

The administration's support for the ban is notable given President Donald Trump's outspoken advocacy for the mining industry and his criticism of government regulations said to stifle economic development.

The proposal has received bipartisan backing in Montana, where Democrats and Republicans alike have been eager to cast themselves as protectors of the natural beauty of the Yellowstone region.

Colin Davis with the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition said the group will now focus on making the ban permanent through pending measures in Congress.

"Our eye is still on permanent legislation," said Davis, owner of Chico Hot Springs Resort. "The prize is permanent legislation so we're not doing this again in 20 years."

The House Natural Resources Committee on Sept. 26 approved permanent withdrawal legislation sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week approved identical legislation from Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester that's also backed by Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.

___

Follow Matthew Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/matthewbrownap.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hundreds attend vigil to honor 20 victims of limousine crash
A ceremony for the victims of the upstate New York limousine crash that killed 20 people ended with participants lifting candles above their heads to signal unity and perseverance
2:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
Cuomo says limo shouldn't have been on road; victims mourned
Friends and family have joined hundreds of other mourners at a vigil for the victims of Saturday's limousine crash that killed 20
9:33PM ( 6 hours ago )
Governor candidates spar on vision for California
The two men hoping to be California's next governor said during a debate that the cost of living is the top issue facing the state
7:44PM ( 8 hours ago )
U.S. News
Google poised to unveil new Pixel phones, other services
Google is expected to introduce two new Pixel phones along with other devices designed to increase usage of its advertising-driven services
3:18AM ( 36 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
3:06AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Next step for NBA is hiring women in positions of power
Job opportunity? Next step for NBA to improve its good marks in diversity is by hiring women in positions of power
3:05AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Carbon tax gets renewed attention but still faces resistance
Carbon taxes have gotten renewed attention thanks to an alarming new report on climate change and a Nobel Prize victory by two American economists, but neither is likely to break down political resistance
1:48AM ( 2 hours ago )
Holt 1st with postseason cycle, Red Sox rout Yankees 16-1
Brock Holt became the first player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game and the Boston Red Sox routed the New York Yankees 16-1 to grab a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five AL Division Series
1:39AM ( 2 hours ago )
Post publishes possibly last image of missing Saudi reporter
Washington Post publishes image it describes as the last surveillance photograph of its missing Saudi contributor
1:25AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: No apparent skid marks after fatal limo crash
The National Transportation Safety Board says there were no apparent skid marks before a limousine barreled through an intersection and crashed into a parked car, killing 20 people
5:40PM ( 10 hours ago )
Michael strengthens into a hurricane, menaces Florida
A tropical weather system that rapidly strengthened into Hurricane Michael on Monday is likely to gain in intensity ahead of an expected strike on Florida's Panhandle, forecasters said
5:08PM ( 10 hours ago )
New mining claims banned on prized land near Yellowstone
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approved a 20-year ban on new mining claims in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park
3:23PM ( 12 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Push to toughen foreign lobbying law stalls amid opposition
A push to give the Justice Department more enforcement authority over the lucrative and at times shadowy world of foreign lobbying has stalled amid opposition from pro-business groups, nonprofits and privacy advocates
12:24AM ( 3 hours ago )
Sanders barnstorming country ahead of mid-term elections
Sen. Bernie Sanders is embarking on a nine-state tour on behalf of Democratic candidates competing in the November elections, returning to the campaign trail ahead of a decision on another White House bid
12:23AM ( 3 hours ago )
In boon for farmers, Trump lifting restrictions on ethanol
Trump plan to lift summertime restrictions on higher blends of ethanol in gasoline to benefit farm states
12:20AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump to allow year-round sales of high-ethanol gasoline
Trump to allow year-round sales of gasoline with blends of 15 percent ethanol
8:31PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Over 1,000 honor limo crash victims at vigil
Over 1,000 people have jammed a riverside park to honor the victims of a limo crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York.
8:29PM ( 7 hours ago )
US bans new mining claims on public land near Yellowstone
The Trump administration says companies can't launch new efforts to mine for gold, silver and other minerals in a picturesque area near Yellowstone National Park
7:53PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Japanese tycoon going on SpaceX rocket says he trusts Musk
Japanese online retail tycoon planning trip to the noon on SpaceX rocket says he respects and trusts fellow entrepreneur Elon Musk, despite his recent troubles
2:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
Pakistan to seek IMF loan to avert meltdown
Pakistan says it will seek a bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund to address a mounting balance of payments crisis
1:55AM ( 2 hours ago )
Asian stocks mixed after IMF downgrades economic outlook
Asian stocks retreat as IMF downgrades economic outlook
11:48PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Hundreds attend vigil to honor 20 victims of limousine crash
A ceremony for the victims of the upstate New York limousine crash that killed 20 people ended with participants lifting candles above their heads to signal unity and perseverance
2:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
Cuomo says limo shouldn't have been on road; victims mourned
Friends and family have joined hundreds of other mourners at a vigil for the victims of Saturday's limousine crash that killed 20
9:33PM ( 6 hours ago )
Governor candidates spar on vision for California
The two men hoping to be California's next governor said during a debate that the cost of living is the top issue facing the state
7:44PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: No apparent skid marks after fatal limo crash
The National Transportation Safety Board says there were no apparent skid marks before a limousine barreled through an intersection and crashed into a parked car, killing 20 people
5:40PM ( 10 hours ago )
Michael strengthens into a hurricane, menaces Florida
A tropical weather system that rapidly strengthened into Hurricane Michael on Monday is likely to gain in intensity ahead of an expected strike on Florida's Panhandle, forecasters said
5:08PM ( 10 hours ago )