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Save The Jocko Valley - Stop The Pit

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The Jocko River Valley is a beautiful, environmentally important area in Western Montana. Unfortunately, Arlee, a small rural town in the valley located in the heart of the Flathead Indian reservation now has its peace, tranquility, health and culture under threat. A small committed group of local people have formed the non-profit Friends of the Jocko to oppose the state’s issuing a permit for a giant gravel pit and asphalt plant. The asphalt plant is an environmental disaster ready and waiting to happen. Fortunately, we have a strong legal case and an excellent environmental law firm to represent us. Your contribution to pay for these legal costs can help us win.

Please be as generous as possible. The legal costs of filing and prosecuting the case may involve thousands of dollars and the environmental and cultural impacts of the asphalt plant are vast. Contributions of any size will be greatly appreciated. This is not just a case of “Not in my back yard”. The state has issued a permit for a gravel pit and asphalt plant in the foothills of the Mission Mountains directly on the road to Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. A victory in this case can help stop environmentally irresponsible development throughout the state as it sets a precedent to challenge open pit mining everywhere. We are the canary in the coal mine.

The permit would allow the plant to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for decades. The permit was issued without adequate consultation with the tribe or the people living near the site. In addition, the significant environmental consequences of the plant were never fully considered. The site is an important transit route for a number of endangered species. In addition, asphalt fumes are known to cause cancer. Besides air pollution in this pristine area, water quality is under threat as well. Runoff from the plant will endanger a local Creek and may ultimately harm the trout-laden Jocko River.

The plant also has major cultural consequences. The tribe has raised concerns about possible damage to key sacred heritage sites and these concerns were never addressed. Less than a mile away from the site is the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas, a place where people from all over the country and the world come to relax and meditate. If the plant begins to operate, the peace and tranquility of the garden will be destroyed with clouds of dust and deafening noise as rocks are crushed by heavy equipment and dozens of trucks carrying tons of gravel go roaring by.

Friends of the Jocko are prepared to continue the fight but we will always be stronger together.

Environmental & Health Impacts
  • Fumes from asphalt production are known to cause cancer
  • Crucial wildlife corridors and habitats disrupted for Elk, Grizzly & other key wildlife
  • Critical Bull Trout habitat threatened
  • Emissions will harm the Flathead Indian Reservation Class 1 air quality
  • Pollutants will damage Jocko River water quality
  • 24/7 light, dust & noise pollution threatens public health
  • Historic Bison Range will suffer from air quality degradation
Economic impacts
  • No local job creation
  • 800 acres of agricultural land destroyed for gravel production
  • Only the family that owns the site of the asphalt plant profits
  • 50% decline in property values near mine sites
  • Permitted for 24/7 gravel & asphalt production lasts 25 years
  • Lowered livestock birth rates due to fugitive carcinogens
  • Your tax dollars pay for the maintenance of haul roads
  • The bulk of impacts felt on the Flathead Indian Reservation which has a 60% poverty rate
Cultural impacts
  • Noise from rock being crushed will ruin the peaceful, contemplative environment at the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas
  • The cultural heritage of tribes on the Flathead Indian Reservation may be endangered
Legal Implications
  • MT Department of Environmental Quality failed its legal mandate to uphold our rights and meaningfully consult with the Tribes
  • MT Constitution guarantees the right to:
  • a clean and healthful environment
  • meaningful public participation and
  • individual dignity
  • If this is not stopped here and now this will be happening near you
"I have been connected with the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas for nearly twenty years, and have greatly appreciated what a rare place of peacefulness and beauty it is. All of this is significantly threatened by the possibility of a gravel mine and asphalt plant going in nearby. Area residents have expressed concerns about potential impacts on the environment, air quality, road traffic and related safety issues, noise levels, dust control, light pollution, property devaluation and local wildlife, which includes threatened species such as grizzly bears and bull trout.

And thus I want to add my voice to the many who oppose these significant threats to both the Garden and nearby residents in Arlee. And I hope and pray that it can be stopped!"
~Roberta Anderson
For more details about this travesty and why we need your help check out the Friends of the Jocko website:



  • Ursula Dieterle
    • $200 
    • 11 d
  • Heiko Henning
    • $30 
    • 2 mos
  • Nancy Martin
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Ethel MacDonald
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • patricia ames
    • $25 
    • 2 mos

Fundraising team (4)

Friends of the Jocko
Arlee, MT
Ariana Boussard-Reifel
Team member
Gloria Quick
Team member
Philippa Crawford
Team member

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