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Fight to Protect Montana Waters

$395 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 11 months
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HELP US CHANGE THE MINING LAWS TO PROTECT MONTANA'S WATERS!

Have you ever experienced Montana's pristine waters?  Floated its rivers?  Caught (and hopefully released) its wild trout?  If you have, or if you still have this on your bucket list, this is your chance to preserve these iconic waters.


Despite the innumerable values of Montana’s gin clear waters, the laws to protect those waters fall short of the threats they face, especially when it comes to mining.  There remains a major weakness in these laws intended to prevent our watersheds from being polluted by toxic mine waste for generations.  The Big Blackfoot River, the Smith River, and the Yellowstone River to name a few, are rivers that are currently facing this ongoing threat. 

At this moment, one of the largest mining companies in the world is conducting assay studies that could result in a large and highly damaging copper mine in the Big Blackfoot River watershed.   Another copper mine proposal is already underway in the Smith River watershed, and several more mines are being considered near Yellowstone National Park.


In the past, groups like the Big Blackfoot Riverkeeper and Trout Unlimited have fought these battles one at a time.  It’s expensive, time-consuming and not always successful.   It is time to change our approach.

OUR MISSION:  We must put our constitutional right to clean water ahead of the mining industry’s right to extract ore.  We have to change Montana's laws so we can finally prevent mining companies from simply walking away once the ore is gone, leaving ongoing damage to our iconic waters for the citizens to deal with for decades or longer.

We are creating a citizen-based ballot initiative to put this proposed law on the ballot in November 2018. 

We expect to begin signature gathering by late March 2018.  All funds gathered through this fundraising campaign will go towards the signature-gathering effort.


We are partnering with several highly respected national environmental organizations to conduct the campaign.  Our funding drive is hoping to raise the $35,000 required to kickstart our broader effort to protect Montana waters.

Time is of essence - we want to reach our goal within two months!

BREAKING NEWS!  It's official - we can now reveal details of our plans, as described in this press release:

On Wednesday (Feb. 21st), advocates for clean water and responsible mining filed paperwork with the Montana Secretary of State’s office for a citizen initiative to ensure that new mines in Montana are operated responsibly and prevent permanent pollution from acid mine drainage and contaminants like arsenic, lead and mercury.

“This initiative is about protecting Montana taxpayers and public health, and holding foreign mining companies accountable,” said David Brooks, executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited.

The proposed mining initiative would require any new hardrock mine in Montana to have a reclamation plan that is sufficient to avoid the need for permanent treatment of polluted water.

“When mining companies file for bankruptcy and leave their toxic waste behind, Montana taxpayers get stuck with clean up costs,” said Brooks.

The mining waste left behind at the Zortman-Landusky mine alone cost Montana taxpayers $26 million to clean up. The ongoing and permanent treatment of polluted water from the mine is still costing Montanans $2-3 million each year.

Acid mine drainage at the Mike Horse Mine in the upper Blackfoot River Valley has caused lasting harm to that iconic trout stream. Approximately 26 million gallons of acid mine drainage must be captured and treated every year.

“Montana’s outdoor heritage is threatened by irresponsible mining practices,” said Hilary Hutcheson, a fly fishing guide who owns Lary’s Fly and Supply.

“Montana is rich with clean water and blue ribbon trout streams. Future mining must be done responsibly to ensure we don’t lose the things that make Montana so special,” said Hutcheson.

Col. Richard Liebert, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel who ranches south of Great Falls, says that he and his farm and ranch neighbors depend on the Smith River's priceless clean water for agriculture and recreational income.

"If foreign mining companies claim they have 'state of the art' technology, then taxpayers must demand they have a plan and put up cash money up front to clean up all toxic consequences. Let's demand the corporations and our government measure twice and cut once," said Liebert.

 Supporters expect to have a petition back from the Secretary of State to begin signature gathering by late March.




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Check out this video by Trout Unlimited, the major force behind this effort..
https://www.facebook.com/yesforcleanwater/videos/223027368266374/
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Here's a press release with details about the proposed legislation and how we're going to get it passed:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 21, 2018

Contact:
David Brooks (MT Trout Unlimited Executive Director), 406-493-5384
Chris Schustrom (MT Trout Unlimited State Council Chair), 406-260-1198


Citizen Initiative Filed to Prevent Permanent Pollution from Abandoned Mines

HELENA, Mont.—Today, advocates for clean water and responsible mining filed paperwork with the Montana Secretary of State’s office for a citizen initiative to ensure that new mines in Montana are operated responsibly and prevent permanent pollution from acid mine drainage and contaminants like arsenic, lead and mercury.

“This initiative is about protecting Montana taxpayers and our clean water, and holding foreign mining companies accountable,” said David Brooks, executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited.

The proposed mining initiative would require any new hardrock mine in Montana to have a reclamation plan that is sufficient to avoid the need for permanent treatment of polluted water.

“When mining companies file for bankruptcy and leave their toxic waste behind, Montana taxpayers get stuck with clean up costs,” said Brooks.

The mining waste left behind at the Zortman-Landusky mine alone cost Montana taxpayers $26 million to clean up. The ongoing and permanent treatment of polluted water from the mine is still costing Montanans $2-3 million each year.

Acid mine drainage at the Mike Horse Mine in the upper Blackfoot River Valley has caused lasting harm to that iconic trout stream. Approximately 26 million gallons of acid mine drainage must be captured and treated every year.

“Montana’s outdoor heritage is threatened by irresponsible mining practices,” said Hilary Hutcheson, a fly fishing guide who owns Lary’s Fly and Supply.

“Montana is rich with clean water and blue ribbon trout streams. Future mining must be done responsibly to ensure we don’t lose the things that make Montana so special,” said Hutcheson.

Col. Richard Liebert, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel who ranches south of Great Falls, says that he and his farm and ranch neighbors depend on the Smith River's priceless clean water for agriculture and recreational income.

"If foreign mining companies claim they have 'state of the art' technology, then taxpayers must demand they have a plan and put up cash money up front to clean up all toxic consequences. Let's demand the corporations and our government measure twice and cut once," said Liebert.

Supporters expect to have a petition back from the Secretary of State to begin signature gathering by late March.
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It's official! We can now announce our detailed plans for changing Montana's mining laws to protect our state's waters. On February 21st paperwork was filed with the Montana Secretary of State's office for a citizen initiative to insure that new mines in Montana to have a reclamation plan sufficient to avoid the need for permanent treatment of polluted water.

Signature gathering will begin in late March 2018. All funds gathered through this fundraising effort will go toward that signature-gathering effort.
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We're already seeing the pro-mining anger at controls on their industry. I wish they could recognize that we aren't trying to stop mining with this campaign, but just to insure taxpayers don't get stuck with the cleanup bill when they're done and gone. Berkeley Pit and Mike Horse mine are proof our current laws don't address this problem.
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$395 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 11 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Funds raised will benefit:
Big Blackfoot Riverkeeper Inc
Certified Charity
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Greenough, MT
EIN: 800664994
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