President Clinton recently announced an agreement between
his administration and Noranda, Inc. to halt the proposed
New World Mine, located just a few miles north of
Yellowstone National Park.
The fragile, high-altitude site is surrounded on three sides
by wilderness areas and straddles three Yellowstone River
watersheds, including a creek that flows directly into the
national park and another draining into the Clarks Fork of
the Yellowstone, Wyoming's only wild and scenic river. It
provides habitat for wildlife that roam from the park, is a
travel route for the threatened grizzly bear and a popular
recreation area. The agreement stops the Canadian
conglomerate Noranda from ever developing this area,
ensuring that the threats this mine posed to water and
wildlife will be eliminated.
The agreement also turns over the lands once scheduled for
mining to public ownership. In return, Noranda will receive
$65 million in federal assets, of which approximately $22
million will be invested in reclaiming the site.
"The victory is a testament to the hard work of a coalition
of dedicated grassroots activists determined to protect our
nation's first national park," said Sherm Janke, chair of
the Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club. "By mobilizing
grassroots opposition and pursuing all legal options, we
elevated the issue from local concern to presidential
While activists across the country worked to influence the
agencies that were overseeing the development of the mine,
the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund filed a Clean Water Act
lawsuit against Crown Butte Minerals, Noranda's local
subsidiary. A federal district court ruled that Noranda was
liable for the damage and pollution on the site. This
decision placed significant pressure on the corporation to
participate in discussions to withdraw their proposal.
To take action: Thank President Clinton for his leadership
in protecting Yellowstone National Park from mining.
Encourage him to continue to protect our environment when
proposing a federal "land swap" for the New World properties
and to lead the charge to reform the outdated 1872 Mining
Law to ensure greater protection for all our public lands.
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