U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel has announced that U.S. officials are blocking new mining claims in 30,000 acres north of Yellowstone, an area called Paradise Valley. While this is just a short-term ban for 2 years, they are recommending considering a long-term ban. This was in response to two proposed mine locations – one by a Canadian company called Lucky Minerals who applied to explore for gold and other minerals north of Yellowstone near Emigrant, Montana. The second proposed mine location was from Washington-based Crevice Mining Group who was seeking permission to explore for gold in Yellowstone’s northern boundary. The two-year prohibition would not explicitly block the two pending mining proposals on private lands, but it could make large-scale mining more difficult if the projects were expanded onto public lands.
Interior officials also recently blocked new oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and cancelled 15 oil and gass leases in Montana and 25 oil and gas leases in Colorado.
Let’s hope this protection will continue in the future, and that we will keep adding more protections for the wildnerness – the old excuse that protecting our environment comes at the expense of jobs and economic development is a poor one, we need to protect what’s left of our natural lands now for future generations.
We have the technology to create power with relying so much on oil and gas, so let’s start applying new technologies now and cease the further exploitation of our environment for the sake of money.