The judge agrees with conservationists that “Yellowstone is more precious than gold”.
The Montana Supreme Court has put down an attempt by a mining company to prospect for gold in the mountains surrounding Yellowstone National Park.
The excavations were to take place on the summit of the Emigrant above Paradise Valley, one of the best views from the northern entrance to Yellowstone.
“Never underestimate the power of a community that has come together to uphold – and protect – their mountain movement values,” said Michelle Oberwaga, director of the Park County Environmental Council.
Environmental group Earthjustice argued that the Lucky Minerals project would contaminate the Yellowstone River with acidic and toxic heavy metals, disrupt the primary habitats of grizzly bears, lynxes, elks and wolverines, and destroy the view of Emigrant Peak from the legendary national park.
The mining project would never have completed without a misleading change in state law in 2011 to allow exploration drilling prior to an environmental impact assessment.
The judge’s decision declared the amendment “unconstitutional”.