Mining: Paradise Valley

William Campbell

Why this place matters

There’s a reason Yellowstone National Park was the first national park designated in the United States. Even back in 1872, the rare and extraordinary values of Yellowstone were recognized as national treasures, leading Congress to set them aside for the future enjoyment of all Americans.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is a haven for vanishing wildlife species such as grizzly bears, gray wolves and lynx, and its world-renowned scenery encompasses ten Wilderness Areas and several million additional acres that have been recommended for wilderness designation.

The threat

Foreign mining companies are proposing two gold mines in Paradise Valley, on the border of Yellowstone National Park and near the Yellowstone River. These mines could transform portions of Paradise Valley into an industrial area, degrading scenic landscapes, tainting the Yellowstone River and disturbing the abundant wildlife and character of the charming western towns that give the valley its deserved name.

The park, and the greater area surrounding it, is a place of otherworldly qualities: rocketing geysers, colorful hot springs and bubbling mudpots; endless miles of rushing rivers and oxbow streams; and thick pine forests teeming with grazing bison and elk.