Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was in Montana on Monday to make a conservation announcement regarding public lands that surround Yellowstone National Park. Joined by Governor Steve Bullock, Senator Jon Tester, and Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Secretary Jewell toured public lands outside the park, and said in a statement, ““There are good places to mine for gold, but the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park is not one of them.”
To combat two proposals for gold-mining exploration north of Yellowstone, federal officials moved to prohibit mining claims on roughly 30,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service. These regulations will remain in effect for two years while officials gather public comment and evaluate whether to designate the area off-limits to new mining claims for an additional 20 years.
“Today’s action helps ensure that Yellowstone’s watershed, wildlife and the tourism-based economy of local communities will not be threatened by the impact of mineral development.” said Sec. Jewell.