Why the U.S. Needs Mine Permitting Reform
May 23, 2023
Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. attracted almost 20 percent of t...
Kinross Gold, in partnership with Trout Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, celebrated an agreement to protect and conserve important fish and wildlife habitat adjacent to Yellowstone National Park during a dedication ceremony last week. Hosted by Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk, the ceremony featured honored guests like Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who all spoke during the event about the significance of this partnership’s goals to not only protect fish and wildlife habitats but to also sustain local economies.
When Kinross Gold acquired the Mineral Hill Mine in 2003, it committed to carrying out its remediation and reclamation plans through what is now considered a shining example of a collaborative effort between NGOs and for-profit businesses. Through this unique partnership, the mining company donated three billion gallons of water to Trout Unlimited to protect the instream flows of two Yellowstone River tributaries (Pine Creek and Bear Creek). This donation is expected to improve fisheries as far down as Montana and will allow Trout Unlimited and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MTFWP) to ensure continued protection of the Yellowstone River’s trout habitat.
Trout Unlimited CEO and President Chris Wood expressed his appreciation for Kinross’ partnership and noted, “It is great to see a company such as Kinross understand that healthy fisheries are the lifeblood of the West. Trout Unlimited is excited to see such a partnership provide lasting benefits to both the river and the communities that depends on it.”
Kinross also worked with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to reach a conservation easement agreement to permanently protect 549 acres of land on the Mineral Hill Bear Creek Property, which will not only secure a migration route for elk traveling to the national park, but will also protect land that is critical for the habitats of some of the Rocky Mountain’s most well-known wildlife like wolves, moose, black and grizzly bears, mountain lions and deer—all of which attract tourists from around the globe. “This project is a win-win for elk and elk country because it permanently protects a key migration corridor as well as important habitat for elk, deer and other wildlife,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO.
In addition to this partnership’s environmental benefits, it will also create local economic advantages through increased tourism and job growth. Tourism currently brings an estimated $70 million to the local economies surrounding Yellowstone National Park every year and provides 31 percent of jobs for Yellowstone’s neighboring counties. In working with the U.S. Forest Service, Kinross is improving public access to the Mineral Hill Bear Creek Property—allowing visitors to enjoy and use the newly revitalized land.
The minerals mining community continues to demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship by driving projects and forging partnerships that provide creative solutions for supplying our nation with the resources it needs to grow our industries while protecting our native species and their precious habitats.
Learn more about minerals mining’s dedication to environmental stewardship here.