Former Highlands Alliance President Michael "Buffalo" Mazzetti is promoting sustainable development by bottling water from Buckhorn Mountain.
Mazzetti debuted the
company at the Northwest Natural Foods Show in Seattle last April
and secured distribution deals for the first 17,000 bottles. The
bottling company has already been selected as the official water
supplier to the Fremont Street Fair, one of Seattle's most
celebrated summer festivals.
Mazzetti is out to
prove that pure water is truly more valuable than
"It takes Battle Mountain Gold 2,000
gallons of water to make an ounce of gold," he says.
"Conservatively, that amount of water is worth $1,500 (as bottled
water), while an ounce of gold is only worth around $300 on the
current market." Bottling water, rather than polluting it to mine
gold, makes more sense, he says.
"We can only be
against so much, until we've got to show that we're for something,"
says Mazzetti. "We can live on the land and thrive, grow and be
healthy, and still be economically active." He believes the company
can eventually support 20 local jobs. The bottled-water industry is
growing as much as 25 percent a year, he says, and there's room for
newcomers, especially those with an environmental
"Environmentalists want to feel like
they've actively participated in the battle to preserve the
environment," he says. Half of his company's profits will be
donated to environmental groups.
boosters are unlikely to see bottled water as an economic cure.
Compared to a big mine, the bottling company represents fewer jobs,
lower pay and less capital flowing