Magazine
After the gold rush

January 19, 1998

The reclamation of Montana's hardrock mines will cost billions, and is complicated by the fact that no one really knows how to do it, or who should foot the bill.

Feature

After the gold rush
The reclamation of Montana's hardrock mines will cost billions, and is complicated by the fact that no one really knows how to do it, or who should foot the bill.
This reclamation plan uses waste to bury waste
The Midnite Mine, a uranium mine on Washington's Spokane Indian Reservation, would like to bury its high-level waste with trucked-in low-level nuclear waste, a plan the Spokane tribe protests.

Sidebar

Superfund strives for accountability
The Superfund Law was created to make sure companies clean up the messes they make, but the system has glitches.
This heavy-metal collection includes a shovel that dug the Panama Canal
Lloyd Harkins, who spent his early years working in Montana mines, now devotes himself to salvaging and collecting the industrial paraphernalia of hardrock mining, from ore cars to a 78-ft. tall head frame.
A few plants love mine waste
Plant physiologist Ray Brown works to help mining-damaged ecosystems recover - with the help of a few hardy plant species.
Turning the Old West into the New West
The old mining town of Anaconda, Mont., has turned a mine dump into a designer golf course.
Summitville: an expensive lesson
The story of Colorado's Summitville Mine is a story of spectacular failures.
Can tailings piles be historic artifacts?
Some say the often-picturesque ruins of mining create a historical landscape that has value whether there is pollution or not.
A radical approach to mine reclamation
The Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, Colo., is an unusual example of a community working together with miners and environmentalists to find a strategy to heal the damage.
Homestake shows how good a mine can be
Homestake Mining Company's McLaughlin Mine in Northern California is an example of a mine designed with environmental consequences in mind.

Essays

Is our love of the West destroying Chile?
A long-time mining executive argues that many environmentalists are hypocrites who want a 20th-century lifestyle without paying for it, and he points out that the impacts of mining simply get exported to Third World nations.

Book Reviews

Golden Dreams, Poisoned Streams
"Golden Dreams, Poisoned Streams" by Carlos D. Da Rosa and James Lyon, is reviewed by Heather Abel.

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Stranded skier dances; Grand Junction, Colo., sheriff victim of alcoholism disability; warhead smashes (empty) trailers in Utah; teen kills deer by hand; NRA defends "Star Spangled Banner'; paying overdue fines at wedding; bus riders on Colo. 82.

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Catching up on newspapers; HCN potluck in Tucson, Ariz.; winter intern Michelle Nijhuis.

News

Protester starts her sentence
Former teacher Joni Clark begins a 30-day sentence for tree-sitting in protest of Red Mountain Timber Sale in Colorado's San Juan Mountains.
A road to nowhere?
The controversial "road improvement" of the two-lane road through Utah's Provo Canyon faces accusations that a new road could damage the Provo River - even as four major landslides are caused by road crews.
Haggling over the Grand Staircase-Escalante
Conoco gives up on oil well in Utah's Grand Staircase, but the state School Trust Lands board is insisting that its land - checkerboarded through the monument - must be managed to earn money for the schools, and that may involve oil and gas drilling.
The Wayward West
Taylor Ranch troubles continue; Tortolita, Ariz., under attack; Clinton administration's "no surprise' policy on endangered species suspended; non-residential property owners may vote near Telluride, Colo.; Utah's legal marriage age may rise to 16.
A 'liberal' court gets some breathing room
Western conservatives in U.S. Senate, trying to destroy 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals because of its "liberalism,' compromise on creating a commission to study the appeals court system.
Wolf wars enter next round
Environmental groups formerly at odds rally against Judge William Downes' decision ordering the removal of all the introduced wolves.
State fights nuclear waste shipments
Congress authorizes storage of 50,000 tons of nuclear waste at the Nevada Test Site despite protests and warnings of environmentalists.

Opinion

Give the mining industry a second chance...
In his own words, Dave Skinner argues that environmentalists exaggerate the threat from mining and that the industry is making good changes.
...but let's not forget about the past
In his own words, Land Lindbergh argues that the mining industry has dominated the political process, defeated adequate standards, and needs to take responsibility for its mistakes.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • TRANSPORTATION PLANNER
    TRANSPORTATION PLANNER Exciting opportunity to lead the charge on meeting the future transportation demands of our community! This position will develop, coordinate, and implement the...
  • EARNED MEDIA MANAGER WITH WESTERN RESOURCE ADVOCATES
    Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the Wests land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance...
  • WILDLAND FIRE INSTRUCTOR
    Needed: instructor with 5 years *documented* instruction experience, current qualifications, M-410 or equivalent, and able to work as-needed for NM non-profit working with at-risk youth.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Seeking passionate full-time Executive to lead the oldest non-profit organization in Idaho. Must have knowledge of environmental issues, excellent organizational, verbal presentation and written skills,...
  • COLORADO PROGRAM MANAGER
    The National Parks Conservation Association, the leading non-profit conservation organization protecting Americas national parks, seeks a Program Manager for its Colorado Field Office located in...
  • CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    Carbondale based public lands advocate, Wilderness Workshop, seeks a Conservation Director to help direct and shape the future of public land conservation on the West...
  • DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR WATER PLANNING WITH WRA'S HEALTHY RIVERS PROGRAM
    Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the Wests land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance...
  • TROUT UNLIMITED BIGHORN RIVER BASIN PROJECT MANAGER
    The Bighorn River Basin Project Manager identifies and implements projects to improve streamflows, restore stream and riparian habitat, improve fish passage and rehabilitate or replace...
  • NON-PROFIT OPERATIONS MANAGER
    One of the most renowned community-based collaboratives in the country seeks full-time Operations Manager to oversee administrative, financial, fund development, and board development duties. BS/BA...
  • RUSTIC HORSE PROPERTY
    in NM. 23 acres, off the grid, rustic cabin, organic gardens, fruit trees, fenced, call 505-204-8432 evenings.
  • DIRECTOR OF VISITOR SERVICES & BOOKSTORE OPERATIONS
    The San Juan Mountains Association in Durango, CO is seeking a Director of Visitor Services & Bookstore Operations to lead our visitor information program &...
  • SOLAR POWERED HOME NEAR CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
    1800 sf home on 4.12 acres surrounded by Natl Forest and recreational opportunities in a beautiful area (Happy Valley) between Torrey and Boulder. [email protected], www.bouldermoutainreality/properties/grover/off-the-grid-in-happy-valley,...
  • 40 ACRE ORGANIC FARM
    potential fruit/hay with house, Hotchkiss, CO, Scott Ellis, 970-420-0472, [email protected]
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 25-year legacy of success...
  • LAND CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    Manage, develop and implement all stewardship and land management plans and activities on both private and public lands. Guide and direct comprehensive planning efforts, provide...
  • INTERNET-BASED BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Dream of owning your own business, being your own boss, working from home ... this is the one. 928-380-6570, www.testshop.com. More info at https://bit.ly/2Kgi340.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    If you are deeply committed to public service and would like to become part of our high performing, passionate and diverse team, NCAT is looking...
  • TRIPLEX .8 ACRE KANAB, UT
    Create a base in the center of Southern Utah's Grand Circle of National Parks. Multiple residential property with three established rental units and zoning latitude...
  • FORGE & FAB SHOP
    with home on one beautiful acre in Pocatello, ID. Blackrock Forge - retiring after 43 years! Fully equipped 5,500 sf shop including office, gallery and...
  • SMALL FARM AT THE BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Home, barns, garage, separate apt, more. Just under 2 ac, edge of town. Famously pure air and water. Skiing, mountaineering, bike,...