Don't worry yet

  Dear HCN,

The tentative agreement that would forever end the prospect of mining gold adjacent to Yellowstone National Park will turn out to be a good deal for the West and the nation.

Details of the agreement, which includes a $22.5 million company cleanup at the site and swapping $65 million in federal assets for the gold reserves, have not been finalized, but there are people who criticize the deal (HCN, 9/30/96). They fear that the federal swap of assets means transferring an environmental hazard from the Yellowstone area to another part of the country.

We at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition participated in some of the talks that led to the deal. We will not approve of any asset swap that causes environmental problems elsewhere. I suggest that people concerned about this trade withhold criticism until we know all the details and what properties are recommended for trade. Only then can we have a knowledgeable discussion of its merits.

Mike Clark

Bozeman, Montana

The writer is executive director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

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