Mining company Revett Silver is proposing to develop an enormous copper/silver mine beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in Kootenai National Forest of western Montana, one of the original 10 areas protected by Congress under the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Despite the fact that the mine would tunnel beneath a wilderness area in the United States, the Forest Service claims that the General Mining Law of 1872 leaves them no choice but to permit the mine.
Earthworks, the Rock Creek Alliance, and our other conservation partners have worked diligently to protect the Wilderness, its cold clean water and the wildlife that find refuge there. Recent accomplishments include:
In August 2019, a Montana District Court struck down the permit to pollute for the proposed Montanore Mine that would have allowed the mine to unnecessarily degrade important trout streams with harmful metals and other pollution.
In April 2019, a Montana District Court denied the approval of a water use permit for the Rock Creek Mine that would have allowed the mine to permanently dewater pristine Wilderness rivers and streams that provide a stronghold for threatened bull trout.
In May 2017, the court overturned approval for the proposed Montanore Mine, finding that it would violate the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Forest Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Despite these important victories, our defense of the Cabinets Mountains Wilderness is not over. The company has said it will continue to pursue these mining projects and continue to submit revised plans.
With your support, we will continue our efforts to protect this important ecosystem.
For More Information
- Cabinet Mountains Wilderness: Video
- Ann Maest, Buka Environmental: Myths about the Rock Creek Project
- Earthworks: 1872 Mining Law
- Earthworks Comments on Montanore Evaluation Project
- Earthworks Comments on proposed Rock Creek mine DEIS
- Kootenai National Forest: Cabinet Mountains Wilderness
- Rock Creek Alliance
Thank you to the Cinnabar Foundation for generously supporting our public outreach efforts to highlight the conservation value of the Cabinet Mountains region.