Work together


Several weeks ago I learned of a lawsuit filed by a group known as the Montana Environmental Information Center challenging a decision by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to approve an amended operating plan by the Golden Sunlight Mine that would extend the mines operating life by several years. This amendment would allow Barrick Minerals to continue to promote and participate in the Headwaters Re-mining effort that has been successfully reprocessing (cleaning up) legacy mine wastes and creating jobs, with private funding rather than EPA Super Fund money. 

I have learned over the past several decades that there are some really good people in the environmental movement, but I have also learned that there are some extremely radical elements as well. These are folks that have learned to milk the system in the name of environmentalism and literally make their livelihood filing lawsuits against logging, mining, and natural resource activity. These people are not saviors of the earth as they claim. They are destroyers of livelihoods and the natural resource industries that are essential to a modern and productive civilization. It is time to stop the destroyers and get back to the productive use of our natural resources.

We can mine and log without causing long term harm to the environment. When we shut down good paying, environmentally responsible natural resource jobs in Montana, those same jobs end up in South America, Indonesia or Africa where they don’t give two hoots about the environment. I’ve come to the conclusion that much of radical environmentalism has nothing to do with the environment, it is an anti-humanist agenda that demands total control of everything we do, consume, think and say; viewing civilization with horror rather than wonder.

Jefferson County has joined in with Barrick Minerals and the Montana DEQ to fight the lawsuit by Jim Jensen and MEIC. I believe that the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) and all natural resource counties should join in to support this effort. It is time that County and State Governments work together with reasonable environmental groups to expose the radical agenda trying to end responsible natural resource development. Together we can have it all; a healthy and productive economy and environment in a resurgent America that respects and utilizes her abundant natural resources.

Dan Happel

Commissioner – Madison District 2