Bill to clean up mines near reservation debated

A bill to clean up two abandoned mines near the Fort Belknap Reservation cleared its first vote in the Montana Senate on Monday.

Sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy (D), a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribes, the bill sets up a trust account to pay for the cleanup of the old Zortman-Landusky gold mines. The measure already passed the House and needs to survive one more vote in the Senate.

The mines are located on land that was taken from the Fort Belknap tribes in the late 1800s. Tribal members used the land for hunting, fishing and gathering but are worried about contamination.

The Little Rocky Mountains, a sacred site, were destroyed by the mines.

Get the Story:
Zortman-Landusky cleanup bill clears critical hurdle in Senate (The Great Falls Tribune 4/12)

Relevant BLM Documents:
Record of Decision | Final Environmental Impact Statement

Relevant Links:
Fort Belknap Community Council - http://tlc.wtp.net/fort.htm

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