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Yellowstone Coalition buys out 1,600 acres from mining interest

Early morning fog over the Yellowstone River near Tower Fall on 10-2-23 (YNP, Facebook)

CASPER, Wyo. — A nearly two-year effort to protect about 1,600 acres of wildlife habitat next to Yellowstone National Park from industrial gold mining was completed Sunday, according to a release Monday from the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

The campaign raised $6.25 million from thousands of donors nationwide to purchase the mineral rights, leases and claims held by Crevice Mining Group LLC on land north of the park border and immediately upslope from the Yellowstone River.  

“This is a remarkable achievement for everyone who loves Yellowstone National Park, its iconic wildlife, and beloved river,” said Scott Christensen, GYC’s executive director. 

The now-protected area provides vital habitat for grizzly bears, wolves, the Northern Range elk herd and other animals. Crevice Mountain also lies within one of the few designated places outside the park where Yellowstone bison can roam, the release said.

Nearly 1,600 acres of wildlife habitat adjacent to Yellowstone National Park is now safe from the threat of industrial gold mining thanks to the efforts of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and contributions from over a thousand donors across the nation.

On Oct. 1 the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, or GYC, announced the successful completion of an ambitious campaign to raise $6.25 million to end a significant gold mining proposal along the Yellowstone boundary. 

The campaign, which was launched publicly in May 2023, came after GYC reached an agreement with Crevice Mining Group LLC to purchase the mineral rights, leases and claims to 1,598 acres of land on Crevice Mountain — just north of the park border and immediately upslope from the Yellowstone River. 

“The GYC’s ultimate goal is to transfer ownership of lands and mineral rights to the Custer Gallatin National Forest, making them accessible to the public and permanently protected from future mining through the mineral withdrawal enacted by the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, a law passed by Congress in 2019,” the release added. 

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition was founded in 1983. This latest effort also received financial support from many private foundations, including The Kendeda Fund, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Wyss Foundation, the Cornell Douglas Foundation, the Ricketts Conservation Foundation and the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation.