ACTION ALERT: Montana DEQ to Hold Public Meetings on Proposed Mine in Smith River Headwaters

The Smith River–Montana’s only permitted recreational river–is renowned for its clean water, rugged canyon scenery, and incredible trout fishery. A small Canadian mining startup, Tintina Resources, has partnered with Australian mining firm Sandfire to submit an application to the State of Montana to build a massive copper mine at the headwaters of the Smith River, directly adjacent to and underneath Sheep Creek.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has begun composing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and has set a deadline of November 16th to submit comments regarding scoping (the initial process of determining what issues should be studied in the EIS). The scoping process gives the public–that’s you–a chance to tell DEQ what you want included in their analysis and why it should be included. (Click here to learn more.)

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DEQ has set the date for four initial public hearings around the state, beginning on Monday in Great Falls. (See all the dates and locations listed below.) Please consider attending the public hearings near you. After the hearings, you will also be able to submit written comments on this critical phase of the EIS.

Orvis is teaming with a group of outdoor companies and organizations–including Montana Trout Unlimited, Montana Environmental Information Center, Costa, Simms, Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures, Sitka Gear, and Bozeman-based Seacat Creative–to get a large group of anglers to the Helena meeting on November 6th. The goal is to show up in force, first at the state capitol and then at the hearing, and provide a dramatic statement about our love of the Smith.

Meeting Times and Locations:

Monday, October 30: Great Falls, MT
—Great Falls Civic Center, 2 Park Drive South
Wednesday, November 1: White Sulphur Springs, MT
—White Sulphur Springs High School Gymnasium, 405 South Central Avenue
Monday, November 6: Helena, MT
—Radisson Colonial Hotel, 2301 Colonial Drive
Tuesday, November 7: Livingston, MT
—Park County High School Gymnasium, 102 View Vista Drive

All meetings are scheduled from 6-9 p.m. Stay tuned for information on ride share and bus transport option.

For up-to-date information, check the Montana TU Facebook page and Smith River Watch page.

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