Taking Action to Protect Montana’s Smith River from Mining

Upper Missouri Waterkeeper is taking action to protect Montana’s Smith River from copper mining.

The Smith River is threatened by a proposal for copper mining. Montana’s DEQ recently authorized Tintina, a small Canadian company, to develop an “exploratory mining decline” of unprecedented dimensions. We’re talking about a tunnel going a mile deep beneath the earth, 18 x 18 wide! If the ore removed and tested from this decline shows its value, a full-scale mine is likely to follow. Get the Facts here.

The Smith River

The problem with copper mining, even that related to an “exploratory decline,” is twofold. Ever heard of acid-mine drainage or stream de-watering? These are two of the primary impacts that any level of deep-earth mining near the Smith will almost certainly  create, and which will directly affect the Smith’s health.

Because we believe the permit allowing mining was based on incomplete science, planning, and analysis we took legal action by filing a Motion to Intervene in a lawsuit challenging the mining proposal. That action gives us a seat in legal proceedings where we can protect the Smith River and your, and future generation’s, ability to experience this special place and have fishable, swimmable, drinkable water.

A key part of the fight to protect the Smith River lies with you. Many of you – and many of your businesses – thrive because we have beautiful places to live near, to recreate in, and to share with our families, the Smith included. Upper Missouri Waterkeeper needs your help in telling the state of Montana that it should permit river trips, not pits, on the Smith.

STATUS UPDATE – SUMMER 2014: Click here!

Please help Save Our Smith by taking action:


Visit our Save Our Smith webpage, get educated, and sign the petition. Tell the state to stop all risky mining near the Smith! Your voice is important – lend it be heard here.  Click here.

Share the news – tell your co-workers, friends and family.  Word of mouth is still the best way to tell a story. Please consider sharing our Save Our Smith webpage and petition via Facebook, Twitter and personal emails.

Join Upper Missouri Waterkeeper as a member. Being a member is vital; it allows us to tell your story in the courtroom and in the halls of the legislature.  In a state like Montana everyone’s voice – and every dollar – truly does count; please join your voice with ours as a member today. Click here.

More opportunities to protect the Smith and your right to clean water from proposed copper mining are coming up. Stay tuned, spread the word and help Save Our Smith!