Opinion: Protect Cheyenne sites from mining
"With Montana’s history of getting shafted by mining companies, state leaders should be wary of any new mining proposals, which may be why the State Land Board took no action last week on an Otter Creek coal mining proposal.

That’s a good thing. The proposed area contains petroglyphs and burial sites sacred to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. It is environmentally fragile, making reclamation questionable. For these and other reasons, the state should reject coal mining when it meets again in November and find other ways to profit from Otter Creek.

The Otter Creek area of southeast Montana is in the Custer National Forest east of the Tongue River, which winds its way north to the Yellowstone River. It is remote and sparsely populated, which always plays to the mining interests – few are there to complain.

Except for the inhabitants of the nearby Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

Otto Braided Hair came all the way from Lame Deer, Mont., to help the University of Montana student group Climate Action Now! lead a UM rally protesting an Otter Creek mine on Tuesday. He desperately hoped to add more voices to the tribe’s minority. If Otter Creek were in Missoula’s Pattee Canyon, incensed locals would have filled the Oval. But Braided Hair’s pleas fell mostly on deaf ears; fewer than 30 students stopped to listen."

Get the Story:
Laura Lundquist: Otter Creek should not be out of mind (The Montana Kaimin 10/1)

Earlier Stories:
Board hears arguments on Otter Creek coal (The Helena Independent Record 9/22)
Montana urged to lease coal reserves (AP 9/21)