Forest Service Chief Calls for Mining Moratorium in Montana
March 1999 by Associated PressThe Forest Service wants a two-year ban on new hard-rock mining claims on 429,000 acres of national forest land on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in Montana.
The discovery of gold at Alder Creek, centrally located in Madison County, Montana, was unusually well documented, with the date and time placed at May 26th, 1863, at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A group of six miners had been searching the area with little luck until the leader, Bill Fairweather, spotted an exposed area of promising bedrock. He dug up a shovel full of dirt and put it in Henry Edgar’s pan for washing. About the same time that Edgar was busy washing out the pan, Fairweather was poking around the bedrock with his pocketknife. Both spotted the color of gold at once.
The tall grasses of the rolling foothills of eastern Kern County, California, hide traces of what was once a major gold rush.
Much of the world’s supply of beryllium is mined by Brush-Wellman, Inc., at Spor Mountain, Utah. The district is in a harsh desert environment which receives only 6 inches of precipitation a year, barely enough to support scrubby desert growth.
• Ripe for the picking
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