Link for article about New World Mine battle

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 12:28:22 12/29/16

In Reply to: Lots of irony posted by Ballpark Frank


This article has lots of info about the ultimate resolution of the dispute over Crown Butte Mining and Noranda's plan for the New World Mine. It talks about Margaret Reeb' mining claims. One of her nephews, Randy Holland had been the Park County Treasurer, and I got to know him when I worked for the county. He had recently retired when we approached him and Mike about getting permission to place a radio repeater on one of the claims they inherited. To their credit, they shared our concern about the risk to both the public and emergency responders presented by the lack of reliable radio communications above Cooke City, and allowed us to do a pilot test, and then permanent placement of a repeater with solar panels and batteries. We lucked out big time! The Forest Service had some barriers to our using their land at the time, which are way too complicated to enumerate here. They had suggested we check out the possibility of exploiting one of the old mining claims. That got our foot in the door. A few years later, as the article mentions, the claims were bought up by the Trust for Public Land. It's almost like a Christmas Miracle. We had a couple year window, and squeaked through it. Of particular irony is that I don't think any of the members of our multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction team even knew about the Margaret Reeb estate mining claims until the Forest Service told us about them. That repeater is still up there as far as I know. It has been saving lives for over 10 years now, particularly in winter, when snowmobilers get caught in avalanches they trigger by high marking.

I found another article, this one from the January 7, 1996 New York Times, that reports on numerous interviews with Cooke City residents while the battle was under way. It reflects the dichotomy in viewpoints between those on either side of the issue. That community was definitely split on the issue. It makes me wonder if that is part of what one Cooke City resident told me back in 2005 about a piece of local lore. They said everyone hopes for big snow each winter, and not just for the snowmobile tourism business. With big snow, you eventually get a high snow berm in the middle of the road from the plow operations, and with cabin fever setting in, it prevents residents from shooting at each other from one side of the street to the other!


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