2013 Totem Pole Journey: The Ranchers

Ranches depend on safe, open spaces and clean water for their success. The proposed coal mining operations in the Otter Creek area and the Tongue River railroad that would haul the coal to market are a threat to ranching lands and waters. Already, ranchers have spoken out against coal mining and coal trains. Concerns include the poisoning of aquifers and water supplies with coal ash; dangers to cattle crossing the railway tracks; and adverse economic impacts to small towns situated on the rail lines. The Northern Plains Resource Council has submitted comments regarding both the Otter Creek Mine  and the Tongue River Railroad.  These comments outline many of the farming, ranching, natural resource and social impacts that would result from these proposed project.  The Western Organization of Resource Councils also has more information.