Patagonia Opposes Pit Gravel Mine and Asphalt Plant Near the Madison River

A proposed gravel mine and asphalt plant is creating cause for concern in Montana. This project could be right at the epicenter of some of the best trout water in the United States. Patagonia is speaking up. See below. From Patagonia:

November 23, 2022

Note: Patagonia submitted the following letter to officials in Montana today.

Trevor Taylor

Bureau Chief, Minerals Management Bureau

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Dear Trevor,

I’m writing express my opposition to the DSL pit gravel mine expansion and proposed asphalt plant on the banks of the Madison River.

This project is only one mile from Ennis and 1.6 miles from McAllister. It will cause air, noise, visual and water pollution. This mine already produces noxious dust, noise and water pollution, which will be exacerbated with its expansion and the removal of the geologic bench that currently keeps the mine largely unexposed to the Madison River Valley. The area is a critical habitat and home to ecologically significant species: brown and rainbow trout, Grayling (listed as a Sensitive Species (S1) in Montana), Trumpeter, Tundra Swans and other waterfowl as well as game species such as Moose, Elk, Whitetail Deer and Pronghorn Antelope.

 Of note, this mine and plant is:  

·       Less than 3,000 feet from Arctic Grayling release site. 

·       Less than 1,000 feet from spring creek flowing into the Madison River.

·       One mile upstream of Ennis Lake. 

·       Upstream of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness and Beartrap Canyon.

·       Directly adjacent to the Madison River. 

Patagonia has had a store in in Dillon for the last 25 years and we work with dozens of local fly-fishing shops, outdoor gear retailers and environmental nonprofits throughout the state. Outdoor recreation accounted for 4.4% of Montana’s gross domestic product last year — the second highest percentage of any state, behind only Hawaii at 4.8%. On behalf of Patagonia’s Montana-based staff and customers, I believe the only solution to protect the Madison River and its surrounding community is to cease all mining expansion and immediately initiate the reclamation obligation of A.M. Welles. 

Thank you,

Yvon Chouinard, Founder, Patagonia


NRC Director Amanda Kaster

Governor Greg Gianforte Attn: Michael Freeman, Natural Resource Advisor

Madison County Commissioners

Concerned Citizens,