Press Release Oct 8, 2018

Secretary Zinke Confirms: Yellowstone is More Valuable Than Gold

"This incredible victory for our first national park reminds us all that Yellowstone is more precious and valuable than gold." - NPCA President and CEO Theresa Pierno

Today, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed a 20-year mineral ban on 30,000 acres of public lands near Yellowstone National Park. The Secretary’s action protects public lands surrounding the national park, including surrounding communities, wildlife and water, from new industrial gold mining claims. Secretary Zinke’s action followed the recent recommendation from U.S. Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to protect the lands.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association

“This incredible victory for our first national park reminds us all that Yellowstone is more precious and valuable than gold. National Parks Conservation Association commends Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Interior Secretary Zinke for defending Yellowstone’s doorstep from industrial gold mining. Their decision reflects the will of many and confirms that national parks can be a common ground in divided times. The Secretaries’ actions were informed and backed by sound science and robust public engagement led by U.S Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management staff.

“National Parks Conservation Association is proud to support the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition, more than 400 business and landowners who joined together to defend their community and our public lands. And we commend the tens of thousands of NPCA supporters who voiced their support over the past three years to protect Yellowstone from the threat of two proposed gold mines. Secretary Zinke clearly heard these calls to protect America’s first national park loud and clear. We encourage Secretary Zinke to continue to listen to those across the country who are fighting to protect their way of life and our national parks from desert water mining proposals, seas of oil and gas development and a myriad of other threats.

“We also urge Congress to build off this momentum and secure a permanent solution to protect the lands, water, and wildlife surrounding the world’s first national park by passing the bipartisan Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit