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Open Pit Mining Reclamation Petition and Call


WHEREAS, the 1995 Legislature enacted House Bill No. 338 amending theMineral Mines Reclamation Act and enumerating effective standards and requirementsfor the reclamation of lands disturbed by hard rock mining; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature intended that the Mineral Mines Reclamation Act, asamended, would continue to require the reclamation of open pits and rock faces butwould not mandate backfilling of open pits because that activity almost always makesthe mining uneconomical and discourages mining which is an activity beneficial to theeconomy of Montana and necessary to meet the needs of society, and prevents lateraccess to the mineral deposit; and

WHEREAS, the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council foundin 1979, and reaffirmed in 1999, that backfilling open pit mines would be of uncertainenvironmental and social benefit and that backfilling should not be mandated becauseit is often economically impractical; and

WHEREAS, in National Wildlife Federation v. Montana Department of StateLands, Cause No. CDV-92-486 (1st Judicial District 2000), the District Court held thateconomic feasibility is not relevant and that backfilling of open pit mines is requiredunder section 82-4-336, MCA; and

WHEREAS, Article V, section 6, of The Constitution of the State of Montanaand section 5-3-101, MCA, provide that the Legislature may be convened in specialsession at the request of a majority of the members.

NOW, THEREFORE, WE THE UNDERSIGNED, being a majority of the membersof the Fifty-Sixth Legislature, pursuant to Article V, section 6, of the MontanaConstitution and section 5-3-101, MCA, hereby convene the Fifty-Sixth Legislatureinto special session in Helena, to run concurrently with the special session beginningMay 8, 2000, called by the Governor.

The special session hereby convened shall consider legislation to clarify andrequire that economic feasibility and environmental soundness must be considered indeveloping and reviewing a reclamation plan and that backfilling of open pit mines isnot required.

Members of the Fifty-Sixth Legislature:

Rep. Darrel Adams

Rep. Chris Ahner

Rep. Joan Andersen

Rep. Shiell Anderson

Rep. Joe Barnett

Rep. Sylvia Bookout-Reinicke

Rep. Matt Brainard

Rep. Roy Brown

Rep. Edith J. Clark

Rep. Rick Dale

Rep. Stanley M. Fisher

Rep. Steven J. Gallus

Rep. Larry Hal Grinde

Rep. Marian W. Hanson

Rep. Dan W. Harrington

Rep. Donald Hedges

Rep. Verdell Jackson

Rep. Betty Lou Kasten

Rep. Sam Kitzenberg

Rep. Billie I. Krenzler

Rep. Bob Lawson

Rep. Gay Ann Masolo

Rep. Gary Mathews

Rep. Daniel W. "Dan" McGee

Rep. William "Red" Menahan

Rep. Brad Molnar

Rep. Doug Mood

Rep. Karl Ohs

Rep. Scott J. Orr

Rep. Robert J. "Bob" Pavlovich

Rep. Joe Quilici

Rep. William "Bill" Rehbein, Jr.

Rep. John "Sam" Rose

Rep. Brennan Ryan

Rep. Paul Sliter

Rep. Frank J. Smith

Rep. Loren L. Soft

Rep. Roger Somerville

Rep. Robert R. Story, Jr.

Rep. Jay Stovall

Rep. Bill Tash

Rep. Bill Thomas

Rep. Cliff Trexler

Rep. Douglas T. Wagner

Rep. John E. Witt

Rep. Tom Zook

Sen. Tom Beck

Sen. Dale Berry

Sen. John Bohlinger

Sen. Mack Cole

Sen. William S. "Bill" Crismore

Sen. Bob Depratu

Sen. Gerry Devlin

Sen. E.P. "Pete" Ekegren

Sen. Alvin A. Ellis, Jr.

Sen. William E. "Bill" Glaser

Sen. Duane Grimes

Sen. Lorents Grosfield

Sen. John G. Harp

Sen. John R. Hertel

Sen. Ric Holden

Sen. Reiny Jabs

Sen. Thomas F. Keating

Sen. John "J.D." Lynch

Sen. Bea McCarthy

Sen. Walter L. McNutt

Sen. Kenneth "Ken" Mesaros

Sen. Ken D. Miller

Sen. Arnie Mohl

Sen. Debbie Shea

Sen. Mike Sprague

Sen. Barry "Spook" Stang

Sen. Charles "Chuck" Swysgood

Sen. Mike Taylor

Sen. Fred Thomas

Sen. Daryl Toews

Sen. Jack Wells

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Last Modified:
7/16/2008 8:45:55 AM