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Open Pit Mine in Montana Kills Thousands of Migrating Snow Geese


Open Pit Mine in Montana Kills Thousands of Migrating Snow Geese

Nika Knight, staff writer

Thousands of snow geese have been killed by the toxic waters of the Berkeley Pit, a flooded former copper mine in Butte, Montana that is one of the most poisonous and acidic bodies of water in the United States.


Mni Wiconi!
Water is Life!
Corporations are DEATH!


In that libertarian theory of "the free market free of government regulation" , making an entity CARE about the life they might take or the environment they might destroy is accomplished by attaching a dollar value to everything and demanding "compensation" under property rights laws.

Such a system deems thousands of snow geese as having little to no value and by extension this means it more profitable to kill those geese or destroy an ecosystem.

It the most idiotic and monstrous of ideas and reflects a mindset of people who do not CARE about anything but money.

The real issue is not whether the company did enough to keep the geese off the pond or the amount of fines they should be. It whether these ponds need to exist in the first place.


What is not mentioned is that the Pit is slowly filling up, it sits above the town of Butte and all that waste will eventually make its way to the Clark Fork River which eventually runs into the Columbia River which in turn flows to the Pacific ocean. I've been to the Pit numerous times and the scale of the pollution there is unfathomable. I live in Missoula, downstream on the Clark Fork, which has recently removed a dam that contained waste from the same mining operation. When the Pit finally does spillover...


A number of years ago when I was in Butte, Montana, I visited this open pit mine and could not believe my eyes! So this latest news even though it saddens me, does not surprise me.

The toxic, miasma of this mine made me sick just looking at it!


The legacy of both R'Cons and Corporate DINO Dems, from the Clintons to Obama who's idea and concept of "wilderness" is a freakin golf-course. Obama was one of the most ignorant, uncaring failed steward ever - and now we have his (and HRC's) legacy,the destructive Trump world-view to try to live-through and protect our Mother Earth and Her creatures from...................


And, pray tell, how many geese and hundreds of thousands of migrating birds traversing the expansive tar sands extraction operations in Montana's neighbor to the north, Canada? The holding ponds in those areas are a thousand times more toxic and just happen to be populating the largest migratory paths in North America. Gee, just think one of T-dump's worst nominees, an oil/energy industry ally, Scott Pruit of Oklahoma environmental degradation fame, expanding oil and gas extraction operations nationwide or re-opening mines like those in Montana, Colorado and Wyoming as head of the EPA: "On December 7, 2016 he was selected to be the next Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by President-elect Donald Trump."

To hell with wildlife and all life...there's money to be made.


Disgusting and depressing.


A view of the Pit from the observation platform, for any who haven't seen it. Click for larger image...


And so Humankind yet again has created another man-made catastrophe wreaking havoc on the natural world. What a tremendous and tragic loss of life! I have witnessed the same number of snow geese migrating through NW Montana (Lake McDonald) where I have a cabin. Listening to the thousands of them out on the still lake waters is a memory I will always cherish.



Colonialism, the "limited liability corporation," capitalism, and the supposed "ownership" of everything, are extremely toxic social forces, that have now reached the stage of dis-integrating the ENTIRE ECOLOGY. The ecology that we are part of.

Seriously ramp down the economy. NOT "economic growth" to "attract investors" and "generate profits" and "create jobs;" but ECOLOGICAL STEWARDSHIP to support ECOLOGICAL GROWTH and GENERATE LIFE and SHARE THE LIVING EARTH.

Stop driving cars and paving; stop flying planes; shut down nuclear power; stop buying "consumer goods" that you do not actually need; end industrial agriculture and factory farms; institute labor-intensive ecological agriculture everywhere; share food, and take care of each other.

Too late to wrest "the economy" from the delusional greed-heads, and wrest human consciousness from the spells of consumerism, marketing, "human resources management," "public relations," and "entertainment."

Prioritize and value Commons, not Ownership; Socialism, not Capitalism; Ecology, not Economy; Humility, not Hubris.


Under the toxic, technological, capitalist system water and Life are viewed not as sacred and indispensable but as sewers.


I move that this toxic water be bottled and made the official water of everyone in Congress and the White House who deny the ecological crisis,the climate crisis while, simultaneously, remaining indifferent to the innocent victims in Flint Michigan.


Thanks, but it is sickening and do not need to see it again.


We have thousands of Snow Geese here in Washington. We have a Snow Goose Festival. The skeins of Snow Geese overhead are beautiful, and when they land, it looks like it has snowed. I wrote a short poem about it a few years ago.
Weaving mystic patterns,
Skeins of Snow Geese
Drift like smoke across the sky,
Their distant cries a song of hope.

Steve Osborn
20 Nov. 95
Since I read that article this morning, I keep flashing on it.
* I see a skein of Snow Geese flying for hours in steadily worsening weather, wind, sleet, fog. Finally a break in the clouds and a big lake appears below. At last a place to rest!
* Exhausted and dehydrated, as they land, they dip their beaks into the water and drink...
* An excruciating few minutes or hours later, they are dead, in their thousands!
* But, it would cost a lot of money to clean up that poison filled pit or decontaminate and drain that water, and we can't have that, can we! What would the stockholders say?
* And look at what we are expected to put up with for the next four years. I fear that, in the card game of life, we've been Trumped...


Best idea yet...


Yyyeessss, yyyyeessss , yyyeeeeeeesssshhhhh!!!




I've been to the pit too, although its been 10 years. Its tough to describe it to anyone who hasn't been to it - how amazingly huge it really is. When they say "drone and aircraft flying over to assess the loss", they mean airplanes - yes, its that huge. And the sense of impending doom hangs over the place. Its awful. And the threat to the valley - someone really needs to get their SHlT together and do something to mitigate it.