Wednesday, August 26, 2009

berkeley pit, butte, mt

From Wikipedia:

"The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine located in Butte, Montana, USA. It is one mile long by half a mile wide with an approximate depth of 1,780 feet (540 m). It is filled to a depth of about 900 feet (270 m) with water that is heavily acidic (2.5 pH level). The pit is laden with heavy metals and dangerous chemicals, including arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid.
The mine was opened in 1955 and operated by Anaconda Copper and later by the Atlantic
Richfield Company (ARCO), until its closure in 1982. When the pit was closed, the water pumps at the bottom were removed, and groundwater from the surrounding aquifers began to slowly fill the pit. Since the pit closure in 1982, the level has risen to within 150 feet of the natural groundwater level."

For a mere $2.00 you can see what my
lifetime, my child's lifetime, his children's lifetime, and their children's lifetime cannot erase. (Photos of our visit here.)

Get all of the details at PITWATCH.

Blurb on the book: "Mass Destruction is the compelling story of Daniel Jackling and the development of open-pit hard rock mining, its role in the wiring of an electrified America, and its devastating environmental effects. This new method of mining, complimenting the mass production and mass consumption that came to define the "American way of life"in the early twentieth century, promised infinite supplies of copper and other natural resources. LeCain deftly analyzes how open-pit mining continues to adversely effect the environment and how, as the world begins to rival American resource consumption, no viable alternatives have emerged."

Catherine @ Reading In Montana

Monday, August 3, 2009

Red Lodge & the Beartooth Highway

This last weekend we decided to do a little weekend getaway before the Fall semester starts for me at Montana State University-Bozeman. I have been in Montana more than five years now, and I still hadn't driven the scenic Beartooth Highway, bringing drivers to almost 11,000 feet from Montana to Wyoming. So we decided to head to Red Lodge, MT, spend the night, and then drive the highway before heading home through the northern part of Yellowstone National Park.

Red Lodge, a mountain town known for its coal mines in the late nineteenth century, is rather small - its population just a little over 2,000. When we arrived in Red Lodge, we checked out the also-small library (Carnegie-style), nicely placed at the northern end of Broadway, and picked up some books for Reading in Montana.

We were also in Red Lodge during its annual Festival of Nations, celebrating the town's mining immigrant diversity. We attended the dances in the civic center. This is a picture of some of the Scottish dancing:

You can see more pictures from our trip via these links: Red Lodge and Beartooth Highway.

Currently reading: Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan and others.