Dawson Resource Council

Dawson Resource Council, located in Glendive Montana, works with community members to protect clean air, water, and build thriving communities.

Our Mission

Dawson Resource Council is a grassroots organization of farmers, ranchers and concerned citizens who wish to promote, preserve and protect our land, water, air and food for future generations. DRC will work for a fair economic environment for agriculture and to preserve rural communities.

Issues We Work On

Clean Energy

We’re working to build a clean and affordable energy future! Dawson Resource Council launched the Solarize Glendive Campaign in 2021 to help local residents go solar together! We’re also working to make clean energy more affordable and accessible to farms, ranches, and businesses in Dawson County by enabling Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancements.

Learn more about C-PACE.

Agriculture and Local Foods

Agriculture is the backbone of eastern Montana. But money leaves the state every day when we feed our families. Dawson Resource Council is working to keep agriculture viable, diversify our local economy, and revitalize our rural communities by rebuilding a food system that works for both farmers and eaters.

Recycling

We believe in protecting our land, air, and water, and doing what we can to eliminate waste. Right now, Dawson County doesn’t have any recycling facilities or programs—meaning that everything we generate ends up in the local landfill. We’re working to find a solution to that, and help bring recycling back to Glendive.

Radioactive Oil Waste

Glendive is home to Montana’s first radioactive oil waste disposal facility, which receives waste from North Dakota’s oilfields. In partnership with Northern Plains, Dawson Resource Council has worked since the facility’s opening in 2013 to watchdog operations there, and push for better landowner and water protections around radioactive oil waste disposal across our state.

History and Accomplishments

Since its inception in 1980 after extensive industrial plans were unveiled for Dawson County, DRC has achieved many victories. Our favorites are highlighted below.

  • Makoshika State Park is one of Glendive’s most treasured landscapes, and the largest state park in Montana. In the early 2000s, the park was under threat of oil and gas drilling. DRC successfully passed legislation to protect Makoshika from drilling, and managed to double the park in size, while we were at it!

  • DRC is working to build eastern Montana’s local food system by creating economies that support local producers. In 2016, we mounted a campaign to convince the Dawson County Commission to support that effort—and we won!

  • In the 1980s, DRC helped rewrite foreclosure laws to ensure that farmers and ranchers facing loss of their land could walk away with more than what existing laws guaranteed them (hint: it wasn’t much). We also helped recover bank shares owned by farmers (through farm loans) that farmers were losing as banks went out of business.

  • Protected taxpayers from footing the bill for a proposed coal synfuels plant in Wibaux County. The company proposing the plant, Tenneco, sought government funding to pay for the biggest share of their project. When Tenneco couldn’t get the funding they wanted, they withdrew their plans to build it.

  • Ensured that all coal mining leases would be subject to updated environmental standards. In 1976, the federal government gave anyone that had filed for a permit prior to that year the right to not do a full environmental impact statement, under what was called “preference rights leasing.” DRC successfully lobbied against that grandfather clause, ensuring that all mines would be held to the same rules.

  • In the 1990s, DRC worked on international trade issues in NAFTA, GATT, and the importation of Canadian grain. We coordinated an effective local campaign to fight NAFTA, and our members even met with Max Baucus, Conrad Burns, and Pat Williams. In 1994, we worked closely with farm organizations and allies in Canada to change policy around Canadian grain imports. Our panel discussion of the trade conflict redefined the debate for the Canadian Wheat Board.

Leadership

Chair

Melissa Middelstaed

Vice-Chair

Rachel Torres

Secretary

Millie Robinson

Treasurer

Irene Moffett

Northern Plains Board Representatives

June Peterson
Kristin Aus

Community Organizer
UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS...

Check out these upcoming events in your area!​

Lessons from Indigenous Organizing: A Grassroots Solution for Local Food on the Flathead Reservation

Lessons from Indigenous Organizing: A..

During this virtual event, we’ll hear from Patrick Yawackie, from the Flathead Reservation. Patrick and his wife, Regina MadPlume founded the People’s Food Sovereignty Program, a Native led, grassroots organization that promotes food sovereignty and self-determination for the tribal members living on the Flathead Reservation.

08.18.22
Carbon County Resource Council’s 25th Anniversary

Carbon County Resource Council’s 25th..

Join us to celebrate 25 years of Carbon County Resource Council (CCRC) advocating responsible use of resources and finding solutions to problems that affect our unique quality of life!

08.27.22
7th Annual Sun Run

7th Annual Sun Run

Join Sleeping Giant Citizens Council and Helena Vigilante Runners for our 7th Annual Sun Run and Clean Energy Expo!

10.01.22

Our Team

Effy McEldowney

Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

Michael Skinner

GNA Manager and Community Organizer

Jeanie Alderson, Birney

Past Chair

Emma Kerr-Carpenter, Billings

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council

Kris Glenn, Billings

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council

John Gayusky, Livingston

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council

Joan Kresich, Livingston

Affiliate Representatives- Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council

Tom Heyneman, Fishtail

Affiliate Representatives- Stillwater Protective Association

Edward Barta, Billings

Vice-Chair & Affiliate Representatives - Stillwater Protective Association

Mic Smith, Helena

Affiliate Representatives- Sleeping Giant Citizens Council

Sign up to receive important email updates!

Stay informed about the work we are doing across Montana to protect our air, water, agriculture, and natural resources.

WordPress Lightbox