Who are we?
Bull Mountain Land Alliance (BMLA) is one of the founding affiliates of Northern Plains Resource Council, and was formed in 1969 after a small group of landowners organized to protect their family farms and ranches from the threat of coal mining. In the 1970’s we helped pass state and federal landmark reclamation laws. We are made up of ranchers, landowners, and residents of the Bull Mountains and Roundup. Over the years, we have acted as a watchdog over agencies to safeguard our land, air, and water from the impacts of underground mining in the Bull Mountains, which in recent years, has been run by Signal Peak Energy, LLC (SPE). We believe that the Bull Mountains are worth protecting. The abundant wildlife, rugged hills, and expansive grasslands have sustained generations of Montanans who live, ranch, and recreate here. We want this to continue.
Who is Signal Peak Energy?
SPE is the operator of the Bull Mountain Mine No. 1, Montana’s only underground coal mine. According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, SPE produced around 7.25 million tons of coal in 2021, making it the seventh largest underground coal mine in the United States by production. For reference, this is about one million more tons of coal than the Westmorland Rosebud Mine in Colstrip produced that year. In 2021, 95% of SPE’s coal was exported across the Pacific to countries such as Japan, South Korea, and China according to the Montana Department of Commerce. SPE is made up of three parent companies; Gunvor Commodities Trading, FirstEnergy Corp, and Boich Companies. If you’d like to find out more about SPE and its parent companies, check out articles in the resource tab of this webpage.
What is the purpose of this community resource page?
Between now and around 2030, SPE’s mining activity is getting closer to an increasing amount of landowners and residents of the Bull Mountains. SPE has also begun the early steps of seeking a permit expansion, which would mean mining after 2030. Folks in the Bull Mountains who have already been undermined have faced immense impacts, especially to their water, and it’s been very difficult to get SPE to abide by their legal responsibilities as a neighbor and repair damage. Often times, this is because it’s difficult for people to prove that SPE was responsible for damage without having the right baseline water data, or knowing what their rights are. We want to ensure that our neighbors have the information needed to protect themselves and their water in the event of damage from mining activity. Learn more by watching “The Neighbor Beneath.”