Northern Plains History Project

Our history tells us that when we stand together to protect our land and communities, we make Montana a better place.

Standing Together

Watch Standing Together: Protecting Land, Air, Water, and People – the origin story of Northern Plains:

Alternatively, you may watch Water is for Fighting, a condensed retelling of our origin story with a focus on our work to protect one of the most precious resources in the west – water. 

Photo Display

Enjoy this virtual version of the Photo Display in our Home on the Range office in Billings. This display showcases notable members and moments that have shaped our organization and left a lasting impact on the issues we have organized around.

Sarpy Creek Mine

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One of the first massive strip mines opened in the region was the Absaloka Mine (formerly Westmoreland Mine) on Sarpy Creek in Big Horn County. Northern Plains’ earliest members were impacted by the railroad built to haul coal from the mine to the mainline railroad in the Yellowstone valley. This photograph aptly captures the landscape of southeast Montana’s coal country with ponderosa pine hills, sandstone outcroppings, and grasslands. Mining the coal seam usually amounts to mining the aquifer, which affects neighboring ranches and communities, as well as the hydrology that wildlife and native plants depend on for survival. (Photo © Terrence Moore)

Standing Together: Protecting Land, Air, Water, and People

Hardcover Anthology written and curated by Teresa Erickson

This 130-page anthology tells the story of Northern Plains’ work to protect the people and places we love across Montana. In addition to a written narrative, this hardbound book features photos, cartoons, artwork, news-clippings, and poetry from a half-century of tenacious grassroots organizing.


Watch this series of 1-2 minute videos covering some of the key issues that helped form Northern Plains into the organization it is today. Learn what “Our History Tells Us” about protecting our land, air, water and people: