McCone Agricultural Protection Organization

The McCone Agricultural Protection Organization formed in 1975 to gather information about Burlington-Northern’s plans for coal development in McCone County, and—as our name implies—to protect agriculture from the adverse impacts of unwise or poorly planned energy development.

We are working to provide the agriculturists of this county an organization that will create a social and political environment in which the farmers and ranchers of this area have the power to make a substantial contribution into the vital decisions concerning their future…and…to promote agriculture as the future economic force in the development of McCone County.



We work to protect family farms and ranches that are threatened by poorly planned energy development and international trade agreements that undermine local regulation.

Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL Pipeline

We disseminate information to landowners along the route of the Keystone XL pipeline and we have testified at public hearings to ensure the voices of farmers and ranchers are heard throughout the development of the pipeline.


  • Worked to ensure that BN’s Circle West Project is reviewed under Montana’s Major Facility Siting Act.
  • Helped to win passage of the Federal Surfacing Mining Control and Reclamation Act, especially provisions of the Act which protect alluvial valley floors and the rights of surface owners over Federally-owned coal.
  • Worked to overhaul the outmoded Federal Coal Leasing Program, and forced the Bureau of Land Management to live up to the law and allow farmers and ranchers to find out what companies had plans to strip-mine their land.
  • Worked to get air quality standards for Montana which will be adequate to protect agriculture productivity from the impacts of air pollution.


Darrell Garoutte

Hellen Waller

Northern Plains Board Representative

Northern Plains Field Organizer
Caitlin Cromwell (406) 248-1154