Rosebud Protective Association
Rosebud Protective Association along with ranchers from the Bull Mountains got together to form Northern Plains in 1972 because of concerns about expanding coal development. We organize in the Colstrip and Forsyth areas on coal issues, including addressing the leaking coal ash ponds at the Colstrip power plant.
We were instrumental in fighting the Colstrip power plants in the ’70s and ’80s. Since the plants came online, we have fought for strong reclamation at the Rosebud Mine and a solution to the leaking coal ash ponds. We have also tackled agriculture issues, the Tongue River Railroad, and coal bed methane.
Leaking Coal Ash Ponds
The coal ash storage ponds at the Colstrip Power Plant have been leaking for over 30 years! The seepage from the ponds has damaged surface and groundwater for home and landowners in the vicinity. We are working state agencies and commenting on federal rules to address the problem.
Farming and ranching in southeast Montana has been a tradition for generations. We are working to ensure the land and water are protected so that we pass them on to future generations unimpaired.
Coal Seam Fires
Burning coal seams light off significant grass fires every summer in southeastern Montana, posing serious health risks and financial hardship to those who live nearby. Most landowners in the region don’t own the coal beneath their ranch but spend time and money fighting coal-seam fires every year. We are working with the private coal owners and government agencies to get an active monitoring and mitigation program going.