Saturday, July 23, 2011

Up the mountain

Kat Benier, butterfly researcher hanging out with cow bell truck.

You always know when it is just around the bend!

Today we took a very bumpy but wonderfully scenic ride along the
Alpine Loop to Engineer’s Pass. At the top we visited the Hough mine site. The mine situated in the stunningly beautiful alpine meadow is emitting 86% of the pollution in Henson Creek –

aluminum, zinc, cadmium, magnesium and iron. As you follow Henson Creek up the mountain, you see the crystal clear water and white rapids swirling around and jumping over the boulders. It is difficult to imagine the environmental hazard. This juxtaposition is definitely one of the Hardrock Revision challenges.

Wild flowers in the alpine meadow

Arriving at the Hough Mine Site

Where would we be without our fearless advisors who help us see beneath the surface with patience and humor? Dave Stiller (left) is a hydrologist, geologist and author of Wounding the West: Montana, Mining, and the Environment. Joseph Ryan is a professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado and co-author of the Center for the American West’s Cleaning Up Abandoned Hardrock Mines in the West.

Hannah appreciating the moment.

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