Simms Fishing Products’ new Save Our Streams (SOS) campaign detonates this month with a focus on Montana’s Yellowstone River, where two foreign-backed gold mining companies (Lucky Minerals and Crevice Mining Group) are busy eyeing dig sites along the watershed’s upper tributaries.
“Both exploration and large-scale mines would put hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs that rely on this river at risk, and undoubtedly wreak environmental havoc on the entire ecosystem,” notes the Bozeman-based brand, which created the SOS initiative to raise money and direct awareness toward the protection and preservation of iconic waterways like the Yellowstone and others throughout the country.
To that end, each month the company will launch a limited edition T-shirt (men’s and women’s sizes) inspired by a threatened river or stream and designed by renowned American artists. A portion of every t-shirt sale will go back to a non-profit partner working to help conserve that particular body of water.
To bolster efforts against the proposed mines on the Yellowstone, Simms has also partnered with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC). Founded in 1983, GYC is the only locally based group that advocates full time for the 20-million-acre, Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
“We’re honored to be working with Simms to protect the Yellowstone River,” says GYC Executive Director Caroline Byrd. “Anglers are passionate about protecting their home waters and they understand that gold mines and the Yellowstone River don’t mix.”
In November, U.S. officials under the Obama administration blocked new mining claims outside Yellowstone National Park. Additionally, prexisting claims on 30,370 acres north of the nation’s first national park would be prohibited for at least two years, while a long-term ban is considered. At the time, Crevice Mining Group managing director Michael Werner said his project couldn’t be derailed, because the company’s private land holdings were sufficient to see it through to completion.