Would You Let A Coal Company Take Your Land?
Imagine. Today you receive a manila envelope in the mail. It has an aerial map of your house. The map shows an orange railroad track right going directly through your driveway. A letter is included with the map. It says you have to allow the railroad company, owned by Arch Coal and BNSF, on to your land so it can conduct engineering and environmental surveys. It also threatens you with eminent domain. What would you do? I'm pretty sure you'd fight like hell. ************* On April 18, 2013, it was snowy, cold and muddy in the Tongue River valley. Despite that, about 60 people from various agencies, tribes and organizations took a tour of the proposed Tongue River Railroad route. It was part of a Tribal Consultation meetings that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) held to meet their obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Local ranchers pointed out important known battle sites on their property, petroglyphs, tribal camps and other important cultural and historic sites that they knew about in the path or near the Tongue River Railroad's preferred route. After driving through a couple of ranches, we arrived at a small Amish community who owns land and farms along the Tongue River. They don't use electricity or any fossil fuels and they came to the Tongue River in southeastern Montana for solitude and rich farm land. We got off the bus and looked over their land as David Borntreger pointed out that the Tongue River Railroad is slated to go directly through his farmyard, between his house and his barn. (STB map below) Unfortunately, the Amish community is just one example of this. Ranchers and farmers up and down the Tongue River received the same letters and maps of their property of train tracks going through their land. I find it exceedingly frustrating that our politicians in the state, people who purport to be strong defenders of private property rights, are silent on this issue.
Regardless of your political affiliation or your views on coal you have to ask yourself if seizing people's property against their will so a corporation can make massive profits is right?Help us stop the Tongue River Railroad, because one day, it might be your land a corporation is trying to take away. Please email Senator Tester, Senator Baucus, Representative Daines and Governor Steve Bullock (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell them to stand up for agriculture and private property rights and oppose the Tongue River Railroad. Read More: USA TODAY: Railroad Threatens A Quiet Amish Way Of Life Tongue River Railroad Environmental Impact Statement Website: www.tonguerivereis.com