I live a mile away from the Berkeley Pit, the mile by mile and a half wide former open-pit mine, which is now filled with a 50 billion gallon toxic lake. Every time I visit, I leave hyper aware of the contradictions and compromises that go hand in glove with industrialization. I find myself wondering: who thought chiseling a colossal hole in the Earth was a good idea, and why? So today, let’s take a dive, figuratively, into open pit mining and some controversial decisions made late last century that changed Butte’s land, people, and environmental legacy forever. This is Episode 4: We Gave it to the Pit.
We’re hard at work on episode 4, and still covering lots of Superfund news in Butte right now. In the mean time, meet one of the artists who’s contributed to this project behind the scenes.
BT Livermore,”maker of things and provider of services,” designed the Richest Hill logo, and does lots of other creative work in the Mining City. He explains the thinking behind the logo, and why he feels a sense of hope in Butte.
Stay tuned for episode 4, coming your way soon. You’ll learn how the Berkeley Pit took the lid off mining and changed the economy and ecology of Butte forever.
In August 1917, Frank Little was the victim of a grisly murder in Butte. Little was a labor organizer who came to Butte to unify and radicalize Butte’s miners in their fight against the Anaconda Mining Company for higher wages and safer working conditions. Most historians believe that the Anaconda Company was behind Little’s killing, but no one knows for sure. A note pinned to his underwear threatened, “Others take notice: first and last warning,” along with the numbers 3-7-77, the calling card of frontier vigilantes.
Who was Frank Little? And what could his grisly murder more than a century ago possibly have to do with Butte’s Superfund cleanup? That’s one of the questions we’ll be asking in Episode 3, which is coming at you in 3 short weeks. Stay with us for more about Butte’s past, present and future!
At first glance, Butte, Montana’s mutilated industrial landscape is often written-off as an ecological sacrifice-zone. Dirty, ugly as sin and regrettable, but necessary to supply the country with perhaps the most basic necessity of the Electrical Age: Copper. But if you take the time to really look carefully, what you find here will challenge, surprise and even change you.
Take a closer look at the copper that put the Richest Hill on the map; the city’s storied past; and the nostalgia and sense of purpose that pervades the Mining City, right now on Richest Hill episode two.
Richest Hill episode 01: Get to know Butte, Montana, one of America’s biggest Superfund sites and one of Montana’s most compelling places. Richest Hill is a new podcast about the past, present and future of Butte, America, “the Richest Hill on Earth.”
If you don’t know Butte Montana, you might have heard it’s one of the biggest toxic messes in the country. But now the “mining city” is on the verge of sealing a deal that could clean it up once and for all. So how did we get here? What comes after Superfund? And who gets to decide?
Find out on Richest Hill, a new podcast from Montana Public Radio coming in early 2019
Butte is poised for a lot of action this year. It’s a town going through a major transition while wrestling with big questions about its future. Our goal is to follow these developments closely and to look at Butte with a fresh perspective. We want to get to the heart of what’s going on, and you can help us get it right.
If you don’t know Butte, you might have heard it’s one of the biggest toxic messes in the country. But now, the mining city is on the verge of sealing a deal that could clean it up once and for all.
So how did we get here? What comes after Superfund? And who gets to decide?
Find out on Richest Hill, a new podcast from Montana Public Radio coming in early 2019.