11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Sweetgrass Hills

Year Listed: 1993
Location: Toole and Liberty Counties, Montana
Threat: Development, Poor Public Policy

Significance

Encompassing thousands of acres of sweeping grassland and rocky ridges dominated by three mountain buttes, Sweetgrass Hills continues to be a spiritual place for ceremonies and retreats for the Blackfeet, Chippewa-Cree, Gros Ventre, Salish, Kootenai and Assiniboine tribes. But in the early 90s, Canadian mining interests applied for permission under the 1872 Mining Act to explore the area, build roads, dig trenches and conduct test drilling which could lead to open pit mining and thus severe damage to the site. Several preservation groups have organized to save this land from exploitative mining and stop possible pollution of major water sources reflect the need to reform the outdated mining law.