Thirty-seven celebrities joined the opposition to a proposed gold mine near Yellowstone National Park on Thursday as a United Nations group headed for a weekend tour of the site.
Former President Jimmy Carter headed the list of those voicing concerns about the proposed New World Mine in a letter to the World Heritage Committee of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Others included actors Robert Redford and Harrison Ford, media mogul Ted Turner, writer Terry Tempest Williams and several members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Their letter, released by the National Parks and Conservation Service in Washington, D.C., urged the committee to include Yellowstone on a U.N. list of endangered “world heritage” places.
“The mine - a massive gold, silver and copper operation - poses extremely serious risks and potentially devastating impacts to the internationally significant values of Yellowstone and its larger ecosystem,” the letter said. The mine would be three miles north of the park.
Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., criticized the World Heritage Committee for its trip to review the project posed by Crown Butte Mines Inc., a subsidiary of a Canadian company.
Neither the committee nor the U.N. has any authority to block the mine project.