Mclaren Mill Site
Stained rocks are one of the most visible relics of the heavy iron content that old mine tailings leached into Soda Butte Creek.
This is what the old McLaren Mill site looked like in 2012. This month, work is being done to rehabilitate the site with plantings of grass, trees and shrubs.
Huge strides were made this summer to clean up Soda Butte Creek, once considered the most polluted stream to enter Yellowstone National Park.
The old McLaren Mill site has been drained and excavated to a depth of about 35 feet to remove waste for storage in a impoundment, seen covered in the background.
The mill site remains from gold and copper mining done on nearby Henderson Mountain in the early 1900s. Earlier attempts to contain the mill tailings failed and Soda Butte Creek was polluted.
Marty Bennett, senior environmental engineer for Pioneer Technical Services, gives a tour of the McLaren Mill tailings cleanup project just outside Cooke City. The project is the most expensive ever undertaken by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Pioneer is overseeing the work…