Friends of the Jocko is a newly formed Montana Nonprofit Corporation dedicated to the preserving the quality of life in the Jocko. The threat to that quality emerged in the spring of 2022 when Riverside Contracting proposed to build an asphalt plant and gravel pit at the end of White Coyote Lane. The suddenness of the permitting process galvanized nearby residents to take action.
Our goals are to work with our friends, family, neighbors and the community to force the State DEQ to follow its rules and allow the public a say in the process. Ultimately, we believe that the current project and permitting process is contrary to State law, and the Montana Constitution.
We are committed to working with all stakeholders – the CSKT and Tribal members, Lake County government, Jocko Valley residents, and others – that are concerned about the negative impacts Riverside Contracting’s project will have on the quality of our lives, and the health of the environment and all of its inhabitants.
The nonprofit’s current officers are Jim Coefield, Jennifer Knoetgen, Shelly Fyant, and Elizabeth Reinhardt, most of whom live within a half mile of the proposed pit. The nonprofit is membership-based, and has an active local membership dedicated to seeing that Riverside Contracting does not open its proposed gravel pit. We are all unpaid volunteers doing what we can with the time we have outside of our work and family lives.
Friends of the Jocko has retained the services of Ferguson Law Office in Missoula MT to assist in our efforts fighting this project and HB599 and its gutting of public participation and environmental regulations in opencut (gravel) mining and asphalt plant operations.