“The proposed gravel pit threatens the very existence of the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas.”
— Khenpo N Namchak
We are raising funds to support litigation against Riverside Contracting’s asphalt plant and gravel pit near the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved the permit for its operation, and the developer could begin excavations and manufacturing asphalt at any time. The immediacy of this threat is such that we have to reach out broadly to supporters of the Garden and others to fund litigation to end the threat. All funds raised in this campaign will be directed towards our legal efforts. Friends of the Jocko is a volunteer organization, and our single focus is to defeat this egregious industrial development. We are a Montana nonprofit, and have a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent for those who prefer a tax deductible contribution.
We hope that all supporters of the Buddha Garden will join with us in these ongoing legal efforts. Litigation is expensive, and committing to it means we need to raise substantial funds to maintain our lawsuit against the DEQ. Please support us however you can. No contribution is too small. If you know of any individuals, businesses or foundations that may be of assistance, please let us know!
Our lawsuit will show the Montana District Court that the DEQ erred when it approved the permit. The Court might order: the permit to be struck down; or DEQ conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that takes a hard look at all the issues and comments generated by DEQ’s initial Environmental Assessment (EA); or that the DEQ do further analysis under the existing EA, and come to a different decision. The current EA generated around 190 comments, 9 times that of the average number of comments on other gravel pit permits, yet the DEQ did not fully consider or answer most of these comments. If the DEQ had, we believe they would not have issued the permit.
In closing, the following words illustrates the situation quite well:
“A quiet, calm, peaceful environment is the most essential part of having this center for peace here in the Jocko Valley. Between the truck traffic, noise from the breaking of rocks, and constant vibration from the mining practices that will be the daily norm at the proposed gravel mine & asphalt plant, students and visitors alike will find it impossible to practice, rest, relax, and take teachings without disruption. The air borne contaminants will cause even more respiratory illness for the elderly and frail students that would previously have been able to visit hoping to breathe in the fresh, country air. The noise pollution will hinder healing for those that have come from traumatized environments, such as veterans of war, and refugees fleeing from violent countries. Therefore, the proposed gravel pit threatens the very existence of the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. It is indispensable to have a calm, serene environment according to our beliefs, as well as from instructions contained in our holy scriptures.”
— Khenpo N Namchak, President, Ewam Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, letter to the Montana DEQ 11-04-2022