Montana Politics

Is a Helena-Based Consulting Firm Aiding the Attack on the Smith River?

Every Montanan knows that the Smith River is spectacular and without rival. In 2007, Governor Schweitzer had this to say about the Smith: “in a state blessed with so many natural treasures, the Smith River is one of Montana’s crown jewels.” However, this “crown jewel” is under attack and – shockingly – with the help of a Helena-based consulting firm.

Helena-insiders are confirming that the consulting firm Strategies 360 has apparently signed a contract to work on behalf of Tintina. Tintina is the Canadian company that wants to develop a mine along the Smith River and risk contaminating one of the most remarkable natural resources Montana has to offer all while polluting a renowned trout fishery.

These Canadians can obviously write some big checks. How else could they get a consulting firm like the left-leaning Strategies 360 to sell out? 360 must be getting a great conversion rate on those loonies.

Make no mistake – this is a nonpartisan issue. Anyone who enjoys fishing, floating, and Montana’s unique outdoor heritage should be outraged that any Montana company would work with Tintina. Most Montanans cannot be bought so easily.

The proposed mine could create acid drainage, lower the water table, and capture arsenic and other water toxins. Goodbye Smith River.

It’s not too late. Let’s hope this Helena-based consulting firm wakes up from the money-coma and sets an example by disengaging with Tintina – immediately.

Save the Smith, Strategies 360. Save the Smith.

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    Melissa Shannon
    Senior Vice President, Montana

    Melissa runs our Montana office.

    She has a strong track record of accomplishments in public affairs and a deep knowledge of Montana politics, policy makers and issues. Most recently, Melissa was the director of government affairs for Cablevision and Charter Communications, overseeing legislation and policy in Montana, Colorado and Wyoming. In that role, Melissa developed strategic plans to advance legislative and regulatory policies, including fostering bipartisan relationships with policy makers and building coalitions with peer companies and organizations. She also negotiated and managed franchise agreements with 150 city and county governments, and oversaw charitable and political contribution plans.

    Formerly, as a principal with Kountoupes Consulting in Washington, D.C., Melissa advised Fortune 500, high-tech, telecom, health care and energy companies such as Yahoo and Netflix. She crafted and implemented successful strategic plans to advance her clients’ goals with the Administration, Members of Congress and the public.

    Melissa also worked for several senior members of Congress, providing counsel on telecommunications, education, labor, science, small business, veterans, and agriculture. In addition, Melissa worked for the Montana State Legislature and the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

    A native of Fairfield, Montana, Melissa is a proud former Lady Eagle basketball player who enjoys time outdoors in Big Sky Country with her dog Ruby. You can find them hiking and biking trails around Helena, surfing and water skiing on Hauser Lake, floating the mighty Missouri, fly fishing the Blackfoot, or skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

    Melissa is a graduate of the University of Montana in political science.

    Melissa can be reached at [email protected]

  • Canadians can write big checks with the help of Australians. Australians who have been recently discredited by their largest and most prestigious university for their bad environmental and social record.

    • Are you talking about Rio Tinto, Derf?

      The same Rio Tinto that co-owns a uranium mine with the Iranian government?

      The same Rio Tinto that formed a subsidiary called Resolution Copper, which was just given 2,400 acres of public lands on the Tonto Nation Forest in Arizona – ancestral homeland of the Apache Tribe – as part of the NDAA public lands riders supported by Tester/Daines/Walsh?

      Rio Tinto/Resolution Copper’s plan is to put in a massive copper mine, and ship copper concentrate to China to be processed. The SE Arizona Land Exchange (the rider that made all this happen) was opposed and rejected for at least the past decade, but once that spirit of “bipartisanship” overcame the U.S. Congress just before Christmas (leading also to passage of Cromnibus) the skids were greased for all kinds of bad riders attached to the National Defense Bill.

      Here’s a powerful video of what the Senators and House members – such as Tester and Daines – who voted for the National Defense Bill, and all the public lands riders, gave away in SE Arizona.

  • FYI – Strategies 360 campaign/election contribution summary from, Center for Responsive Politics. Looks pretty darn blue.

    Strategies 360 gave $8,450 to John Lewis and $2,650 to the Democratic Party of Montana in the 2014 election cycle.

    Check it out:

    #KeepItPublic, right?

  • Is it possible this MONTANA based company has signed on to make sure it is done environmentally responsible? MONTANA based company looking out for MONTANA. How dare they. Right?

    • And how exactly is a political and public relations firm going to make sure that Tintina/Sandfire “do it right?”

  • Silly environmentalist whack jobs. You don’t believe in science, and in that way, you are the same as the Tea Party. There is nothing wrong with the Black Butte copper project. The proposed mine is miles and miles away from the Smith River. It has about the same potential to generate acid as the existing Troy mine (from a geologically similar deposit). Go sniff around the Berkeley Pit.

    • Yeah right, drunky! And the Zortman/Landusky mine expansion was ONLY going to disturb about fifty acres! That’s why Pegasus Gold needed no EIS. Geez, dude, stay on the sauce, drunky. Things look SO much better when your soused!

      BTW, F*CK those Canadian mining corporations! You DO know why they ALL incorporate in Canada, doncha? ‘Cause there are NO environmental laws governing them!

      • I compared the Black Butte project to the Troy MIne. An apple to apple comparison. Larry compares the Black Butte Mine to Zortman-Landusky. An apple to Jupiter comparison. Way to sound rational, my friend.

        • Ya got me there! Hey, I’ll tell you what. Let’s you and me head ourselves down the Glendive and get us a whiskey ditch! Heck, I’ll even let you have my ditch!, and I’ll keep the whiskey!
          Nuthin’ ever fails with the Cannookian mining companies, ex CEPT all the time! If I had time, I’d list them all. We do NOT need a mine there, period! And I doubt there’ll ever be one. The Smith is just too sacred to us white folks who love the river. Jobs my arse! Tell them inbreds in White Sulphur to do like everyone else does. Go FIND a freakin’ job somewhere!

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