Billionaire Forrest Mars, Jr. Buys His Own Freedom, Pushes Eminent Domain on to Eastern Montanans

by jhwygirl

Got a press release from Northern Plains Resource Council yesterday announcing Forest Mars, Jr.’s buy-in to the Tongue River railroad, which is needed to transport the dirty filthy coal of Otter Creek from Montana to China.

Later, I went and read my favorite supermontanareporter John S. Adams’ blog MT Lowdown and found a thorough report – with handouts – on the Mars/Warren Buffett/Arch Coal purchase deal on the dirty coal railroad.

Seems Mars – who had been fighting the railroad across his lands in the Tongue River – has purchased 1/3 into the railroad with a deal that would re-route it across Montanans to the east.

Mars had been one of the highest profile landowners fighting the impending eminent domain proceedings to place that railroad.

Of course – and you have to read MT Lowdown – Forrest Mars, Jr. is framing himself the saviour of the Tongue River Valley and he’s notified Northern Plains Resource Council of his decision to cease funding of legal challenges to the railroad.


What I find in life is that karma is hard to avoid. So while Mars thinks he’s bought his freedom from that railroad crossing his ranch, his ranch lies in the path of the connection Wyoming needs to cheaply take their coal to china. And as state Attorney General laid out in his “NAY” vote to Otter Creek, Wyoming is all too eager to move their coal through to Montana to get it on the main BN line on its way to China.

Read Bullock’s words carefully. Understand the poor economic decisions made by leasing Otter Creek at a hugely discounted pro-coal industry price. the corporate welfare give-away that it is. Wyoming producers are not going to let go of $100 million a year in savings by saying bye-bye to a railroad that would save them that much money. Each year.

I’m going to have to start a new category here. Something like “Colonization of Montana”. I just went and looked at some of our previous posts on Otter Creek and eminent domain. Should make anyone sick to their stomach.

I said this back when the Governor signed that eminent domain bill into law back in May – It is the rise of the ghosts of the Copper Kings. It will be a turning point in our history, just as the sale of Montana Power..

Remember that Montanans. We appear to have forgotten our history. I assure you, the next few years and court battles will remind us how fateful that misstep was.

  1. Ingemar Johansson

    Coal is indeed a filthy dirty product.

    The sooner we ship it far away, the better.

  2. This is money that leads to more money. Theatrics preceded the 3-2 vote in what was a tense meeting. Police said they were taken to jail on an initial charge of disorderly conduct.Earlier Schweitzer who promised Wednesday to use money from the bid to reduce planned state budget cuts aimed at the disabled allowed a group of wheelchair-bound blind and other advocates to speak first to the Land Board.Bob Liston told the group that the governors promise would fund things that are really keeping people alive. Environmentalist opponents followed that testimony by saying opening up the Otter Creek tracts would destroy a pristine ranching valley with a new railroad and results in billions of tons of global warming gasses. Whatever it takes please listen to us. Just stop it Michael Phelps of Missoula said in testimony before he joined the protest that marred the meeting.

  3. Forrest Mars billionaire former chief executive of Mars Inc. .has purchased about one-third of a controversial planned coal.railroad that would run through his Montana property.. In a letter to Ed Gulick chairman of the Northern Plains.Resource Council a conservation group that has been fighting the.project for 30 years Mars said he worked out a deal with the BNSF.Railway Co.

  4. Hanneman

    Help to fight off the ghosts of the copper kings by collecting signatures for IR-125 – the referendum on the new eminent domain law that Gov. Schweitzer allowed to lapse into law at the end of the last legislative session. Petitions and associated information can be downloaded at: If you decide to help, please email the state coordinator of IR-125, Rachel Roberts at and let her know so we can keep track of who is out there working. We only have until Sept. 30th to collect at least 39,000 signatures statewide (that is the estimate for just the 5% that is needed to get the referendum on the 2012 ballot given the inevitable problems with signature verification). We need your help – please join the fight today.

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