It appears Gallatin Valley residents understand the need for gravel but don’t like the manner in which the tiny rocks are mined. And there isn’t much that state officials can do about it until state laws change, state officials said.

A panel of state and county officials fielded questions from residents for more than two hours at the Gallatin Gateway Community Center Monday night concerning two proposed gravel pits and one expanding operation. The forum was put together by Sen. Gary Perry, R-Manhattan, who represents the area where the contentious issue of open cut mining is happening.