Stalemate, some success, retirement

From the Sunday, January 11, 2009 online edition of the Missoulian . . .

The coal was here, hidden by a thin skin of wilderness, long before Rich Moy arrived; and it was still here, against all odds, when he left.

That, he considers, is at least some sort of success, although much more work will be required to keep it there, buried beneath what’s wild.

“In many ways, it’s been a stalemate for 30 years,” Moy said. “We haven’t lost much ground, but we haven’t gained any, either. The Canadian Flathead and the wilderness north of Glacier National Park have been and will be a flashpoint of international controversy.”

When Moy arrived on this backcountry battlefield, nearly three decades ago, the then-new controversy centered on a proposed Canadian coal mine to be built just a few miles north of Glacier Park.

When he finally retired last month, on the last day of 2008, the now-old controversy centered on yet another coal mine proposed in the headwaters, and a second coal mine in the river bottom, and a gold mine, and a phosphate mine, and an ongoing search for coalbed methane.

“In all these decades,” he said, “the British Columbia government has never wavered in its desire to industrialize the Flathead.”

Read the entire article . . .