Gov. Schweitzer announces, praises deal to reimburse mining companies for North Fork protection

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer made the formal announcement in Kalispell yesterday of the commitment by The Nature Conservancy and Nature Conservancy Canada to provide funds to retire oil and gas leases in the Canadian Flathead.

Both the Flathead Beacon and the Daily Inter Lake covered the presentation in some detail . . .

Flathead Beacon: Nature Conservancy to Reimburse Mining Companies for North Fork Protection

Mining companies with operations in the Canadian portions of the Flathead River Basin will be compensated for their investments by two conservation groups to protect the area around Glacier National Park, according to Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who made the announcement in Kalispell Monday. The payment will seal a deal cut between Schweitzer and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell one year ago in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to protect the Flathead watershed and Glacier National Park.

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Daily Inter Lake: Money found to seal N.F. mine deals

Another chapter is unfolding in the running effort to ban mining in the Canadian headwaters of the Flathead River: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer announced a deal Monday that will compensate two mining companies for investments they already have made in the drainage.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Montana have agreed to split the costs of compensating the Cline Mining Co. and Max Resource group for about $10 million in “sunk costs,” Schweitzer told reporters at Flathead Valley Community College.

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[Update: Text of the press release from the Governor’s office (PDF, opens in new window.]