This week’s Hungry Horse News column by Larry Wilson discusses the recent actions on both sides of the border to protect the North Fork watershed and takes a look at what might be coming next. His column is, as usual, recommended reading . . .
Since Gov. Brian Schweitzer signed a memorandum of understanding with British Columbia, which promised up to 17 million dollars to Canadian companies for reimbursement for cash already spent, we have all wondered where he would find the money. Montana could not pay and for months efforts were made, without success, to get Uncle Sam to foot the bill.
Now it seems that an answer has been found! The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the U.S. Nature Conservancy have committed $9.4 million to the government of British Columbia to conclude the British Columbia-Montana memo of understanding signed a year ago. As part of the deal, the province of British Columbia will enact legislation banning the extraction of minerals, oil, gas, and coal within the watershed. With the two nature conservancy groups coming up with this money, protection of the upper North Fork is an important step towards completion.