B.C. introduces mining and energy ban legislation to protect Flathead

From an announcement sent out by Dave Hadden of Headwaters Montana . . .

British Columbia’s new premier, Christie Clark, has made good on her predecessor Gordon Campbell’s commitment to ban mining and energy extraction in the headwaters of the transboundary Flathead River.

Yesterday, her Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Steve Thomson, introduced Bill 2, the Flathead Watershed Area Conservation Act.

With the certain passage of this bill this year, B.C. will have completed its commitment to ban mining and energy extraction as one part of the historic B.C. – Montana MOU signed in February 2010 at the start of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and The Nature Conservancy of Montana (TNC) will provide $9.4 million to fund the conservation aspects of the agreement and compensate the ‘sunk costs’ of mining and energy companies with leases (tenures) in the watershed.

On the Montana side, senators Baucus and Tester’s senate bill 233, the North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2011, awaits Senate committee action…

A related note by Jon Frederick, NFPA President:

If you want to send money to help make the Memorandum of Understanding complete — that is, to help the Nature Conservancies of The U.S. and Canada pay for expenditures of the exploration companies in the Flathead of British Columbia — write a check to The Nature Conservancy and send it to The Nature Conservancy, 32 South Ewing Street, Helena, MT 59601. Write “Flathead Now! Campaign” in the lower left corner or it won’t go where you wish.