North Fork Watershed Protection Act clears House panel

Here is the Daily Inter Lake’s write-up on the North Fork Watershed Protection Act’s progress through the U.S. House . . .

A bill aimed at protecting national forest lands west of Glacier National Park cleared a key House Committee Tuesday, drawing praise from local supporters.

Known as the North Fork Watershed Protection Act and sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., the bill would withdraw 362,000 acres of public lands from future oil and gas leasing and development, hard-rock mining and geothermal development.

Similar legislation sponsored by Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester has been advancing in the Senate.

“The North Fork bill is a great example of people of all walks of alife coming together and developing local solutions for public lands issues,” said Chris Schustrom of the Flathead Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. “This bill will help ensure that traditional land uses and fish and wildlife habitat in the valley are protected in perpetuity.”

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