Over at the Hungry Horse News, Chris Peterson put together a good report on the remaining mineral leases in the North Fork and Middle Fork drainages . . .
The North Fork Watershed Protection Act passed the House on a voice vote last week — one step closer to becoming law — but the act doesn’t address existing leases in the drainage, some of which are right on the edge of the Great Bear Wilderness.
The act only prohibits any new energy leases in the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
All told, energy companies once held about 246,000 acres of leases in the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead. Since the bill was introduced by former Montana Sen. Max Baucus a few years ago, several companies, including Conoco-Phillips, relinquished their claims.