The Flathead Beacon posted a summary today of the area’s most newsworthy stories of 2014, including passage of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act . . .
More than four decades after local conservation groups began efforts to protect the North Fork of the Flathead River from energy development, Montana’s congressional delegation inched a bill to furnish permanent protections on the pristine watershed over the finish line. The North Fork Watershed Protection Act was signed into law Dec. 19, and bans future mining and drilling on 383,267 acres of federal land in the North Fork. The bill and seven other Montana land bills were attached to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act, and supporters said the rare bipartisan collaboration and tireless local support of the measure is symbolic of a strong conservation legacy in the Crown of the Continent.