Monday, August 20th was the Banquet on the Border; by all reports, a resounding success. Dave Haddon of Headwaters Montana wrote an excellent report on the whole affair. Since this report is still not available online, I am shamelessly
stealing adapting large portions of it here . . .
The Banquet on the Border – last Monday, August 20 – celebrated the British Columbia government’s 2011 official act of banning mining and energy development on their side of the watershed; the progress made to date to do the same in the U.S North Fork with Senate Bill 233 (the North Fork Watershed protection Act – still pending); and the other work that is moving forward to enhance protections for water and wildlife in the rest of the watershed, most notably:
- Completing Waterton-Glacier Peace Park by adding the ‘Missing Piece’ in the BC Flathead, and
- Protecting the existing international wildlife corridor between Whitefish and Banff National Park.
Headwaters Montana and National Parks Conservation Association organized the party for the south side of the boundary. Wildsight did so for the north.
Who Showed Up?
We invited the U.S. Border Patrol. But with the exception of a brief drive up and turn around we were left to securing our own borders and enjoying our neighborliness.
The Canadians outnumbered the Americans 3 to 2 but who’s counting? Their greater numbers stemmed from the week-long Flathead Bioblitz and Flathead Artists’ Workshop that was based at the Canadian border and had concluded the day before…
In addition to the ten Canadian and U.S. scientists who attended the bioblitz and some ten artists, members of the Flathead Wild Team and supporters filled out the Canadian tables.
On the U.S. side, Headwaters Montana board members and supporters showed up in good numbers, as well as representatives of the North Fork Preservation Association, board members of the Flathead Coalition, and The North Fork Landowners Association, North Fork Compact, and representatives for Senator Max Baucus.
20 Years Ago
Steve Thompson with the Cinnabar Foundation (Montana’s home-grown conservation fund) helped deepen the Banquet-goer’s appreciation for this far flung event by reminding folks that champions of the Transboundary Flathead had celebrated with a banquet at the same spot 20 years ago. Amazingly, four people from that 1992 event were on hand last week... [Our own John Frederick was one of them. – ed.]