Passage of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act is beginning to attract notice in the Canadian press, including this piece in the Kootenay News Advertiser . . .
Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the North Fork Watershed Protection Act as part of a nationwide U.S. public lands legislative package. Canadians have awaited this particular legislation since 2010, when then-governor Brian Schweitzer and then-B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell signed the B.C.-Montana Memorandum of Understanding promising to ban mining and oil and gas development in the entire transnational Flathead watershed.
“Passing this legislation represents a truly significant accomplishment for the BC–Montana relationship, and for the health of our shared Waterton-Glacier Peace Park region. It was vitally important for the U.S. government to pass this legislation to balance similar legislation passed in BC in 2011 that banned mining and energy development in the transnational Flathead watershed,” says John Bergenske, Conservation Director of B.C. conservation group Wildsight…
Montana and B.C. had been at odds over appropriate industrial development in the Flathead watershed since 1975, when Rio Algum, Ltd. proposed a mountaintop removal coal mine just six miles north of the international border and the U.S. Glacier National Park. That initial dispute took 13 years to settle, and required the intervention of the International Joint Commission (IJC) that has authority over the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between Canada and the U.S.