Posted early this morning to the Missoulian’s website . . .
A measure that would ban federal-land mining along Glacier National Park’s western edge has passed a major Senate hurdle, and has been expanded to provide water-quality protections for nearby communities…
…the bill banning future federal mine leases has been expanded from its original to include the watershed upstream of Whitefish Lake, the nearby Haskill Basin drainage, and the wild and scenic Middle Fork Flathead corridor.
Accepting the Flathead Lakers’ 2010 Stewardship Award for signing an agreement with British Columbia protecting the North Fork from mining and drilling, Gov. Brian Schweitzer gave much of the credit to his counterpart in the negotiations: Premier Gordon Campbell.
Describing the fragile talks, held secretly in Spokane, Schweitzer emphasized that – from mining royalties to political capital – it was Campbell who had the most at stake.
The Flathead Lakers recognized Governor Brian Schweitzer for his efforts to protect the Flathead. They gave Schweitzer an award for his agreement with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell.
The agreement between Montana and British Columbia halts mining in the Canadian portion of the North Fork drainage. Schweitzer praised the Premier saying Canada gave up more than seven billion dollars in possible royalties. On Thursday night, the Flathead Lakers gave both the Premier and the Govenor the Stewardship Award. (The Premier was unable to attend.)
From an Associated Press article posted yesterday . . .
Gov. Brian Schweitzer is facing sharp questions from Montana’s congressional delegation over the way the governor has handled an agreement with Canada to protect the Glacier National Park area.
Schweitzer inked a deal with Canadian officials earlier this year promising that both sides would move to permanently protect the Flathead region from development. The governor promised the U.S. side would come up with millions to buy out two Canadian companies — a promise Schweitzer apparently made without first getting federal officials on board.
The Democratic governor had been critical of the congressional delegation — U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester along with Rep. Denny Rehberg — for failing to come up with the cash.
Tester and Baucus, both Democrats, sent an unusually terse letter to the governor Wednesday. In it, they pointedly ask where Schweitzer expected the money to come from — and where it would go.
Here’s an insightful follow-up article on last weekend’s Western governors meeting, written by Michael Jamison and posted to the Missoulian’s website early this morning . . .
A plan to forever protect Canadian wildlands north of Glacier National Park — and to pay for those protections — is slowly taking shape, cobbled together by an international coalition that includes local, state and federal partners.
Here’s the Associated Press take on last weekend’s Western governors meeting in Whitefish. This story is getting some national coverage. From yesterday’s Billings Gazette . . .
Gov. Brian Schweitzer isn’t done jousting with federal officials over a deal with Canada to protect the area surrounding Glacier National Park.
Montana’s governor used the bully pulpit over the weekend as chairman of the Western governors to again criticize his federal partners in the deal — even as the Obama administration was talking with the Canada about moving the state-level pact along.
Coverage of last weekend’s western governor’s conference in Whitefish from the Flathead Beacon . . .
Gov. Brian Schweitzer called on Montana’s federal delegation Sunday to support legislation by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, dedicated to restoring the Columbia River Basin, as a way to fund commitments in the agreement between Montana and British Columbia to protect the North Fork from mining and drilling in Canada.
“Don’t be running after the bus, get on the bus and sit beside the driver,” Schweitzer said. “And this bill is the vehicle.”