Many of you already got an email from the National Parks Conservation Association announcing the opening of the “Protect Glacier” website. For those who haven’t seen the big announcement yet, here it is:
More than 30 years ago, fans of Glacier National Park were alarmed to learn of Canadian coal mining plans that would tear down entire mountains along the park’s northwestern border.
Today, after decades of international negotiation and diplomacy, those plans finally have been scuttled, with Canada pledging to protect the park’s world-class waterways from upstream mining. Today the United States is working to do the same.
Even as major energy companies (including Chevron, BP, Exxon and ConocoPhillips) volunteer to retire their mining and drilling leases on Glacier’s western fringe, lawmakers struggle to pass protective measures prohibiting future mining of public lands in the North Fork Flathead River drainage.
That’s why a coalition of concerned citizens and Glacier Park lovers — with help from the National Parks Conservation Association — has brought this historic issue into the dot.com future, with a website and clearing house dedicated to resolving land-use conflicts in the transboundary Flathead.
ProtectGlacier.com went live this week, a virtual world where visitors can explore maps and photographs from the Flathead, can learn about what’s at stake and flipthrough years of reports and research. They can read the latest park news, Tweet and re-Tweet and link to Facebook, and they can listen to what people are saying about the North Fork Watershed Protection Act. That legislation (S.233) has been introduced by Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, and would withdraw public lands adjacent to the park from future drilling – just as the Canadians have done on their side of the border.
Online visitors to the site can sign a ProtectGlacier.com letter of support of the legislation, adding their voices to the thousands who already have spoken up on behalf of America’s finest alpine park.
This Website represents the future – our future, Glacier Park’s future – but it’s also just the latest chapter in a very old story, a story that Glacier’s advocates have been helping to write for decades. This is, in fact, how history gets written. So pick up that keyboard, and be sure to add a few lines of your own at ProtectGlacier.com.
Further reading: The National Parks Traveler website also has a good article about the ProtectGlacier.com site.