Mont. rep. to introduce legislation protecting North Fork Flathead

Posted: Apr 3, 2013

Written by

Tristan Scott, Missoulian
North Fork Flathead

U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., on Friday announced plans to “rise above the partisan politics” and introduce legislation that would block industrial development in the North Fork Flathead River drainage on the western boundary of Glacier National Park.

The legislation will serve as a companion bill to the North Fork Watershed Protection Act, which Democratic U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester reintroduced last month.

The Senate bill, which has twice stalled in previous legislative sessions, would furnish permanent protections on more than 400,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service lands, placing them off limits to hard-rock mining, mountaintop-removal coal mining, and oil and gas development.

The legislation also requites a 2010 transboundary agreement between Canada and the U.S. to ban new energy development on the Canadian Flathead, completing U.S. obligations to protect both sides of the Flathead River drainage from energy and mineral development.

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