|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||February 22, 2008|
|Contact:||Will Hammerquist, Northern Rockies Regional Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, 406.885.9455|
National Parks Conservation Association Praises Officials for Protecting Glacier National Park
BP Energy Corporation Withdraws Plans for Coal-Bed Methane Project Due to Public Outcry
Whitefish, MT – The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today praised U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer for their leadership in halting BP Canada’s plans to conduct damaging industrial coalbed methane extraction in the Canadian headwaters of the Flathead River, which would have adversely impacted the water quality and wildlife of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The park spans the border between the U.S. and Canada.
BP CEO Bob Malone told Montana Senator Max Baucus yesterday that they are no longer seeking to obtain permission to drill for coalbed methane due to the extremely sensitive nature of the Flathead Valley, which has the highest density of inland grizzly bears in all of North America.
“Senator Baucus, Senator Tester, and Governor Schweitzer are true champions for our national parks, and their tireless efforts to eliminate this threat to the integrity of Glacier Park have met with success,” said Tom Kiernan, president of NPCA. “They fully understand that Glacier National Park and surrounding wildlands are true international treasures that should not be comprised with industrial fossil fuel extraction.”
“We also compliment the government of British Columbia for their recognition that there are places too special and internationally significant for the type of activity that BP proposed,” Kiernan added. “We encourage Canadian officials to put in place long-term protections that ensure the splendor of Waterton-Glacier Park and the Canadian Flathead for future generations.”
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park hosts over 2.5 million visitors annually and serves as an economic anchor for the regional economy. The parks feature more than 700 miles of hiking trails, and are home to a diverse array of wildlife species.
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its 340,000 members, and many partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come.