February 19, 2010
While the Winter Olympic games in Vancouver are giving athletes from all over the world the opportunity to go for the gold, Glacier National Park won a victory too--during an Olympic signing ceremony all its own.
Just yesterday, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell signed an historic agreement in Vancouver, British Columbia that promises to protect the Transboundary Flathead River Valley from all types of mining and oil and gas extraction--FOREVER.
This is great news for Glacier National Park because the wild, unsettled Canadian Flathead valley is just upstream from Glacier and provides critical habitat for Glacier's wildlife--including grizzly bears, wolverines, elk, and mountain goats.
The agreement's signing comes on the heels of several key milestones including: a decision by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to send a fact finding mission to the area to investigate proposed mining operations, a visit to the Flathead River last summer by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and an announcement by Montana Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT) to permanently protect ALL federal lands in the U.S. portion of the valley from future oil and gas extraction.
For more than 35 years, NPCA has worked with conservationists, First Nations, business groups and community leaders on both sides of the border to stop mining in the Flathead Valley. In fact, it was park activists just like you who pushed this effort across the finish line by recently sending more than 50,000 letters and emails to leaders in Canada and the United States asking for change.
So let's all take a moment to celebrate people coming together across international borders, whether to compete in the Olympic games or protect an international ecosystem.
Together, we are making a difference for our national parks.
- Learn more about NPCA's work to prevent mining and fracking in and around our national parks.
- Learn more about NPCA's Northern Rockies Regional Office.
- See a slide show of images taken by the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP)'s Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition designed to bring awareness to Canada's Flathead River Valley to help preserve Glacier National Park.