This is quite a week for the unmatchable Flathead River Valley in Montana. First, ConocoPhillips said it was relinquishing oil and gas leases on 169,000 acres near the Glacier National Park, and now, the Obama administration is backing efforts to preserve nearly 300,000 acres in the valley near the park.
The administration said it supports legislation by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that would ban oil/gas drilling and mining in the area.
Stopping mineral extraction in these remarkably pristine areas is this country’s response to what already has occurred on the Canadian side of the Flathead drainage. British Columbia recently declared its portion off-limits to mining and mineral development. The action was taken two years after Earthjustice and its Canadian counterpart, EcoJustice, jointly petitioned the United Nations to investigate mining activities proposed for the valley.