During a visit to Glacier National Park and the transboundary Flathead River basin today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar expressed “serious concerns about the potential impact of energy development on the park’s water, wildlife, and other resources” and welcomed an upcoming UN monitoring mission “to give us an objective assessment of the possible threats to the park.”
Read the DOI statement here.
Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta make up the world’s first International Peace Park, Waterton-Glacier.
Statement by Jessica Lawrence of Earthjustice:
“We’re pleased that Secretary Salazar is taking upstream mining threats to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park seriously. We’re encouraged to see the Obama administration working with Canada and the international community to find a long-term conservation solution for one of the most important wildlife habitats on the continent.”
In response to action alerts by Earthjustice and others, more than 53,000 concerned citizens wrote to Secretary Salazar in June, urging him to protect Glacier National Park from the impacts of mining and drilling in the Flathead River Valley.
Earthjustice wrote the petition to the UN World Heritage Committee on behalf of eleven conservation groups in Canada and the United States, asking the UN to add Waterton-Glacier to list of “World Heritage In Danger”.
In June, the Committee voted unanimously to urge Canada not to move ahead with mining proposals, and called for scientists from the World Heritage Centre and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to assess threats to the park in a site visit. The visit will take place from September 20 to 26.