Tester, Baucus renew effort to protect Flathead River Basin

More good news, and just a few years ago every day seemed to bring bad news for the North Fork of the Flathead River-

Tester, Baucus renew effort to protect Flathead River Basin. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian.

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British Columbia industrial development ban ends 36-year dispute over Flathead

Controversy began 1n 1974-

Well what a cause for celebration this is!  I can remember I was just starting to explore the wild country as a young man back in 1974 when Sage Creek Coal proposed a big coal mine on Cabin Creek, a tributary to the North Fork of the Flathead.  In 2008 I was standing in this incredible place and pondering how awful the giant coal pit and adjacent coalbed methane wells would be.  I never suspected the B.C. government would side with conservation on this.

B.C’s ban on industrial development in N. Fork Flathead ends a 36-year international struggle. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

Details on Canadian Flathead mining ban short – for now

The devil could be in the details-

Some think the mining ban could have been to cut off growing provincial demands for a park in the area to complement Waterton NP in Alberta and Glacier in the United States.

Details on Canadian Flathead mining ban short – for now. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian.

Earlier on this blog.

Great News! British Columbia says no mining in North Fork Flathead River

After years of controversy, B.C. to ban  mining, energy development in critical headwaters of famed river near Glacier National Park-

I have been worried about this for years, and posted many articles. Every month is seemed a new, massive environmentally destructive scheme was proposed for the North Fork.

Now British Columbia Lt. Gov. Steven Point says the North Fork Flathead River drainage will be off limits to mining and energy extraction in a speech to the B.C.  Parliament. Let’s hope the details don’t have loopholes.

British Columbia declares Canadian North Fork off limits to mining, energy development. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian
New article added on 2-11-2010. British Columbia Bans Mining, Drilling in Flathead River Valley. Environment News Service. This article gives additional information efforts to further protect area, something that was raised in the comments.

Photos (with locations)
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14392571
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14315354
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14422009
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14511373
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14392898
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14393086
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14415878
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15215649
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15216233

One more British Columbia threat to Glacier National Park

Gold deposit discovered on ridge visible from Glacier in the North Fork Flathead River-

First it was coal mining, then coal bed methane, now gold; and all the pollution runs into the United States.

Canadian company claims rich gold find north of Glacier National Park, raising concerns. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian

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Interior chief Salazar visits North Fork of Flathead

Senator Baucus tells Secretry of Interior about the many threats from British Columbia-

The latest threat to the river and Glacier National Park is gold mining.

Interior chief Salazar visits North Fork. Missoulian. By Michael Jamison. BC’s indifference, I think, or at least hope, is mostly an accident of geography because no one lives in the B.C. area just north and northwest of Glacier National Park, and all the water flows into the United States.

UN to consider petition against the planned coal development that will endanger Glacier National Park and Waterton National Park

The massive Foisey Creek coal development in B.C. (the Lodgepole coal pit and 2000 coal bed methane wells) is becoming an international issue.

UN to hear petition. The Globe and Mail. By Mark Hume.

Earlier in this blog.

5/15/09. North Fork Flathead plight in U.N. spotlight
9/5/08. Another coal mine planned near the upper Flathead River?
6/9/08. Obama opposes B.C. coal mine near Glacier National Park
3/1/08. Bordering on Catastrophe (more on plans to industrialize the area near Glacier NP)
2/19/08. Montana leaders to get update on Canadian energy plans just north of the border
5/24/2007. Huge B.C. coal mine that would drain into Montana gets attention from Condoleeza Rice
What a coal pit mine in the Canadian Rockies looks like. This is about 20 miles NE near Sparwood, B. C.

foisey-ridge

Foisey Ridge, British Columbia. The mountain would be turned into a pit with thousands of “step out” coal bed methane wells and associated roads. The North Fork of the Flathead River rises on this ridge. You can see dust from a big logging operation on the left (clearing off the mountain for mining?). Photo taken by copyright © Ralph Maughan. Oct. 2008.
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Another coal mine planned near the upper Flathead River?

Flathead Basin Commission hears of new coal mine. By Heidi Desch. Hungry Horse News.

Link to North Fork Landowners’ Association. Photos and new information about mining in the headwaters of the Flathead.

– – – – –

Montana folks and politicians are very nervous about all this planned heavy activity (huge mountain removing mines) in and near the headwaters of the Flathead River in Canada. It could be very damaging to Glacier National Park and the Flathead River. This nearly pristine river does not reach a populated area until Montana.

It’s the open-pit Lodgepole Mine that is most controversial. The mine would be surrounded by 2000 !! coalbed methane wells in full field development.

Once it gets into the United States, bad mine pollution could damage hundreds of miles of streams and lakes in Montana and, further downstream, Idaho.

If anyone wants to see how generally rugged this country is, find Elko, BC on Google Earth, the go east to the top of Lodgepole Creek. The Logdepole Mine would be between Foisey Creek and McLatchie Creek. The mine appears to be on Elk River/Flathead boundary (divide), but the subsurface drainage is hardly worked out.

The Elk River runs into Lake Koocanusa, a long reservoir on the Kootenai (or Kootenay) River in B.C. and Montana.

I’ve been doing some research. Those interested will want to look at these maps. Maps of the transboundary Flathead.

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Bordering on Catastrophe (more on plans to industrialize the area near Glacier NP)

British Petroleum has withdrawn their plans for massive industrialization of the area across the border, but adjacent to Glacier National Park, but B.P. other companies and the British Columbia government have lots of other awful plans for this general area.

Bordering on Catastrophe. Montana’s opposition helped kill a Canadian mining plan last week. But has the real war just begun? By Gordon Sullivan. Missoula Independent.

Link to the North Fork Landowners Association. Much more information on the fight over the Canadian Flathead River area.

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British Petroleum’s plans for thousands of coal bed methane wells near Glacier NP are dropped

This is great news! BP drops Flathead coal-bed plan. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian.

I recently did a story on the grave threat of these wells to the water, air and land in British Columbia just NW of Glacier National Park.

The plans for the huge mountaintop coal mine (the Cline Mine) remain, however.

Here is the most extensive article. BP Drops Coal-Bed Methane Exploration Project North of Glacier Park. Flathead Beacon. By Dan Testa.