Senators reintroduce Flathead protection bill
Montana's two U.S. senators have reintroduced legislation to prevent mining and oil and gas drilling on the North Fork of the Flathead River.
The bill by Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester would fulfill a U.S.-Canada agreement to protect the Flathead River drainage from development on both sides of the border.
The Missoulian reports (http://bit.ly/VL8AU8 ) the North Fork Watershed Protection Act has stalled twice before in Congress. It calls for a ban on new energy and mineral development but it would not affect timber production, hunting or fishing.
The senators already have persuaded oil and gas companies to voluntarily retire leases on more than 200,000 acres, or about 80 percent of the total leased acreage in the area west of Glacier National Park.
They reintroduced the bill on Thursday.