Great Falls Tribune: Senators ask Clinton for help to stop gold exploration

U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester on Thursday urged U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help them stop continued gold exploration north of Glacier National Park in Canada.

The Montana Democrats urged Clinton to engage Canada in bilateral talks, with the focus on conducting an environmental assessment of the mining activities before they continue.

In August, Max Resource Corp. brought the area of active exploration in the Flathead Valley to 29 square miles. This week, company officials said that some of those locations are rich in gold, which prompted Baucus and Tester to ask for Clinton’s help.

Active mining threatens the North Fork of the Flathead River, the senators told the secretary of state.

They also called the location of the mining exploration, which is 10 miles from Glacier National Park in Montana, alarming.

“The protection of the Flathead has been a 30-year effort,” the senators told Clinton, according to a news release from their offices. “It is time to begin the next chapter in our efforts to protect this pristine ecosystem, and we need your leadership to help make this happen.”

Baucus and Tester also contacted U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, telling him the two countries need to find a mutual approach “to eliminate this immediate threat and to establish long-term protections for the North Fork of the Flathead.”

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