Missoulian: Agreement to protect North Fork of Flathead from gold, coal mining finalized

The deal to protect the North Fork of the Flathead from mining and energy exploration got final approval on Tuesday at a gathering in Washington, D.C., with Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer.

In addition to confirming that The Nature Conservancy and Nature Conservancy of Canada will contribute $9.4 million to reimburse mining company expenses, the gathering also announced plans for Canadian legislation to permanently protect the area.

British Columbia government representatives pledged to enact new mineral and coal land reserve regulations, a Southern Rocky Mountain Management Plan, and other guidelines that restrict mining and energy development in the Flathead watershed.

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