In a recent article in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman, Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice says that Americans have raised the issue of future development in the Flathead to UNESCO as well as the proposed national park. It appears there is some confusion about where the concerns surrounding the future of the Flathead are coming from, and exactly what those concerns are.
The fact of the matter is that it is not “the Americans” who have brought this issue to UNESCO, it is a coalition of eleven leading environmental organisations, 8 of them Canadian, that have petitioned the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to designate the Waterton-Glacier World Heritage site as “In Danger.”
Our concerns are that British Columbia’s land use plans prioritize mining and energy development in the headwaters of a World Heritage river. Our petition makes no mention of the proposed national park expansion.
I grew up in the East Kootenay and I am not an American. I will be attending the World Heritage Committee meetings in Seville Spain from June 22nd to 30th as the Canadian representative of the eleven environmental groups who have submitted this petition.
You can find more information on the petition and follow this story as it develops at www.savewatertonglacier.com