Canadian Conservation Win! British Columbia Government Bans Mining in the Flathead


Big conservation news came out of Canada this week as the British Columbia government announced a ban on oil and gas development in the Flathead River Basin. The Flathead River Basin is home to one of North America’s wildest valleys, with pristine waterways and diverse wildlife.

The British Columbia government is promising to partner with Montana to “sustain the environmental values … in a manner consistent with current forestry, recreation, guide outfitting and trapping uses.”

Located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, the Flathead River Basin adjoins the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in 2008 conservation groups petitioned the United Nations to investigate proposed mining and drilling projects in the headwaters of the Flathead River and the effect they would have on the area’s ecological health. This time, conservation efforts won over those of the energy industry, giving another breath of fresh air to our movement.

The Conservation Alliance funded the Sierra Club of BC for their Flathead Valley Campaign. Although this ban is an important win, the ultimate goal adds two additional pieces: establishing a new National Park and a Wildlife Management Area for the valley, ensuring that it has the same level of protection as its neighbor to the south, Waterton-Glacier International Park. We’re happy to have supported this effort!

Want to see just what we're working to protect? Check out the trailer to Flathead Wild, a film produced by Epicocity Project as they follow the International League of Conservation Photographers in a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition documenting the area with compelling photography to support conservation efforts.

Flathead Wild Trailer from Epicocity Project on Vimeo.