The North Fork Watershed Protection Act, a bill that would prevent mining, oil and gas exploration along the North Fork of the Flathead River just stalled in the Senate.* This is nothing new. Though Congressman Pat Williams and Senators Baucus, Melcher, Burns, and Tester have all tried to pass legislation designating new wilderness areas in Montana, it's been over 30 years since Congress has done so.
That's why I will introduce the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) if I am elected to the U.S. Senate.
Sign the petition to stand with me now and show your support of NREPA >>
While Congress has been debating wilderness in Montana for three decades, the Northern Rockies have not stood still. Lynx and bull trout have been listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and critical habitat has been designated for them. As a result, litigation over timber sales has increased.
NREPA addresses these tensions while dealing with habitat protection scientifically. It isn't just about Montana. NREPA acknowledges the ecosystem boundaries, not state lines, of the Northern Rockies, and consists of roadless areas in five states, including Montana. It does not affect private land.
NREPA serves, of course, to protect habitat for hunting, fishing, and protects the sectors of our economy that depend on the health of our natural environment. But it's bigger than that.
NREPA is the first ecosystem-protection act, hopefully to be followed by many others worldwide. Yellowstone was the first national park, followed by thousands more. This bill will be that spark that leads to ecosystem-based management schemes everywhere.
Native species live by ecosystem boundaries, not state lines. They need the connecting corridors that link smaller core ecosystems such as Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and the wilderness areas of central Idaho to keep these species from going extinct.
NREPA will codify the Clinton roadless rule and help slow climate change by protecting forests that absorb and store carbon. It will put people to work restoring old clearcuts and cleaning up silt filled streams. NREPA will protect the clean water and will move Montana forward from the endless debate about where we can log and where we cannot, as passing it also will give loggers certainty about where logging is admissible, thus enabling them to plan.
Join me now to stand up for NREPA.