Glacier National Park at risk of logging, road-building – Environment Montana exposes bills moving in U.S. House of Reps

Media Contacts
John Rumpler

Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney, Environment America

Environment Montana

Missoula, Montana— Environment Montana released a new report today revealing that pristine areas in Glacier National Park could be at risk of logging and road-building if bills moving through the House of Representatives are signed into law.  The report, “Trashing our Treasures: Congressional Assault on the Best of America,” exposes a startling trend of legislative attacks on our nation’s treasured places, like Glacier.

“Glacier National Park is one of Montana’s greatest treasures— from its ancient cedar forests to its deep alpine meadows and crystal clear waterways, Glacier is home to grizzly bears, bald eagles, mountain lions and wolverines, and draws more than 2 million visitors every year.” said Nancy Pyne, Preservation Advocate of Environment Montana. “Yet Representative Rehberg and other members of Congress seem bent on trashing our treasures, and have launched an assault on the best of Montana.”

The Environment Montana report analyzes the effects various bills moving through the U.S. House of Representatives would have on Glacier National Park and more than a dozen treasured places across the country. Like Glacier, these beloved state and national landmarks provide clean water, improve air quality and support critical wildlife habitat, and drive recreation and tourism. Nevertheless, Representative Dennis Rehberg supports all three bills that put the park at risk.

The Roadless Release Act and the Wilderness Development Act would allow road-building and logging in the most pristine areas within and surrounding Glacier National Park. In addition, the lands package H.R. 2578 would waive more than a dozen environmental laws within 100 miles of Montana’s border—allowing vehicles, road and fence construction, and tree removal in wilderness areas within Glacier National Park, including Marshall Wilderness – as well as gut conservation programs associated with grazing on federal lands.

“Imagine this- you go to Glacier to experience the solitude of wilderness only to find that acres of forest have been clear cut. Or perhaps you’re hiking one of the remote trails deep in the park and are startled to look up and see trucks rumbling by,” remarked Pyne. “The Roadless Release and Wilderness Development Acts would allow road-building and logging in the most pristine and sensitive areas in and around Glacier National Park, even though Congress granted extra protections to Glacier’s wilderness and roadless areas decades ago.”

 “More than 2 million people come to Glacier National Park every year to marvel at the scenery, hike, camp, ski, and experience the 1,000 species of fish and wildlife that that make Glacier their home,” said Environment Montana’s Kate Dylewsky. “It is astounding that members of Congress, including Montana’s own Denny Rehberg, would risk losing all of this by opening the most sensitive areas of Glacier to road-building and logging.”

“Consider this: the jagged peaks and pristine waterways in Glacier National Park were carved by glaciers thousands of years ago, and for decades Congress has protected them, but this year members of Congress want to risk destroying our state treasure by allowing road-building and logging,” concluded Pyne. “Montanans need to say enough is enough. We call on our elected officials to reject these bills and make sure that visitors can continue to enjoy Glacier’s pristine beauty for generations to come.”

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Environment Montana is a state-based, citizen funded environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open space.