The passage of the North Fork Watershed Preservation Act today failed to garner the needed support in the U.S. Senate as a handful of Republicans prevented it from coming to the floor for a vote. The measure, cosponsored by Senators John Walsh and Jon Tester, passed unanimously out of both the Senate Environment and Natural Resource Committee and the House of Representatives.
"The North Fork Watershed Preservation Act was built by Montanans and is supported by conservation groups, business leaders, and local officials, but two senators who have never seen the Crown of the Continent are holding it up," Walsh said. "This is exactly what is wrong with Washington, DC, and I invite my colleagues who objected to the bill to float the North Fork this spring and see why this bill is so important. Our work to protect the North Fork doesn't end today and our fight to do what's right for Montanans will continue."
The North Fork of the Flathead River borders Glacier National Park, which brings in about 2 million visitors to the Flathead Valley each year and is estimated to create 2,750 jobs and generate $170 million for the local economy.
The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last month.