Frequently Asked Questions

Protecting Glacier | Read the Bill | Maps

When was Glacier National Park established, and how big is it?

Protecting more than one million acres of public lands in northwest Montana, Glacier National Park is a crown jewel of the National Park System. Established in 1910 “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States,” Glacier’s sculpted peaks, mountain valleys and clean waters are enjoyed by over two million people each year, and provide crucial habitat for threatened species including the grizzly bear, bull trout and Canada lynx.

What makes this area so special?

Glacier forms the core of the 18 million-acre Crown of the Continent region, one of North America’s largest and most intact ecosystems. At the heart of this ecosystem is the North Fork Flathead River Valley, which has the greatest density and diversity of carnivores in the Rocky Mountains. The exceptional natural values of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park are of global significance — National Geographic magazine deemed it “one of the most diverse and ecologically intact natural ecosystems in the temperate zones of the world.” And, in 1995 Waterton-Glacier was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in recognition of the peace park’s unique geology, abundant and diverse plant and animal communities, and glacial landscapes.

What is an International Peace Park?

In 1932, acts of the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament designated Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, as Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park — the world’s first international peace park. This relationship of peace and goodwill has served as a source of inspiration for nations around the world, and today there are more than 100 international peace parks on five continents.

What is the United States government doing to protect Glacier?

February 7, 2013, Montana Senators Max Baucus & Jon Tester re-introduced the North Fork Watershed Protection Act (Senate Bill 255). The bill would place more than 400,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service lands adjacent to Glacier National Park off limits to hard rock mining, and to oil and gas, and geothermal leasing — protecting an area larger than Sequoia National Park.

If signed into law, what would Senate Bill 255 protect?

• Important wildlife habitat, including corridors that allow Glacier’s iconic wildlife and big game to move throughout the region.

• The drinking water supply of scenic Whitefish, Montana (pop. 10,000).

• Public lands leased to Whitefish Mountain Resort (one of North America’s premier ski destinations).

• More than 100 miles of congressionally designated Wild & Scenic River upstream from Flathead Lake, the West’s largest and cleanest freshwater lake.

How do these efforts impact local communities?

S. 255 enjoys overwhelming support locally, and it will positively impact local economies: Each year visitors to Glacier spend nearly $150 million in gateway communities, supporting 2,000 jobs.

What does S. 255 cost?

Nothing. The simple piece of legislation is only 190 words in length, and costs taxpayers nothing.  In fact, it has the backing of six major energy companies.

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News / Events
  • North Fork Protection Act Passes U.S. House


  • North Fork Watershed Protection Act Passes U.S. House

  • Baucus Doubles Down on Passing North Fork Bill Before Term Ends