NATIONAL PARKS -- An alliance of veteran superintendents from Glacier and Waterton Lakes national parks has written a letter encouraging swift government action on a public lands bill to protect the parks.
The joint public letter, signed by six former Glacier superintendents and two former superintendents of Waterton Lakes, comes in the final days of Glacier's centennial year, and as Congress considers a bipartisan omnibus bill aimed at protecting the country's land, water and wildlife resources.
The legislation, called America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010, encompasses more than 110 individual bills and includes several key protection measures for both Glacier and Waterton Lakes.
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In their letter, the former superintendents endorse a long-standing proposal for Canada to expand the boundaries of Waterton Lakes National Park westward into one-third of the British Columbian Flathead.
They also call on Canada to establish a wildlife management area connecting Waterton-Glacier to other Canadian Rocky Mountain parks, including Banff.
The former superintendents applauded recent historic steps by both countries to prohibit coal strip-mines, hard-rock mining, and oil and gas leases on public lands upstream from Waterton-Glacier.
However, legislation to secure the mining and drilling ban has yet to become law in the United States, and the superintendents urged prompt action on that front.