Conservationists have struck a $4 million deal with a progressive Canadian timber company, Tembec Inc., to protect land just west of the Glacier National Park/Waterton Lakes National Park complex.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is buying 3,800
acres of Elk River riparian habitat outright; purchasing a
conservation easement on another 7,400 acres; and obtaining a
guarantee that Tembec won’t subdivide 86,000 acres for 10
years, while its long-term status is negotiated.
puts the timber company on a collision course with the coalbed
methane industry. Even as the deal came together, ChevronTexaco
Corp. was drilling three test wells on the land, in anticipation of
turning it into a vast field of wellheads, roads, pipelines and
"We bought this land to grow trees on, and
we are concerned by any development that would disrupt the
productivity of the ecosystem," says Dennis Rounsville, a Tembec
The provincial government, which encourages
gas development, owns the mineral rights, and plans to auction
drilling rights to more of the land in April (HCN, 10/8/01: Whoa!
Canada!). The conservancy "will be another player at the table,"
negotiating to soften impacts, Rounsville says. If negotiations get
hung up, the government has the power to dictate how development