Park Blasting Decision in Federal Register Notice

By Beacon Staff

WEST GLACIER – Government rejection of a BNSF Railway proposal to allow avalanche control in Glacier National Park by blasting snow with explosives appeared in the Federal Register on Monday.

A document about the National Park Service decision was released in July and the agency’s regional director signed a record of decision in September. The record of decision may not be released to the public before notice in the Federal Register.

BSNF wanted to dislodge snow by blasting it before it could slide onto railroad tracks during avalanches. At times, avalanches have blocked rail traffic on tracks along Glacier’s southern boundary.

The record of decision includes provisions for snow stability testing by BNSF and prohibits explosives except under certain kinds of emergency circumstances.