LETTER: Dust Pollutes Glacier Park

By Beacon Staff

In a recent article titled “Focusing on the Flathead River” (Aug. 14 Beacon) Glacier National Park’s North Fork District Ranger Scott Emmerich all but admitted that the park wants to keep the North Fork Road as dusty and unpleasant to drive as possible —because it will reduce the number of people who want to access the northwest corner of the park — a park that the former superintendent tried hard to turn into an official wilderness area. He argued that any improvements to the road would only make it easier for people to come.

I have exposed and criticized the park’s admitted failure to aggressively monitor the threats that the dust coming off that road poses to the air and water quality.

Finding out the facts regarding pollution caused by the dust coming off that road apparently would be counter productive to their plan to make it as unpleasant as possible to drive.

Green organizations like the National Parks Conservation Association that raise money by telling people that the biggest threats to parks like Glacier is air and water pollution say nothing because they apparently would rather expand the wilderness to the peak of the Whitefish range than really find out the damage being caused to air and water quality in Glacier by dust. How hypocritical.

In that article a park spokesperson said that they had secured a grant last year that is designed to “minimize visitors’ impacts on the environments.”

First off, if they started to aggressively monitor the threats to the air and water quality on the western boundary of the park they could figure out how to reduce their own impact to the environment.

Secondly, if they really don’t want people to come to Glacier they could stop spending millions of dollars in ads across the country that encourage people to come.

Joe Novak

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