Protecting one of North America’s Wildest Valleys—The Flathead. Video.

Via Emily Nuchols
on Jan 19, 2010
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  • © Garth Lenz, iLCP Flathead RAVE
  • © Garth Lenz, iLCP

    If you’ve ever set foot in the Flathead River Valley, you can feel confident in saying it is one of the world’s most beautiful wild places. With miles of pristine, free-flowing river, abundant wildlife and rugged peaks as far as the eye can see, this contiguous block of wilderness is impressive to say the least. But proposed mountaintop removal mining in southeastern British Columbia, Canada is threatening the headwaters of one of America’s most endangered rivers and one of North America’s wildest remaining valley.

    A new film from the Epicocity Project, called Flathead WILD, follows the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) as they descended on the Flathead River Valley for a R.A.V.E. — a rapid assessment visual expedition. Along with local conservation groups, they captured breathtaking and iconic images of the threatened ecosystem. iLCP is now using these images to act as tools for the Flathead Wild coalition to help tip the scales in favor of protection and conservation.

    “We need strong, credible images to give a voice to places that cannot speak for themselves,” said Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP’s executive director. “It’s so easy for mining companies to claim that there’s nothing in the Flathead — so we used our cameras to show how much there is to be lost. Images are irrefutable evidence of the beauty of our planet and the critical resources we can’t afford to lose.”

  • © Joe Riis, iLCP Flathead RAVE
  • © Joe Riis, iLCP

    The Flathead Valley is comprised of nearly 400,000 acres of wilderness located in southeastern British Columbia, straddling the Canada/U.S. border. Home to the most grizzly bears per acre of anywhere in the interior of North America and the pristine Flathead River, the Flathead Valley is the only unsettled, low-elevation valley of its kind in Western Canada.

    “Change is inevitable, but we have the opportunity here to protect an irreplaceable wildland and natural resource. If we let the Flathead fall to mining pressures — we will never be able to bring it back,” said Ryland Nelson, the Southern Rockies program coordinator of Wildsight. “With a free-flowing, pristine river and the highest concentration of inland grizzlies in North America, the Flathead Valley is one of the most biologically important places on earth — we have to act now for our environment, wildlife and present and future generations.”

    Learn more about the Flathead WILD campaign and take action HERE. See below for a small gallery of iLCP Flathead RAVE photos. All photos © iLCP.


    About Emily Nuchols

    An eco warrior obsessed with traveling and promoting conservation, Emily is the co-founder of Under Solen Media and the team's go-to girl for everything non-profit and environment related. Armed with a B.A in Environmental Journalism from Western Washington University, she has spent the last few years on the frontlines of conservation efforts, working to save Pacific Northwest wild salmon and restore flee-flowing rivers. When she’s not talking or writing about the environment, she’s out exploring it, and is known to seek out places where she can get in a good morning yoga session or trail run.


    2 Responses to “Protecting one of North America’s Wildest Valleys—The Flathead. Video.”

    1. Greg says:

      Thanks for posting. This is a very important story.

      While I though Copenhagen was absolute nonsense and a total waste of money, time, and energy, this issue and ones like it are important.

      Has anyone set up a proper public conversation (hearings) on the matter. There are some excellent mediators in Boulder who have worked on major natural resources negotiations. Wonder if you can get them involved in planning for an honest process of evaluation, negotiation, and decision-making.

    2. […] Last month, I wrote about mountaintop removal mining threatening one of North America’s wildes… and the passionate coalition of conservation groups working to protect the Flathead. And yesterday, those conservation groups WON! […]