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In an earlier diary (Fracking and Glacier National Park), I reported that:

One of the companies looking at bidding on the concession for Glacier National Park is Xanterra, which currently holds the concession for Yellowstone National Park. Xanterra is owned by Philip Frederick Anshutz who made his fortunes in oil, railroads, telecom, and entertainment. Anshutz purchased Xanterra in 2008.

A news story by Tristan Scott in the Missoulian now reports:

An online petition opposing a hospitality company’s interest in managing Glacier National Park’s concessions contract gained momentum this week when a state senator publicly endorsed the entreaty, and spoke out against the company’s ties to a controversial energy exploration operation on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, adjacent to the park’s eastern boundary.

The recent deadline extension for prospective bidders vying for the park’s largest concessions contract prompted state Sen. Shannon Augare of Browning to write his constituents and encourage them to support the petition.

The petition through signon.org currently has 4,447 signatures. The petition states:
Xanterra Parks and Resorts Inc. is bidding to operate all concessions in Glacier National Park for 16 years.

They are owned by one of the wealthiest billionaires in the nation, Philip Frederick Anschutz.

His Anschutz Exploration Corp. is currently drilling exploratory wells to frack the Blackfeet Reservation immediately east of Glacier National Park.

Fracking is one of the greatest threats facing Glacier National Park.

It is unconscionable that the National Park Service would give such a coveted contract Phil Anschutz.

In supporting the petition, Augare writes:
“I am honored to represent the Blackfeet Indian Nation and Glacier National Park in the Montana Legislature. I have been closely following the attempt of billionaire Phil Anschutz trying to win the Glacier concessions contract – for the next 16 years – while he is fracking just outside the park on my community. I have good news. Today was supposed to be the deadline for bids to be submitted. But the National Park Service extended the deadline until April 16, giving us one more month to organize opposition.”

Originally posted to National Parks and Wildlife Refuges on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Native American Netroots, and Public Lands.

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