WEST GLACIER, Mont. - A petition is gaining momentum against Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the new concessionaire at Glacier National Park. Petitioners claim Xanterra's owner, Phillip Anschutz is engaged in oil fracking on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation located right next to Glacier.
The petition "Glacier Park: Don't Give Concessions Contract to Billionare Fracking Just Outside the Park" on moveon.org has over 5500 signatures so far. Bob Brigham of Helena wrote the petition in March. He claims the fracking done by Anschutz Exploration Corporation is a direct threat to Glacier National Park. In mid-March, Anschutz officials made a business decision and released a statement to cease any oil and gas exploration on the reservation.
Glacier National Park stands behind their decision to pick Xanterra. Officials tell NBC Montana there was no legal basis to exclude them from this contract. Brigham feels his petition still holds water though - we're told Congress has a 60 day period to review the contract.
"I think Montana's congressional delegation will look at the overwhelming support on the petition, will see the absurdity of awarding this contract," said Brigham. "And just like its happened time and time again before, people will rally to save Glacier National Park."
We reached out to Xanterra for comment but they have not responded to our request. Xanterra replaces Glacier Park, Inc. who served as the park's concessionaire since 1981.