- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on boating restrictions at Glacier National Park that are meant to protect against the spread of invasive mussels. (all times local):

5 p.m.

A spokeswoman says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has canceled plans by Glacier National Park to ease restrictions on the use of motorized boats from outside the park.

Boating has been restricted at Glacier since invasive mussels were found last fall in a Montana reservoir about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said Tuesday that the park had mistakenly moved to ease restrictions for all boats after Zinke urged lifting them for the boats of private landowners within the park’s boundaries.

After Swift spoke, Glacier issued a press release retracting its Monday announcement that restrictions would be eased on all boats in coming weeks.

The release said the original announcement had been premature.

Conservationists had criticized the park’s move to open its waters as risky.


9:45 a.m.

Glacier National Park officials, under pressure from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, have loosened boating restrictions enacted when invasive mussels were found in Montana reservoir about 100 miles from the park.

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift tells the Flathead Beacon (bit.ly/2t0BYMK) that Zinke spoke to park officials in March about allowing landowners within park boundaries - whose boats never leave the park - to be able to use park waters. She said Zinke did not talk about allowing other motorized boats.

The park said Monday it had begun allowing landowners around Lake McDonald to launch motorized boats and that it would soon announce an inspection and quarantine procedure that would allow other motorized boats in the park.

The Beacon learned about the pressure from Zinke after obtaining an internal memo circulated among National Park Service employees.

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