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Glacier loosens boating restrictions under Zinke directive

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KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) – 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 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.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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