Welcome to NFNews
NFNews is an independent newsite with the goal of providing everyone who loves the North Fork with information that they can use to make their time in paradise more enjoyable and productive. Explore the website and let us know what you think using firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted May 19, 2013 - Where is the NFNews Team? We're in Rome and getting ready to go for a walk in the Villa Borghese park.
NFLA hall cleanup day
Reposted May 19, 2013 - On May 25th, come help your neighbors get Sondreson Hall into shape for the summer season. This annual event starts at 10AM. A light lunch and drinks will be served. Volunteer workers please bring cleaning supplies. The host for this NFLA event is Karen McDonough.
Whitefish Mountain Resort doubling its bike trails
Posted May 19, 2013 - News is really slow today, but here's a story from the Missoulian that reports The number of mountain bike trail miles at Whitefish Mountain Resort is slated to double this summer as crews commence work on five new single-track routes, tacking on an additional five miles to Big Mountain’s downhill network. Resort managers said they are optimistic that the trails will be ready to ride by mid-summer, weather permitting.
Evergreen Vann’s store closing next month
Posted May 18, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that though Vann’s electronics and appliances has been hunting for a new location since April — when it lost its lease for the Evergreen store — location manager Heath Childree said he has been unable to find a suitable spot in the area. So Vann’s has decided to leave the Flathead Valley market — but possibly only temporarily.
Sun Road open to hikers, bikers all weekend
Posted May 18, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that the weekends are wide open for bicyclists and hikers on closed portions of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
Park project nears the end of the road
Posted May 17, 2013 - Jim Mann of the Daily Inter Lake reports that the concessioners operating in Glacier National Park work under contract to provide visitor services, including lodging, food service, retail shops, tours, transportation, horseback riding, guided day hikes and backpacking trips, boat tours and small boat rentals.
Glacier National Park 2013 concessioner schedules
Posted May 17, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that After more than six years of costly, innovative and challenging work, Glacier National Park is closing in on the conclusion of a comprehensive rehabilitation project on Going-to-the-Sun Road. It’s a project of such magnitude that its planning stretches back to the late 1990s, when a citizens advisory committee was appointed by the Secretary of Interior to figure out how to save the historic alpine highway that was showing obvious signs of wear.
Posted May 16, 2013 - A coronal mass ejection (CME) hurled into space by the X1-flare of May 15th might deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on May 17th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives. North Fork sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
Flood warning has been lifted
Posted May 16, 2013 - NOAA has removed the flood watch, but there was apparently some flooding around the Hostel. Here's a report from Debo Powers... The river reached its high point on Tuesday and has gone back down—for now. On Monday evening when I got back from the Whitefish Range Partnership meeting, I drove down to Oliver’s. I didn’t drive in because the river was across the road and around the hostel. I don’t believe that the water got in the hostel, just the lawn. The warm temperatures and dry weather have caused the snow to melt rapidly. Plus, we finally got some rain on Monday and quite a bit during Monday night. More rain is predicted this week. It has been unbelievably hot and dry, so the clouds and rain are a welcome relief!
For the latest prediction about the North Fork river at Polebridge, see ... www.wrh.noaa.gov/mso/hydrology/composites.php.
Flathead Forest Friday Focus: Forest Plan Revision
Posted May 16, 2013 - The public is invited to spend a Flathead Forest Friday breakfast with Flathead National Forest Planning Staff Officer Rob Carlin and Interim Forest Plan Revision Team Leader Joe Krueger at the Perkins Restaurant (1390 U.S. 2, Evergreen, Montana) starting at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, May 17, 2013. This is an opportunity to hear from the planners on the multi-year Forest Plan Revision effort on the forest and to provide feedback in a casual setting.
Glacier hosts two meetings
Posted May 16, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that Glacier National Park is hosting two community meetings next week to share information about park activities and encourage discussions between park managers and community members and neighbors. A west-side meeting will be Wednesday, May 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Teakettle Community Hall in Columbia Falls. An east-side meeting will be Thursday, May 23, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier. Following presentations by Acting Superintendent Kym Hall and other park managers, there will be a question-and-answer period and opportunity for informal conversations. Hall will give updates on 2013 park programs, including Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation, spring plowing, sequestration impacts, the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Management Plan, Dark Skies Initiative, and aquatic invasive species management. Community members are encouraged to attend and learn more about what’s happening at the park.
Here's the official announcement from the Park.
North Fork dust could be worse
Posted May 16, 2013 - Larry's column this week in the Hungry Horse News has some good advice about the North Fork road.
Chief Mtn. border crossing to open soon
Posted May 16, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced May 13 that the Port of Chief Mountain will re-open for the 2013 season on Wednesday, May 15, at 9 a.m. The U.S. to Canada border crossing is located on Highway 17 in Glacier County and is a convenient route connecting travelers to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in Alberta from Glacier National Park in Montana. Hours of operation (Mountain Daylight Time) are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for May 15 through May 31; from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for June 1 through Sept. 2; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Sept. 3 through 30.
2013 NFLA Spring Newsletter now available
Posted May 13, 2013 - The NFLA's 2013 spring newsletter is available on line. This year's newsletter contains information about summer activities and announcements about the NFLA as well as the calendar and signup form. Click here to get to the newsletter page on this website.
First attempted hike
Posted May 12, 2013 - Debo Powers reports that the North Fork Hiking Team tried to hike to Cyclone on Saturday, May 11. Several miles up the road to Cyclone, the road was impassable due to snow. We hiked about a mile further up the road before the snow was too deep and soft and we were “post-holing” with every step. A large bear had left post-holes in the snow ahead of us. Because the post-holing was hard, slow work and had ceased to be fun, we turned back. Hiking to Cyclone will have to wait another week or so.
FWP gives initial approval to expanding wolf hunt
Posted May 11, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that state wildlife commissioners are taking public comment on a proposal to lengthen the hunting season for wolves and increase the bag limit from one to five. The Fish, Wildlife and Parks commission gave tentative approval to the plan on Thursday, putting it out for public comment before a final decision is made at a later date. FWP is proposing a rifle season from Sept 15 to March 31, compared to the recently ended Oct. 15 to Feb. 15 season.
More roads open in Glacier Park
Posted May 11, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that more roads have opened to motor vehicles in Glacier National Park, and snowplow crews on the Going-to-the-Sun Road are getting closer to Logan Pass. West side Park plow crews are now beyond Big Bend on the Sun Road, about three miles from Logan Pass. On the east side, plows are at Siyeh Bend, and the Sun Road is now open to motor vehicles as far as Jackson Glacier Overlook.
Glacier Park’s iconic mountain goats
Posted May 11, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that professional photographer Sumio Harada will show a documentary about Glacier National Park mountain goats filmed by a Japanese broadcasting station at Montana House, in Apgar, on Saturday, May 25, with presentations at 1 and 3 p.m. The documentary aired in 2012 and has only been shown in Japan. Harada will translate the Japanese narration when necessary and will show some of his newest mountain goat photographs.
Feds release post-delisting plan for grizzlies
Posted May 10, 2013 - Dillon Tabish of the Flathead Beacon reports that a draft management plan for delisted grizzly bears in western Montana has been released for public comment, signaling the latest step toward a possible milestone in wildlife conservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on May 3 published a proposed conservation strategy in the event the grizzly population in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) is removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The 148-page document, which was developed by state, federal and tribal wildlife managers and scientists to handle the region’s growing number of bears, is open to public comment until Aug. 1. The NCDE extends south from the Canadian border through the Flathead and Mission valleys to the Blackfoot River basin near Missoula and includes Glacier National Park. The new plan does not propose delisting grizzlies, which remain protected as a “threatened” species; rather it sets the stage for interagency management if the population is delisted in the future.
Busy North Fork social calendar scaled back
Posted May 9, 2013 - Larry's column this week in the Hungry Horse News announces that the NFLA newsletter has been mailed out. Enjoy. Read the full column here.
Local rivers rising
Posted May 9, 2013 - Jim Mann of the Daily Inter Lake reports that recent warm weather is expected to continue into mid-May and cause Northwest Montana rivers and streams to rise over the next couple of weeks. “This warmth that will go into mid-May or even further ... it’s just causing a lot of rivers and streams to rise very rapidly,” said Dan Zumpfe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula. “We’re watching these rivers very closely to show signs that they exceed action stage.” The North Fork Flathead River at the Canadian border also is expected to reach action stage by this weekend, and the main stem Flathead River at Columbia Falls is expected to reach action stage by early next week.
Activists say wolf-killer is baiting the animals
Posted May 9, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that a big game outfitter who shot and killed a collared wolf from Yellowstone National Park is intentionally luring the animals by leaving dead sheep carcasses in a pile, leaders of a wolf advocacy group said. "Make no mistake about that, it's definitely intentional baiting," Marc Cooke, president of Wolves of the Rockies, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Glacier Park news
Posted May 9, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News has a list of Park activities.
Wet, cool April slowed snowpack melt
Posted May 8, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman reports that the dramatic change from the warm and dry weather during the latter half of March to cool wet weather in April slowed snow melt in the mountains and even added snowpack in places. Across Montana, all but one major basin gained snowpack. According to NRCS data, statewide snowpack rose 14 percent from April 1 to May 1. Overall, the increased snowfall during April helped streamflow prospects, increasing from 2 to 21 percent. Late April into May is typically the time when snowmelt and streamflows peak in Northwest Montana.
Future fisheries improvement program grant deadline nears
Posted May 7, 2013 - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds landowners, watershed groups, and others that this summer's deadline to apply for Future Fisheries Improvement Program grants is May 31. FWP's fish habitat improvement program provides funding to any entity with a good habitat project that would benefit Montana’s wild fish. To learn more about the Future Fisheries Improvement Program, and to download the grant application form, go to the Fishing page on FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov, or call FWP at 406-444-2432. The deadline for the summer's funding cycle is May 31. Send completed Future Fisheries Improvement Program applications to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Fisheries Habitat Bureau; P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.
Protections for wolverines draw states' opposition
Posted May 7, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that state officials in the Northern Rockies on Monday lined up against a federal proposal to give new protections to the carnivorous wolverine, as climate change threatens to melt the species' snowy mountain strongholds. A pending U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal would declare the rare, elusive animal a threatened species across the Lower 48 states. That could end trapping for the ferocious member of the weasel family sometimes called the "mountain devil." And it would pave the way for Colorado to reintroduce wolverines in portions of the southern Rocky Mountains as part of a strategy to bolster their numbers ahead of future declines.
Feds add bigger, faster planes to wildfire fleet
Posted May 7, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that as the wildfire season ramps up across the West, the U.S. Forest Service is adding bigger, faster planes to its fleet to fight the fires. The forest service announced Monday that it has selected contractors to provide seven air tankers that fly faster and drop a larger payload of fire retardant than other planes in its firefighting fleet. The agency will spend nearly $160 million over five years for access to several models of aircraft, including a converted DC-10 jumbo jet, which can carry about five times as much flame-resistant liquid as any aircraft in regular use. The cost is about double the amount spent in past years, but the planes are expected to provide better service, said forest service fire and aviation director Tom Harbour. They also require less maintenance.
EXPLORE: Elmo fishing access site
Posted May 7, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon says that along the shores of Flathead Lake you’ll find the Elmo Fishing Access Site, one of many spots south of Kalispell where you can enjoy everything the lake has to offer. The 13-acre site is located right along U.S. Highway 93, just north of Elmo, and is open year-round. The site includes fishing access, a dock, a boat ramp, restrooms and, of course, stunning views of the surrounding area.
2013 Legislature was busy with variety of outdoors bills
Posted May 6, 2013 - Brett French of the Missoulian reports that trespassing hunters will have to pay higher fines and nonresident upland bird hunters will now be able to buy a less expensive three-day hunting license under laws passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Steve Bullock. Hunters caught trespassing will now have to pay a fine of $135 for a first offense, up from $25. A second offense within five years will result in a minimum of a $500 fine. John Gibson, president of the Public Land/Water Access Association, opposed the hike, saying that if hunters were going to be penalized then landowners should be required to post their land and should be fined for illegally posting property.
Flood awareness sessions planned
Posted May 6, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is staging a flood awareness day on Wednesday with a full day of free informational meetings. Morning workshops, from 8:45 a.m. to noon, include Surveyors and engineers workshop – Conference Rooms A & B of the Earl Bennett Building, 1035 First Ave. W. in Kalispell. Presenters include Larry Schock, Marc Pitman and Steve Story of Montana DNRC. They will Identify and review engineering and surveying processes associated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood insurance rate maps, elevation certificates and letter of map changes.
State agencies to pay to keep river gauges operating
Posted May 6, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that Montana agencies will pay to keep four river gauges operating through September following cuts to a federal program. The Missoulian reports that Montana Fish, Wildlife and parks and the state Department of Natural Resources decided information from the river gauges is too important to eliminate.
Experts look at impact on Glacier Park
Posted May 6, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that Jack Potter worked with the trail crew in the early days of his career at Glacier National Park. Back then, he recalls, there was only snow and ice at the end of the long trail up to Grinnell Glacier. “My first year up there was 1969, and the glacier pushed all the way out to the rock,” said Potter, retired chief of science at the park. “Now, it has retreated so much that there is a sizable lake at the toe of the glacier.”.
Flathead Forest Friday Focus: Forest plan revision
Posted May 4, 2013 - The public is invited to spend a Flathead Forest Friday breakfast with Flathead National Forest Planning Staff Officer Rob Carlin and Interim Forest Plan Revision Team Leader Joe Krueger at the Perkins Restaurant (1390 U.S. 2, Evergreen, Montana) starting at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, May 17, 2013. This is an opportunity to hear from the planners on the multi-year Forest Plan Revision effort on the forest and to provide feedback in a casual setting. The National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA) establishes direction for land and resource management plans, more commonly known as Forest Plans. It is the primary statute governing the administration of national forests. NFMA requires the Forest Service to use a systematic and interdisciplinary approach to resource management. The act requires the development of a planning rule that sets requirements for land and resource management plan processes and content. It also requires public involvement in preparing and revising Forest Plans.
Federal budget cuts could impact trail work
Posted May 4, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News reports that the federal budget sequestration has put the Department of Interior’s budget “in the ditch,” Ken Salazar said last week. But President Obama’s 2014 Interior Department budget “takes it out of the ditch,” the Interior Secretary said April 9. Salazar made the comments during a conference call with reporters. He claimed mandatory budget cuts will mean 7,000 young Americans will not be able to get jobs this summer because programs like AmeriCorps will see cuts.
Glacier Park weekend road report
Posted May 4, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that both the Two Medicine and the Many Glacier roads are now fully open in Glacier National Park. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is now open to Avalanche Creek, and there are no hiker-biker restrictions beyond that when plows are not working. There will be hiker and biker restrictions on the west side of the Sun Road beginning May 6 when road construction starts up again. Park snowplows on the west side of the Sun Road have reached Goose Point, about four miles from Logan Pass. On the east side, crews were plowing in the St. Mary Falls area.
Kalispell Farmers Market moves to FVCC
Posted May 4, 2013 - Lynnette Hintze of the Daily Inter Lake reports that the Kalispell Farmers Market has found a new home and will open today in the north parking lot at Flathead Valley Community College. The hours will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 19. The longstanding market lost its lease at Kalispell Center Mall, and its board of directors has been scrambling to find a new location for the popular event. The first two farmers markets of the season had to be canceled during the search for a new site.
Posted May 3, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News has reported a list of Park activities.
Daines focusing on sportsmen, outdoor issues
Posted May 3, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, amid a statewide tour looking at outdoors issues, continued his push Thursday to expand logging and said the recent debate on background checks has not altered his opposition to gun control. Daines, a Republican, said during an interview that he remains certain that Montanans are strongly opposed to any new gun control plans, such as last month's failed proposal in the Senate to expand background checks. Daines was at the state Capitol on Thursday to participate in a National Day of Prayer ceremony.
Agency proposes extending wolf hunt
Posted May 3, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that Montana wildlife commissioners may extend the hunting season for wolves and the number of predators that can be killed by a hunter or trapper. Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing a rifle season from Sept. 15 to March 31. Last year, the season began Oct. 15 and ended Feb. 15, resulting in 128 wolves killed by rifle and bow hunters. Trappers took an additional 97 wolves, for a total of 225 predators killed. That is the highest number killed in Montana since federal protections for wolves were lifted for Idaho and Montana in 2011.
Prescribed fire boosts Park prairie
Posted May 2, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News reports that the grassland environment in Glacier National Park’s Big Prairie in the North Fork is unique to the Park. It’s the only large grassland in the Park west of the Continental Divide and is home to elk, deer, wolves, coyotes, fox, Columbian ground squirrels and a host of different bird species, including mountain bluebirds and meadowlarks. But the landscape relies on wildfire to remain in an open grassland state. Fires kill lodgepole pine saplings that, left unchecked, would slowly take over the prairie.
The North Fork cycle of life
Posted May 2, 2013 - Larry's column this week in the Hungry Horse News talks about life on the North Fork over the last year.
Dry winter, warming trend foretell wildfire danger
Posted May 2, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that two small but unseasonably early fires burning in California's wine country likely are a harbinger of a nasty summer fire season across the West. Officials with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said Wednesday in their first 2013 summer fire outlook that a dry winter and expected warming trend mean the potential for significant fire activity will be above normal on the West Coast, in the Southwest and portions of Idaho and Montana.
Montana company faces fines in fatal bear mauling
Posted May 1, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that the death of a Montana animal trainer mauled by a pair of 500-pound captive brown bears could have been prevented if standard safety practices had been followed, federal authorities said Tuesday, as state officials revealed that the private menagerie where the death occurred has seen numerous animal escapes. Benjamin Cloutier, 24, was killed in November while cleaning the pens of two Syrian brown bears — named Griz and Yosemite — at Animals of Montana near Bozeman. The company provides captive-bred predators and other animals for photography shoots and motion pictures.
Paddleboarders safe after being reported missing
Posted May 1, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that Flathead County authorities say two paddleboarders who were reported missing on Flathead Lake are safe. Witnesses on the shore at Lakeside reported seeing two people on stand-up paddleboards blown toward the middle of the lake when the wind kicked up Monday afternoon. Sheriff's officials searched the lake Monday but turned up no sign of the paddleboarders. Sheriff Chuck Curry acknowledged at the time they might have reached shore elsewhere. The county emergency communications center later released a brief statement saying the two had made it off the lake and they are safe and sound. The statement did not provide any other details.
Burn permits are required
Posted May 1, 2013 - Burn permits are required starting May 1. Burn permits can be obtained online at www.firesafekalispell.com. If you have questions, call 751-8130.
Laying virtual tracks to the Flathead
Posted Apr. 30, 2013 - Justin Franz of the Flathead Beacon reports that every day hundreds of people descend on the Flathead Valley to take in the sights and sounds of a passing freight train. But you would never know it if you walked down to the tracks. That’s because these people aren’t standing around Whitefish, Columbia Falls or Essex; rather they’re at home on their computer. During the past decade, flight and train simulators that put consumers behind the controls of a jet or locomotive have grown in popularity. Now, an English company has completed a new simulator game focusing on BNSF Railway’s route from Whitefish to Shelby, up and over Marias Pass. Although computer simulators have been made of the route before, RailSimulator.com brand manager Simon Sauntson says the new version includes the highest level of details yet, the result of six months worth of work with a team poring over thousands of photos and satellite images.
Family Forestry Expo
Posted Apr. 30, 2013 - This year the Family Forestry Expo is scheduled for May 6 through May 11 with the theme of "Celebrating Forests for People." The fifth grade student portion of the event is held May 6 through May 10. On Saturday, May 11 families are invited to share in expo activities from 9am to 3pm at the Trumbell Creek Educational Forest, located about two miles north of the junction of US Highway 2 and Montana Highway 40, just west of Columbia Falls, Montana.
Wind gusts peak at 62 mph
Posted Apr. 30, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that rain, snow, sleet — Flathead Valley weather had it all on Monday. All those elements were pushed around by gusty winds as a strong cold front blew into Northwest Montana. The high winds caused tree damage and downed power lines at locations across the Flathead Valley Monday afternoon.
A good neighbor on the North Fork reported at least one tree down across the North Fork road making passage impossible until it was cleared. Don't forget to take a chain and a saw with you to do some clearing if necessary.
Amber Alert canceled, missing boy found
Posted Apr. 29, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that a 1-year-old boy abducted from a home in the Creston area Saturday evening was found safe and sound early Sunday morning in Fife, Wash., according to authorities. Brayden Blasius reportedly was abducted by his noncustodial parents, Beau Frank Blasius, 28, and Bryndi Coryn Gibson, 23, after they forced entry into his custodial grandparents’ home on Yoeman Hall Road.
Grizzly bear diet study is key to fed protection
Posted Apr. 29, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports researchers say a study on Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly bear diets should be completed this October. The study will help determine whether managers will recommend ending federal protections for the species. Frank van Manen is the team leader for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.
Researchers: Sage grouse need solitude and habitat
Posted Apr. 29, 2013 - The Missoulian reports that researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey analyzing sage grouse breeding areas say the ground-dwelling birds need sagebrush-dominated landscapes with a minimum level of human activity to thrive. The study released earlier this month found that 99 percent of active breeding sites, called leks, are in areas with no more than 3 percent of the land disturbed by roads, power lines, pipelines and communication towers, The Idaho Statesman reported.
Posted Apr. 27, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that Glacier National Park officials will conduct a prescribed burn in the Big Prairie area inside the Park’s North Fork area sometime in May, depending on weather and fuel conditions. About 175 acres about four miles north of Polebridge will be burned to reduce lodgepole pine regeneration, which is encroaching on the native prairie grassland. Managers hope to remove some lodgepole with fire and improve the growth of native grasses and shrubs. For more information, contact Park fire manager Dave Soleim at 406-888-5803.
Posted Apr. 27, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that Glacier National Park museum curator Deirdre Shaw will present a free talk on “Not Just an Admiring Audience: Tales of Women in Glacier” — stories about female residents and visitors who faced the challenges presented by the Park’s weather, topography and isolation — at the Montana House in Apgar Village on Saturday, April 27, at 4 p.m. Shaw has worked at Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site and Death Valley National Park and has managed the Park’s museum collection since 1990. To RSVP or for more information, call 888-5393 or e-mail email@example.com.
Study will look at bees in burned areas
Posted Apr. 27, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News reports that Over the past 20 years, from Yellowstone National Park to Glacier, large wildfires have continuously transformed the landscape. Now a Montana State University bee researcher has plans for a three-year study of the burns and the bees and plants that grow back in a post-fire world across western Montana. “We’re trying to understand the process of recovery in these landscapes,” ecologist Laura Burkle said in a recent interview.
Glacier Park plows have work cut out for them
Posted Apr. 27, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that if recent photos of snow smothering the historic Granite Park Chalet are any indication, Glacier National Park plow crews will have their work cut out for them in the weeks to come on Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Draft rule ends wolf protections
Posted Apr. 27, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that Federal wildlife officials have drafted plans to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that could end a decades-long recovery effort that has restored the animals but only in parts of their historic range. The draft U.S. Department of Interior rule obtained by The Associated Press contends the roughly 6,000 wolves now living in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes are enough to prevent the species’ extinction. The agency says having gray wolves elsewhere — such as the West Coast, parts of New England and elsewhere in the Rockies — is unnecessary for their long-term survival.
Baucus pushes bill to protect North Fork
Posted Apr. 27, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that Montana Sen. Max Baucus testified before a Senate committee Thursday in support of his bill aimed at protecting the North Fork Flathead watershed from new oil and gas development and mining. Baucus, who said this week that he is retiring at the end of 2014, has spent nearly 40 years working to protect the watershed, beginning with his successful 1975 proposal to designate the North Fork as a wild and scenic river.
Bullock vetoes 9 bills, line-item vetoes a 10th
Posted Apr. 27, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that Gov. Steve Bullock has vetoed nine more bills and issued a line-item veto for a tenth from the recently ended legislative session. Bullock announced the vetoes Friday. One would have required Fish, Wildlife and Parks to dedicate up to 20 percent of the price of a land purchase to maintenance for that particular piece of land. Bullock says that denies the agency the flexibility to use that money for its biggest needs.
More on North Fork mail carriers
Posted Apr. 25, 2013 - Larry's column in this week's Hungry Horse News has some more information of interest to the North Fork history buffs. It also has a cool photo from 1938.
Flood potential minimal this spring
Posted Apr. 25, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that the snowpack above the Flathead River Basin is at 116 percent of average, but the National Weather Service is downplaying flood potential this spring. “The reason it’s kind of up there is because it’s not melting,” hydrologist Ray Nickless said of the snowpack. “It should be melting by now, but it’s just sitting there with the cold weather we’ve had. Plus, we had a pretty decent snowstorm last week.” Snowpack above the Kootenai River Basin is at 113 percent of average because of similar conditions. Nickless said temperatures have been 3 to 6 degrees below the historic average for April, but sometimes even lower. On Tuesday, for instance, temperatures were 10 degrees below the average temperatures for this time of year. “I think you will probably see in the Flathead drainage streams at above-average flows mainly from snowmelt,” Nickless said. “I think it will be running good and high, and the kicker will be whether we get lasting warm temperatures.” He added that the frequency, intensity and locations of spring rains can also play into the equation for flood potential.
State reports high number of stomach flu outbreaks
Posted Apr. 25, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that state health officials say there have been an unusually high number of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in Montana this year. The Department of Public Health & Human Services says 20 outbreaks have sickened nearly 500 people throughout the state, most in assisted living and nursing homes. The 20 outbreaks is more than twice the number usually reported by late April.
Report highlights problems with fracking database
Posted Apr. 25, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that a new report raises serious concerns about the online database used by 11 states to track the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The Harvard Law School report says FracFocus, a reporting site formed by industry groups and intergovernmental agencies in 2011, has loose reporting standards, makes it too difficult for states to track whether companies submit chemical disclosures on time and allows for inconsistency in declaring chemicals trade secrets. The 11 states that require companies to divulge fracking chemicals through FracFocus: Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.
20 pounds? Not too bad, for an extinct fish
Posted Apr. 24, 2013 - Nate Schweber of the New York Times reports that for most fishermen a 20-pound trout is a trophy, but for Paiute tribe members and fish biologists here the one Matt Ceccarelli caught was a victory. That Lahontan cutthroat trout he caught last year, a remnant of a strain that is possibly the largest native trout in North America, is the first confirmed catch of a fish that was once believed to have gone extinct. The fish has been the focus of an intense and improbable federal and tribal effort to restore it to its home waters.
Baucus, powerful Montana democrat, will leave Senate
Posted Apr. 24, 2013 - Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times reports that under friendly fire in the Capitol and squeezed politically at home, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a man often at odds with fellow Democrats, announced Tuesday that he would retire in 2014 after four decades in Congress. The decision by Mr. Baucus, 71, to forgo a seventh term brings to six the number of Senate Democrats who will not seek re-election next year, including many of the party’s most popular and venerable senators. Mr. Baucus, though, was known for frustrating Democratic leaders by opposing major party initiatives as well as his solo attempts to cut deals with Republicans. Leadership efforts to go around Mr. Baucus may have contributed to his determination that it was time to exit the Senate, although he firmly denied that in an interview.
Film, panel focus on glacial melting at Whitefish event
Posted Apr. 24, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that in the spring of 2005 National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment: capture images to help tell the story of Earth’s changing climate. The magazine had just documented dramatic glacial melting in Glacier National Park. Now, Balog was taking it to the far north on the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey.
Food bank project starts May 10
Posted Apr. 24, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that an entourage of North Valley Food Bank volunteers and board members will stage a groundbreaking ceremony at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 10, for a new facility located off Baker Avenue near the Whitefish Emergency Services Center. Fundraising is still underway for a $1.5 million goal that includes $1 million for the building and the remainder for an endowment fund to financially sustain the operation. The plan is to build the endowment fund to a level where the interest payments will cover the nonprofit organization’s needs.
Northern Region 2012 Year in Review
Posted Apr. 23, 2013 - The Forest Service’s Northern Region has released its 2012 Year in Review, showcasing forest and grassland successes, partnerships and research activities across northern Idaho, Montana and North Dakota and northwestern South Dakota. A few of the Flathead National Forest's projects are featured in the publication.
Lawmakers enter final week eyeing big pieces
Posted Apr. 23, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that legislators entered the final week with high hopes of reaching quick agreement on the major pieces of the budget that are nearing resolution. The House on Monday finalized one of the bills aimed at fixing the troubled pensions systems, and advanced the other pension fix to a final vote on Tuesday. The measures ask both employees and employers to pay more, while also reducing benefits a little.
Polebridge Mercantile is reopening!
Posted Apr. 22, 2013 - Flannery writes... The Merc is re-opening this Friday, April 26th, at 7am! Instead of asking nf-er's to help us stock the store we invite you to join us this Saturday, the 27th of April, for an open-house and "thank you for supporting us" party from 3-5pm! We will be open 7 days a week from 7am - 6pm through May, 7am-9pm June - August.
Natural Grocers to open
Posted Apr. 22, 2013 - Tom Lotshaw of the Daily Inter Lake reports that after overhauling the former Borders bookstore, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage opens the doors to its new Kalispell store on Tuesday with a grand opening that runs through Sunday. The store and its 20 to 25 employees welcome Kalispell shoppers to a publicly traded but family-run health foods chain that started with one store in Colorado and has grown to open 66 stores in that state and 12 others. Kalispell is the company’s fourth store in Montana. It follows openings in Billings, Helena and Missoula.
Biologists to begin seasonal grizzly bear capturing for research and management
Posted Apr. 21, 2013 - As part of an ongoing interagency program to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE), Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and Tribal wildlife managers will once again begin seasonal scientific capture operations in parts of western Montana this month. From April through the end of October, biologists will work in the Blackfoot Valley, along the Rocky Mountain Front, in the Swan and Clearwater River Valleys, within Glacier National Park, and in the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. Traps will also be set periodically on private and public lands where bear/human conflicts are occurring. Warning signs will be posted along the major access points to the trapping site, and it is critical that all members of the public heed these signs.
Pennsylvania man pays $5,180 for Montana hunting violations
Posted Apr. 21, 2013 - A Pennsylvania man has been ordered to pay a total of $5,180 in fines and restitution for misdemeanor big-game hunting violations in four Montana counties. John Feucht, 29, of Camp Hill, Penn., pleaded guilty in Missoula County Justice Court in Missoula, Mont., to purchasing a resident license for non-resident use during the 2010 big game hunting season. He was fined $1,035 for that violation.
Record number of tourists visited Montana in 2012
Posted Apr. 21, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that a University of Montana study has found that more tourists visited Montana in 2012 and spent more money than in any previous year. The Missoulian reports (http://bit.ly/12xMXat ) that the school's Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research estimates that 10.8 million people visited Montana last year and spent $3.27 billion. The institute says the number of visitors is a 2 percent increase from 2011 and the money spent is about a 15 percent increase. Norma Nickerson, director of the institute, says it appears travelers and consumers are no longer reluctant to spend discretional money.
Prescribed burn planned in North Fork
Posted Apr. 20, 2013 - A prescribed fire project is planned in the North Fork area of Glacier National Park, approximately four miles northwest of Polebridge, in the next month. Approximately 175 acres are planned to be burned in the Big Prairie area, depending on weather and fuel conditions. The primary objective of the burn is to reduce lodgepole pine regeneration which is encroaching on the native prairie grassland. Managers hope to remove some lodgepole with fire and improve the growth of native grasses and shrubs. This prescribed burn will only take place if optimum weather and smoke dispersal parameters are met. For more information, contact Glacier National Park Fire Manager Dave Soleim at 406-888-5803.
Bears are emerging from dens in Park
Posted Apr. 20, 2013 - Recent observations of bear tracks in the snow indicate bears are emerging from hibernation and venturing out looking for food in and around Glacier National Park. Both grizzly and black bears live and travel in the park. The bears hibernate during the winter months and begin to emerge from dens when temperatures warm. The bears are hungry and looking for food, especially carcasses of winter-killed animals. Acting Glacier National Park Superintendent Kym Hall said, "Glacier National Park is bear country and park visitors should be alert for spring bear activity, and to be familiar with responsible actions to maintain human and bear safety."
In a related story, a turkey hunter encountered a grizzly bear adult and two grizzly yearlings in the area of the Creston National Fish Hatchery east of Kalispell this morning. The hunter was walking along, and spotted a deer carcass. He heard something and looked up to see a grizzly charging him at close range. The hunter fired his shotgun at the grizzly from about 10 yards away; he was uncertain whether or not his shot hit the grizzly. The adult grizzly and what appeared to be two yearlings ran away to the east of the fish hatchery area. The hunter notified FWP; Wardens Chuck Bartos and Nathan Reiner, and Tim Manley, Grizzly Bear Management Specialist, responded to investigate the incident. They could find no blood at the scene although they did located grizzly bear tracks in skiffs of snow that quickly melted. In the interest of public safety, FWP observed the area from a helicopter but no sign of the bears could be found. Cameras were installed near the deer carcass to monitor the area in case the bears return. Warden Captain Lee Anderson asks the public to notify FWP if any sign of the bears is found. Please call: Tim Manley, Grizzly Bear Management Specialist, 250-1265, with any information on the bears.
At the ready and on A.L.E.R.T.
Posted Apr. 20, 2013 - Justin Franz of the Flathead Beacon reports that when talking about the importance of Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s A.L.E.R.T. helicopter service, Jim Oliverson thinks back to the story of an injured logger near the Hungry Horse Reservoir. Before the air ambulance was available to rescue at a moments notice, it took hours to get the logger off the mountain and to a waiting ambulance. A few years ago, the A.L.E.R.T. helicopter crew decided to find out how long it would take for the helicopter to go from the hospital in Kalispell to that remote mountaintop. Twelve minutes was the answer. That’s why Oliverson says the air ambulance service is critical to the Flathead Valley and northwest Montana, which is why he’s pushing to get the word out about the 35th annual A.L.E.R.T. Banquet on April 27.
Grizzly attacks Pablo student
Posted Apr. 20, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that a Salish-Kootenai College student was mauled by a grizzly bear with two cubs Friday morning near the campus dormitories just outside Pablo. The student sustained three bites and was transported to Kalispell to receive medical attention, according to Audrey Plouffe, the school’s interim vice president of business affairs. College administrators said the student’s injuries were not life-threatening and he was in stable condition.
Glacier Park Officials: grizzly bears emerging from dens
Posted Apr. 19, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that grizzly bears are out of their dens and roaming throughout Glacier National Park, according to park officials. Recent observations of bear tracks in the snow indicate bears are emerging from hibernation and looking for food, according to an announcement from park officials. The bears hibernate during the winter months and begin to emerge from dens when temperatures warm. The bears are hungry and looking for food, especially carcasses of winter-killed animals.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Posted Apr. 19, 2013 - Dillon Tabish of the Flathead Beacon reports that There’s no shortage of excuses to get outdoors between now and October. It’s only a matter of picking and choosing among a long list of adventurous activities. Here are a few good reasons to stay active this spring, summer and fall. Read all about it here.
House embraces main budget bill, but veto threat looms
Posted Apr. 19, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that the House embraced the latest version of the state’s main budget bill Thursday despite a looming veto threat from Gov. Steve Bullock. The chamber accepted the Senate’s changes to House Bill 2 in a bipartisan 63-37 vote Thursday. A final vote is scheduled for today before it’s sent to the governor.
Posted Apr. 18, 2013 - Gov. Steve Bullock will be the guest speaker at the Flathead Democratic Party’s Spring Dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn, in Kalispell, on Friday, April 19. The social hour will start at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. Tra La Gael will provide live music. Tickets are $40 through April 15 and $50 after. For tickets, call Nancy at 752-0298 or visit online at www.flatheaddemocrats.com.
Baucus Votes Against Gun Control Measure
Posted Apr. 18, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that U.S. Sen. Max Baucus helped block a bipartisan effort to increase restrictions on gun sales. The Senate voted Wednesday to reject expanded background checks to more gun sales, instead of just those handled by licensed firearms dealers. Baucus said Montanans have told him "loud and clear that they are overwhelmingly opposed to new gun control laws." The six-term senator says the Obama administration needs to do a better job of enforcing current laws.
Work targets aquatic invaders
Posted Apr. 18, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News writes while funding sources for a bill revising aquatic invasive species management are sorted out in the Montana Legislature, other efforts are underway to control the spread of zebra mussels and other nonnative species in Montana waters. The lack of monitoring at Duck Lake and other lakes on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation drew attention during the Flathead Basin Commission’s April 10 meeting. The lakes are popular with fishermen in the Flathead who might accidentally transport invasive species back to the Flathead, commission executive director Caryn Miske said.
The colorful life of a park ranger
Posted Apr. 18, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News writes one night, former Glacier National Park ranger Charlie Logan got a phone call. There’d been a report of a man run over by a train not far from the Walton Ranger Station where Logan lived at the time. The train tracks are outside of the Park, but Logan was the closest law enforcement to the scene and decided to check it out. In the dark, he first came across the man’s intestines. Then one leg, then another and then finally the man’s torso, sitting upright on its severed ribcage. The man had been drinking heavily and hopped the train only to fall between two cars.
Entrance Fees Waived April 22-26
Posted Apr. 17, 2013 - Entrance fees to Glacier National Park and 401 National Park Sites across the country will be waived Monday through Friday, April 22-26, in recognition of National Park Week. The annual celebration is coordinated by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. Visitors to Glacier National Park are reminded that weather conditions in the park can vary greatly from local valley locations, and road status can change depending on weather conditions and snow plowing activities. Park visitors are highly encouraged to plan ahead and visit the park's website at http://www.nps.gov/glac/ or contact the park at 406-888-7800 for updated road conditions, plowing status and weather conditions. Visitors may also visit the park's Facebook page to stay connected with the park.
Wolf numbers: Still higher than recovery goals
Posted Apr. 17, 2013 - The Hungry Horse News reports that Wolf pack numbers were up but the number of gray wolves were down across the Rocky Mountain west in 2012, according to an annual report last week released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At the end of 2012, there were at least 321 confirmed packs and 1,674 wolves within the Northern Rocky Mountain area, which includes Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington. The 2011 report showed at least 287 confirmed packs and 1,796 wolves within the area.
Park gearing up for Sun Road corridor study
Posted Apr. 17, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News reports that Glacier National Park soon will begin public scoping on how best to manage the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor in the coming years, interim superintendent Kym Hall said last week. The Park will hold public workshops and present different opportunities for the public to weigh in on the road, Hall told the Glacier Pachyderm Club on April 12.
Cabela’s plans to break ground next month
Posted Apr. 17, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that Cabela's submitted a building permit to the city of Kalispell and is expected to break ground on a new 42,000-square-foot retail store next month, according to city officials. Kalispell Planning Director Tom Jentz said the company plans to construct its new store in 22 weeks, with the goal of opening in the middle of October.
Park service chief defends handling of budget cuts
Posted Apr. 17, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that facing withering criticism from House Republicans, the director of the National Park Service Tuesday rejected suggestions the agency purposely hyped the negative impact of mandatory spending reductions for political gain. Automatic cuts to the agency, said Park Service chief Jon Jarvis, are "painful by definition. We have worked to try and minimize that pain, but I will tell you that that we have not instructed anyone to intentionally make this painful to the public."
Montana lawmakers to push referendums through
Posted Apr. 17, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that the Montana House is set to give final approval to two Republican referendums that sparked uproar in the Senate two weeks ago when Democrats failed in an attempt to block the passage of the bills. If they pass, they will sidestep Gov. Steve Bullock's potential veto and appear on the 2014 ballot. Both Senate Bill 405 and Senate Bill 408 are highly contentious bills and received the House's initial approval Tuesday along party lines.
Montana lawmakers to push referendums through
Posted Apr. 17, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that the Montana House is set to give final approval to two Republican referendums that sparked uproar in the Senate two weeks ago when Democrats failed in an attempt to block the passage of the bills. If they pass, they will sidestep Gov. Steve Bullock's potential veto and appear on the 2014 ballot. Both Senate Bill 405 and Senate Bill 408 are highly contentious bills and received the House's initial approval Tuesday along party lines.
Whitefish hospital expanding
Posted Apr. 16, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that North Valley Hospital in Whitefish broke ground Monday on a fourth operating suite needed to keep pace with a surgery volume that has increased 22 percent over the past four years. Located on the west side of the hospital, the new suite will accommodate both inpatient and outpatient surgeries and will be completed by this fall.
Battle over Flathead water rights faces specter of litigation
Posted Apr. 15, 2013 - Myers Reece of the Flathead Beacon reports that In 34 years, Montana lawmakers have approved 17 out of the 18 water rights compacts to come before the Legislature, counting settlements for the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, which recently cleared the House on their way to the governor’s desk. The only compact that legislators have rejected since the Montana Reserved Water Rights Commission was established in 1979 is an expansive agreement to forever settle the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ water rights on and off the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Hunting permit drawing results available soon
Posted Apr. 14, 2013 - The anticipation of thousands of Montana's hopeful deer and elk hunters is nearly over. "Hunters' anxious to hear if they drew a deer or elk permit will know the drawing results the week of April 22," said Ron Aasheim, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesperson."These will be the first big game hunting permit drawing results of the year." Aasheim said hunters should watch the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov for the drawing results announcement. Click "Check Drawing Status" and then enter your ALS number. Hunters should keep in mind that the deadline is May 1 to apply for moose, bighorn sheep, bison and mountain goat licenses available through a drawing. The deadline to apply for antelope, deer B and elk B licenses available through a drawing is June 1.
Two North Fork documentaries to show on April 26
Posted Apr. 13, 2013 - The North Fork Preservation Association website posted an announcement stating the Gateway-to-Glacier Trail organization is showing two North Fork-related documentaries in a fund raiser at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, on April 26. “Mercantile” is about — what else? — the Polebridge Mercantile. “The Lookout” centers around Thoma Lookout.
Numbers down by 7 percent
Posted Apr. 13, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that aggressive gray wolf hunting and trapping took a toll in much of the Northern Rockies last year as the predator’s population saw its most significant decline since being reintroduced to the region two decades ago. Yet state and federal wildlife officials said Friday that the population remains healthy overall, despite worries among some wildlife advocates over high harvest rates. Its range is even expanding in some areas as packs take hold in new portions of eastern Washington state and Oregon. Overall, biologists tallied a minimum of 1,674 wolves in 321 packs across the six-state Northern Rockies region at the end of 2012. That marks a 7 percent decline.
Wyoming Game and Fish proposes cutting 2013 wolf quotas by half
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - Christine Peterson of the Casper Star-Tribune reports that Wyoming wolf hunting quotas may be cut in half this fall, according to a Wyoming Game and Fish Department release issued Wednesday. The population could not withstand another 52-wolf quota without coming dangerously close to the required minimum set in Wyoming’s delisting plan, said Mark Bruscino, the department’s large carnivore program supervisor. If wolf numbers drop below the requirement, it could lead to re-listing on the endangered-species list.
Officials expect extra dry summer in southwest Montana
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - Francis Davis of the Missoulian reports that with stream flow in southwest Montana forecasted to be down from last year and with weather predictions ranging from a dry summer to one of drought, land management and disaster officials are beginning to map out their strategy for the months ahead.
Wilderness empire on display
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - Dillon Tabish of the Flathead Beacon reports that the Museum at Central School in Kalispell is featuring a new exhibit that pays homage to Bob Marshall and the wilderness complex bearing his name. The complex encompasses three wilderness sections — the Bob Marshall, the Scapegoat and the Great Bear — that span 1.53 million acres across Northwest Montana. The Bob on its own is one of the largest and oldest wilderness sections, and the overall complex features 1,900 miles of trail.
Serving a healthy lifestyle
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - Dillon Tabish of the Flathead Beacon reports that in less than a year, the vegan café, called A Fresh Start, has sprouted into a popular source of flavor and education for the rising clientele of healthy eaters. Beyond the café and catering business, Beaver offers weekly and monthly classes focused on improving wellness through a nutritious diet. A Fresh Start is located in Sassafras at 120 Main St. in Kalispell. The store’s hours are currently 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 756-3774.
Plowing underway on Going-to-the-Sun Road
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that snowplowing got underway this week on Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. As of Thursday, the west-side crew had advanced beyond the Loop, about 22 miles from the park’s west entrance.
Here is the same story from the Flathead Beacon on the 13th.
Ammo shortage hits home
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - Jim Mann of the Daily Inter Lake reports that there has been an unprecedented rush on ammunition for firearms. “I would say that that it’s the most remarkable demand phenomenon I’ve seen in my lifetime,” longtime Snappy’s owner BJ Lupton said. Ammunition manufacturers have been increasing production to keep up with a consumer demand that seems to be fueling even more demand.
Infrared camera in wild aimed at Charlo owl nest
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that Denver Holt has been studying the long-eared owl for 27 years. He’s banded more than 1,700 of the birds and found 225 nests in Montana. But he’s never been able to see what the nocturnal birds do at night until now. An infrared camera and microphone on top of a pole in willow thickets on Montana rangeland is aimed at a long-eared owl nest. Holt, founder and director of the Owl Research Institute in Charlo, believes there are four or five eggs in the nest.
Bill would shorten property appraisal cycle
Posted Apr. 12, 2013 - Jim Mann of the Daily Inter Lake reports that a bill that would convert the state’s property appraisal cycle from six years to every two years is advancing in the state Legislature, and Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, is confident it will pass largely because of recent court decisions pertaining to the appraisal system. Tutvedt, the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 398, said three recent district court decisions are basically calling for the shorter appraisal cycle, but the Department of Revenue is appealing them in the Montana Supreme Court.
Park hiker to raise funds, awareness for diabetes
Posted Apr. 10, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News reports that this year T.J. Fallon still enjoys his hikes, and this year he plans to hike in Glacier Park as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which is seeking a cure for the disease. Fallon has lived with the ailment since he was 15. The popular misconception is that diabetes sufferers out of shape and obese, but anyone can get it, he notes. Fallon said he plans to hike 250 miles this spring and summer to raise money for the Foundation. People can pledge on a per mile basis through his Web site www.hikingfordiabetes.com.
Daines choosing his battles
Posted Apr. 10, 2013 - Dave Skinner in the Hungry Horse News writes Montana’s new Republican Congressman Steve Daines spent a good part of his Easter “vacation” from Congress on a “natural resources” tour, including visits to forest-products mills in Missoula, Seeley Lake, and here in the Flathead. But after making the expected promise that he hasn’t “lost sight of the foundation of this economy – timber, oil, gas, coal,” Daines made some real news: He moseyed over to a little gathering at the Belton Chalet where he announced his support for legislation that would permanently close the North Fork to any future minerals exploration and development, championed by Montana’s Democratic U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester.
Budget talk in the North Fork
Posted Apr. 10, 2013 - Larry's column in this week's Hungry Horse News talks about how the sequestration might affect the North Fork.
Forest Service changes rule on project protests
Posted Apr. 10, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon reports that the U.S. Forest Service has changed its rule on when a protest can be filed against projects that require an environmental analysis, such as a timber sale or a road decommissioning. Previously, appeals were made after the Forest Service announced its decision on an environmental impact statement or an environmental assessment.
Post office retreats on eliminating Saturday mail
Posted Apr. 10, 2013 -The Flathead Beacon reports that he U.S. Postal Service backed down from its plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery because Congress barred it, officials said Wednesday. But its governing board said it's not possible for the financially ailing agency to meet cost-cutting goals without altering its delivery schedule. Delaying "responsible changes," the board said, only makes it more likely that the Postal Service "may become a burden" to taxpayers.
Get ready to fish small streams on May 18
Posted Apr. 9, 2013 - As always, Montana's small streams won't open for fishing until the third Saturday of May, which is May 18 this year. A full season fishing license for residents can be purchased for $18 dollars, or if you want to try your luck for a few days, a resident two-day license is available for $5. An $8 conservation license is required for anglers age 12 and older. Resident youth 12-14 who purchase the conservation license receive a free fishing license. A full season fishing license is good until Feb. 28, 2014. To learn more about fishing in Montana, visit the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov, then click "Fishing".
Early spring on the prairie
Posted Apr. 9, 2013 - Bruce Auchly FWP Region 4 Information Officer has a nice piece on the joys of an early spring on the prairie.
Environmental group worries about increase of coal trains
Posted Apr. 9, 2013 - Justin Franz of the Flathead Beacon reports that Beth Kaeding of the Northern Plains Resource Council was the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the newly formed Glacier Climate Action group in Whitefish. Kaeding discussed the possibility of more coal trains traveling through the Flathead Valley because of the Otter Creek Mine in southeast Montana and how that might affect local communities. Glacier Climate Action was formed earlier this year and, until the April 2 meeting, went by the name Flathead Climate Alliance. Its interim coordinator Steve Thompson said the group plans on hosting more events in the future and wants to bring attention to climate change.
EXPLORE: Lake McDonald
Posted Apr. 8, 2013 - Justin Franz of the Flathead Beacon reports that ten miles long and a mile wide, Lake McDonald is Glacier National Park’s largest lake and is conveniently located just north of West Glacier. It’s also accessible in winter, making it an awesome afternoon trip if you’re just looking to get out of town. Lake access can be had via the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is open all the way to the Lake McDonald Lodge, even in winter.
Two-year city snowfall hits record low
Posted Apr. 8, 2013 - Dillon Tabish of the Flathead Beacon reports that while most of Montana and the continental U.S. experience worsening drought conditions, this corner of the state is exhibiting a stark contrast in weather patterns. Separate meteorological reports released recently show the mountains in Northwest Montana benefited from winter snowfall more than anywhere else in the state this year, while the valley floor in Kalispell broke a 120-year-old record for its lack of snow.
Whitefish resort skier visits climb 11 percent
Posted Apr. 8, 2013 - Jim Mann of the Daily Inter Lake reports that Whitefish Mountain Resort has finished off a winter season with total skier visits up 11 percent compared to last year. That sets a new season record for total skier visits, which includes daily paid lift-ticket sales and season pass holder visits. The resort’s season comes to a close today, after Saturday’s big event — the pond skim for costumed skiers and snowboarders that attracted hundreds of spectators near the village area.
Wolf council meets for first time in five years
Posted Apr. 8, 2013 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that former members of Montana’s Wolf Management Advisory Council will meet once again in Helena on Friday, April 12, to review and discuss the wolf management plan they helped create. The 12-member panel, which includes Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, last met about five years ago to discuss specific hunting and trapping recommendations in anticipation of wolves being removed from the Endangered Species list.
Glacier Airport Tower Closure Delayed Following Lawsuits
Posted Apr. 6, 2013 - Justin Franz of the Flathead Beacon reports that Glacier Park International Airport’s air traffic control tower will remain open until June 15. The Federal Aviation Administration decided to delay the closure of 149 federal contract control towers after airports across the country, including the Flathead Municipal Airport Authority, challenged the decision in court. On March 22, the FAA announced GPI’s control tower would close in May due to automatic federal budget cuts. If the tower were to close, the area around GPI would revert back to Class E uncontrolled airspace, but planes would still be able to fly. The control tower there opened in 2001.
Glacier Park campground dates trimmed
Posted Apr. 5, 2013 - Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News reports that Glacier National Park released further details on impacts from the federal budget sequestration last week, as the Park works to absorb a $682,000 cut to its base operating budget.
Flathead seventh in county health ranking
Posted Apr. 5, 2013 - Richard Hanners of the Hungry Horse News reports that Flathead County came in seventh in a health ranking of counties in Montana that looked at smoking and drinking, access to health professionals, lost work days, education levels, household incomes, crime and many other factors.
EXPLORE: Kootenai National Forest
Posted Apr. 2, 2013 - The Flathead Beacon tells us that if you’re looking for a day trip, check out the scenic and diverse Kootenai National Forest in Northwest Montana. Centered in Lincoln County, the U.S. Forest Service hosts a variety of activities on the Kootenai, including hiking, biking, camping and even gold panning.
2013 NFLA Calendar now available
Posted Apr. 1, 2013 - The new 2013 NFLA Calendar is now available. Many thanks to all of the people who made this year's calendar possible. A special thanks goes to Larry Kinsolving, the member of the BoD responsible for coordinating the whole schedule. Flannery is working on the Spring Newsletter which will include an abbreviated version of the calendar.
Temporary Load Limits on Flathead National Forest Roads
Posted Mar. 31, 2013 - Warm weather, snow melt and spring rains are creating soft road surfaces and spring “break up” conditions on many Flathead National Forest roads, prompting temporary road closures and load limits across the forest. For the next few months forest road managers will check conditions and sign roads as “closed” or assign a load limit as appropriate based on the local conditions. Forest System Road (FSR) #10815 (Cedar Flats Road) is temporarily closed to the public to allow the road to dry. The road remains open to residential traffic.
2013 FireWise Day
Posted Mar. 2, 2013 - The NFLA’s Fire Mitigation Committee is planning a FireWise Day workshop to recognize the tenth anniversary of the Wedge Canyon Fire as well as the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Red Bench Fire. The workshop will be held on July 10, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Sondreson Hall, immediately preceding the Summer Interlocal meeting. For more information, see the NFLA Fire Mitigation Committee page.
Fuels mitigation grant
Posted Mar. 2, 2013 - In 2012, the DNRC awarded the North Fork community a hazardous fuels reduction grant. It’s the third such grant that the community has received; well over 100 North Fork landowners have participated in the program. Monies are distributed on a cost-share basis, with the grant providing 75% of the cost and the landowner providing the remaining 25%. The total value of the grant, with landowners’ share, is about $133,000. Additional information about the program is available on the NFLA website.
Posted Feb. 17, 2013 - By all counts, the Winter Interlocal was well attended and informative with a record breaking crowd of around 50. Molly Shepherd was kind enough to compile a report that includes information on road maintenance plans, lynx, trout, and wolves. You can download a pdf version of this report from here. If anyone else who was in attendance would like to add to this report, just send it on in to NFNews.
North Fork History Project
Posted Jan. 21, 2013 - Neighbors in the North Fork Landowners' Association have gotten together over the last couple of years and started collecting and posting information on their website about North Fork history. Of particular interest are interviews with people who tell stories about what it was like to grow up and live on the North Fork in earlier days. Although these audio files are too large to be listened to while on the North Fork (eating up FAP like crazy), some North Forkers are currently at their winter quarters and have nice, fast, unlimited internet services. For those folks, now would be a good time to listen to these interviews. You can get to the North Fork History Project page from here.
Electronics recycling offered in Evergreen
Posted Dec. 27, 2012 - Tom Lotshaw of the Daily Inter Lake reports that Pacific Steel and Recycling in Evergreen has expanded its recycling services and is accepting electronics year-round. Pacific Steel and Recycling accepts old cellphones and batteries, as well as computer towers, printers, DVD players and flatscreen televisions, sales associate Rich Evers said. It also accepts old tube TVs, but customers must pay a minimal, per-pound rate to dispose of them.
New app gives guide to Montana Legislature
Posted Dec. 23, 2012 - The Daily Inter Lake reports that a new iPhone, iPad and Android app to be released Jan. 1 will help Montanans more easily and quickly connect with members of the 63rd Montana Legislature. The app contains detailed and searchable contact, staff and committee information for Montana’s state representatives and senators. The app was developed by the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association, Montana Telecommunications Cooperatives and Montana Independent Telecommunications Systems, contains detailed and searchable contact, staff and committee information for Montana’s state representatives and senators.