The Plow is on the Way

We woke this morning to more than 10 inches of snow on the ground.  Although it’s currently not snowing, the forecast says that more is coming.

We called Flathead County Roads and Bridges around 7:15AM and asked whether or not the plow was going to be coming up the North Fork road today or tomorrow.  A very nice gentleman cheerfully informed us that the plow was already on the way as of 5:30AM.  We’ll make an update when it gets past our house (just a little north for Ford Access). Many thanks to the Flathead Country Roads and Brides folks!

New chief ranger picked for Glacier Park

The Daily Inter Lake reports that Paul Austin has been selected as chief ranger for Glacier National Park. Austin, currently the chief ranger at Saguaro National Park in Arizona will begin his new Glacier duties in mid-December.  Read the full story here if you have a subscription.

The Glacier National Park news website doesn’t have this story posted yet. But when it does we’ll see if we can’t post the story from there.

 

Glacier Institute Winter Classes

The Glacier Institute has added three new courses for the winter season: “Winter Ecology” on Saturday, Dec. 6, to explore the Lower McDonald Creek area to learn how plants and animals adapt to survive the harsh winters of Glacier National Park, cost $65; “North Fork Animal Tracking and Sign Interpretation” on Saturday, Jan. 10, with experienced tracker Brian Baxter, cost $65; and “Winter Birds of Prey” on Saturday, March 7, with rough-legged hawks, golden eagles and great gray owls during the winter months, cost $65. For more information, call 406-755-1211 or visit online at www.glacierinstitute.org.

The Glacier Institute will also be holding its fourth annual Online Auction to benefit youth programs at the Big Creek Outdoor Education Center with bidding ending Monday, Dec. 1. Visit online at https://glacier30.24fundraiser.com. For more information, call 406-755-1211 or visit online at www.glacierinstitute.org.

Forest planning

The Flathead National Forest will host an open house forest planning sessions at the Forest Supervisor’s Office, 650 Wolfpack Way, in Kalispell, on Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The meeting will cover vegetation modeling efforts in a follow-up to two sessions in August. Members of the Forest Plan revision team will be present, including a silviculturist, wildlife biologist and Region 1 analyst. For more information, contact Joe Krueger, Forest Plan revision team leader, at 406-758-5243.

Deer harvest slightly ahead of last year

The Hungry Horse News reports that the deer harvest in Northwest Montana is slightly ahead of last year at the same point in the season, according to check station results around Region 1. Through Sunday, Nov. 23, a total of 14,194 hunters checked in game at the six Northwest Montana check stations, including 879 white-tailed deer, of which 766 were bucks, compared to 842 whitetails last year.  Read the full story here.

 

Free Meals and Food for the Holidays

The Columbia Falls Community Kitchen will offer free nutritious meals in the basement of St. Richard’s Catholic Church on Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 27-30, starting at 6 p.m., including a Thanksgiving meal.

The Columbia Falls Food Bank will hand out Christmas food baskets on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Matt and Janet McConville will offer a free community Christmas dinner at the United Methodist Church, 117 Second Street West, in Columbia Falls, on Christmas Day from 2 to 6 p.m. The Armed Forces Reserve Center, 2989 U.S. 93 North, in Kalispell, will hold its 25th annual free dinner on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Open burning ends

The fall open burning season will end on Nov. 30. Open burning is more restrictive in winter because atmospheric dispersion of smoke is generally poor. During cold months in western Montana, frequent valley inversions can also trap smoke. No open burning is allowed in the Western Montana Burn Zone, including Flathead County, until March 1, 2015, unless specific permission is obtained from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. For more information, visit online at www.burnclosures.mt.gov or call 406-444-3490.

Dead Grizzly Bear Reported in North Fork Area

Montana Game Wardens and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Agents are seeking information on a grizzly bear that was shot and killed recently. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks received an initial report from a hunter on Nov. 12 that the dead bear was in the Hay/Moran Creek area in the North Fork of the Flathead Drainage. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for killing this grizzly bear. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the USFWS at 406-761-2286; or 1-800-TIPMONT. Callers may remain anonymous. Because the case is under investigation, no further information can be released at this time, according to FWP.