Mile-by-mile road analysis

In this week’s Hungry Horse News column, Larry provides a very detailed road report.  His conclusions? All in all, my opinion is that the road is excellent for the weather we’ve been having, and if we get the predicted snow in the coming week, it will only get better. Just make sure you pay attention and avoid going too fast.  Read the full column here.  Thanks Larry!

Protections Blocked, But Sage Grouse Work Goes On

The Flathead Beacon reports that U.S. wildlife officials will decide next year whether a wide-ranging Western bird species needs protections even though Congress has blocked such protections from taking effect, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday. They could determine the greater sage grouse is heading toward possible extinction, but they would be unable to intervene under the Endangered Species Act. The bird’s fate instead remains largely in the hands of the 11 individual states where they are found.  Read the full story here.

The roof of Montana

The Hungry Horse New has an article by Rick and Susie Graetz that begins…  Owing to elevation of the Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains, this lofty terrain is scoured by wind and at times ferocious weather. Summer thunder and lightning storms accompanied by hail can be frightening at times, and snow is possible even in July and August. Many large, high-elevation snowfields provide fertile habitat for the bloom of a microscopic algae that creates extensive patches of “pink snow.” Dissolved nutrients, the energy of the sun and carbon dioxide combine to promote reproduction and growth of the algae.  Read the full story here.  And don’t forget that the Graetz have a slide show presentation on January 23rd in Sondreson Community Hall.


Christmas Dinner and New Year’s Eve on the North Fork

Everyone had a great time at Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the NFLA at Sondreson Community Hall.  But there is more fun to be had on the North Fork this winter.

Serving dinner at Thanksgiving

Christmas Dinner at the Hall – Come join your North Fork neighbors at Sondreson Hall for a Christmas potluck dinner. Turkey and ham will be provided. Please bring a side dish and your own table setting. The doors open at 3PM and food is served at 4PM. Again the community is grateful to Jan & Alice Caldwell and Mark & Margaret Heaphy for hosting this event.  Again, everyone on the North Fork is invited. Bring family, friends, and your Christmas spirit.

New Year’s Eve at the Hall – The Hart’s are once again hosting their every-other-year New Year’s Eve party this year at Sondreson Hall.  Please bring a side dish to share with your friends and neighbors.  The fun begins at 8:30PM.  Everyone is invited, so grab your significant other and come join in on the music, dancing, and stories about surviving the North Fork winter.  Please RSVP so that we know how many folks are coming.

Learn more about the North Fork Landowners Association from here including contacts and information about joining.  And keep up with all of the NFLA events from their calendar.

A Horned Reminder of Montana’s Past

The New York Times reports that researchers have discovered the oldest known horned dinosaur species from the early Cretaceous in North America. It dates back 113 million to 105 million years ago. The tiny dinosaur, with a skull measuring under four inches in length, was named Aquilops americanus and found in Montana. This is an artist’s reconstruction of Aquilops in its environment in ancient Montana.  Check out an artist’s rendition here.

Fly tying class on Jan. 5

The Flathead Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will offer free fly tying classes in the Kalispell Middle School library for five consecutive Mondays starting Jan. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. Beginning and advanced classes will be available. Students should provide their own tools, although loaner tool kits will be available. All materials and fly hooks will be furnished. For more information, call Jim Johnson at 837-3210 or visit online at