The Flathead Lake Biological Station

By | July 20, 2018

Here’s a message from Irv Heitz…

Those of you in attendance at Wednesday’s Interlocal Meeting learned of a new research presence in the North Fork, the Flathead Lake Biological Station. Dr. Rachel Malison is researching river and aquifer stonefly populations in the gravel beds of the river and floodplains. You will notice pvc test wells at spots along the river and in some locations on floodplains a bit farther from the river.

Please do not bother these site. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact Dr. Malison at 406-982-33-1 x 246, or check out flbs.umt.edu/apps/research/dob/default.aspx .

Dr. Malison may be looking for additional sites with access to the river or tributaries of the river to continue the study, so if you are interested, contact her.

I have also engaged her for a possible pre-NFLA meeting presentation next summer.

USFWS Proposes Endangered Species Act Changes

By | July 20, 2018

Bull trout are a threatened species. JOEL SARTORE/ NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC & WADE FREDENBERG/ USFWS / USFWS

Montana Public Radio has an article that begins…

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act Thursday that it says will streamline efforts to protect species and habitat. Critics say the changes would severely erode the law.

The changes are meant to clarify existing language and points of confusion in the Endangered Species Act, Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt told reporters on a press call.

Read the full article here.

New Wildfire Starts North of Libby

By | July 20, 2018

A 30-acre fire north of Libby along Montana Highway 37. Photo Courtesy of Roby Bowe.

And so the Montana fires begin. The Flathead Beacon has an article that begins…

Firefighters in Lincoln County are aggressively attacking a wildfire north of Libby along Montana Highway 37, not far from the former W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine.

The fire had burned at least 30 acres as of Thursday evening, according to the Kootenai National Forest. Sheriff Roby Bowe said no structures are threatened at this time and no evacuations orders have been issued.

Read the full article here.

Get more information from Montana Public Radio’s article Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 19, 2018

Wide Awake In The Land Of Griz

By | July 20, 2018

Bear and hiker Photo courtesy NPS

Steve Primm’s Montana Journal has a post that begins… In my last column—Encounter With Grizzly—Part 1: The Shooting—we discussed in general terms the need to be adequately prepared to venture into grizzly country.  That piece was prompted by a deadly grizzly-human encounter in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains that left a mother grizzly dead and her orphaned cubs-of-the-year likely doomed.

Read his full post here.

Community Float July 26

By | July 19, 2018

2015 Float from the Border to Ford

Here is a message from Janet Leigh… The next Community Float will be Thursday, the 26th of July, from Ford to Polebridge. Meet at Polebridge at 10:00 to shuttle.
The next float, scheduled for August 9 will be cancelled due to both Dick & Kevin having a fire suppression class. If anyone would like to take over for that week, contact Janet!

Comprehensive River Management Plan – Upcoming Meeting July 25

By | July 19, 2018

The Flathead National Forest, in coordination and partnership with Glacier National Park, has begun the process to prepare a Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) for the 3-Forks of the Flathead River.  Project activities will include reviewing the existing Flathead River Wild and Scenic River Recreation Management Direction and River Management Plan.

The river and surrounding lands offer recreational opportunities and access to outstanding resources for a variety of public lands users. The CRMP will address the current status of these resources, outline goals and desired conditions, determine user capacities, and create a monitoring strategy and plan to carry forward.  The public is encouraged to contribute to this planning effort that will secure the outstanding remarkable values of the 3-Forks of the Flathead River for future generations.  The planning team is interested in diverse stakeholder input as we develop the CRMP.

A series of resource-focused public meetings are being held beginning with the first meeting in May. Our upcoming meeting on Wednesday, July 25, will focus on ethnographic and historical resources monitoring, management, and concerns as part of the efforts to develop the CRMP. The meeting will be held at the Forest Supervisor’s Office at 650 Wolfpack Way in Kalispell. The main meeting will be from 6 pm to 8 pm and will include presentations on current ethnographic and historical information and some facilitated discussion on how ethnographic and historical resources will be addressed in the CRMP. An introductory presentation on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act for those new to the CRMP process will begin at 5:45pm. Future meeting topics, links to past meeting materials, and the meeting schedule are posted on the CRMP website. Continue reading

Fire Danger Moves to ‘High’ in the Flathead

By | July 19, 2018

A helicopter flies above a fire near Smith Valley on Oct. 17, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The Flathead Beacon reports that…

Local wild land fire managers announced Wednesday that the fire danger had been elevated to “high” in the Flathead Valley as hot and dry weather continues to bake the region.

Further west, the fire danger on the Kootenai National Forest was raised to “very high” as firefighters there try and contain a 20-acre blaze north of Libby.

Read the full story here.

Read a related story from Montana Public Radio here.