National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy September Newsletter

By | September 19, 2017
An Assessment of Wildfire Transmission and its Implications for Risk Governance

An Assessment of Wildfire Transmission and its Implications for Risk Governance

Molly Shepherd, co-chair of the NFLA’s Fire Mitigation Committee, has posted a link to the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy September Newsletter onto the NFLA website.

This newsletter begins… This has been a particularly tough season for stakeholders in the West. Cohesive Strategy’s Western Region and its partners are leading the charge to facilitate identification and implementation of collaborative, cross-boundary solutions to the complex, landscape-level issues we are facing today. The Cohesive Strategy is the right framework from which to continue to build social, political and scientific support to address these issues. Change will not occur overnight but together we can change the trajectory that can be plainly observed in recent fire seasons. Get more information from the NFLA website.

Disease at the Door

By | September 19, 2017

Over the past decade, CWD has nearly surrounded Montana

FWP’s Montana Outdoors magazine has a story that begins… One day soon, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks veterinarian Jennifer Ramsey will receive the email she’s long dreaded: Colorado State University technicians will have found chronic wasting disease in one or more of the deer tissue samples she sent them. That message will change the future, both for FWP and the state’s deer and elk hunters. Read the full story here.

Rain Helps Firefighters Across the State – Fire restrictions remain in effect across region

By | September 19, 2017

The Sprague Fire burns the flanks of Mount Brown as seen from the lookout.

The Daily Inter Lake reports that scatterings of rain across the greater Flathead Valley this week, officials say, are the first steps toward the end of this year’s fire season. According to Ali Ulwelling, a Department of Natural Resources and Conservation fire prevention specialist, Stage II Fire Restrictions will remain in place until fire officials can meet on Tuesday. “This is a great break, but it doesn’t really mean winter is here and it’s over and done,” Ulwelling said. Ulwelling said she expects the restrictions will be lifted within the next two days, but reminds residents that the open burning season will not begin until Oct. 1. Read the full story here.

Magnificent Many Glacier

By | September 19, 2017

Superintendent Jeff Mow, left, cuts a ribbon with Kym Hall, former deputy superintendent at Glacier National Park, during a celebration of the rehabilitation efforts at Many Glacier Hotel on Sept. 12, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The Flathead Beacon reports that in the spring of 2000, Interior Secretary Bob Babbit was speaking before a House appropriations subcommittee about the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog when he made an off-script comment about Glacier National Park’s rundown Many Glacier Hotel. Babbit said the 84-year-old hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake had deteriorated so much that the only solution involved “a can of gasoline and a match.” A week later, before a U.S. Senate appropriations committee, he reiterated, “This is a building that really ought to be torn down.” Read the full story here.

Moving Meat

By | September 18, 2017

FWP’s Montana OutDoors magazine has an article that begins… Elk have an infuriating habit of hiding out in inconvenient places: distant ridgetops, black timber, inaccessible holes full of deadfall. So after you’ve accomplished the impeccable sneak and squeezed off the perfect shot, you’re faced with moving a mountain of meat across inhospitable terrain back to the truck, which now seems impossibly far away. Read the full article here.

Day 18 as a Volunteer Fire Lookout, September 14, 2017

By | September 17, 2017

The sound of the north wind whipping around the Lookout greeted me as I opened my eyes in the freezing glass house.  Grey skies were all around me, but the smoke no longer enveloped the Lookout.  Smoke from the Adair Fire was billowing and buffeted by heavy winds from the north.  Smoke had settled in the northern valley, but it was difficult to determine if the smoke was from Gibraltar or the Canadian fires.

Fire in the Lookout

I quickly started a fire in the wood stove and huddled close to it watching the temperature gauge inch up.  Later, I was still huddling over the wood stove while eating hot oatmeal covered with nuts and prunes.  Gradually, the Lookout warmed up.

There had been no precipitation at Cyclone, but Thoma Lookout reported light snow during the morning weather report.  Everyone in the North Fork valley was hoping, praying, and doing rain dances in an appeal for precipitation in any form.

Adair fire in the morning

The Adair Fire was very active and the smoke was traveling down the Logging Creek drainage, across the river and the road, down the Coal Creek drainage and over Winona Ridge.  Some of the smoke was spilling over the west end of Logging Ridge, but most of it was to the south.

Using all leftover food for lunch

At lunch, I cooked up all of my remaining food by making an omelet with veggies from my garden and cucumber and tomatoes on the side (also from my garden).  Cyclone Lookout would be going out-of-service for the season following the evening check-in and I would be hiking out and going home.  Due to the cold weather and the fact that Numa Lookout was returning after two days off, the fire managers did not think that Cyclone needed to remain in service and they were aware of my willingness to return if things changed. Continue reading

Survey: Fishing, Wildlife-Watching Participation Up Across the U.S., Hunting Numbers Down

By | September 17, 2017

Fishing gearThe Flathead Beacon reports that Americans have more options than ever before when it comes to exploring and experiencing wild places and wildlife. National parks across the country have attracted record crowds in recent years, and the ever-evolving opportunities of outdoor recreation, from mountain biking to paddleboarding, are expanding beyond the traditional norms, such as hunting and fishing. A new study shows that 101.6 million Americans — 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 years and older — participated in wildlife-related outdoors activities last year. That number is slightly below historical figures; in 1991, an estimated 108.7 million people participated in some form of wildlife-related activity, according to previous studies. Read the full article here.

Montana Wildfires: Rain and Snow Help But Won’t End Season

By | September 17, 2017

The Flathead Beacon reports that rain snow and cold have replaced heat and smoke after about two dry months on Montana’s fire lines, leaving crews scrambling for extra sleeping bags, heaters, coats and long underwear. While the change in weather is welcome, it brings its own challenges for crews fighting dozens of fires in drought-stricken Montana. Read the full story here.