Prep to Ride, Not to Slide

By | November 16, 2017

Erich Peitzsch, with the Flathead Avalanche Center, digs a pit to check conditions near Whitefish Mountain Resort. Beacon File Photo

The Flathead Beacon says winter wouldn’t be winter in the Rocky Mountains without wind slabs and weak layers, terrain traps and temperature gradients, and skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers navigating a labyrinth of backcountry hazards. But even in a region that sees a high volume of backcountry winter travel, stoke and safety can coexist with the right amount of avalanche awareness, preparation and education. Read the full article here.

National Forest Christmas Tree Permits Available

By | November 16, 2017

Kalispell, MT, November 15, 2017 – Beginning November 15, Christmas tree permits will be available for five dollars cash at each of the Flathead National Forest offices in Kalispell, Hungry Horse, and Bigfork. Additionally, permits can be purchased from a variety of retail vendors in the area. The Christmas Tree Harvest Guide and a complete list of vendors can be found on the Forest’s website: Each permit is good for the harvest of one tree from National Forest Land, with a maximum of three permits per household.

As part of the national Every Kid in a Park initiative, all fourth graders are eligible for one free Christmas tree permit. For students to receive a free tree permit, they must present a valid Every Kid in the Park Pass. To obtain the pass, visit, follow the instructions on the website then print out the paper voucher. Bring the voucher to a Forest Service office to claim the free permit. The fourth grader and adult must present the voucher in person at the office location. Continue reading

Champion of the North Fork John Frederick dies

By | November 15, 2017

John Frederick with Bernie the Toe-Biter- photo by Carol Vuchetich | From the NFPA website

We heard this morning that John Frederick had passed. Lois Walker has written an obituary that Bill has posted on the NFPA website along with some wonderful photos of John. Please tap here to read about John’s life and his contribution to the North Fork.

Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbia Falls. Announcement of a celebration of John’s life will be forthcoming.

Everyone is going to miss John.

Protecting grizzlies while keeping people safe

By | November 14, 2017

FWP Director Martha Williams

The FWP Montana Outdoors magazine has an article by Director Martha Williams that begins… This past summer I met with area ranchers and others in Augusta, a town of 315 people between the Rocky Mountain Front and Great Falls, to discuss grizzly bears expanding their range beyond the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE). Read the full article here.


By | November 14, 2017

Square dancing on Nucleus Avenue during Progress days, Aug. 13, 1956. From the Hungry Horse News

The Hungry Horse News has a good yesterdays column this week that includes…

Nov. 10, 1967

Robert Gilmore, 46, of Torrance, California was mauled by a grizzly bear while hunting elk up the North Fork at Home Ranch Bottoms. Hunting companion Charlie Ritter shot the bear twice while it was still on top of Gilmore from about 15 feet away in a spruce thicket. Ritter shot it two more times and it turned around and ran toward him. He shot it twice again and it died about 12 feet away. Ritter then shot the bear twice more with a pistol for good measure.

Read the full column here and find out how Columbia Falls go its name.

Green Grazing

By | November 13, 2017

FPW’s Montana Outdoor’s Magazine has a story that begins… Brian Martin drives to the top of a rise on the Matador Ranch overlooking a prairie stretching for miles in all directions. The landscape appears uniform to a first-time visitor until Martin, conservation director for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Montana, points out the diversity in this vast grassland. Some clay pans are nearly barren. Stands of green needlegrass and little bluestem grow a foot tall. In the distance, knee-high grasses rise amid clumps of Wyoming big sagebrush. Read the full story here.