Feb 28 2015

Open burning season for Flathead County begins Sunday, March 1

Published by under News

Open burning season begins March 1 and runs though April 30. After that, you’ll need to pull a permit.

Call the Ventilation Hotline at 751-8144 or check the Burning Restrictions web page each day for any daily restrictions.

The Burning Restrictions page is also a good source for additional information about open burning.

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Feb 26 2015

Winter Interlocal, continued: dust and fish

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

A previous post on the Winter North Fork Interlocal meeting held February 11 at Glacier Park’s Community Hall linked to several articles on issues discussed at the meeting.

Here are a couple of additional articles published this week:

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Feb 26 2015

Tester gets ‘four Pinocchios’ for statements on logging litigation

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Senator Jon Tester seriously misstated the effect of lawsuits on logging projects in Montana, causing a minor public furor and earning him “four Pinocchios” from the Washington Post . . .

Our inbox started flowing with e-mails from outraged residents of Montana shortly after Montana Public Radio ran an interview in which Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)  asserted that “every logging sale” in the state was “under litigation.” The complaints also reached the radio station, as within a day, Tester’s staff offered a revised statement that focused on “volume” rather than sales. Marnee Banks, his spokeswoman, apologized for the original statement, but Tester himself made no comment.

But when we asked Tester’s staff for evidence to back up the revised statement, they simply directed us to the U.S. Forest Service, rather than explain the data themselves. It’s taken a few days to unravel the numbers, but this is a case of apples and oranges, with a few limes thrown in.

What’s the actual effect of litigation on logging in Montana?

Read more . . .

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Feb 23 2015

Nuisance moose

Published by under News

This is kind of interesting. Near Spokane, Washington, they have issues with nuisance moose and employ many of the same techniques we use around here to deal with nuisance bears . . .

To euthanize or tranquilize? That is the question state wildlife officials must ask as a last resort when moose become a high-risk threat to humans. Spokane officers have had to answer the question several times this winter.

“Each case is different,” Capt. Dan Rahn of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police said. “Putting a moose down or capturing and moving it away are both difficult decisions we’d rather not have to make. Public safety is our main concern.”

The Fish and Wildlife office in Spokane receives hundreds of moose-related calls or complaints a year, Rahn said.

Read more . . .

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Feb 21 2015

New Region 1 wildlife manager announced

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Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Region 1 has a new wildlife manager . . .

A biologist who once specialized in grizzly bear diet, Neil Anderson recently took over as the new Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1 wildlife manager.

Anderson officially began his new job at the Kalispell office on Feb. 9. His predecessor, Jim Williams, is now the regional director.

“I’ve worked with almost all the biologists here in one fashion or another,” Anderson said about his new position. “We’re not enforcing the laws, but we do work with game wardens a lot of the time to develop harvest strategies and season-setting. We have to make sure what we create is enforceable.”

Read more . . .

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Feb 21 2015

Flathead Forest Friday Focus: New Historic Districts

Published by under History,News

From a recent Flathead National Forest press release . . .

History is being made on the Flathead National Forest (FNF) with the recent designation of two National Historic Districts in the National Register of Historic Places; Big Creek Ranger Station, and FNF Backcountry Administrative Facilities.

The public is invited to learn about and discuss these National Historic Districts during the next Flathead Forest Friday on February 27, 2015 at the Nite Owl Back Room Restaurant on 8th Street West in Columbia Falls, Montana. The no-host breakfast chat starts at 7:00 AM. Attendees will learn about these unique facilities and why they were deemed worthy of listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Continue reading . . .

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Feb 21 2015

Flathead Forest Plan proposal due March 6

Published by under News

One of the major items announced at the recent North Fork Interlocal meeting was the impending first public release of the proposed revision to the Flathead Forest plan on March 6. This will be followed by a public meeting on March 17 . . .

The Flathead National Forest is expected to release the proposed action for a new Forest Plan early next month.

The target date for publication is March 6, Forest officials told North Fork residents last week during a North Fork Interlocal Agreement meeting.

The first public meeting on the Forest Plan is scheduled for March 17 in Kalispell. Forest officials will take public comments for 45 days and then release a draft document with different alternatives in 2015. The final plan is expected to be completed in late 2016.

Read more . . .

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Feb 21 2015

Winter Interlocal covers a lot of territory

Published by under News

The Winter North Fork Interlocal meeting was held February 11 at Glacier Park’s Community Hall. There were at least 31 North Forkers present and good representation from the various government agencies.

The Interlocal Agreement provides for face-to-face contact with representatives of agencies whose policies and actions affect the North Fork. Interlocal Agreement meetings are held in the winter (in town) and summer (at Sondreson Hall).

This is always a very interesting meeting, with reports from a range of government agencies and local organizations and often some quite vigorous discussion. This meeting was no exception.

Here are links to a number of articles discussing the Interlocal meeting . . .

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Feb 21 2015

Some bears getting an early start

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

The unseasonably warm weather has gotten some area bears up and moving. The Flathead Beacon posted a couple of photos of a grizzly sow and two cubs spotted by a crew working on Going-to-the-Sun Road last week.

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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Feb 17 2015

Model quantifies meltwater contribution from Glacier Park’s glaciers

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

A recent study puts some hard numbers on the amount of meltwater contributed by the glaciers in Glacier National Park . . .

A recent study to be published in the University of Colorado’s Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research journal quantifies for the first time the amount of meltwater from Glacier National Park’s glaciers.

The peer-reviewed scientific study presents a model quantifying the contribution of the Park’s 39 named glaciers to local watersheds. Total glacial coverage in the Park has declined by 35 percent over the last half-century as an increasingly warm atmosphere outpaces the rate at which new precipitation allows glaciers to grow.

The research effort began about five years ago with Whitefish native Adam Clark’s graduate thesis at the University of Montana Geosciences Department, where he studied under another one of the study’s coauthors, Joel Harper. Clark now works for the U.S. Geological Service’s Northern Rocky Mountains Science Center with Dan Fagre, the other co-author of the study.

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