Jul 30 2014

Montana FWP doing fish habitat project in North Fork

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is doing restoration work along the south fork of Coal Creek . . .

A fish habitat enhancement project is underway in the South Fork Coal Creek drainage, a tributary to the North Fork Flathead River that was degraded by historical land management practices, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

More than two dozen large woody structures are being incorporated into the stream channel to create spawning and rearing habitat for bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.

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Jul 29 2014

Idaho suspends use of hired wolf hunter in Frank Church Wilderness

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has declared a temporary truce over its practice of using a hired hunter to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Yep, that’s right: A state-sponsored wolf hunt in a big “W” wilderness area. You just can’t make this stuff up . . .

Idaho Fish and Game officials say they’re suspending a plan to use a hired hunter to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness until at least November 2015.

Jeff Gould, wildlife bureau chief for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, made the declaration in a document filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

A coalition of wildlife advocacy groups sued the state and federal officials in federal court earlier this year, asking a judge to stop a state-hired hunter from using the U.S. Forest Service’s backcountry airstrips to reach and kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return wilderness. A federal judge rejected their request for a temporary restraining order, but state officials pulled the hunter out of the region after he killed nine wolves.

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Jul 26 2014

Today! The second ‘Missing Piece Rendezvous’ comes to the North Fork, July 26

The North Fork Preservation Association annual meeting is on Saturday, July 26, featuring Canadian activist Harvey Locke speaking on “The Missing Piece of Waterton National Park.” He is a charismatic orator who thinks in large landscapes. Harvey begins his talk at 7:30 p.m. The potluck dinner starts at 5:00 p.m., followed by the business meeting. For more information call 406-888-5084.

John Frederick wrote the following article about this year’s presentation. It appears in the current NFPA newsletter . . .

The “Missing Piece” refers to the area north of us known as the Flathead of British Columbia (in Canada, the North Fork Flathead is called just the Flathead River). The region east of the river is a logical extension to the existing Waterton Lakes National Park on the other side of the Continental Divide in Alberta. The first “Missing Piece Rendezvous” was at Waterton town site last fall to a large crowd of happy people.

The second “Missing Piece Rendezvous” will be held on the porch of the North Fork Community Hall featuring Harvey Locke and Sid Marty at 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 26. Both are engaging entertainers. Bring folding chairs or a blanket and bug dope, if needed.

NFPA 2014 Annual Meeting Announcement

NFPA 2014 Annual Meeting Announcement

Harvey Locke does not give up easily. This well-known Canadian activist has been trying to have the part of the Flathead of British Columbia that is above Glacier National Park added to Waterton National Park for over twenty years.

I met him 25 years ago on a Waterton-Glacier Superintendents’ Hike and remember him talking in French to a warden in Waterton Park, demonstrating to me his appealing personality (even though I didn’t know French). I marked him as someone unique although I knew nothing about him at the time.

Harvey Locke is recognized as a global leader in the conservation of wilderness and large landscapes. He is known in Canada as one of the leading conservation activists there. He thinks about large landscapes – the movement to establish wildlife corridors from Yellowstone to Yukon was his idea. Harvey has many conservation groups in place on both sides of the border to back up what he says and when he says something it has authority. His connections to powerful individuals are truly amazing. He makes things happen. Continue Reading »

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Jul 24 2014

Artist-Wilderness-Connection showcase at Hockaday Museum August 7

Published by under News

The Flathead National Forest, Hockaday Museum of Art, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and the Swan Ecosystem Center are hosting a reception and presentation of Visions of the Wild, an Exhibition of the Artist-Wilderness-Connection Program (AWC) at the Hockaday Museum of Art on Thursday, August 7. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 5 p.m. There will be an opportunity to meet the 2013 artists, NW Montana photographer Randy Beacham and Bozeman painter Barbara Rusmore. The reception will be followed by a brief presentation by both artists.

The evening’s event will include a slide presentation by Beacham, “Discovering Wilderness through the Lens”, reflecting on his ‘discovered images’ that capture the uniqueness of the wilderness around Silvertip Cabin where he spent his 12-day residency. Rusmore will share her experiences and painted images from “On the Divide – a view from on top of the Great Bear Wilderness.”

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the Artist-Wilderness-Connection Program and the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a special exhibit of AWC artwork will be on display at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, July 24 through September 13. The exhibit features artwork created over the last ten years from 31 participating artists.

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Jul 24 2014

‘State of the Lake’ report discusses water quality, modeling and oil spill threat

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Here’s a good summary of the ‘State of the Lake” report given at the Flathead Lakers annual meeting . . .

The bad news about Flathead Lake is that primary productivity, or the lake’s ability to grow algae, climbed back above 100 grams of carbon per square meter per year in 2012, exceeding the water quality target of 80.

“The good news is that the decline in dissolved oxygen at the bottom of the lake isn’t getting any worse,” Flathead Lake Biological Station director Jack Stanford reported in his annual State of the Lake report at the Flathead Lakers’ annual meeting.

Nitrogen, a nutrient that contributes to algae growth, is increasing, Stanford said, but the increased nitrogen means that algae growth is now being limited by the amount of phosphorus coming into the lake.

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Jul 24 2014

Flathead ‘Bat BioBlitz’ may help Canada’s endangered bats

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

The Canadian Flathead, as well as the area immediately below the border, has hosted a number of bat studies in the past few years, including this most recent one…

Bat biologists are converging in B.C.’s Flathead River Valley tomorrow. They hope to gain new information to advance bat conservation in B.C.’s southeast and to ultimately minimize the impacts of White Nose Syndrome, a mysterious disease that has killed millions of North American bats.

The four-day Bat BioBlitz, organized by conservation groups in B.C. and Alberta and led by Wildlife Conservation Society Canada’s bat biologist, Dr. Cori Lausen, will build on an initial inventory of Flathead bats that Lausen conducted last summer during a BioBlitz. That inventory detected two species of bats in the Flathead that are considered federally Endangered by the Committee on Endangered Wildlife in Canada: little brown myotis and northern myotis.

“In the southeast corner of B.C., the Flathead may be the gateway for entry of White Nose Syndrome into B.C., and it is thus urgent to start monitoring bats in this area,” said Lausen. “Significant bat hibernation caves have never been found in B.C. and yet the Flathead is surrounded by karst and has the deepest cave in all of Canada.”

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Jul 23 2014

Forest road decommissioning winding down?

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Looks like the Flathead National Forest might be just about done with decommissioning roads . . .

Over the past 10 years, the Flathead National Forest has decommissioned about 700 miles of roads. That might be nearly the last of them if recommendations contained in a recent draft study are followed.

Forest planners recently examined all 3,000 miles of roads spread across the 2.4 million acres of Flathead Forest land. The travel analysis looked at risks and benefits for each road and concluded that, in the future, only 54 miles of road would be considered for closing or no longer needed.

Most of that total is found in one road — Forest Road 2820, in the headwaters of Bunker Creek.

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Jul 23 2014

Bob Marshall’s legacy

Carol Treadwell, executive director of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, has a nice piece about Bob Marshall and the upcoming “Wilderness 50th” celebration in this week’s Hungry Horse News . . .

On the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 28, 1928, Bob Marshall departed Kalispell to embark on an eight-day hiking trip that would cover 288 miles and cross landmarks such as Mount Aeneus, White River Pass, the Chinese Wall, Big Prairie, Gordon Pass and Holland Pass and end at the Seeley Post Office.

Bob averaged 36 miles a day including “evening strolls” taken after dinner each evening.  Bob was 28 at the time and continued to put down epic hikes throughout his life and even courted gals who could match his stride for 20 miles.

His greatest life accomplishment, however, was to spearhead the public initiative for the protection of wild lands. In 1935, he helped form the Wilderness Society and was its first donor, contributing $1,000.

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Jul 23 2014

Picnick-raiding black bear killed by park rangers

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Here is this year’s “a fed bear is a dead bear” story. Glacier Park had to kill a food-conditioned black bear in the Two Medicine area of the park . . .

Glacier National Park Rangers euthanized a black bear from the Two Medicine area on Friday, July 18, after several reports in which the bear exhibited apparent food-conditioned behavior, including an incident in which the bear charged a picnicking family.

On Thursday, July 17, the black bear approached a family that was eating at a picnic table at the Two Medicine Picnic Area. The family yelled and clapped hands, but the bear charged towards the table, and the family retreated to their vehicle. The bear consumed the food and left the area after a park ranger repeatedly hazed the bear with rubber bullets and bean bags.

This same black bear was observed digging in a fire pit in the area, and did not seem bothered by human presence. There were several sightings of the bear on and near to the park trail system along the shore of Two Medicine Lake. The bear was determined to be a food-conditioned bear, and a threat to human safety. Trail and picnic area closures were implemented in Two Medicine.

The bear was euthanized. This action is consistent with Glacier National Park’s Bear Management Plan. The male bear was approximately five years old and weighed approximately 225 pounds.

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Jul 22 2014

Grizzly relocated from Blackfeet Reservation to North Fork

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

As mentioned at the recent Inter Local meeting, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks personnel helped relocate a nuisance grizzly to the Whale Creek drainage . . .

A grizzly bear captured on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation after it killed a calf was relocated to the Whale Creek drainage of the North Fork Flathead River.

On July 16, Blackfeet tribal biologists captured the 220-pound, 2-to-3 year-old-male grizzly bear at the site of a calf kill near the Montana and Alberta border.

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