Feb 17 2015

Rally for public lands packs Capitol Rotunda

Published by under News

Last Monday’s rally to support public lands was quite successful, with plenty of supporters willing to make the trip to Helena and quite a few speakers, including Governor Steve Bullock.

This article from the Missoulian even includes video . . .

A packed Capitol rotunda on Monday became the latest battleground over transferring of federal lands to state ownership with hundreds rallying in opposition to the plan.

Opponents to the transfer blasted the idea as a political stunt and waste of resources while about a dozen transfer supporters held up signs and handed out literature…

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Feb 17 2015

Feds may restore grizzlies to North Cascades

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Looks like Washington’s Cascade Range may be getting some grizzly bears . . .

A tentative federal proposal to restore grizzly bears in the North Cascades will be explained at public meetings next month.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service are taking public comments for an environmental impact statement before deciding whether to take an active role in restoring the grizzly bear to the North Cascades Ecosystem…

The North Cascades ecosystem encompasses 9,800 square miles in the United States and another 3,800 square miles in British Columbia. The United States portion includes North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan national recreation areas plus the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie national forests.

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Feb 17 2015

Le Grizz race informational meeting, Feb 26

Published by under News

There’s an informational meeting at the Merc at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 26 to talk about this fall’s Le Grizz ultra-marathon.

Here’s the meeting announcement from their flyer . . .


 

Le Grizz Informational Meeting
Thursday February 26, 2015
Polebridge Mercantile
10AM
Please join us at the Mercantile for some coffee to talk about and comment on what’s happening with this year’s Le Grizz Ultra-Marathon up the North Fork

What we know:
The Le Grizz will occur up the North Fork
The race will be in early October
100% of Race Proceeds to be donated back to the community

What we don’t know:
The exact course
We have not obtained a Forest Service permit yet
Exact date
Number of participants

Email: runlegrizz@gmail.com

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Feb 15 2015

Reminder: Rally for public lands in Helena at noon, Feb. 16

Published by under Environmental Issues

President's Day Public Land Rally

President’s Day Public Land Rally

Reminder: Attend the Public Land Rally in Helena this Monday, February 16, at High Noon!

Guest speakers:
Governor Steve Bullock
David Allen, President and CEO, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Mary Sexton
, former Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Director
Adrienne Marx, Montana Wilderness Association council member
Randy Newberg, host of the popular cable television show “Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg.”

Can you make it?  Will you make it?

If you live in the Flathead Valley there’s a van leaving Kalispell at 8:00am.  Call 406-730-2006 for info. First come, first serve.

If you live in another town, click here for other bus/car pooling opportunities.

Why is this important:  The Transfer of Public Lands is a hot button issue this legislative session. Powerful out of state interests are wooing our legislators to pursue a dangerous and economically disastrous path that would lead to excessive litigation and ultimately, if successful – less access and more taxes for Montanans. That’s why we’re heading to Helena to fight back and make sure that the Legislature understands loud and clear that our public lands are not a toy for politicians to play with.

Can’t make it? Sign the petition!

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Feb 15 2015

Serious money being spent on sage grouse conservation

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Everyone knows to take government budget numbers with a grain of salt, right? Still, this overview of the money being directed towards sage grouse conservation is pretty interesting . . .

Spending on a government-sponsored initiative to help struggling sage grouse populations in the West is projected to exceed $750 million by 2018.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday the money will conserve an estimated 8 million acres of sage grouse habitat. Federal officials are more than halfway to that goal since starting the Sage Grouse Initiative in 2010.

The chicken-sized birds are found in 11 Western states. They’re being considered for federal protections after their numbers plummeted in recent decades.

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Feb 15 2015

Wildlife talk by Doug Chadwick, Feb 22

Published by under News

From our friends at the NF News website . . .

Wildlife biologist and local author Doug Chadwick will speak of his experiences exploring ecosystems from Siberia to the Congo, and Canada to Northwest Montana at the Museum at Central School, 124 Second Avenue East in Kalispell, on Sunday, Feb. 22, starting at 2:30 p.m. Chadwick received a master’s in wildlife biology from the University of Montana. He is the author of 11 books and produced hundreds of articles for publications for National Geographic, Reader’s Digest and the New York Times Review of Books. Tickets are $9 available at the museum or at the door. For more information, call 756-8381.

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Feb 15 2015

‘Mac’ McNeil dies

Published by under News

Ed McNeil, known in the North Fork as “Mac,” died February 8. Those who moved to the North Fork in the last ten years or so did not have the pleasure to meet him as he has been ailing for a long time. He and his wife Cecily bought land in the North Fork some fifty-five years ago which made them some of the earliest of the summer residents.

I have known Ed for thirty-five years, but did not fully know his accomplishments until I read the obituary below. He was a private kind of person. His wife Cecily was a board member of NFPA for a long time during the early years of that organization. Their son Alan is on the current NFPA board.

John Frederick


 

Edward Bowen McNeil

Edward Bowen McNeil

Edward Bowen McNeil, 93, passed away Feb. 8, 2015, in Kalispell.

Edward was born in Chicago on May 11, 1921. His parents were Grace Barr Bowen of Logan, Ohio, and Dr. Claude Perkins McNeil of Mansfield, Ohio. The family lived in Whiting, Indiana, where Dr. McNeil, a chemist, was head of the Asphalt Division of Standard Oil of California. Edward’s siblings were Robert McNeil and Jean McNeil.

Edward attended the Whiting Public Schools from elementary through high school. From childhood, music was important in his life; he studied cello from an early age, was first desk in the national award-winning Whiting High School Orchestra and was also in the All-Chicago chorus. In 1939 he entered Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, majoring in physics. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa and several societies on campus: the French Club, Phi Mu Alpha (music), and Ye Merrie Players. He was active in campus stage and musical productions as stage manager.

In 1943 Edward graduated from college cum laude and was immediately hired by Miami University to teach physics to the V-12s (the Navy Officer Training Program). When he was drafted in 1944 he enlisted in the Navy, which put him in the EDDY program for radar and electronic repair. After he graduated from the EDDY program, the Navy retained him as an instructor and he was stationed at Navy Pier in Chicago, which was one of three national radar/sonar schools. (Radar was new in those days.)

Discharged after World War II ended, Edward obtained an assistantship at the University of Illinois in Urbana, teaching physics. During that time, he met his future wife, Cecily Rideout, of Marin County, California, who was a graduate student in library science at Illinois. They were married in July of 1948 in Ross, California. Two sons were born to the couple, Alan Rideout McNeil and Bruce Bowen McNeil.

Edward became an assistant professor at the University of Illinois before obtaining his doctorate in physics and continued to teach there until 1954. Some time after earning his doctorate, he accepted a position at the University of Illinois in Chicago, which was then at Navy Pier.

Edward taught at the University of Illinois in Chicago for nearly 40 years. More interested in teaching than in research, he was proud to receive the Circle Award from the U of I in Chicago for Excellence in Teaching. He was also proud to be one of the founders of the Illinois State Physics project, which continues to this day.

That project gathers physics teachers of all academic levels once a month to share new information and ideas about teaching, most especially to recharge the enthusiasm of the teachers. It quickly became an important support group for the profession.

For three summers in the 1960s, Edward taught physics teachers in India, under a program sponsored by USAID. At that time he traveled extensively in India — Assam, Calcutta, Madras, Kerala, Bombay, Mysore, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Tanjore.

Edward maintained a keen interest in architecture. Trained by his father to be a skilled carpenter, he was eventually able to realize his dream by building a cabin for his family in the valley of the North Fork of the Flathead. This effort took several summers, and was accomplished without power tools.

He also maintained his interest in music, playing string quartet at least one night a week with competent amateurs in Chicago, and playing cello in the annual performance of “The Messiah” at Orchestra Hall, as well as performing with the orchestra for the Chicago Gilbert and Sullivan group. Interlochen Music Camp has a cello scholarship in Edward’s name.

In 1990, Edward and his wife Cecily retired to Kalispell, where Edward immediately volunteered for the Glacier Orchestra. He was on the board of the orchestra for several years and in 1997 was a Kalispell Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year.

Edward’s grandchildren include Henry Chesna McNeil, Fiona Reed McNeil, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Anna Crandall McNeil, Ellie Rideout McNeil, and Edward Bowen McNeil II.

Gift’s in his memory may be given to the Glacier Symphony.

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Feb 11 2015

Poll: Montanans believe federal lands belong to U.S., not state

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Further evidence that this idea of turning federal lands over to state control is a minority view . . .

A nonpartisan survey of Rocky Mountain state voters found 68 percent consider federal public lands as “American places” rather than places that belong to the people of individual states.

“It was striking to see they grasp these are American places by a 2-to-1 margin,” Republican pollster Lori Weigel said of the 2015 Western States Survey released Tuesday. “And there was significant intensity behind that. A greater proportion of people felt strongly about that.”

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Feb 06 2015

Groups call for more wilderness adjacent to the Bob

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

MWA and Headwaters Montana are recommending additional wilderness segments adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness, mostly in existing roadless areas . . .

Two wilderness groups are recommending additional wilderness in the Mission Mountains, Jewel Basin and Swan Crest areas adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

The Montana Wilderness Association and Headwaters Montana recently released two reports on their recommendations for the Flathead National Forest, which includes 147,315 acres in the Swan Range.

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Feb 06 2015

Brad Blickhan wins Jack Potter Award

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Here’s a good write-up on Brad Blickhan, winner of this year’s Jack Potter Glacier National Park Stewardship Award . . .

In 1987, a young Brad Blickhan came to Glacier National Park to drive a Red Bus. His uncle had drove the historic tour buses and said it was a good summer job for a college student. Like many others before him, Blickhan fell in love with the place, and never left…

In 1992, Blickhan tried to land a job on the Park’s trail crew. It was tight budget year with no openings so he took a post at the Park’s dispatch center, which got him involved with ranger staff. A few years later, he was a seasonal ranger at Two Medicine. By the early 2000s, he became the permanent Lake McDonald area ranger.

For his conservation efforts over the course of his 20-year Park Service career, the affable Blickhan was awarded the Jack Potter Award by Headwaters Montana, a local conservation group. Potter was the chief of science and management for many years at Glacier Park.

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