John Frederick, “The icon of the North Fork”

John Frederick, NFPA founder and perennial president, got some well-deserved recognition in Larry Wilson’s Hungry Horse News column this week . . .

Everyone who has spent any time on the North Fork has to know John Frederick. In the last few years, his friends have been worried about his health, and everyone has marveled at the level of his physical activity.

Just this past summer, he managed an all-day mule ride from Whale Creek to Thompson-Seton Lookout and back. That a minor achievement when compared to the multiple days he spent helping Bill Walker and others reopen the Coal Ridge Trail. By all accounts, the trail had not been maintained for nearly 40 years.

His activity level seems all the more remarkable when you see him brace himself to stand from a sitting position. It wasn’t always this way.

Although I have often considered John a relative newcomer to the North Fork, he has actually been here for nearly 40 years. He is a self-described environmentalist and was one of the founders of the North Fork Preservation Association and has been the president of that group most of the time since it was started.

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