The NFPA Board of Directors meets four times each year. In 2017, the board met on January 8, April 9, June 25 and November 4. Our annual meeting was held on July 29 and featured Dr. Tabitha Graves as our speaker who presented her research on huckleberries, a major food source for grizzly bears.

Update on NFPA Activities:  November 2017 – February 2018

Decisions made by email since the last board meeting on Nov. 4:

December — Approved letter to Senator Steve Daines in opposition to his bill to end protection of Wilderness Study Areas in Montana.
January — Approved the appointment of two new board members to replace John Frederick & Alan McNeil — Flannery Coats and Julie Nelson.

Alerts sent to membership since last board meeting:

December — Asked members to contact Senator Daines regarding Wilderness Study Areas.
January — Asked members to contact Congressman Gianforte concerning his vote on H.R. 1349—the “Wheels Over Wilderness” bill (mountain bikes in wilderness)— in the House Natural Resources Committee.
February — Asked members to contact Senator Daines concerning his upcoming vote in the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee to support S. 507, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act and to oppose S. 2206 which will end protection of Wilderness Study Areas.

Flathead Forest Plan:

The Flathead Forest Plan was released in January. It contains most of the recommendations from the Whitefish Range Partnership including designating 80,000 acres in the Northern Whitefish Range as recommended wilderness. This includes Nasukoin, Thompson-Seton, Review, Tuchuck and Hefty.

Another good decision in the Forest Plan is to manage recommended wilderness areas like designated wilderness by prohibiting mechanized transport and motorized use in recommended wilderness.

Areas outside the North Fork did not fare as well although the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Great Bear Wilderness were expanded by nearly 91,000 acres.

In addition, the final EIS falls short of the grizzly bear protections advocated by NFPA.

See the objections that were filed with the Flathead Forest Service by NFPA.

Update on NFPA Activities:  July-October 2017

NFPA Submitted Official Comments on the following things:
(These were submitted by the President after board approval.)

July 31 — Letter was sent to EPA opposing changes in the Clean Water Rule which protects water in rural communities.

Other Activities:

July 19 — Hosted the North Fork Interlocal Meeting
September 23-24 — Glacier Two Medicine Alliance annual meeting
September 25-27 — Crown of the Continent Conference

Update on NFPA Activities:  April-June 2017

NFPA Submitted Official Comments on the following things:
(These were submitted by the President after board approval.)

June — Letter opposing the Swan Forest Initiative sent to Lake County Commissioners.
June Letter supporting National Monuments sent to Secretary of Interior Zinke.

Alerts sent to membership:

June — Support our National Monuments by sending comments to Secretary of Interior Zinke and attending Rally in Whitefish in support of National Monuments.

Other Activities:

June — Approval of Dr. Tabitha Graves as Speaker for Annual Meeting.
June — Approval to spend up to $240 for logo design for new t-shirt and brochure.

Update on NFPA Activities: January-March 2017

NFPA Submitted Official Comments on the following things:
(These were submitted by the President after board approval.)

January 13Letter to Congressman Zinke regarding his vote to make it easier to transfer public land.

January 26 —  Letter to Kootenai Ranger District regarding draft travel plan for Ten Lakes.

Legislative Alerts were sent to membership on following issues before the Montana Legislature:

February 17 —  Wilderness Study Areas—oppose HJ9
February 21—  Public Land Bills—oppose SJ17, HJ11 and support HB491

Other Activities:

January 5 — Attended MEIC Workshop on the Montana Legislative Session.

Update on NFPA Activities:  May-November 2016

NFPA Submitted Official Comments on the following things:
(These were submitted by the President after board approval.)

June — letter to Congressman Zinke expressing disagreement with his vote on HR2316 called the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act which would transfer control of 4 million acres of federal land to state-appointed committees
SeptemberComments to the Flathead National Forest on the draft Flathead Forest Plan and EIS
September — Letter to NFPA membership requesting their individual comments be submitted on the Flathead Forest Plan
October — Recommendation for Debo Powers to be appointed to RAC

Other Activities:

JulyAnnual newsletter was mailed to all members
July — Annual meeting was held on Saturday, July 30 at the Sondreson Community Hall with a potluck supper, report on NFPA activities in the past year, and election of officers.  This year’s speaker was Dr. David Mattson, renowned grizzly bear research biologist, who spoke on “The Crown’s Grizzlies: Their Past, Present, and Future.”
October — Crown of the Continent Conference & Native Roundtable—NFPA was represented by John Frederick, Debo Powers, and Annemarie Harrod.

Update on NFPA Activities, January-May 2016

NFPA made Official Comments on the following issues:
(These were approved by the Board of Directors before submission.)

February:  Letter to Congressman Zinke opposing HR3650 and HR2316
HR3650—states can seize up to 2 million acres of federal land
HR2316—states can seize up to 4 million acres of national forests for clear-cut logging

March:  Letter to Congressman Zinke expressing disappointment that he voted for HR 2409, Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Act

March:  Letter to President Obama concerning transboundary issues before his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister

May:  Letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife regarding delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

May:  Letter to Kootenai National Forest regarding the Ten Lakes Travel Plan

NFPA sign-on with other conservation groups:

No mountain biking in wilderness—letter to Congress

Helicopter Flights over GNP—Quiet Glacier Coalition

Whitefish Range Partnership:

The WRP began meeting again this spring to work on legislation that could be developed from our agreement. The wilderness portion is the easiest part to write into legislation.  Other parts are much harder.  Two committees (“rec and wilderness” and “veg management” finished their legislative reports back to the WRP. NPCA has sent those reports to TWS and a US Senate staffer for evaluation of what can actually be legislated. We hope to have their findings before end of May.

Update on NFPA Activities, August – December 2015

  1. The NFPA board met in August and set up the following Working Groups.  Anyone interested in working with one of the following groups should send an email to the Chair and to
    • Watershed (Logging in Canada, Wild & Scenic River issues, etc.)
      Chair: Randy Kenyon
    • Wilderness (Northern Whitefish Range wilderness designation, Badger-Two Medicine drilling, Mining project in Cabinet Mountains, etc.)
      Chair:  Frank Vitale
    • Wildlife  (Grizzlies, Wolves, Wolverine, Lynx, Bull Trout, Cutthroat, etc.)
      Chair:  Steve Gniadek

    There is also a research committee to support the work of all of the groups above.  This committee is chaired by Annemarie Harrod

  2. In August, members of NFPA attended a celebration for the passage of the North Fork Protection Act through Congress and spoke to Senators Tester and Daines to thank them for their support.
  3. In August, NFPA signed on with other conservation groups to a letter to U.S. Representative Zinke stressing the importance and significance of collaborative efforts, such as the Whitefish Range Partnership.
  4. On August 30th, an op-ed was published in the Daily Interlake stating NFPA’s views on the logging north of the border in Canada.  In September, the Hungry Horse News and Flathead Beacon published this op-ed also.  (See posting on this website.)
  5. On September 2nd, three NFPA members traveled to Choteau to attend a public hearing before the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation concerning drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine.  NFPA went on record as standing in solidarity with the Blackfeet people in supporting the cancellation of all oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine.  On September 21st, the Advisory Council announced that it was recommending the withdrawal of the leases.  Other groups have been lining up to oppose the leases and the US Department of Interior has recently announced that the leases will be cancelled.
  6. On September 16-18, three NFPA board members attended the Crown of the Continent Conference in Missoula.  A report was posted on the NFPA website.
  7. In November, a letter was sent to the Montana Congressional delegation supporting Wild & Scenic River designation for Trail Creek, Yakinakak Creek, and Whale Creek in the North Fork.
  8. On December 3, three NFPA members attended the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meeting at Lone Pine State Park to hear updates on grizzly bear management and research.  A report was posted on the NFPA website.
  9. On December 13, the NFPA board used teleconferencing to discuss issues being addressed by the Working Groups and to work on organizational issues like revising the bylaws and choosing a program for the annual meeting in July.
  10. On December 14, several NFPA members, including two signers of the original Whitefish Range Partnership recommendations, began meeting with that group again to examine the possibility of legislative implementation for certain portions of the recommendations.