All posts by NFPA President

Great Fish Challenge ends tomorrow! Donate!

From Flannery Freund, NFPA President…

Hello Friends and Fanatics of the North Fork!

The aspen trees are beginning to shed and the currently brilliant blue skies offer the perfect backdrop. The river continues to tickle the valley bottoms as critters actively scramble the shrubs for the last of the dried up berries.

For many of us this is the best time of year-but, come to think of it-we say that every season, don’t we?!

Well, beyond sending you all a celebratory fall greetings I’m writing to let you all know that we have until the end of tomorrow, September 15th, to donate to a local fundraising campaign called the Great Fish Challenge. This annual fundraising event provides much of the years operating budget for many local non-profits and, although we are not participating, the NFPA would like to ask you to donate today! In particular, to the Flathead Rivers Alliance. As a partner organization to NFPA, contributing to their efforts will directly help us in our mission to preserve the wildlife, wilderness and watershed of the North Fork Valley!

So, if you don’t mind, take 3 minutes and scroll to the bottom of and donate now!!!

Thanks for all your support you guys! We look forward to chatting more as the summer comes to an end! Cheers!

Alert: North Fork Land use planning needs your help!

Happy Fall dear NFPA members!

If you are an NFPA member and a landowner, this call is to you! If you’re a member and not a landowner, feel free to familiarize yourself with the material (below) and write some letter to our commissioners anyways! Thanks for all your support, today and always…

It’s time for North Fork Landowners to get our revised zoning Text Amendment across the finish line with the County Commissioners! The North Fook Land Use Advisory Committee (NFLUAC) needs your help!


Many of you have previously written extremely helpful letters of support for the Text Amendment.  We understand there is “planning fatigue”, but we need you to rally yourselves one last time and submit letters of support! Personalized letters pack the biggest punch, especially if they say WHY this matters to you:

  • Do you have a personal story about how you’ve been, or in the future may be, negatively affected if the zoning is NOT updated?
  • Are you concerned because our zoning is decades out of date and doesn’t meet current growth needs?
  • Are you concerned because our original zoning is sometimes confusing or ambiguous and leads to conflict within the community?

Please send a letter of support to the County Commissioners before the November 1, 2022 hearing, the earlier the better to ensure it is received and read. Their email addresses are:; and  The physical address is: 800 S. Main, Kalispell MT  59901.   If you’re not up to letter writing, you can submit a comment here:    The County Commissioner’s hearing is set for November 1, 2022 at 09:00, third floor of the courthouse.


A brief Summary of the Text Amendment, the Text Amendment itself and our letter to the Commissioners are linked below.  Italicized portions of the Text Amendment are those which are unchanged from the existing regulations.

Thanks again for taking the time to participate in the future of the North Fork!

Cheers and larch needles,

Flannery Coats Freund
NFPA President

Document links:
North Fork Zoning Text Amendment Overview
NFLUAC Commissioner Letter Oct 2022
NFLUAC Text amendment with italics Oct 5 2022

Spring Greetings!

Flannery Coats Bio PhotoAnd all of a sudden, the robins are chirping from branches and geese are flying overhead at dusk. Happy Spring fellow North Fork fanatics. Although winter was seemingly short and forgiving, a lot happened even with the lack of hibernation motivation. And so, a winter report from your newly elected President.

First and foremost, one of our most cherished conservation colleagues, Dave Hadden of Headwaters Montana, retired, and in celebration of his lifetime achievements the NFPA Board awarded him with the Jack Potter Glacier National Park Stewardship Award. Just like all things wild, this award came full circle for Dave who has promoted local stewardship by giving away this award to hardworking colleagues for the last decade. The collaborative transboundary work Dave accomplished in his time at Headwaters Montana has perpetuated the historic watershed successes of the North Fork and for that, we are eternally grateful. As many of you know, the Headwaters Board decided to disband the organization with Dave’s retirement. NFPA is proud to be chosen to administer Headwaters scholarship funds going forward.

Our committed Board has been working hard over the winter with other local organizations to begin to address the tsunami of recreationists with the attendant negative local impacts now referred to as “Summergeddon”. Our outreach committee is working on educational resources for new landowners. A “Living with Wildlife” brochure will be distributed to the greater North Fork mailing list in collaboration with the NFLA. Bear News is being resurrected and out for print this Spring as well. We have booked an exceptional speaker for our annual meeting in July; look for more details in a future communication.

Be sure to visit our website,, or our Facebook page for current news. Of most recent interest is the Interlocal meeting that you can watch on YouTube: Park management and road maintenance plans were of particular interest.

Hopefully, the thaw is kind and quick for all of you. Looking forward to a great summer.

Flannery Coats

North Forkers prepare to “shelter in place”

COVID-19 Symptoms InfographicCOVID-19 is now considered a global pandemic with cases rising exponentially around the world. This disease can cause pneumonia and death and there is no vaccine against it and no cure. People over 60 are most at risk. There are probably many more infected with the virus in the U.S. than has been reported due to the lack of testing across the country.

In Montana, as in many states in the country, schools are closed and events have been cancelled in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming our hospitals which is happening in Italy right now.

The North Fork is a good place to isolate oneself and many North Forkers have prepared to “shelter in place” for the duration of the threat. However, as North Forkers continue to travel and make trips to town, the chances increase that the virus will find its way to the North Fork. Please exercise precaution when returning to the North Fork and delay getting together with friends and neighbors until you are certain you haven’t brought home a nasty souvenir.

North Forkers who have gone to town have reported empty grocery shelves and a long line at Costco as people stock up.

Below is the latest notice from Governor Bullock regarding the coronavirus.

Continue reading North Forkers prepare to “shelter in place”