Category Archives: News

Olympic National Park to get rid of its mountain goats

Mountain Goat - David Restivo-NPS
Mountain Goat – David Restivo-NPS

One area’s natural wonder is another’s invasive specie . . .

The mountain goats at Olympic National Park in Washington have worn out their their welcome and park officials are moving ahead with plans to get rid of them.

On Monday the National Park Service released a mountain goat management plan, laying out three methods of dealing with the population, which park officials say not only is damaging the environment but is dangerous to people.

One method is killing the animals with shotguns or high-powered rifles. The other is relocating them. And the last option is a combination of the two.

Read more . . .

Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day, July 25

From the official press release . . .

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park will host the 14th annual Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day on Tuesday, July 25th, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the West Glacier Community Building in Glacier National Park.

The event is free of charge, and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a sack lunch to enjoy during the one-hour lunch break. Held yearly on the fourth Tuesday in July, this event alternates between the two national parks with Glacier hosting in odd years, and Waterton Lakes hosting in even years.

Science and History Day is an opportunity for the public to hear the latest results from scientists and historians carrying out projects in and around the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Presentations for this year are grouped into themes of history, wildlife, and aquatic and land environments.

Continue reading Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day, July 25

Chrisman Family named Tree Farmers of the Year

Chrisman Family - Tree Farmers of the Year 2016

Wow! First the Hoilands, now the Chrismans . . .

About 50 yards from the Chrisman family home up the North Fork, there’s a lodgepole pine tree. It isn’t doing very well, at least not compared to the trees near it. The bark is rubbed off in several spots and the tree, quite frankly, has seen better days.

But Allen Chrisman won’t cut it down, even though he runs a tree farm on the 300-plus acre spread, because the lodgepole pine is a special tree for the bears that roam through the place. About a dozen or so grizzlies have stopped by the lodgepole, for whatever bear reason, to rub their backs, shoulders and bellies on that tree. Black bears stop by and rub, too and every once in awhile a mountain lion or a wolf gives it a sniff.

Chrisman knows this because he set up a critter cam nearby, and has many of the encounters record.

Read more . . .

Vital Ground, Nature Conservancy team up on North Fork Flathead easement

View From Polebridge Palace

From a press release announcing the recent “Polebridge Palace” sale . . .

A property that helped turn Montana’s North Fork Flathead River into a conservation stronghold is changing hands but remaining wild, as The Vital Ground Foundation has teamed up with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and new landowners on a conservation easement protecting 142 acres of forestland and wildlife habitat known as Polebridge Palace.

On the pine-strewn benches above the North Fork Flathead, the area will remain a haven for grizzly bears, Canada lynx, and other sensitive wildlife, as well as a part of the protected Glacier National Park viewshed that annually attracts millions of domestic and international tourists. Meanwhile, TNC can ensure an undeveloped future for a place that once hosted the group’s early momentum-building events in the valley.

“We’re very excited,” said Greg Lambert, transactions manager for TNC’s Montana chapter. “We decided a few years ago that the best option for TNC was not to own it, but as a conservation organization, we wanted the property protected in perpetuity and would never have sold it without an easement in place.”

The agreement includes TNC selling the acreage to new private buyers while donating a conservation easement to Vital Ground, a nonprofit land trust based in Missoula that works to connect and protect key habitat for grizzly bears and other wildlife. The easement stipulates that the new landowners will not develop the forested property beyond its current house and small outbuildings, keeping the bulk of the property preserved as habitat that will help reduce bear-human conflicts in the area.

Read more . . .

Ellen Horowitz’ new Glacier Park book released

What I Saw in Glacier - cover
What I Saw in Glacier – cover

Long-time NFPA member and stalwart Ellen Horowitz just had a new book published . . .

Columbia Falls author Ellen Horowitz is no stranger to natural history writing for kids.

She’s a freelance writer whose work appears in magazines like Ranger Rick. Her pieces have won national awards, including the National Wildlife Federation’s Trudy Farrand and John Strohm Magazine Writing Award, and she took first place in the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s Excellence in Craft contest.

Horowitz was asked to write “What I Saw in Glacier, A Kid’s Guide to the National Park” as a sequel to the popular “What I Saw in Yellowstone,” written by Durrae Johanek.

Read more . . .

Summer 2017 NFPA Newsletter online

2017 NFPA Newsletter header
2017 NFPA Newsletter header

For those of you who can’t wait on the mail, the North Fork Preservation Association Summer 2017 Newsletter is now available online in the “Newsletters” section of the website. Enjoy!

Here’s a partial table of contents:

  • Challenges and Hope (President’s letter)
  • Working Group Reports:
    – Watershed Issues
    – Wildlife Issues
    – Wilderness Issues
  • Volunteers Needed for Citizen Science Project on the North Fork
  • Collaboration: Bringing People Together in a Divisive World

Summer North Fork Interlocal Agreement Meeting coming up July 19

Sondreson Hall, circa 2010
Sondreson Hall, circa 2010

The Summer 2017 North Fork Interlocal Agreement Meeting is at 1:00pm, on Wednesday, July 19 at Sondreson Hall. This year’s sponsor is the North Fork Preservation Association.

Interlocal meetings are held twice each year, winter and summer. These semi-annual get-togethers are intended to encourage open discussion between North Fork landowners and neighbors and local, state and federal agencies.

In other words, it’s a big deal if you have an interest in the North Fork.

Preceding the Interlocal meeting, is the annual FireWise Day Workshop at 9:30 a.m. and lunch at noon. Lunch is a community potluck, with the NFPA supplying the main course and drinks.

UofM scientist publishes new pine marten research

Pine Marten - USFWS
Pine Marten – USFWS

The most interesting part of this article is the discussion of species hybridization, the process that apparently produced the pine martens living in our area of the country . . .

If you’re going to learn something new about the pine marten, you might need a good hair trap.

Natalie Dawson, a research professor at the University of Montana, published findings this year in the Journal of Mammalogy about the pine marten, a member of the weasel family. To learn about the creature and its environment in the Pacific Northwest, Dawson needed hair samples.

“It’s not as easy as snaring grizzly bear hair because these are really small creatures,” said Dawson, also director of UM’s Wilderness Institute.

Read more . . .

Multiple challenges filed opposing Yellowstone grizzly delisting

Grizzly Bear - courtesy NPS
Grizzly Bear – courtesy NPS

Everyone knew this was coming . . .

At least three different legal challenges were launched Friday against the U.S. government’s decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area that have been in place for more than 40 years.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society, and WildEarth Guardians are among those challenging the plan to lift restrictions this summer.

Read more . . .

Waterton-Glacier butterfly bioblitz announced

From the official press release . . .

The Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center (CCRLC) is pleased to announce its inaugural Waterton-Glacier Butterfly BioBlitz July 10th and 11th at Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks. Visitors will work alongside taxonomic experts to document butterfly diversity, and learn more about butterflies, and other lepidopterans in the Crown of the Continent. Participants will use the iNaturalist app to record field observations, and are encouraged to download the app prior to the event.

Glacier National Park’s Butterfly BioBlitz will be July 10th from noon to 3:00 pm at both Apgar Village, and Two Medicine. Participants are not required to stay until the close of the event. The event is free, and open to people of all ages, and skill levels. Registration is required. Visit https://www.nps.gov/rlc/crown/bioblitz.htm to register. Contact CCRLC at (406)-888-7944 or email Evan Portier at evan_portier@nps.gov for more information.

Waterton Lakes National Park’s Butterfly BioBlitz will be July 11th from 11 am to 5 pm. Contact william.greene@pc.gc.ca for more information. Remember to bring a valid passport if traveling across the border.