Category Archives: News

North Valley bear manager ready to hit the woods, neighborhoods

Justine Vallieres, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife conflict specialist
Justine Vallieres, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife conflict specialist

Justine Vallieres was recently named the new Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife conflict management specialist to fill the role of longtime grizzly bear manager Tim Manley.

Vallieres worked as a technician under Manley for four years and worked under wolf biologists Kent Laudon and Diane Boyd for one year each prior to that. She’s originally from New Hampshire and has a degree in applied animal science and wildlife from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. To date, she’s says she’s worked with about 100 grizzly bears through her tenure and learned a lot from Manley, who retired last year.

Continue reading . . .

Justine Vallieres is new Region 1 Wildlife Conflict Specialist for Montana FWP

Justine Valieres
Justine Valieres, Wildlife Conflict Specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (Region 1)

Recently announced  on Facebook by Tim Manley . . .

Congratulations to Justine Vallieres! She is the new Wildlife Conflict Specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (Region 1) based out of Kalispell.

I retired at the end of 2021. Justine was one of several qualified individuals that applied for the job and was selected by the interview committee. I know Justine will do a great job!

Flathead Wild & Scenic River live webinar, March 30th, 7pm

Poster announcing Flathead Wild & Scenic River Live Webinar, March 30th, 2022 7:00-8:00 pm MSTFlathead Rivers Alliance is hosting the Flathead Wild & Scenic River CRMP 101: How does management of Wild & Scenic Rivers work? free live webinar on Wednesday, March 30th, 2022, from 7:00-8:00 pm MST. In anticipation of the public participation portion on the Three Forks of the Flathead CRMP draft, this live webinar provides an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of river management plans from regional and local experts. An opportunity for the public to participate in CRMPs only happens every 15 to 20 years. Registration is required for this FREE webinar. If you don’t plan on attending virtually, you can register to receive a video recording and submit your questions via email ahead of time. Learn more: www.flatheadrivers.org/events

Webinar Registration: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/6116443358206/WN_E7n1YQ8HTkiwI9wwKy1ZiQ


Also, the Flathead Rivers Alliance is ramping up for the 2022 river season and recruiting 20-30 volunteer team members! Are you passionate about the river system that inspired a national protected Wild and Scenic River system? They are expanding their River Ambassador program and officially launching a River Recreation Monitoring Survey program.

  • April 12th, 2022 6:00-8:00 pm River Ambassador Training 
  • April 14th, 2022 6:00-8:00 pm River Recreation Monitoring Training 

There are a number of ways to give your time including helping with their volunteer programs on the North, Middle and South Forks of the Flathead River. Save the above dates and RSVP at info@flatheadrivers.org if you’re interested in one or both of their volunteer program trainings or other opportunities.

Federal Protections for Gray Wolves Restored

A gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park - Jacob W. Frank, NPS
A gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park – Jacob W. Frank, NPS

Federal protections for gray wolves have been restored, except for those states where gray wolf endangered species status has already been removed by congress . . .

A judge has ordered federal protections restored for gray wolves across much of the U.S. after they were removed in the waning days of the Trump administration.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said in Thursday’s ruling that the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to show wolf populations could be sustained in the Midwest and portions of the West without protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Wildlife advocates had argued state-sponsored hunting threatened to reverse the gray wolf’s recovery over the past several decades.

The ruling does not directly impact wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, which remain under state jurisdiction.

Continue reading . . .

Related reading: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland Speaks Up On Wolves, But Is It Enough? – Mountain Journal

Flathead River group launches Wild & Scenic River Webinar Series ahead of Comprehensive River Management Plan

Flathead Rivers Alliance announces a two-part live webinar speaker series ahead of the anticipated spring public comment period for the Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive River Management Plan. This is an opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of Wild and Scenic Rivers and river management plans from expert regional and local managers and advocates. Additionally, gain an understanding of how to be an active participant during the public portion of the river management plan process that only happens every fifteen to twenty years.

Flathead Wild & Scenic River Webinar Series

  • February 16th, 2022  7:00-8:00 PM MST| Webinar #1: The Wild & Scenic River that Connects Us
  • March 30th, 2022      7:00-8:00 PM MST | Webinar #2: CRMP 101- How does management of Wild and Scenic Rivers work?

Registration is required for this free webinar series. If you don’t plan on attending virtually, you can register to receive a video recording and submit your questions via email. Live transcription is available during the webinar. Learn more and register at flatheadrivers.org/events.

Did you know the Middle Fork of the Flathead River was the birthplace for the idea of a National Wild and Scenic Rivers system? Designated by Congress on October 12, 1976 (Public Law 94-486), the Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River are currently managed under the 1980 Flathead River Management Plan. For the last two years, the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park have been drafting an updated CRMP for these rivers that they cooperatively manage, taking into account significant increase of shore and float usage and an obligation to protect the river system’s Outstanding Remarkable Values.

Join Flathead Rivers Alliance to learn about the significance of Wild and Scenic Rivers, responsibilities for managing the 219 mile Three Forks of the Flathead River as a Wild and Scenic River System, and what’s around the bend for Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) public participation and local initiatives.

More information on webinar speaker series registration, volunteer and donation opportunities, and quick reference CRMP FAQ can be found at flatheadrivers.org/comprehensive-river-management-plan.

Continue reading Flathead River group launches Wild & Scenic River Webinar Series ahead of Comprehensive River Management Plan

2022 Wilderness Speaker series kicks off Feb 10

The annual Wilderness Speaker Series will return to Flathead Valley Community College in 2022, thanks to the ongoing partnership of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, the Northwest Montana Lookout Association and the Flathead-Kootenai Chapter of Wild Montana, with support from the Natural Resources Conservation & Management program at FVCC.

Large Community Room (#139) at FVCC’s Art and Technology Building from 7:00-8:15 PM on the second Thursday of February, March and April.

No charge for these engaging community events and all are welcome to join the discussion.

2022 Wilderness Speaker Series

 

Vehicle reservations for Glacier National Park go online March 2 at 8 am

Mountain edge in foreground (Tinkham Mountain) with glacier in background (Pumpelly Glacier) - Glacier NP, Jacob W. FrankHere’s the latest on this year’s “vehicle reservation” (they are not called “tickets” anymore) system for gaining entrance to Glacier National Park.

Highlights:

    • Tickets …er, uh… vehicle reservations will be required to enter the park’s Going-to-the-Sun (GTSR) corridor and at Polebridge.
    • A separate reservation is required for the GTSR and for Polebridge. GTSR reservations are good for 3 days, between 6:00am and 4:00pm; Polebridge reservations are good for only 1 day, between 6:00am and 6:00pm.
    • Vehicle reservations will be required from May 27 to September 11. They will be available 120 days in advance on a rolling window starting March 2 at 8:00am. Like last year, reservations cost $2.00.
    • Vehicle reservations can be purchased from recreation.gov, either online or through their call center.

See the press release for more details.

North Fork specific details not mentioned in the press release (Camas Road transit, local boating access, etc.) will be discussed at the Interlocal on February 9.

REMINDER: North Fork Interlocal meeting, 10:00am, February 9th online

1990 Interlocal at Sondreson Hall
1990 Interlocal at Sondreson Hall

The Winter 2022 Interlocal Agreement Meeting is hosted by Glacier National Park at 10:00am on Wednesday, February 9. Note that this will again be a virtual meeting – hopefully, the last one. Links for the online session should be available soon.

For those of you who are new to this, The Interlocal Agreement provides for face-to-face contact with representatives of agencies whose policies and actions affect the North Fork. Interlocal Agreement meetings are held twice a year, in the winter (in town) and summer (at Sondreson Hall). This is always a very interesting meeting, with reports from a range of government agencies and local organizations and often some quite vigorous discussion.

Wolf harvest down locally despite rule changes

Gray WolfWhat’s going on here in Region 1? Over-hunting in previous years? . . .

Following years of record regional harvests, hunters and trappers in the northwestern corner of the state have so far achieved less than a third of total state-sanctioned wolf kills for the season.

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission set its Region 1 wolf hunting and trapping threshold this year — quitting the use of a “quota” — at 195 animals.

Year-to-date, the Region 1 effort, mostly comprising Lake, Sanders, Lincoln and Flathead counties, tallied 52 wolves tagged so far, according to state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department data available Friday. That’s down from the 101 killed in the region by this time last year, according to FWP.

Continue reading . . .

Montana FWP to close wolf hunting around Yellowstone after a few more kills

Wolf in Yellowstone National Park - Jim Peaco, YNP
Wolf in Yellowstone National Park – Jim Peaco, YNP

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will shut down wolf hunting in the area around Yellowstone National Park as soon a few more wolves are killed . . .

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park commissioners voted Friday to close wolf hunting and trapping in Region 3 once the wolf take reaches 82 wolves.

Region 3 encompasses an area of Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park. The take to date is 76 wolves.

Commissioner Pat Tabor, who is from the Flathead Valley, quashed an amendment to the motion that would have immediately closed wolf hunting and trapping in wolf management units units 313 and 316, which directly border Yellowstone. The smaller units are part of the broader Region 3.

Continue reading . . .