Celebrate the Wild Flathead! Join Montana Wilderness Association and Whitefish Review for an evening of poems and stories from the wild backcountry of the Flathead National Forest on Thursday, September 15 from 5:30 – 8pm at Bonsai Brewing Project in Whitefish. Local authors will share works that were inspired by the beauty of the places in our own wild backyard such as the Whitefish Range, the majestic Swan Range and the beloved Bob Marshall Wilderness. As we reminisce about another glorious summer on the trail, MWA encourages those who care about these areas to add their comments on the Flathead National Forest’s new management plan, which is currently being revised. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided and a FREE GIFT for new and current MWA members. This is a FREE event that is open to the public. Join us to listen, share, and protect the future of our wild legacy!
Glacier Park has a lengthy press release about visitor safety during the spring. Much of it is good advice for people visiting national forest lands, too, especially backcountry areas . . .
The transition from winter to spring at Glacier National Park is happening, offering some popular recreational opportunities, as well as some challenges and hazards.
Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and prepare for a visit to the park this spring. Visitors may encounter snow, cold and swift-running waters and changing weather conditions, as well as spectacular vistas and wildlife viewing opportunities.”
Snow accumulations across the park are above average and there is still much snow at the higher elevations and locations on the east side of the park. Many areas in the park are prone to avalanches and snow slides, so caution should be used in these areas, including along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
As the snow begins to melt, the rivers and streams begin to fill. The water is extremely cold and fast moving. Use caution when crossing or stepping near bodies of water, and be alert to areas with snow as thin snow bridges can be hazardous. Listen for muffled sound of running water under snow, moats, and avoid stepping onto snow cornices. River users should be cautious of avalanche debris along and in the rivers, and always wear a life jacket when boating.
Hikers and climbers visiting some of the higher elevations in the park should expect snow and ice, and be prepared for changing weather conditions. It is important to know the terrain you are about to hike or climb, and carry the appropriate equipment. When hiking may include snowfield travel, visitors should know how to travel in such challenging conditions, including knowing how to use crampons, ice axe and appropriate avalanche gear.
Layers of clothing, extra clothing and appropriate footwear are encouraged, as well as water, snacks and a map. It is a good idea to have a first-aid kit available, and always communicate to someone your planned route of travel and your expected time of return.
Since the park is home to black and grizzly bears, park visitors should be alert for spring bear activity and be familiar with responsible actions to maintain human and bear safety…
I’m not sure why Montana FWP is sponsoring a presentation on hiking in Glacier National Park, but here’s the press release . . .
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will offer a free one-hour program on the top 10 hikes in Glacier National Park on Feb. 27 at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave., next to Spring Meadow Lake State Park off Highway 12 West.
Glacier National Park Interpretive Ranger Lynne Dixon will lead the program. Dixon will discuss the park’s reservation system that helps one guarantee a place in the backcountry and offer detailed descriptions of each hike. Details will be offered on how to best plan for family friendly overnight trips and for week-long strenuous adventures. For more information call 444-9944.
Some folks are getting fussed about how a new Forest Service budgeting process could impact backcountry trails work. Region 1, which includes the Flathead National Forest, is one of the regions trying out this approach . . .
A U.S. Forest Service cleanup program repaired or removed more than 1,000 of roads and trails in Montana over a recent five-year period. Now its advocates worry a new budgeting process could squelch that momentum…
But that momentum could be lost under a new budgeting system the Forest Service let some of its regions try. Missoula-headquartered Region 1 is one of the pilot sites for Integrated Resource Restoration budgeting, which combines money from five task-related budget pools into single buckets defined by landscapes or watersheds.
This week, Larry discusses the importance of preparedness when traveling in the backcountry during winter . . .
As I write this on the Friday before Christmas, knowing that it won’t be read until after Christmas, I still can’t help but wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
As of today, we have very little snow and only a chance that more will fall before Christmas. I know the skiers and snowmobilers are unhappy about no snow, but it fits the old fat guy just fine.
Lack of snow in the lower elevations does not eliminate outdoor recreation. It just changes it. This week, North Valley Search and Rescue responded up Canyon Creek to rescue an ATV rider. With little snow in the river bottoms, this individual tried to ride his ATV between Canyon Creek and Big Creek. Higher up, he got his ATV stuck and couldn’t get it out.