Tag Archives: Flathead River Valley

Teck purchases three land parcels for conservation in B.C.’s Flathead River valley

Some good news from British Columbia: Teck Resources bought up a sizable amount of land (almost 28 square miles) in southeast British Columbia for conservation purposes, most of it in the Flathead River drainage. The Vancouver Sun has the story, including a map . . .

Mining giant Teck Resources will spend $19 million to buy thousands of hectares of land in southeast British Columbia for conservation, the company announced Thursday.

The company said it purchased more than 7,000 hectares in the Elk and Flathead river valleys from Tembec Inc., not for mining but to preserve wildlife and fish habitat. “While not amenable to mining, the lands have the potential to be used for conservation purposes,” the company announced.

Company president Don Lindsay said Teck will work with area First Nations and conservation groups to ensure the protection of key wildlife and fish habitat.

Read more . . .

Further reading: “Flathead Wild Congratulate Teck on Land Purchase”

And more: “Canadian Mining Giant to Buy Land North of Glacier Park for Conservation”

Canada to exclude Flathead Valley from planned sale of dominion coal blocks

According to our friends north of the border, the Canadian federal government will not be making lands available for coal development within their section of the trans-boundary Flathead River Valley . . .

Flathead Wild, a coalition of conservation groups dedicated to protecting the Flathead Valley in the East Kootenay, welcomes the federal government’s announcement that it will exempt portions of the Dominion Coal Blocks within the Flathead Valley from a planned sale of federal lands. At the same time, the groups remain concerned that inappropriate development of the coal blocks adjacent to the Valley could jeopardize water quality and wildlife populations.

“While details around the planned sale are not yet clear, we are encouraged that the Federal Government has confirmed that portions of the coal blocks overlapping with the Flathead River Watershed will not be included in the sale, and that discussions with the Province are under way to ensure the protection of the entire watershed from development” said John Bergenske, Wildsight.

Read more . . .

Report recommends park in Canadian Flathead, other protections

The Wildlife Conservation Society Canada just issued a report making several recommendations to protect the Southern Canadian Rockies, including the Flathead Valley. Besides a new provincial park and a set of wildlife management areas, the report also encourages wilderness designations on the U.S. side of the border . . .

A new report from the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada) creates a conservation strategy that will promote wildlife resiliency in the Southern Canadian Rockies to the future impacts of climate change and road use. The report’s “safe passages and safe havens” were informed in part by an assessment of six iconic species — bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain goats and bighorn sheep — five of which were ranked as highly vulnerable to projected changes.

Nestled between Glacier National Park in Montana and Banff National Park in Canada, the Southern Canadian Rockies (SCR) has been overshadowed by these towering icons of mountain splendour. Yet this southern section contains spectacular landscapes, supports one of the most diverse communities of carnivores and hoofed mammals in North America, and is a stronghold for the six vulnerable species that have been vanquished in much of their former range further south…

Weaver recommends a portfolio of conservation lands including a ‘Southern Canadian Rockies Wildlife Management Area’ (WMA) that would conserve 66% of key habitats on 54% of its land base. The WMA designation would emphasize fish and wildlife values while allowing other responsible land uses. The trans-border Flathead River basin adjacent to Waterton Lakes-Glacier National International Peace Parks also merits very strong conservation consideration, says Weaver, due to its remarkable biological diversity. He endorses a new National or Provincial Park on the B.C. side and Wilderness areas on the Montana side.

Continue reading . . .

Additional reading:

Full “Safe Haven…” report, courtesy Dr. John Weaver

Extract from report listing North Fork recommendations

Report discusses future climate change impact on native trout

A just-released report discusses the impact of climate change on Rocky Mountain trout species . . .

A new research paper published in Fisheries magazine explores how a warming climate is affecting trout streams in the Flathead River basin and throughout the Rocky Mountains, and urges quick action if native trout populations are to persist in diminishing cold-water habitats.

The report examines the climate histories of five river basins in the Rocky Mountains, including the Flathead River, which is home to robust populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. In every case, stream characteristics have been adversely affected by warming trends, which have led to higher stream temperatures and habitat fragmentation.

Continue reading . . .

Grizzlies declared “Species of Special Concern” in Canada

Rachel Potter drew attention to this nugget. The grizzly bear is a “Species of Special Concern” in Canada, with the highest concentration of these bears being in the Canadian Flathead and, of course, points south . . .

Canada has a “major responsibility for safeguarding remaining grizzly populations,” according to a new federal government report.

Canada’s Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) met at the beginning of May and assessed thirty-five Canadian wildlife species as at risk, declaring grizzly bears a “Species of Special Concern.” . . .

British Columbia’s Flathead River Valley has the greatest density of grizzly bears in the interior of North America. As part of a wildlife corridor that stretches from Yellowstone Park in the U.S. up to the Yukon, the Flathead is a crucial habitat link for grizzlies and other animals.

Continue reading . . .

Riversong Crown of the Continent Choir and the Headwaters Ensemble begin tour Friday

The following performance tour announcement was posted today on the “Flathead River Valley” web site, sponsored by a group of environmental organizations from the U.S. and Canada interested in preserving the transboundary Flathead Valley. The tour kicks off with a presentation at Lake McDonald Lodge auditorium on Friday, May 18 at 7:45pm. . .

A Celebration of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park & The Transboundary Flathead River

From soprano winds piercing alpine heights to the bass reverberations of river-rock rolling under spring runoff, the songs of the Crown of the Continent are among the purest hymns in nature – they inspire, uplift and fortify. Spilling from pristine headwaters in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, this clear chorus awakens springtime and rouses us to raise our own voices in celebration of the summer to come.

In honor of these timeless melodies that accompany the turn of the seasons, the 60-voice Crown of the Continent Choir and their select group – The Headwaters Ensemble – are embarking on a circuit around the Crown, wrapping Waterton-Glacier in song. Their voices are accompanied on this journey by the unparalleled images of Steven Gnam – a talented fine-art photographer whose scenes from Waterton-Glacier are quite simply without peer. His astonishing images, combined with soaring choral arrangements, emerge like a wonder of spring color to honor the season.

Beginning at Glacier Park’s historic Lake McDonald Lodge – then traveling through Waterton, Pincher Creek and Fernie – the presentation celebrates 100 years of international peace and goodwill across borders. It also serves as tribute to a century of transboundary conservation in this remarkable mountain intersection of Alberta, British Columbia and Montana.

The Crown of the Continent Choir is a Kalispell-based community choir, directed by Kevin Allen-Schmid. They sing in celebration of our tremendous landscapes, our protected parks, and also for the sheer fun of it. Steven Gnam is a Whitefish native who, in turning his lens to the Crown’s wonders, has presented us the gift of his unequaled artistic vision. Together, they provide a passport to Waterton-Glacier as you’ve never seen it — or heard it – before.

The performances come courtesy of the Crown Choir and Mr. Gram, with support from the National Parks Conservation Association and Wildsight.

RiverSong Performance Schedule:

Friday, May 18 7:45pm Lake McDonald Lodge auditorium, Glacier National Park

Saturday, May19 7:30pm United Church, Waterton Lakes National Park

Sunday, May 20

11am United Church, Pincher Creek, Alberta
4pm The Arts Station, Fernie, British Columbia

Headwaters Montana starts “Flathead River Otter” Facebook page

This is kind of fun. Headwaters Montana started up a “Flathead River Otter” Facebook page to increase awareness of the Flathead watershed and provide a place for informal discussion. If you’re on Facebook, wander over there and “like” the otter’s page . . .

Folks, no one knows the Flathead River and Flathead Lake better than the Flathead River Otter. If you love the Flathead, you “otter” like this page and share it with your friends!


The devil’s in the details: Resolving state mineral rights in the North Fork Flathead Valley

From the most recent Headwaters Montana newsletter . . .

When Gov. Schweitzer and BC Premier Gordon Campbell signed the historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the North Fork Flathead River in February 2010 Headwaters Montana heralded that event as an “historic breakthrough”.  And indeed it was.  But like all signed agreements, the MOU was only a beginning.

Unless fulfilled (i.e. made concrete with legislation and other actions) the MOU and the protections it promised could be lost for another generation to fight…

Continue reading . . .

Headwaters Montana looking for volunteers to help “complete the park”

From a newsletter sent out yesterday by Headwaters Montana . . .

We need your help.  Do you have just one day this summer to spend at spectacular Logan Pass to help complete the world’s first Peace Park: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park?

Last summer Headwaters Montana sponsored volunteers at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park to collect signed post cards from visitors who support doubling the size of Waterton Lakes National Park into the Flathead Valley in British Columbia (see map here).  Volunteers collected the names of over 3,000 supporters last summer alone. The campaign to ‘Complete the Park’ and ‘Protect the Flathead’ now has well over 10,000 visible and vocal supporters.

Each supporter, like you, adds to the mounting inevitability of expanding Waterton Park.  And while we already enjoy a super majority of supporters in south-east British Columbia and across the international boundary in Montana, we need to continue to build support to push this effort over the finish line.

We can achieve a breakthrough in the next year with your help.

Continue reading Headwaters Montana looking for volunteers to help “complete the park”

Local rivers still running high

The National Weather Service is still concerned about local flooding potential. From the Daily Inter Lake . . .

While the threat of flooding has waned on most Western Montana rivers, that is not the case for the Flathead and Swan rivers, which are expected to remain near or over flood stage possibly for the next two weeks.

The Flathead River at Columbia Falls rose nearly three feet Wednesday and Thursday to flows just shy of the river’s 14-foot flood stage. While the Flathead River has gone up and down over the last few weeks, it is expected to remain high with no significant declines over the next week at least.

“The Flathead River is going to be a big concern over the next week or maybe the next two weeks,” said Dan Zumpfe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula.

Continue reading . . .