Tag Archives: Glacier National Park

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.

Glacier’s headwaters: Water tower to our continent

North Fork of the Flathead River - ©Mark LaRowe
North Fork of the Flathead River – ©Mark LaRowe

A few days ago, the National Parks Conservation Association released their Summer 2017 Field Report for the Northern Rockies. In it was an article by Michael Jamison, Crown of the Continent Program Manager, that is highly relevant to the North Fork, as well as any other region downstream of the Canadian Rockies. By permission of the author, it is reprinted here in its entirety . . .

People tend to think Glacier National Park is all about mountains.

And people are wrong.

Glacier is also about water: icy cold water rushing clean and clear across gravel and stone; whitewater plunging over cliff-band falls; sky-blue water eddying into lakes set like sapphires into the deep green of wilderness.

From the summit of the park’s Triple Divide Peak, meltwater flows west to the Pacific, east to the Atlantic, north to the Arctic by way of Hudson Bay. Glacier is water tower to a continent, spiked by peaks sharpened on a grindstone of Pleistocene ice.

I recently flew north out of Glacier, over a long slice of Alaska—another place branded by its mountains. Chugach. Wrangell-St. Elias. The Aleutians and Brooks and Chilkats.

But Alaska, like Glacier, is not really about mountains.

What I saw unfolding below was, again, a wild country defined by water: an endless winding coastline; miles of muskeg pooling like quicksilver; rivers washing the feet of mountains, slicing tundra and stone, spilling sediment braids into an ocean the color of steel.

Montana and Alaska are alike in this way. They also share a common headwater: British Columbia.

Continue reading Glacier’s headwaters: Water tower to our continent

Jeff Mow to give presentation April 19

Jeff Mow, Superintendent of Glacier National Park - NPS photo
Jeff Mow, Superintendent of Glacier National Park – NPS photo

Jeff Mow, Glacier National Park Superintendent, is giving a talk at Flathead Valley Community College on Wednesday, April 19 . . .

In celebration of National Park Week, Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow will give a community presentation about challenges and opportunities the park sees in the future at the heart of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem.

The talk will take place at Flathead Valley Community College on Wednesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. in the Large Community Room, Arts and Technology Building, Room 139.

Mow will address management strategies including the importance of community and partner collaboration in the face of increasing park visitation, invasive species, funding, and climate change.

Read more . . .

Glacier to lift restrictions on hand-propelled boats with invasive species inspections this season

Zebra mussels
Zebra mussels – via Wikipedia

Glacier Park has decided to allow small, hand-propelled watercraft on their lakes this season, as long as they are inspected for invasive mussels. Anything with a motor or big enough to require a trailer, is prohibited while the park further evaluates the danger posed by invasive mussel species.

Possibly in response to some points raised at last month’s Interlocal Meeting, “local users who live in more remote locations” (i.e., North Forkers) can get their equipment inspected at the “nearest ranger station.”

Here is the full press release, including a useful Q&A section. It’s followed by a link to a good summary article in the Hungry Horse News . . .

Date: March 16, 2017
Contact: Office of the Superintendent, 406-888-7901

WEST GLACIER, MT. – Glacier National Park announced today that hand-propelled, non-trailered watercraft including kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards will be permitted in the park with mandatory inspection beginning May 15 for Lake McDonald and the North Fork and June 1, 2017 for all remaining areas of the park. Last November, park waters were closed to all boating as a precaution after invasive species of non-native mussels were detected in two popular Montana reservoirs east of the park.

Hand-powered boat users will be required to have their craft certified mussel-free (“clean, drained, and dry”) by Glacier staff under a new inspection program with stations in four popular locations in the park. (Local users who live in more remote locations will be directed to the nearest ranger station for inspection.) This is a change from last season, when hand-propelled watercraft required visitors to complete an AIS-free self-certification form before launching into Glacier’s lakes.

Privately owned motorized and trailered watercraft brought into the park will not be allowed to operate on Glacier’s waters this summer while a comprehensive assessment of the threat from mussels is underway. Among other measures, this will include comprehensive testing of waters in the park and elsewhere in Montana for the presence of quagga and zebra mussels. These non-native mollusks reproduce quickly and can wreak havoc with lake environments, water quality, native wildlife, lake infrastructure, and cause significant economic harm to infested regions.

Continue reading Glacier to lift restrictions on hand-propelled boats with invasive species inspections this season

Interim closure issued for all boating within Glacier National Park

Zebra mussels
Zebra mussels – via Wikipedia

For the first time, invasive mussel larvae have been detected in Montana waters. In response, Glacier Park has immediately shut down boating in the park while they double check everything.

Here’s the meat of the official press release . . .

In response to the recent detection of invasive mussel populations in central Montana, Glacier National Park is issuing an interim boating closure within all park waters, in accordance with the park’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Action Plan. The closure includes both motorized and hand propelled watercraft.

The 2014 plan calls for this immediate closure when invasive mussels are detected within a waterway in the State of Montana, as was announced on November 9 by Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

The park will begin an assessment period to conduct testing, inspect park boats, and evaluate the risk boats pose to park waters and waters downstream from the unintended introduction of invasive mussels. The assessment will likely include the evaluation of further tests of waters across the State of Montana during the summer of 2017. The closure will remain in place during the assessment period, which will extend until the nature of the threat is better understood.

“Park scientists will work diligently with the State of Montana and other water quality experts to understand the scope of this threat, and identify steps the park will take to further protect our waters in the Crown of the Continent,” said park superintendent Jeff Mow.

Glacier National Park sits at the top of three continental scale watersheds. Water from the park drains into the Columbia, Missouri, and South Saskatchewan Basins. Protecting park waters from an infestation is important not only for the park’s ecosystem, but also to economic and ecological interests downstream.

Beginning in 2011, the park initiated a mandatory boat inspection and launch permit program to reduce the risk of infestation of park waters by invasive mussels. Since that time, approximately 1,000 motorized boat permits were issued annually. The park also required self-inspection and AIS-free certification of non-motorized watercraft. These boats come from many states across the country, including those with established populations of invasive mussels.

In 2016, launch permits were issued to boats registered in 13 mussel positive states following inspection.

See also: Invasive Mussel Larvae Found in Montana Reservoir (Flathead Beacon)

Conservationists from around the globe gather in Glacier Park

St. Mary Lake
St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park

A world-wide assortment of conservationists met in Glacier Park . . .

What many European visitors to the United States encounter on their first trip to America, the woman from Croatia noted, is New York City.

One of the first things Maja Vasilijevic saw on her first trip to the U.S. was a little different than the bright lights and teeming crowds of Times Square. No, one of Vasilijevic’s first encounters with America included a large herd of bison thundering across a lonely stretch of U.S. Highway 2 on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

“It’s unique,” said Vasilijevic, who had never in her life seen one of the animals in person. “Not only the bison – the whole landscape.”

Read more . . .

Most national parks ignoring planning, overcrowding laws

Logging Lake in Glacier National Park, USA - National Park Service
Logging Lake in Glacier National Park, USA – National Park Service

Glacier Park is doing better than most national parks in dealing with and planning for increased visitation . . .

With a 17-year-old general management plan in place and work continuing to address traffic issues on Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park appears to at least partially escape the wrath of a conservation group’s complaint that most of America’s national parks are ignoring federal laws requiring management plans.

The recently released reports come as the National Park Service promotes its 100th anniversary, and many parks are braced for record crowds. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says its review of 108 of the 411 units the NPS administers – including all 59 of America’s national parks – reveals that just seven have established visitor limits, called carrying capacities, and six of those only cover certain areas or facilities.

PEER says the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 requires “visitor carrying capacities for all areas” of all national parks. “The safeguards Congress enacted to prevent national parks from being loved to death have become dead letters,” Jeff Ruch, the executive director of PEER, says.

Read more . . .

Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day in Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lake
Waterton Lake

From the official press release . . .

Parks Canada and the U.S. National Park Service will host the 13thannual Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day at the Falls Theatre (near Cameron Falls) in Waterton Lakes National Park on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. This international event, held annually on the last Tuesday in July, is free of charge with park entry fees.All are encouraged to attend.

Science and History Day is an incredible way for people to learn about the latest research directly from the scientists and historians working in and around the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Experts will discuss their work in a non-technical style, with presentations grouped into themes of aquatic resources, landscapes, history and wildlife.

Some of this year’s subjects include: the threats facing salamanders, cross-boundary work on climate change, the parks’ lesser-known past, and how remote cameras are used to track wildlife movement.

Jeff Mow, Glacier National Park Superintendent, said “The peace and friendship of the Peace Park is captured in the many cooperative projects carried out in our scientific community.”

“Science and History Day is an outstanding opportunity for all people to learn about some of the research in the Peace Park and personally connect with our environment and history,” commented Ifan Thomas, Waterton Lakes National Park Superintendent. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to Waterton for this special learning oppo


The program celebrates the U.S. National Park Service’s Centennial with a viewing of the 1954 film “Wardens of Waterton” featuring cooperative work with Glacier National Park’s Rangers. Science and History Day provides participants with an excellent opportunity to learn about their national parks and connect with the heritage of their protected places. Attendees are encouraged to bring a sack lunch for the 45-minute lunch break, so as not to miss the film viewing at 12:45 p.m.

Continue reading Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day in Waterton Lakes National Park

Public invited to Invasive plant bioblitz event, July 19

From the press release . . .

The Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at Glacier National Park has announced an invasive plant BioBlitz, an opportunity for the public to help with early detection of invasive plants along park trails. The event will be held on Tuesday, July 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event begins at the park’s Community Building in West Glacier and will be followed by an afternoon spent pulling invasive plants along park trails. Participants will learn to identify five targeted invasive plants, and how to use a GPS unit and the free iNaturalist app to mark invasive plant locations while hiking along park trails.

Participants are asked to bring gloves for hand pulling, hiking footwear, and plenty of drinking water. Glacier National Park Conservancy will provide a free lunch for all attendees.

Since 2005, the Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program has utilized trained citizen scientists to collect population data on species of interest in the park. Training provided to participants serves to inform them on threats to native plants and animals that may result from human disturbance, climate change, and invasive species. The Citizen Science Program not only provides valuable data to park managers, but it helps create an informed group of visitors involved in active stewardship of Glacier National Park.

Funding and support for the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center’s Citizen Science Program is provided by the Glacier National Park Conservancy. For more information on the Citizen Science Program or to attend the Invasive Plant BioBlitz event call 406-888-7986 or e-mail e-mail us.

This event is one of four BioBlitzes at Glacier National Park that are part of the National Park Service’s Centennial Year celebration of biodiversity in national parks. For more information on other events in the National Park Centennial BioBlitz series follow this link: