Tag Archives: North Fork Preservation Association

116 conservation organizations, including NFPA, sign letter opposing bikes in wilderness

Mountain Biker by Mick Lissone
Mountain Biker by Mick Lissone

The NFPA joined a large group of other conservation organizations in signing on to a letter to congress opposing any change to the Wilderness Act that would permit bicycles in wilderness areas . . .

A legal change to allow bikes in federal wilderness hasn’t been introduced in Congress yet, but the issue already has advocates riled and rolling.

Last week, a coalition of conservation groups published a letter asking congressional delegations to “reject calls to amend the Wilderness Act to allow for the use of mountain bikes in designated Wilderness.” The coalition included Montana-based Wilderness Watch, Bitterroot Backcountry Horsemen of Montana and North Fork Preservation Association, among others.

They aimed their concern at proposed legislation drafted by a national mountain-biking group called Sustainable Trails Coalition, which also claims members in Montana. STC President Ted Stroll said the bill would move the decision about allowing bicycles in wilderness or proposed wilderness areas to the local forest supervisor level, instead of the national agency headquarters. It would also allow federal land managers to use mechanized and wheeled tools to maintain trails in federal wilderness.

Read more . . .

Letter: Keep bikes out of wilderness (PDF, 102KB)

John Frederick bids farewell to NFPA presidency

John Frederick, North Fork Hero
John Frederick, North Fork Hero

In his column this week, Larry Wilson has some nice things to say about John Frederick as he retires from the presidency of the North Fork Preservation Association . . .

As usual, summer on the North Fork seems to be flying by. Already the North Fork Preservation Association has held their annual meeting and elected next year’s officers and will be followed by the Landowners’ Association this Saturday.

I always enjoy watching the Preservation Association elections. Longtime President John Frederick reads the slate of officers and directors, a member moves the slate be approved, the motion is seconded, a vote is taken and the “election” is over. Takes about 90 seconds.

Big difference this year. President John Frederick announced last year that he would be serving his last year as president. In the last 30-plus years, John has almost always been the president as well as one of the founders of the group. Only other presidents were Ed Heger (one year) and Howard Harrod who I think was president for two or three years and who always said he was a stand in for John.

As a result, it was natural and appropriate that John should be recognized for his years of service.

Read more . . .

NFPA honors John Frederick for decades of service

Debo Powers (the new NFPA President, by the way) wrote the following report on last Saturday’s NFPA annual meeting. Interspersed with her article are several pictures of the event submitted by myself and Debo. If you weren’t there …well, you should have been. Everyone had a good time.

On Saturday night, John Frederick stepped down as President of the North Fork Preservation Association (NFPA) after more than three decades of leadership in this environmental organization which was founded in 1982. Following a potluck supper, a crown which said “North Fork Hero” was placed on John’s head.  The crowd of around 50 people listened while various NFPA members spoke about John’s contributions to the North Fork, told stories about John, and read email appreciations from other members who could not attend.  John was also given a plaque by the NFPA.

John has been an “environmental warrior” on many issues that have threatened the North Fork in the past three decades.  One of his major feats was buying ten shares of Rio Algom (a Canadian mining company) stock and traveling six times to stockholder meetings in Toronto to speak in opposition to the proposal to build a coal mine north of the border that would threaten the water quality of the North Fork of the Flathead River.  That coal mine was never built.  This was one of the many stories told about John’s activism.

John suffers through lots of people saying nice things about him
John suffers through lots of people saying nice things about him
Frank Vitale says his piece
Frank Vitale says his piece
John receives his plaque
John receives his plaque

After John’s “appreciation fest,” there was a short NFPA meeting in which officers and board members were elected.   The new officers are:  Debo Powers (President), Randy Kenyon (Vice President), Suzanne Daniell (Secretary), and Kelly Edwards (Treasurer).  Annemarie Harrod and Steve Gniadek were re-elected to the board and John Frederick will remain on the board as the Past President.  Those who will remain on the board for another year are Frank Vitale, Cameron Naficy, Alan McNeil, and Walter Roberts.

Every year following the annual NFPA meeting, there is an informative speaker who is invited to talk about a topic of local interest.  This presentation is open to the entire North Fork community, so others began to arrive after the meeting.  The NFPA speaker this year was Daniel Stiffarm, a Kootenai tribal member who is the acting director of the Kootenai Cultural Committee on the Flathead Reservation. He spoke about Kootenai history, culture, and language.   Daniel comes regularly to the North Fork which was part of the Kootenai Territory that was used for hunting and vision quests.  North Forkers learned much about Kootenai language and traditions including the Kootenai names of many familiar mountains in the North Fork.  Daniel was asked many questions which he graciously answered.

Daniel Stiffarm giving his presentation
Daniel Stiffarm giving his presentation
Daniel Stiffarm drew a big crowd
Daniel Stiffarm drew a big crowd

Reminder: North Fork Preservation Association annual meeting this evening

This evening, July 25, the annual meeting of the North Fork Preservation Association will be held at Sondreson Community Hall on the North Fork Road at Whale Creek.

At 7:30 pm Daniel Stiffarm of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, will speak on topics relating to Kootenai history. It should be a very engaging presentation.

The 7:30 pm program is preceded by a potluck dinner starting at 5pm and election of officers at 6:45 pm. Everyone is invited

John Frederick receives award from Flathead Audubon Society

John Frederick, NFPA President,  recently received a Flathead Audubon Society Conservation Achievement Recognition award for his years of work to protect the North Fork. This is a pretty big deal and a well-deserved honor. The formal award presentation is on October 13.

Here’s the article from this month’s “Pileated Post” newsletter announcing John’s award . . .

In the 50th anniversary year of the federal Wilderness Act, it is fitting that Flathead Audubon presents John Frederick with a Conservation Achievement Recognition to honor his 35 year long effort to keep the North Fork of the Flathead wild.

In the 1970s, John won an Ohio Achievement Award for his efforts in recycling as president of Waste Watchers, Inc. Seeking wilder country, he moved to the North Fork in 1978 and began operating the North Fork Hostel in 1979. Coalmine and road paving proposals in the North Fork sparked him to help form the North Fork Preservation Association in 1982. He still serves as president and has for 24 years of its 34 years.

During the battle over the coal mine proposal, John bought 10 shares of Rio Algam stock. He traveled to Toronto six times to protest the mine at the annual stockholders meeting. His action generated national awareness of the issue in Canada and helped in getting the International Boundary Commission involved, an action that eventually led to Rio Algam losing interest in the project.

John has also been involved in local land planning issues as Chair of the North Fork Land Use Advisory Committee and a member of the North Fork Improvement Association. North Fork subdivisions are now required to have 20-acre sized lots.

John continues to be involved in Flathead National Forest planning issues, including the current effort. As a board member of Headwaters Montana, he is involved in supporting the goals of the Whitefish Range Partnership and an expansion of Waterton National Park into the Canadian side of the North Fork, as well as new wilderness areas on the U.S. side of the border.

John sold his hostel a few years ago but continues to live in the North Fork from May to November. He winters in Costa Rica, soaking up the warmth his many winters in Polebridge failed to provide. Keeping joints limber allows John, along with others, to clear abandoned trails in the North Fork for the public’s use.

Flathead Audubon is happy to honor John’s efforts to protect the natural values of the North Fork and to hold him up as an example of what a dedicated person can accomplish.

John Frederick, “The icon of the North Fork”

John Frederick, NFPA founder and perennial president, got some well-deserved recognition in Larry Wilson’s Hungry Horse News column this week . . .

Everyone who has spent any time on the North Fork has to know John Frederick. In the last few years, his friends have been worried about his health, and everyone has marveled at the level of his physical activity.

Just this past summer, he managed an all-day mule ride from Whale Creek to Thompson-Seton Lookout and back. That a minor achievement when compared to the multiple days he spent helping Bill Walker and others reopen the Coal Ridge Trail. By all accounts, the trail had not been maintained for nearly 40 years.

His activity level seems all the more remarkable when you see him brace himself to stand from a sitting position. It wasn’t always this way.

Although I have often considered John a relative newcomer to the North Fork, he has actually been here for nearly 40 years. He is a self-described environmentalist and was one of the founders of the North Fork Preservation Association and has been the president of that group most of the time since it was started.

Read more . . .

Grizzly bear population and recovery

Well, now, the NFPA got some ink. The Flathead Beacon’s Tristan Scott did a good write-up on Rick Mace’s presentation at the July 27 NFPA annual meeting concerning grizzly bear research and management over the past several decades. John Frederick even gets a quote . . .

Biologists who have spent years counting grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem say the species is on the road to recovery. With the public comment period on a post-delisting bear management strategy having drawn to a close Aug. 1, Endangered Species Act protections could be removed as early as next year.

At the North Fork Preservation Association’s annual meeting last month, attendees heard a presentation from Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Rick Mace. The presentation gave a 30-year history of grizzly bear conservation in western Montana.

Mace traced the history of research and management from the 1970s to the present, and talked about the science of counting bears and population trends of bears in the NCDE.

Continue reading . . .

NFPA Annual Meeting to be held on Saturday, July 27

On Saturday, July 27, the annual meeting of the North Fork Preservation Association will  be held at the Sondreson Community Hall at Whale Creek.  At 7:30 pm Rick Mace, a North Forker and bear biologist for Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, will present his program entitled “A 30 year history of grizzly bear conservation in Western Montana: How far have we come?”

The 7:30 pm program is preceded by a potluck at 5pm and election of officers at approximately 7 pm when people are finished eating.

Everyone is invited.

North Fork Preservation Association annual meeting features presentation by Rick Mace

The North Fork Preservation Association’s annual meeting will be held on, Saturday, July 27 at Sondreson Hall.

Events kick off with a potluck at 5:00 p.m. The NFPA will supply burgers and sausages. Bring anything else that might be tasty. (Note that the webmaster is fond of rhubarb pie. Just saying.)

The business meeting is at 7:00 p.m. — or a bit earlier if everyone is done eating.

The main program begins at 7:30 p.m. with a talk by Rick Mace, biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and a North Fork landowner. He will give a presentation titled “What We Are Learning About Grizzlies from Catching Them in the North and South Fork”.