Tag Archives: NPCA

High country rescue: whitebark pine recovery efforts continue

Whitebark Pine Closeup, 2016 - W. K. Walker
Whitebark Pine Closeup, 2016 – W. K. Walker

The National Parks Conservation Association had an interesting article in its winter magazine discussing whitebark pine recovery efforts, including the work being done in Glacier National Park . . .

Mountaintop living isn’t easy. At very high elevations, the wind can be fierce, the temperatures bitter, the snow heavy, and the soil thin and crumbly. Most trees simply can’t survive, but the whitebark pine is a notable exception: Somehow, these trees manage to live — and even thrive — in the highest, sketchiest locations. Some have lived at the edge of the treeline for more than 1,000 years.

In Grand Teton National Park, people come across the trees on classic hikes to places such as Lake Solitude and Surprise Lake; at Crater Lake National Park, their twisted trunks and windswept branches appear throughout Rim Village and in the midst of the lake’s blue depths on Wizard Island.

Wherever they are, people notice them. “The architecture of the tree is very dramatic,” said Nancy Bockino, an ecologist at Grand Teton. They look like charismatic bundles of broccoli, she said, particularly when they’re sculpted by wind and weather on exposed slopes.

Read more . . .

Framing the change: an evening of art, science and music

Got a note from the folks at the National Parks Conservation Association about a climate change focused “mulitmedia extravaganza” to be held Saturday, April 26 at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish. Tickets are $5 at the door. Here’s the write-up, lifted shamelessly from their press release . . .

An Evening of Art, Music & Science, April 26, 2014

Stories from the Mountain, Songs From the Soul

Tales of Climate Change, Inspired by Glacier National Park

A year after Glacier National Park was established in 1910, University of Montana professor Morton Elrod lugged a large camera to a scenic point and snapped a photo of Jackson Glacier. An artist as well as a scientist, Elrod sold park images through his family postcard business.

In 2009 scientist Lisa McKeon photographed the exact same scene from the exact same location. Sideby-side, but separated by 98 years, the twoimagesreveal a striking truth of climate change — a great glacier nearly gone in less than a century. That stark contrast has inspired a new generation of artists to translate science back into art, bringing attention to the urgent issues of climate change.

Two of those artists will be in Whitefish on April 26 to join scientists and musicians for an evening of visual stories, reflection and knowledge about the real-world impacts of climate change caused by carbon pollution. These creative thinkers bring planetary climate change down to the human scale, prompting us to grapple with how our species and others can adapt to a powerful new reality. The multi-media extravaganza caps a day of gatherings in 14 Montana communities, including five in the Flathead, seeking Montana climate solutions.

WHAT: Stories from the Mountain, Songs from the Soul
          Tales of Climate Change, Inspired by Glacier National Park
WHERE: Whitefish, O’Shaughnessy Center, Tickets $5 at the door
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
WHO: Artists, scientists and musicians including:

  • Dan Fagre, Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, West Glacier
  • Lisa McKeon, Physical Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey, West Glacier
  • Diane Burko, Painter, Philadelphia
  • Joy von Wolffersdorff, Professor of Art, Northridge, California
  • The Crown of the Continent Choir
  • Left Side Brains, Youthful bluegrass

Earlier on April 26th, residents in five Flathead towns will spotlight Montana climate solutions through community discussions, music, and rallies. All events begin at noon.

BIGFORK: Climate and Community Gathering, Downtown Bigfork: Join your neighbors to discuss the issues, ask questions, explore solutions, and take action. Noon

COLUMBIA FALLS: Honk and Wave in Support of Climate Solutions, Highway 2 and Nucleus.

Rally for climate solutions. Bring signs to support climate solutions. Noon.

KALISPELL: Jamming for Climate Solutions, Depot Park Rally, featuringthe Tropical Montana Marimba Ensemble. Bring signs to support climate solutions. Noon.

PABLO: Roundtable Discussion with speakers, Salish Kootenai College, The Late Louie Caye Sr. Memorial Building. Lunch Provided. 12-3 p.m.

WHITEFISH: Dance a Jig, Honk and Wave for Climate Solutions, Corner of Spokane and 2nd Street, featuring the youthful bluegrass sounds of the Left Side Brains. Noon.

“Climate change is a big hairy challenge,” said Laura Behenna, coordinator of the Kalispell event. “We’re trying to make sense of the science through the most human of endeavors: art, music, sharing stories, talking with your neighbors. By meeting the climate challenge at a personal and community level, we can begin to find the abundant climate solutions available to us as Montanans.”

To learn more about specific events contact local coordinators:

Bigfork: Jeffrey Funk, 837-4208

Columbia Falls: Diane Taylor, 892-1640

Kalispell: Laura Behenna, 257-2116

Whitefish: Steve Thompson, 250-9810

Pablo: Kirwin Werner, 676-8988

For more information about An Evening of Art, Music & Science, contact:Michael Jamison, National Parks Conservation Association, 862-6722 Steve Thompson, Glacier Climate Action, 250-9810

Contact info for the scientists, artists and musicians is available by request.

Diane Burko is a painter and photographer based in Philadelphia. Her “Politics of Snow” project draws upon the Glacier repeat photography project and similar projects around the world. She is devoted to using her art to bring attention to the urgent issues of climate change.

Joy von Wolffersdorff is an art professor at California State University Northridge. Although her first love in art is drawing, she uses whatever medium she feels will most effectively express a given concept. She is currently focused on creating gathering places for scientists and artists who are working on climate change.

Craig Hodges directs the Crown of the Continent Choir, volunteers who sing for fun and perform for social justice, environmental stewardship, spiritual fulfillment and community service.

USGS scientists Dan Fagre and Lisa McKeon have created an exhibit, Losing a Legacy: A photographic story of disappearing glaciers, to showcase photographs from their Repeat Photography Project. The collection consists of historic glacier photographs paired with contemporary photographs, a juxtaposition that reveals dramatic reductions in glacier size. Since they began their rephotography efforts in 1997, over 100 photographs of 20 different glaciers have been repeated. Each summer they capture more images to add to their growing collection

‘If Glacier leaves you speechless, speak up’ – ProtectGlacier.com launched

Many of you already got an email from the National Parks Conservation Association announcing the opening of the “Protect Glacier” website. For those who haven’t seen the big announcement yet, here it is:

More than 30 years ago, fans of Glacier National Park were alarmed to learn of Canadian coal mining plans that would tear down entire mountains along the park’s northwestern border.

Today, after decades of international negotiation and diplomacy, those plans finally have been scuttled, with Canada pledging to protect the park’s world-class waterways from upstream mining.  Today the United States is working to do the same.

Even as major energy companies (including Chevron, BP, Exxon and ConocoPhillips) volunteer to retire their mining and drilling leases on Glacier’s western fringe, lawmakers struggle to pass protective measures prohibiting future mining of public lands in the North Fork Flathead River drainage.

That’s why a coalition of concerned citizens and Glacier Park lovers  — with help from the National Parks Conservation Association — has brought this historic issue into the dot.com future, with a website and clearing house dedicated to resolving land-use conflicts in the transboundary Flathead.

ProtectGlacier.com went live this week, a virtual world where visitors can explore maps and photographs from the Flathead, can learn about what’s at stake and flipthrough years of reports and research. They can read the latest park news, Tweet and re-Tweet and link to Facebook, and they can listen to what people are saying about the North Fork Watershed Protection Act.  That legislation (S.233) has been introduced by Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, and would withdraw public lands adjacent to the park from future drilling – just as the Canadians have done on their side of the border.

Online visitors to the site can sign a ProtectGlacier.com letter of support of the legislation, adding their voices to the thousands who already have spoken up on behalf of America’s finest alpine park.

This Website represents the future – our future, Glacier Park’s future – but it’s also just the latest chapter in a very old story, a story that Glacier’s advocates have been helping to write for decades. This is, in fact, how history gets written. So pick up that keyboard, and be sure to add a few lines of your own at ProtectGlacier.com.

Further reading: The National Parks Traveler website also has a good article about the ProtectGlacier.com site.

NPCA Praises BC Premier Gordon Campbell for Important Step in Preserving Waterton, Glacier Parks

The National Parks Conservation Association issued a press release today praising BC Premier Gordon Campbell for his efforts to protect the Canadian Flathead and, by extension, Waterton and Glacier Parks, as well as the Flathead drainage south of the border.

Here’s the lead-in. Read the whole thing to see some familiar local names . . .

“We look forward to seeing the details of this agreement to halt inappropriate mining in the Canadian wilderness adjacent to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and anticipate the introduction of a substantive protective measure for the Flathead in B.C.’s legislature. We also recognize the leadership of Premier Gordon Campbell as he leaves office, in continuing to advance a 100-year-old vision to permanently protect one of the world’s most special places. It’s been more than a century since the first proposal to expand Waterton Lakes National Park into the BC Flathead, and we look forward to working with the incoming premier to complete this conservation legacy.

Continue reading . . .

Partnering to protect the Transboundary Flathead watershed

Dave Hadden, director of Headwaters Montana, Robin Steinkraus, executive director of the Flathead Lakers and Will Hammerquist, program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association’s Glacier Field Office have a nice commentary piece in today’s Flathead Beacon . . .

Here in Montana, August brings us the county fair and farm harvests. And this year we also celebrate a harvest of victories for Glacier National Park, the North Fork Flathead River and Flathead Lake. In addition to commemorating Glacier’s first 100 years, citizens from across the Montana-British Columbia border, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester did yeoman’s work to protect this special place.

Read the full article . . .

Two environmental groups claim paving North Fork Road may violate law

The road. Again. This time, the National Parks Conservation Association and Earthjustice are weighing in.

From this week’s Hungry Horse News . . .

Two environmental groups have laid out a legal case against paving a section of the North Fork Road.

The National Parks Conservation Association and Earthjustice have submitted an eight-page letter detailing how paving the road would disturb Glacier National Park.

Read the full article . . .

Conservation photographers create exhibit highlighting threats to Flathead Valley

From today’s Flathead Beacon . . .

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a group of conservation photographers is giving the Flathead an ample voice as an exhibit on the values of and threats to the valley heads to Washington D.C.

Read the entire story . . .

Web log covers this week’s UN World Heritage Committee meeting

In case you missed it on the read-through of the article linked in the previous post, Will Hammerquist of the NPCA and Ryland Nelson of Wildsight “…have established a new Web site, savewatertonglacier.com, and will be blogging from Spain throughout the weeklong meeting, in addition to posting pictures and video from the conference.” There’s already a fair bit of material up there, including an initial video made just prior to the World Heritage Committee opening ceremonies.

Coalition petitioning for Waterton and Glacier Park protections

Here’s an excellent article — with video — that appeared in today’s Missoulian . . .

Glacier National Park and its neighbor to the north are endangered by mining proposals, and the international community must intervene to protect the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

That’s the message being delivered this week by tribal leaders, community organizers, business interests and conservationists, whose concerns will be aired at the 33rd annual meeting of the United Nations World Heritage Committee.

“Our petition,” said Will Hammerquist, “asks the World Heritage Committee to hear the concerns of local communities and indigenous peoples by recognizing the threat these projects pose to a globally significant ecosystem.”

Hammerquist works for the National Parks Conservation Association, which joined a dozen other groups in petitioning for the endangered status.

Read the entire article . . .

Mines prompt international call for help from Glacier, Waterton national parks

From today’s online edition of the Missoulian . . .

The state of conservation at two Northern Rockies national parks near a place eyed for possible coal mining will be reviewed by a UNESCO committee meeting in Spain this week.

Groups that say Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, consisting of a U.S. park and a Canadian park, is at risk hope the meeting in Seville, Spain, will bring their concern some global attention. They’ve petitioned UNESCO to declare the peace park endangered. But a lawmaker in the Canadian province of Alberta rejects any suggestion that coal mining or other industry threatens environmental quality in a slice of North America known for stunning alpine scenery and extraordinary wildlife habitat.

Read the entire article . . .

Also note that there’s still a chance to have your voice heard. The National Parks Conservation Association has an online form for sending letters to officials in the US and Canada, as well as the UN World Heritage Committee.