Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was just named the first trans-boundary International Dark Sky Park. Below is the lead-in from the Flathead Beacon’s article on the subject, but also check out the links following it for some spectacular photos . . .
Eighty percent of the United States’ population lives in an area where they can’t see a true dark sky. Around the globe, thanks to light pollution, only one-third of humanity can look up at the sky at night and clearly see the Milky Way.
For Glacier National Park interpretive ranger Lee Rademaker, that means every time the park prepares to host a night sky viewing, “we’re about to blow two-thirds of these people’s minds.”
For years, Glacier and nearby Waterton Lake National Park have been touting their dark night sky as another critical natural resource, just as important as glaciers or goats. On April 28, officials from the United States and Canada gathered at West Glacier to celebrate Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park being named the first trans-boundary International Dark Sky 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.”
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.
A couple of weeks ago, Alberta announced plans to protect the Castle wilderness region. Since then, the general press has picked up on the story, including the below AP piece.
Note that this is not the proposed westward extension of Waterton Park into the Canadian Flathead drainage that has seen so much discussion lately . . .
The announcement of two new parks in Alberta has delighted environmental groups that have been fighting decades for their creation.
But the news that it will be shut out of more than 386 square miles of the Castle wilderness region in the province’s southwest corner has angered the forestry industry. “It feels to us a bit like we’re being vilified,” Brock Mulligan of the Alberta Forest Products Association said.
The parks created by the NDP government are almost twice as big as those proposed by the previous Conservative government for the same region. They will also cover valleys and wetlands, while the previous proposal focused on high alpine areas. “It’s almost night and day,” said Sean Nichols of the Alberta Wilderness Association. “This one goes so much further.”
Well, this is good news. Alberta is implementing protections for the entire Castle Watershed, just north of Waterton Park . . .
The Alberta government announced Sept. 4 that 250,000 acres just north of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park will be protected from logging and development.
The area, which encompasses the entire Castle Watershed, is part of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, which spans northwestern Montana, southeastern British Columbia, and southwestern Alberta.
Efforts to protect the area date back decades, and on Friday the Canadian government announced the expansion of the existing Castle Wildand and creation of a new provincial park on the Alberta front range. Supporters said the designation will preserve the area’s ecological integrity and offer increased protection for wildlife populations, including trans-boundary grizzly bears, wolverines and cutthroat trout.
Waterton-Glacier holds a pretty interesting annual Science and History Day. This year, it’s on the U.S. side. Here’s the press release . . .
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park will host the Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day on Tuesday, July 30, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the West Glacier Community Building in Glacier National Park. The event is free of charge and all are encouraged to attend. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event, which alternates between Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks.
Science and History Day is a great way for the public to hear the latest results from scientists and historians carrying out projects in and around the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Topics are presented in a non-technical manner, and are grouped into themes such as ecosystem dynamics, history, and wildlife. Some of the topics for this year include: bat inventory, Civilian Public Service Corps presence in the park, non-invasive grizzly bear monitoring, Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation, ecological restoration, and environmental history revealed through sediment cores.
Efforts to extend Waterton Lakes National Park westward to increase protection of the Canadian Flathead are gaining momentum . . .
On a map, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park resembles a slightly-misshapen topographic pizza with a big slice missing.
This week, three leading ecologists with varied backgrounds converged on Whitefish to explain why extending national park protections to that missing piece – which represents a 100,000-acre chunk of Canadian wilderness – is critical to preserving one of the most intact aquatic ecosystems in North America.
The transboundary Flathead River, which on the Montana side is known as the North Fork, is the ecologically potent “Garden of Eden” that straddles the U.S.-Canada border, extending from the Flathead Valley to southeast British Columbia. And while conservationists agree that the region is one of the best protected watersheds in the United States, the missing pie piece north of the border remains independent of Waterton Lakes National Park.
(Text and images shamelessly stolen from the latest Headwaters Montana newsletter. . .)
Leading Scientists to Talk about Griz,
Critters with Teeth, and Wet-and-Wild River Things
~ Please Join Us for an Informative Evening ~
When: Monday, March 12, 2012, 7-9pm
Where: Grouse Mountain Lodge, 2 Fairway Dr., Whitefish
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Cash Bar / Seating Limited ~ come early!
Headwaters Montana is co-sponsoring an important science forum on the ecological value of Waterton – Glacier International Peace Park and the importance of completing Waterton Park by expanding the park into British Columbia.
Three leading researchers will make presentation on transboundary grizzly bear populations, aquatics, fisheries, ungulates and predator wildlife species.
The three researchers will focus on recent scientific discoveries and insights made in the vicinity of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
Dr. Richard Hauer is director of the recently formed Montana Institute on Ecosystems of the University of Montana, will speak about the biological richness of the transboundary Flathead River (aka the North Fork Flathead River), and make the case that the Flathead River system is one of the most ecologically intact rivers in the Lower 48.
Dr. Michael Proctor is the Principal Investigator for the Trans-Border Grizzly Bear Project based in British Columbia. Dr. Proctor recently published a ground-breaking study published in the Wildlife Monographs that documents the challenges facing grizzly bears in the transboundary region of the Rocky Mountains between Montana and British Columbia.
Edwin Fields of Headwaters Montana has a significant op-ed in this week’s Hungry Horse News that is of particular interest to North Fork residents . . .
It’s late summer in Montana and thousands of locals and visitors from around the world have streamed into Glacier National Park every day. Make that Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. It’s an important distinction that illustrates just how special this place is.
Glacier Park is the U.S. side of the Peace Park. Waterton Lakes is on the Canadian side. But in 1932, the local Rotary Clubs of Kalispell and Cardston, Alberta, thought it would be a good idea to give the world its first International Peace Park. And after a lot of good-hearted work, they succeeded…
…Yet the case must again be made that Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is not yet complete. Just look at a map…
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.