The Flathead National Forest is eyeing the prospect of the possibility of a permit system or other crowd controls for the scenic section of the North Fork of the Flathead River. The scenic section, as defined under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, runs from the border with Canada to the Camas Bridge.
The Forest Service, in cooperation with the Park Service, are working on a comprehensive river management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River. Some 219 miles of the river system are protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. But as more and more people come to the Flathead Valley, the rivers are becoming more crowded.
Glacier National Park over the past three summers has seen more than or just under 3 million people each year.
It seems Kascie Herron, who several of you may know from her activities with American Rivers, got married on the North Fork this summer . . .
No one ever tells you how fast it all goes by – the ceremony, photos, reception, eating, dancing, crying, laughing. The act of getting married will forever be a blur in my memory. All of it except the river.
My husband, Dan, and I were married on June 30 on the North Fork of the Flathead River in northwest Montana. The North Fork was designated a Wild and Scenic River in 1976. Its headwaters begin in Canada and flow south to its confluence with the Middle Fork Flathead, forming the western boundary of Glacier National Park. There are many reasons we chose this place to declare our lifelong commitment to one another. After all, our love for one another grew out of our love for rivers.
The Flathead Beacon describes a number of events that are planned to observe the 50th anniversary of Wild and Scenic Rivers Act . . .
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and a raft of events and activities are slated to launch this month to observe the milestone of a landmark decision that helped furnish protections on a suite of Montana waterways — the three forks of the Flathead River and the White Cliffs stretch of the Missouri.
Organized in part by Glacier Guides and Glacier Raft Company, which operates near West Glacier, the suite of events to observe the historic Act are well suited for the Flathead River system, where the idea for the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was born as a way to safeguard certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing state for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Middle Fork Flathead River originates in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and flows 98 miles to its confluence with the North Fork Flathead River near Columbia Falls. In the 1950s, famed wildlife biologist John Craighead was fighting the proposed Spruce Park Dam, which would have backed the river up 11 miles, writing that wild rivers were a “species close to extinction” and were needed “for recreation and education of future generations.”
A recent article in the New Yorker about the Craighead brothers triggered a note from Ray Hart concerning North Forker Bob Funk, who was well acquainted with the Craigheads and a major player in getting wild and scenic river status for the North Fork.