Update on the Coal Ridge Cabin

Andy Huntsberger, Assistant Fire Management Officer – Operations, Flathead National Forest sent in an update on work they have been doing at the Coal Ridge Cabin. Here is a timeline:

  • 2012 we put a new roof on and installed a new wood stove and pipe
  • 2014 installed all new siding (donated be the Northwest Montana Forest Fire Lookout Association), new coat of stain and all new glass
  • 2015 we plan on finishing/second coat of stain and possibly replacing some floor boards

Andy goes on to say… When I was at the Cabin last summer I read the entries in the visitor log and it was all very positive and informative.  The Cabin is currently being used as a day shelter for hikers and at this time we do not plan on changing this.  We could and would  post someone at this cabin, if needed, during a wildfire event.  However, on a regular and reoccurring basis we plan on leaving it open to the public.  It is 3.5 mile hike and a decent pull to the site, ideally this will deter any vandalism.  We encourage the public to visit and enjoy this site.

Finally, Andy sent some photographs of the Coal Ridge Cabin, before and after work. Here they are:

Tree Farm Newsletter and Annual Tree Farm Meeting

The Annual Tree Farm Meeting will be held on Saturday, October 11. The group will be meeting at Sondreson Community Hall at 10AM before proceeding on to the Chrisman and Hoiland Tree Farms, then returning to the Hall for the lunch, Business Meeting, and Awards. This meeting is open to the public – anyone wanting more information on the Tree Farm program is welcome to attend. Registration is $25 per person, $12.50 for children under 16. With Registration both lunch and snacks are provided.

Both the Hoiland and Chrisman Tree Farms will be visited – so don’t miss an opportunity to check out what is going on at your neighbor’s!

Download the Tree Farm Annual Meeting Registration 2014 form from here.
Download the 2014 Fall Tree Farm Newsletter (Full Color) from here.

Anyone with questions can contact me at chrisman@bresnan.net or 406-249-6130.

The Mystery of the Table Knife

During the recently completed Hazardous Fuels Project at Sondreson Community Hall, a very curious item was found.  A table knife was found stuck into a spruce tree near the southwest corner of the NFLA property.  The knife is an old style of tableware, and has obviously been in the tree for decades due to the tree growth over the blade.  It was stuck about six feet above the ground.

Great speculation was revolved around who stuck the knife in the tree, and when did they do it?  The knife could easily have been stuck into the tree some 50 years ago.  Very curious!

The knife is still in place – please feel free to examine it – and share any information you might have on the mystery surrounding it.  But please leave it in place for others to wonder over!

Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project Completed

Work completedWork was completed on the Sondreson Community Hall Fuels Project in Phase 2 on May 30th and 31st.  The intent of the project was to remove surface fuels, ladder fuels, and provide space between the crowns of the remaining trees to reduce the fire hazard.   Phase 1 was completed on May 16 and 17 with the removal of the smaller diameter material as green firewood and posts.

The workday scheduled for June 21st is not needed and is CANCELLED.

The NFLA would like to thank all the Volunteers who participated, and especially Duke Hoiland for his professional falling skills and the donated use of his ATV for skidding, and Richard Hildner for the donated use of his tractor for skidding.

With the completion of the project, the North Fork Landowner’s Association will receive a grant of just over $300. Contact Allen Chrisman with questions about the project or advice on your own fuels project at 406-249-6130 or chrisman@bresnan.net.

For a full report of the completed project including pictures, see Sondreson Hall Hazardous Fuels Project Completed 6.1.2014.

Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project

Marked treesAs discussed at the October Business Meeting, the NFLA Board has proceeded with application for a Hazardous Fuels Project grant from the Flathead Economic Policy Center.  Fire Mitigation Committee Member Allen Chrisman met with Mason Richwine from the FEPC on Wednesday October 16 to look at the project at the Hall.

The intent of the project is to remove surface fuels, ladder fuels, and provide space between the crowns of the remaining trees to reduce the fire hazard.  Excellent work has been done on the property to reduce surface fuels and prune the remaining trees.  This project will remove additional trees to provide more space between crowns, and prune the trees that are left.   Continue reading Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project

Maintenance Committee update – new porch on the back of Sondreson Hall

Lynn Ogle, Gary McDonough and Allen Chrisman replaced the back porch at Sondreson Community Hall on Wednesday September 11, 2013.  The decking on the existing porch had rotted.  The porch was replaced with pressure treated 4×4 stringers and 2×6 decking, and placed on concrete pads to prevent ground contact and rot.  Thanks to Lynn for picking up the materials in town, and to Lynn and Gary for providing the tools and expertise necessary to complete the project.  We were one board short – but found a scrap to finish out the project for the time being.