Bear Resistant Containers Available for Loan or Purchase

Grizzly trying to open Kodiak Can
Grizzly trying to open Kodiak Can

NFPA/Polebridge Bear Smart is offering Kodiak brand 96 gallon bear resistant garbage containers for loan or purchase at a reduced price. This opportunity is being made to the Polebridge community with the help of grants and private donations.

Purchase price per canister is $300.
Canister Loan Program fee is on an able-to-pay basisCans are available now!

Kodiak Can

Please contact Suzanne Hildner sdhildner@icloud.com or (406) 253-3263 to purchase or rent.

Help the Polebridge Community be BEAR SMART!!

Proposed bylaw amendments available online

The Board of Directors spent quite a bit of time over the winter reviewing the NFLA bylaws. As a result, a total of six amendments to the bylaws will be formally proposed and opened for discussion at the general meeting on July 10, 2022. These amendments will be voted on by the membership at the August 14, 2022 meeting.

The proposed amendments can be viewed/downloaded here. This is the same material that was made available in printed form at the June 12 meeting.

Attic clean-out silent auction this Sunday

Sondreson Hall by Gerry StearnsDuring this Sunday’s NFLA membership meeting, there will be a silent auction of items discovered during last month’s Sondreson Hall attic clean-out. Proceeds will go toward replacing our antique digital projector, which doesn’t work with any computer built within the last decade.

Here’s the list of items, as well as photos of most. (Note: This auction is only for stuff found in the attic; we’re not accepting any additional items.) . . . Continue reading Attic clean-out silent auction this Sunday

Reminder: Walter Roberts remembrance activities scheduled for May 15

Walter M. Roberts at Botanical Gardens, Jan 2015
Walter Roberts at Botanical Gardens, Jan 2015

Dr. Walter Melvin Roberts III, a classics scholar and all-around good guy, died on August 29, 2021. Walter is survived by his brother Anthony, extended family, and many close friends who were like family. Aged 62, Walter passed from heart failure suddenly in his home in Detroit, Michigan, where he was born and raised. He was also a regular in Polebridge, Montana. A professor of Greek and Latin, Walter discovered Polebridge around 1985 as a place of solitude, study, teaching, and community. He loved jumping in the North Fork, exploring the environs, and cycling to Bowman and Kintla. Several times, he MC’ed Polebridge’s famous 4th-of-July parade. North Forkers read and discussed the classics with Walter, whose laugh and smile were welcoming and infectious.

A celebration of Walter’s life is planned for Sunday, May 15, 2022 . . .

There will be a reading of Plato’s Symposium at 9:30am at the North Fork Hostel. Please RSVP to Randi Rognlie (rjrognlie@gmail.com) if you plan to attend this event.

A Walter Roberts Memorial is scheduled for 1:00pm at Sondreson Hall.  Share stories, pictures, & memories of our friend & scholar.  A main dish will be provided. Bring a side or dessert to share. Contact Randi Rognlie (rjrognlie@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

Time to start thinking about bear conflicts

Justine Valieres
Justine Valieres, Wildlife Conflict Specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (Region 1)

A note posted to Facebook this morning from our new Fish, Wildlife and Parks Wildlife Conflict Management Specialist, Justine Vallieres . . .

Hey North Forkers! I just wanted to pop in and do a quick introduction of myself. As most of you know, Tim Manley retired from FWP after 37 years of grizzly bear management. I was lucky enough to be his technician these last 4 years so I learned from the best! I applied this winter for the Wildlife Conflict Management Specialist position and was offered the position and started in March. So I will now be covering the North Fork. So if you have any mountain lion, black bear or grizzly bear conflicts please give me a call. My number is Tim’s old work cell which is 406-250-1265.

On another note, there have been a handful of reports from the North Fork area recently of grizzly sightings, some in yards. Please remember that if you do have a bear in your yard (black or grizz), please make them leave. This is so crucial that they learn that being around people and homes is not OK or safe. I know we all enjoy viewing wildlife, but it’s really important to remember that the more they hang around homes, the more comfortable they get, which can lead to habituation. We don’t want to give them the opportunity to snoop around and get into stuff, but we also do not want to create habituated bears where they are no longer wary of people. You personally may be tolerant of a bear in your yard, but other people may not be so tolerant, which could ultimately end up in the bear being hurt or killed.

So if you have bears in your yard, from a safe place, yell at them in a deep tone and tell them to move along. The human voice is the best deterrent, as we are “danger” to them. Bang pots and pans, set off car alarms, use air horns etc. Please refrain from shooting as we want to avoid any potential accidents and bears get used to hearing gunshots. If you have continuously tried to make a bear leave and it shows no interest in doing so please give me a call.

Thank you for helping keep the North Fork and its wildlife wild! I look forward to meeting many of you and seeing some familiar faces this season!

North Fork presentation on Glacier Park’s 2022 ticketed entry plans, Dec 13, 10am

As many of you have already heard, Glacier National Park is extending their ticketed entry system to cover the North Fork Entrance for the 2022 tourist season. Representatives will present information on the park’s traffic management plans, including North Fork-specific details, at 10:00am on Monday, December 13 at Home Ranch Bottoms (HRB).

There’s not much room at HRB and COVID is still an issue, so this will be a “hybrid” meeting, mostly handled online via Zoom, with a small number of presenters and representatives physically present. Here’s the Zoom meeting information:

Topic: GNP Update Meeting

Time: Dec 13, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82367035408?pwd=L1owTDRDSWViUk13R0JBSGFOdEJNZz09

Meeting ID: 823 6703 5408
Passcode: 822241

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Meeting ID: 823 6703 5408
Passcode: 822241
Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kkHTf0hLD

Submit those Firewise-qualifying activities and expenses!

In order to maintain membership in Firewise USA, North Fork landowners must make an annual investment in wildfire risk reduction efforts. We’re required to calculate the number of hours spent in Firewise-qualifying activities, and the expenses associated with those activities.

A summary of some of Firewise-qualifying activities and expenses follows:

    • Collaboration and consultation time with forestry and fire experts
    • Organizing, planning, coordinating, implementing wildfire-related outreach events and educational presentations
    • Program administration time
    • Travel time to risk reduction meetings, trainings, and workshops
    • Attendance at wildfire-related education/informational meetings and events and at evacuation/preparedness trainings
    • Firewise improvements and maintenance on homes and outbuildings
    • Improvements and maintenance within the home ignition zone — for example, thinning or limbing up trees, reducing ladder fuels, dealing with slash and other debris, moving firewood piles
    • Vegetation removal; community clean-up
    • Committee members attendance and participation at Firewise committee meetings
    • Residents’ attendance and participation at wildfire education/outreach events
    • Writing wildfire educational articles

Qualifying expenses include equipment and tool purchases; mileage at the current IRS rate for attendance at wildfire-related meetings and trainings; purchases of food for meetings/trainings; contractor and labor expenses to perform risk reduction work; and the value of volunteer labor participating in risk reduction projects.

The Fire Mitigation Committee asks North Fork landowners to add up the number of hours they have spent in qualifying activities as well as the expenses they have incurred from November 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021. Please email your total hours and expenses to Molly Shepherd, mollshep@gmail.com. Your hours and expenses will be included in applying for renewal of the North Fork’s membership in Firewise USA.

Hay Creek Road reopens

Hay Creek Drainage, June 5, 2020 - W K Walker
Hay Creek Drainage, June 5, 2020 – W K Walker

From an email received this morning from District Ranger Rob Davies . . .

We just lifted the closure order for Hay Creek Fire.

The Hay Cr road and the area is all open as of today.

We will have warning signs and people need to be careful of snags within the fire area…

But the entire road is open and safe . Please spread the word.

Time to get your firewood permits!

NFLA President’s remarks at Lower North Fork Road Roundtable, Flathead Co. Fairgrounds, Oct 6, 2021

North Fork Road in Fall - USFS
North Fork Road in Fall – USFS

Commissioner Abell and Others:

For the record: Richard Hildner, President, North Fork Landowners Association, 350 Moose Creek Road, Polebridge, MT 59928.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak this afternoon. We applaud your effort to facilitate a multi-agency discussion on the North Fork Road and appreciate the opportunity to participate. The North Fork Community is no stranger to controversy when it comes to the North Fork Road. It was one of the topics at the inaugural meeting of the organization, June 2, 1947.

Because the subject is so divisive, the NFLA has refrained from taking a position on paving. We do, however, submit that regular maintenance and dust abatement are worthy of your attention. As an organization we are anxious to comment upon any alternatives you may develop.

It is clear from the record that any action beyond the status quo – i.e., grading and magnesium chloride – would necessitate multi-agency input, road design and costs, as well as environmental, social, and cultural considerations. This is consistent with the findings of the 2010 MDOT Corridor Study. Any consideration beyond the status quo, including the use of millings, must include cumulative and indirect impacts.

Speaking for the NFLA, we are in agreement that the North Fork Valley is a special place, valued for its remote nature, unique relationship with the local flora and fauna, and preservation of these characteristics is of the utmost importance.

Thank you for your time.

Richard Hildner
North Fork Landowners Association
PO Box 1603
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

Remarks in PDF format . . .