Reminder! First Aid/CPR/AED course next week; only two slots left!

First Aid SignageBob Lee will be giving his well-regarded First Aid/CPR/AED class in the North Fork again this spring. It is an all-day course, starting at 9:00am. The date is Tuesday, May 24. The course will be held at Sondreson Hall. Cost will be $45/person.

If it has been two years or more since you took this course, you need to take it again in order to maintain your certification.

Course size limit is 10 people! Contact Bill Walker (wkwalker@nvdi.com or 406-407-2764) if you wish to attend.

Note! Like last time, the certification cards will be distributed electronically. The folks sending the cards insist that every recipient have a unique email address. I.e., if you share an email address with someone else and you are both attending the course, one of you would need to pick up a second address. I can hand out temporary course email addresses if needed, just let me know. Also note that the emails sometimes get misdirected to spam, so it is important to keep an eye out for that.

Helicopter training at Demers gravel pit May 13-19

Two Bear Air at NVSAR winter training, 12 Feb 22 - Joe Novak

From Mark Heaphy:

Two Bear Air will be conducting training at the Demers Ridge gravel pit from this Friday (May 13) through Thursday (May 19). Signs will be posted and helo operations will occur both day and night.

They’re just doing their own training, running scenarios in the gravel pit such as rolled vehicles and medical response.

[ The entrance to the Demers gravel pit was already blocked off this afternoon. ]

Call for Volunteers! Sondreson Hall Cleanup — May 7 & 14, 10:00am

Sondreson Community Hall
Sondreson Community Hall

The Sondreson Hall spring cleanup  is fast approaching. This year, there will be two events: Cleaning out the loft over the kitchen area on Saturday, May 7, and the usual general cleanup in and around the building on Saturday, May 14. Start time for both events will probably be 10:00am.

We need to ensure we have volunteers on both days for some specific tasks, listed below. Contact Irv Heitz (47irvh@gmail.com or 406-261-2690) if you can help out.


Sat., May 7, 10:00am – Loft Cleanup

Clean up. Haul unneeded junk from loft above kitchen.

Some of this material should probably be kept (Christmas decorations, for example); some may be useful to other folks in the community; some may just be trash.

We need folks to haul down and help sort all this out.

We will also need a trailer for disposal of material that doesn’t make the cut.


Sat. May 14, 10:00am – General Hall Cleanup

Outside tasks include, but are not limited to…

      • Place cinder blocks under wood-fired cook stove in kitchen.
      • Search for and repair roof leak over counter window. Look on roof for loose screws/nails.
      • Clean up brush with weed-whacker.
      • Cut and remove to burn pile those trees/brush per Deb Starling Hazardous fuels reduction inventory. (Irv will have marked them)
      • Fix inside roof by new chimney; seal and insulate. (Call Irv for instructions.)
      • Replenish wood supply.

Flathead National Forest Spring 2022 Prescribed Fire Projects

Flathead National Forest Prescribed Fire, Spring 2022
Flathead National Forest Prescribed Fire, Spring 2022

Here’s the Flathead Forest press release announcing this spring’s prescribed burns. Short version: There’s only one on the North Fork, the “North Fork Road PCT,” where “5 acres of hand piles will be ignited along the North Fork Road north of the Demers Ridge trailhead.”

The full text of the release . . .

Kalispell, MT, March 21, 2022 — The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct spring prescribed fire projects when weather, fuel conditions, and air quality become favorable.  Smoke will be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions.

Each project follows a Prescribed Fire Burn Plan.  The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, or to escape as a wildland fire.  These projects will follow Montana air quality standards and coordinated with Montana State Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the impacts of smoke to our neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities.  The project areas include:

Pile burning: On the attached map major locations of concentrated piles are identified.  These may include both landing and hand piles.  There are also scattered piles not identified on the map which may also be burned.

Swan Lake Ranger District:

Dewey and Louie Timber Sales – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units located within the Blacktail Mountain area west of Lakeside, MT and South of Kila, MT. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement.

How Now Timber Sale – This project includes broadcast burning in timber harvest units located on Sixmile Mountain, North of Swan Lake, MT.  These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction and vegetation regeneration.

Swan Valley Bottom Maintenance Burning – This project includes maintenance broadcast burning in previously treated timber harvest units located within the Swan Valley. These treatments will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, large ungulate winter range improvement, and improvement of forest health.

Swan Lake Ranger Station – This project includes under burning the administrative site at the Swan Lake Ranger District office located in Bigfork, MT. These treatments will used to rejuvenate the grass and reduce fuels.

Pile Burning – Hand or machine piles are located in locations within the Blacktail Mountain area, Swan Valley, Bigfork community, and miscellaneous piles around the district as a result of but not limited to: logging, hazardous fuels reduction in the wildland urban interface, hazard tree removal, recreation site management and trail or road construction. These piles are burned to reduce fuel loads in these areas. These piles are strategically burned based on their location, access, and weather conditions.

Tally Lake Ranger District:

Burnt Grouse 2.0 – This ecosystem burn will use prescribed fire for fuels reduction, vegetation regeneration, and wildlife habitat improvement. The burn would involve up to 150 acres of planned ignition.

Swamp Rat 5/5A/6 – Treatment will include approximately 57 acres of a hand ignited understory burn just south of Star Meadows.

Hungry Horse/Glacier View Districts:

Coram Pasture RX – Forest Service Administrative Site near Martin City, used for pasturing agency livestock. Up to 15 acres of livestock pasture will be burned to rejuvenate the grass and remove encroaching conifers. Five acres of hand piles from blowdown cleanup will also be treated.

Liger 41 Rx—20 acres of understory burning will occur adjacent to FS road 38 near Emery Bay campground. The purpose of this burn will be to reduce fire hazard and to prepare the site for regeneration planting.

North Fork Road PCT—5 acres of hand piles will be ignited along the North Fork Road north of the Demers Ridge trailhead.

Spotted Bear Ranger District:

Spotted Bear Ranger District is monitoring the weather and fuels conditions this spring in anticipation of conducting a few prescribed burns to meet a variety of objectives including slash reduction and site preparation in harvest units as well as reducing natural fuels in the surrounding areas.  All of the burn units under consideration for this spring are near the Spotted Bear Ranger Station on south and west aspects.

For more information about these projects, contact the appropriate Ranger Station:

Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District: 406/387-3800

Tally Lake Ranger District: 406/758-5204

Swan Lake Ranger District: 406/837-7500

Spotted Bear Ranger District: 406/758-5376

For precise prescribed fire ignition dates and times, follow our Facebook and Twitter profiles at

https://www.facebook.com/discovertheflathead and https://twitter.com/FlatheadNF.  General forest information can be found online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/flathead

Justine Vallieres is new Region 1 Wildlife Conflict Specialist for Montana FWP

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

Recently announced  on Facebook by Tim Manley . . .

Congratulations to Justine Vallieres! She is the new Wildlife Conflict Specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (Region 1) based out of Kalispell.

I retired at the end of 2021. Justine was one of several qualified individuals that applied for the job and was selected by the interview committee. I know Justine will do a great job!

Vehicle reservations for Glacier National Park go online March 2 at 8 am

View East into Glacier NP from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 - W. K. Walker
View East into Glacier NP from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 – W. K. Walker

Here’s the latest on this year’s “vehicle reservation” (they are not called “tickets” anymore) system for gaining entrance to Glacier National Park.

Highlights:

    • Tickets …er, uh… vehicle reservations will be required to enter the park’s Going-to-the-Sun (GTSR) corridor and at Polebridge.
    • A separate reservation is required for the GTSR and for Polebridge. GTSR reservations are good for 3 days, between 6:00am and 4:00pm; Polebridge reservations are good for only 1 day, between 6:00am and 6:00pm.
    • Vehicle reservations will be required from May 27 to September 11. They will be available 120 days in advance on a rolling window starting March 2 at 8:00am. Like last year, reservations cost $2.00.
    • Vehicle reservations can be purchased from recreation.gov, either online or through their call center.

See the press release for more details.

North Fork specific details not mentioned in the press release (Camas Road transit, local boating access, etc.) will be discussed at the Interlocal on February 9.

REMINDER: North Fork Interlocal meeting, 10:00am, February 9th online

Bob Dunkley explains Park plans for the Polebridge Ranger Station, post Red Bench Fire, at the 1989 Interlocal at Sondreson Hall.
Bob Dunkley explains Park plans for the Polebridge Ranger Station, post Red Bench Fire, at the 1989 Interlocal at Sondreson Hall.

The Winter 2022 Interlocal Agreement Meeting is hosted by Glacier National Park at 10:00am on Wednesday, February 9. Note that this will again be a virtual meeting – hopefully, the last one. Links for the online session should be available soon.

For those of you who are new to this, The Interlocal Agreement provides for face-to-face contact with representatives of agencies whose policies and actions affect the North Fork. Interlocal Agreement meetings are held twice a year, in the winter (in town) and summer (at Sondreson Hall). This is always a very interesting meeting, with reports from a range of government agencies and local organizations and often some quite vigorous discussion.

Slash pile processing starts next week on Red Meadow and Moose Creek roads

Hay Creek Fire Type 3 Team LogoA note from Rob Davies, Hungry Horse-Glacier View District Ranger:

We will be initiating a contract next week in response to the large slash piles left from the Hay Creek Fire fuel breaks.

Plowing of the Red Meadow road will be allowed up to the Spruce Creek Road (about 2 miles) where that very large slash pile exists.  The contractor will be grinding slash, loading into trucks and hauling back to town.

There are other slash plies up the Moose Creek Road that will also be ground up and hauled off.

The Moose Creek Road is already plowed, which shouldn’t create any issues, but the Red Meadow Road activity will create a situation where snowmobilers need to drive  with their trailers up to the Spruce Creek road junction instead of parking at the bottom where the  North Fork Road Connects to Red Meadow. A turn-around and small parking area will be plowed out at the junction of Red Meadow and Spruce Creek Roads.

Hauling is not expected to be very frequent — maybe two loads a day. Activity may occur all winter until the county sets load limits  in the spring. We don’t know if the contractor will start at Moose Creek or Red Meadow Road but as I get more details I will share them with you.

Feel free to call myself (406-387-3801) or Timber Management Assistant Paul Donnellon (406 387-3807 or 406 260-7264), at the ranger station in Hungry Horse.

Bear resistant containers available!

Attention!!
BEAR RESISTANT CONTAINERS AVAILABLE
Immediate Action Needed

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

NFLA and NFPA are partnering to offer members the opportunity to purchase 96-gallon Kodiak bear resistant garbage containers at a reduced price. NFPA has negotiated a reduced price of $300 per container. In order to take advantage of this opportunity your order needs to be placed by January 24thPlease send a check made out to “Northland Products” to NFPA ASAP or hand deliver to Flannery Coats, Randy Kenyon, or Suzanne Hildner. If you miss the deadline, there may be a few containers available for purchase, but we expect them to disappear rapidly. Delivery will be in April.

NFPA Address:

77 Moose Creek Rd.
Polebridge, MT 59928

Because USPS (and Karin) only deliver twice a week and time is short you may also mail to:

Suzanne Hildner
104 5th St
Whitefish, MT 59937

Randy Kenyon:  kenyonnorthfork@gmail.com
Flannery Coats:  flannery.e.coats@gmail.com
Suzanne Hildner: sdhildner@icloud.com