A 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.
Attention!! BEAR RESISTANT CONTAINERS AVAILABLE Immediate Action Needed
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 24th. Please 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.
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:
North Valley Rescue is planning to have its North Fork Winter training on Saturday, 12 February, from 0800–1700. Training will occur in the Kintla Ranch area and possibly state section 16. Two Bear Air is scheduled to be on-station at around 0930.
NORTH FORK LAND USE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 22ND 5:00PM
CALL TO ORDER
READING OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES
1. THE COMMITTEE WILL REVIEW, DISCUSS AND RESPOND TO AN APPLICATION FOR A ZONING VARIANCE SETBACK ON BEHALF OF ALEXANDRA AND CAESAR AVILA AT THEIR TRAIL CREEK PROPERTY. THE LINKS BELOW WILL TAKE YOU TO THE VARIANCE INFORMATION PACKET.
2. BRIEF DISCUSSION REGARDING THIS COMMITTEE’S VACANCY.
WEST GLACIER, Mont. [December 13, 2021] – Visitors to Glacier National Park in 2022 can expect to use a ticket system to access portions of the park from May 27 through September 11, 2022.
This will be the second year of the pilot ticket system in the park, designed to manage high traffic volumes within the park and avoid gridlock.
To alleviate congestion, one ticket per vehicle will again be required to enter the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR) at the West Entrance, St. Mary Entrance, and the new Camas Entrance.
In 2022, a ticket per vehicle will also be required at the Polebridge Ranger Station to visit the North Fork area of the park.
The GTSR and North Fork tickets will be two separate tickets. The park anticipates a portion of tickets becoming available by early March. Like last year, visitors will need to set up an account on Recreation.gov to obtain tickets. Although the park does not charge for the tickets, Recreation.gov charges a $2 nonrefundable service fee.
Tickets will not be required at the St. Mary Entrance prior to the full opening of the GTSR, typically in late June. Once snow removal and road preparations are complete and the road opens to vehicle traffic to Logan Pass, tickets will be required at the St. Mary entrance through September 11, 2022.
The park will offer three-day tickets for GTSR rather than the seven-day ticket offered last year, and one-day tickets for the North Fork.
The Apgar and Sprague Creek campgrounds will require advance reservations in addition to Fish Creek and St. Mary campgrounds. Reservations will be available on Recreation.gov in 2022. Rising Sun and Avalanche campgrounds will remain first come, first served. The park anticipates all campgrounds to be operating in 2022.
The 2021 pilot of the ticket system successfully reduced traffic on GTSR during peak hours and circumvented the need to fully close access to GTSR due to congestion an estimated 35 times. This was a major accomplishment despite 2021 visitation numbers currently boasting the second highest on record for the park. Avoiding gridlock also ensured access to emergency vehicles and prevented severe vehicle back-ups onto Highway 2 outside the park.
In addition to the ticket, each vehicle entering the park is required to have an entrance pass for any entry point into the park. These passes could include any one of the following: a $35 vehicle pass, good for seven days; a valid Interagency Annual/Lifetime Pass; or a Glacier National Park Annual Pass.
Visitors with lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial activity reservations within the GTSR corridor can use their reservation for entry in lieu of a $2 ticket. (The North Fork area does not offer lodging, transportation or commercial services, and camping is first come, first served.)
Park shuttles will operate in 2022. Service levels are still to be determined.
The park anticipates continued congestion at Two Medicine and Many Glacier. As in past years, entry will be temporarily restricted when these areas reach capacity. Visitors are encouraged to plan their visit outside of peak hours (10:00 am to 2:00 pm). Visitors with service reservations (e.g. boat tours, lodging, horseback ride, guided hikes) in these valleys will be permitted entry during temporary restrictions.
Park staff are currently working on details for a utility project this summer that may require the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road to be closed at night, except for emergency vehicles. More details on this project will be forthcoming, but visitors should anticipate a late night through early morning closure from Apgar to Lake McDonald Lodge from June to September.
Recreation.gov is the designated partner of 12 federal agencies for making reservations at 4,200 facilities and activities, and over 113,000 individual reservable sites across the country. While they are a close partner, their website is not operated by Glacier National Park.
Additional details about the ticketed system are still in development. The park website will provide updates as more information becomes available.
Kate Hammond, deputy regional director for the National Park Service’s intermountain region, will be Glacier Park’s interim superintendent . . .
Glacier National Park has named a temporary successor to replace outgoing Superintendent Jeff Mow, who recently announced his retirement from the park’s top administrative position, which he’s held since 2013.
Kate Hammond, who since 2016 has served as the National Park Service’s deputy regional director of the intermountain region, supervising park units in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, and who formerly worked as superintendent at Little Bighorn Battlefield Center in Montana and at Valley Forge National Historical Park near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will assume the interim position after the new year, when Mow’s retirement takes effect.
Although Mow will retire as chief of Glacier Park, he spent the summer on a temporary detail overseeing the National Park Service’s Alaska region, an administrative maneuvering that came just as the agency’s Crown Jewel debuted its controversial new ticketed entry system.
No real surprises here, except for the hint that the Polebridge entrance might be included in the ticketed entry system this summer. Reportedly, the park is not, in fact, just “exploring the possibility,” they are going to do it . . .
Glacier National Park will require tickets to enter the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor in the 2022 summer season, park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman confirmed Friday.
The park is also exploring the possibility of a ticketed entry system for the Polebridge entrance up the North Fork, she confirmed, but cautioned that has not been finalized.
Last summer Glacier often had the entrance to Polebridge closed by early morning, as parking lots filled at Bowman and Kintla lakes. The park required tickets to enter the Sun Road corridor from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Thanks to Randi Rognlie for supplying this information . . .
With great sadness we announce the death of Walter Melvin Roberts III on August 29, 2021. Walter is survived by his brother Anthony, extended family, and many close friends who were like family. Age 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, 1 pm, at Square Peg Ranch in Polebridge if weather permits, or Sondreson Community Hall if not. Read Walter’s full obituary at www.forevermissed.com/walter-melvin-roberts.
Here’s the latest from Tim Manley on the tragic saga of Monica and her three cubs. It was posted to Facebook in the early morning hours of September 6th. Scroll to the end of this post for a photo gallery . . .
Update on the grizzly bears… well, it was a difficult week. One that I would rather not repeat. I have read some of the comments and I understand everyone’s concerns and feelings. I think it is important to put a few things into context so everyone knows what transpired.
I am not going to mention names or locations but I think most people have heard about some of the locations where these incidents occurred. We tried to prevent further conflicts from occurring, but as you will see, this family group of bears were very food-conditioned and the property damage was extensive and knowing what they were going to do next was difficult to predict.
According to District Fire Management Officer Andy Huntsberger, there’s nothing going on with the Hay Creek Fire — not even any smoke. If you saw a helicopter buzzing around yesterday, it was picking up a radio communications repeater from Numa Peak that was used during firefighting efforts.