Update on West Coal Timber Sale

Some of you have no doubt noticed log trucks shuttling back and forth to the timber sale in the Coal Creek State Forest. Here’s some news from Dave Ring, Stillwater Unit Manager for Montana DNRC . . .

I have attached a map you can share on the progress on the West Coal Timber Sale. The Purchaser’s intention is to complete the sale this winter. However, the weather will have the final say on that…

Flathead National Forest announces Tami MacKenzie as Deputy Forest Supervisor

From the official press release . . .

Kalispell, MT – December 16, 2022 – The Flathead National Forest is excited to announce the selection of Tami MacKenzie as Deputy Forest Supervisor.

Tami started her career on the Flathead National Forest as a wildland firefighter in 1998 while attending the University of Montana. She worked in wildland fire until 2006 when she accepted a position in environmental planning where she held various positions between the Flathead National Forest and the Regional Office for the next 14 years. In 2020, she became the Forest Public Affairs Officer and member of the Forest Leadership Team.

Continue reading Flathead National Forest announces Tami MacKenzie as Deputy Forest Supervisor

Glacier National Park Announces Plans for 2023 Reservations

Camas Road in Glacier NP as seen from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 - W. K. Walker
Camas Road in Glacier NP as seen from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 – W. K. Walker

Short version: For the 2023 season, all Glacier Park entrances will require a “vehicle reservation” between 6:00am and 3:00pm; reservations are good for three days, except at Polebridge, which remains a one-day ticket.

Here’s the text of the official press release with all the gory details . . .

WEST GLACIER, Mont. [December 16, 2022] – Visitors to Glacier National Park in 2023 can expect to use a vehicle reservation system to access Going-to-the-Sun Road via the West Entrance and the North Fork area of the park from May 26 through September 10, 2023, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vehicle reservations will also be required for Two Medicine and Many Glacier valleys and the St. Mary Entrance to Going-to-the-Sun Road on the east side of the park from July 1 through September 10, 2023, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Continue reading Glacier National Park Announces Plans for 2023 Reservations

Doug Barnes dies in house fire; coroner asking for public’s assistance

Candlelight vigil for Doug Barnes, Dec 16, 2022 - Kenna Halsey
Candlelight vigil for Doug Barnes, Dec 16, 2022 – Kenna Halsey

As many of you already know, Doug Barnes and his dog Whiskey both perished in a fire at their North Fork cabin Saturday morning, December 10.

The Flathead County coroner is asking for public assistance in determining whether Doug had any family and, if so, if anyone has a name and address. Doug was from Lancaster, Ohio originally; local authorities there are looking into whether or not there are family members in the area.

If you do have information, please contact NFLA President Richard Hildner and he will pass it on to the coroner. Richard’s email and phone: richardhildner@icloud.com, 406-260-7725.

Thanksgiving 2022 Review!

By Zoë Zardis . . .

This Thanksgiving meal was a wonderful, combined effort of those who have done this many times and those of us to whom it was a first. It was great to share a meal with about 70 of the community together after a two-year break.

Before the setup even began, Bonny Ogle, Margaret Heaphy, Dick Leigh and Steve Berg were providing invaluable information that helped with all the behind the scenes work so the feast would go smoothly. Jean Perry worked diligently at creating runners for the centers of the tables.

Week-of and before had Randy Kenyon, Donna Harrison, Karen Atha, Angie Agnew, Beth Ulrichsen, Sarah Ulrichsen, Greg Evans, Karin Colby, and Rebecca Johnson, helping with the setup and decor. Greg and Randy also fired up the wood stove for us on setup morning. Wood was stocked by the Rittenburgs, Ulrichsens and those who brought some with them to the meal.

Thanksgiving Day, Krista Johnson, Bonny and Jean roasted a turkey while Karin perfected the ham in one of Alice Caldwell’s big pans. Greg got the fires started in the heating and cook stoves first thing in the morning. Kevin, Randy, Greg and Angie all had a hand in shoveling snow and Daryl Johnson dragged a log around clearing the parking lot in North Fork style. Randy, Donna, Mark and Margaret continued helping with setting up and Beth and Sarah encouraged folks young and old to create turkey hand art and play table football.

Bonny and Lynn Ogle brought their turkey which Lynn had carved in advance so it would be ready to be served. Mark carved the other turkey and ham, blessed the meal, and the eating began with delicious food had by all.

Then Santa, played by Terry Atha in the Leigh’s Santa suit, showed up for pictures.

North Fork style, many stayed and quickly got the hall put back into shape after the event.

Many thanks to all who participated whether with ideas, hands, or coming to share in this community event. It wouldn’t have been the same – or have happened at all – without you.

Lots more photos . . .


Glacier Park taps local stakeholders for feedback as it shapes vehicle-reservation system for third year

Camas Road in Glacier NP as seen from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 - W. K. Walker
Camas Road in Glacier NP as seen from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 – W. K. Walker

Looks like reservations will be needed for all Glacier Park entrances next year…

As Glacier National Park finalizes the details of an evolving vehicle-reservation system slated to go online for a third summer in 2023, the most urgent refrain from gateway business leaders is: When?

When will they know next year’s plan to manage vehicle access at entrances girding the million-acre park’s sprawling footprint, around which the economic picture is as diverse as ecologic? When can they begin sharing specifics of the adaptive system so that guests won’t be “blindsided” by changes to its configuration next summer? And when will they know whether two popular entrances that so far have remained unencumbered by the reservation requirement will be added to the list?…

Glacier Park Taps Local Stakeholders for Feedback as it Shapes Vehicle-Reservation System for Third Year

Winter Forest Service Special Use Permits proposed

It’s time for another round of Forest Service Special Use Permits. The official “scoping letter” is linked below. See the project web site for additional documentation, including maps.

None of the proposed Special Use Permits affect the North Fork directly, with the exception of a guided snowmobile tour that comes up from the west side of the Whitefish Divide and terminates at Red Meadow Campground.

Comments are due by November 29.

>> Flathead National Forest Winter Special Uses Scoping Letter (PDF)


Thanksgiving at the hall is happening!

Thanksgiving at the Hall, 2017
Thanksgiving at the Hall, 2017

We’re back! Thanksgiving at Sondreson Hall is happening on Thursday, November 24th! Doors open at 3:00pm; food will be served starting at 4:00pm.

Turkey, ham and mashed potatoes will be provided.

Please bring a side dish or dessert to share, as well as your own table service (plate/bowl, silverware, glass, napkin).

Contact Krista Johnson (360-815-5454) or Zoe Zardis (731-695-4528) if you have any questions or concerns.

One last zoning push; County Commissioner’s hearing Nov 1

A message from the North Fork Land Use Advisory Committee . . .


It’s time for North Fork Landowners to get our revised zoning Text Amendment across the finish line with the County Commissioners! The NFLUAC needs your help!


Many of you have previously written extremely helpful letters of support for the Text Amendment.  We understand there is “planning fatigue”, but we need you to rally yourselves one last time and submit letters of support! Personalized letters pack the biggest punch, especially if they say WHY this matters to you:

      • Do you have a personal story about how you’ve been, or in the future may be, negatively affected if the zoning is NOT updated?
      • Are you concerned because our zoning is decades out of date and doesn’t meet current growth needs?
      • Are you concerned because our original zoning is sometimes confusing or ambiguous and leads to conflict within the community?

Please send a letter of support to the County Commissioners before the November 1, 2022 hearing, the earlier the better to ensure it is received and read. Their email addresses are: babell@flathead.mt.gov; pholmquist@flathead.mt.gov and rbrodehl@flathead.mt.gov.  The physical address is: 800 S. Main, Kalispell MT  59901.   If you’re not up to letter writing, you can submit a comment here: cocontactus@flathead.mt.gov.    The County Commissioner’s hearing is set for November 1, 2022 at 9:00am, third floor of the courthouse.


A brief Summary of the Text Amendment, the Text Amendment itself and our letter to the Commissioners are linked below.  Italicized portions of the Text Amendment are those which are unchanged from the existing regulations.

Thank you for your support!