Marietta Downes Has Passed

Lee and Marietta Downes
Lee and Marietta Downes

We received word yesterday from Lois Walker that Marietta Downes passed away yesterday, January 17. Marietta was born in 1936 at Mason City, Washington and came to the North Fork with her husband Lee. Many North Forkers have fond memories of Marietta and she will be missed.

Lee and Marietta were interviewed by Tom Edwards in 2012 for the North Fork History Project. You can listen to their interview here.

The North Fork Cookbook Makes a Great Gift

Front Cover of the cookbookThere are still North Fork Cookbooks available for sale. These would make a great gift for the holidays to a family member or friend. The cookbook includes recipes from current North Forkers along with a bonus section of recipes and history from North Fork old timers. It’s interesting and fun to read too. So, fill out the the form and send it in along with your check to get a cookbook mailed to you. Download the form from here.

The Fall Enrollment Letter is in the Mail

The Fall Enrollment Letter was mailed today.  The Post Office now requires address confirmation on bulk mail, which we can either do by a return service to correct a bad address, or addressee “or current Occupant”.  Because we didn’t know that until I was taking the mail to the counter, we borrowed a  stamp from Insty Prints “Occupant” and stamped all the pieces.  So, everyone will get a mailer stamped “Occupant” followed by their name and address. That allows the Post Office to deliver the item regardless of whether the name is correct or not. We’ll consider options for next year to avoid the “Occupant” stamp.

You can also access the Fall Enrollment Letter on line by clicking here. If  you have any questions about the letter, don’t hesitate to contact Treasurer Heather Sullivan via e-mail.

Thanks to Heather and all for doing the address labels and tabbing.  Bulk mailing is fraught with rules and regulations, so we appreciate all the help it took to get this out!

NFLA Members Donate to Local Food Bank

Sondreson Hall by Gerry StearnsThe annual NFLA food drive has concluded and over 100 pounds of food items were delivered by NFLA President Randy Kenyon to the Columbia Falls food bank.

The annual food drive, originally proposed by Bob Grimaldi years ago, is a way for the NFLA members to get involved in a community service project and provide others with a small share of our good fortune. North Forkers set aside appropriate items while cleaning out and closing their North Fork homes for the season and bring them to the Sondreson Hall during the final business meetings of the year.

We want to thank everyone who participated this year. And a special thanks to Randy for hauling the load down to Columbia Falls.

Have a great fall and see you on Thanksgiving at the Hall.

Message from the NFLA Board

The NFLA Board Welcomes You To A New Year!
2015/2016 NFLA Dues

Dear North Fork landowner,

As president of the North Fork Landowner’s Association (NFLA), I would like to take a few moments of your time to bring you some important information. The NFLA has been an ongoing and active organization since 1947.  During that time, it has represented and supported landowners in promoting and maintaining our unique corner of the world.   Without our dedicated volunteers, none of this would be possible.  First and foremost though, remains the aged star of our community, the Sondreson Hall. This hallowed hall is the conerstone of our North Fork. Maintaining this facility to the highest standards of safety and quality is expensive and time consuming.

This is where your membership pledge can provide ongoing support.  This small contribution can and will help ensure the future of our little corner of the world. Dues for an Active Member are $15 per person.  Associate membership for non-owners is $10.  Any additional contribution is greatly appreciated!

For more information on joining and a calendar of events and activities please visit our website at

We look forward to another exciting and eventful 2016!  Randy Kenyon, NFLA President

NFLA 2015/2016 Board Members: Randy Kenyon-President; Allen Chrisman-Vice President; Heather Sullivan-Treasurer, Secretary; Karen McDonough-Past President; Alan McNeil-Hall Usage, South Director; Jan Caldwell- Social Committee, South Director; Paul Marotz- Hall Maintenance & Improvements, North Director.

North Fork Landowners’ Association
Membership Sign-up/Renewal

The North Fork Landowners’ Association was founded in 1947. The Association owns Sondreson Hall at Whale Creek that serves as a center for business and social functions on the North Fork. Only property owners of record, their spouses and adult members of their immediate families are eligible to vote. Associate Members (non-property owners) may not vote. Annual dues for Active Members are $15 per person; dues for Associate Members are $10 per person. Dues may be paid by mail or in person at any NFLA meeting.  Additional contributions are welcome.

Please send your dues to:
North Fork Landowners’ Association
P.O. Box 1603
Columbia Falls, MT  59912

Message From the New Treasurer – Heather Sullivan

Good morning!

I would like to introduce myself for those who don’t know me and thank Bonnie for all her years of dedication! I look forward to working with everyone!

My family has had property on the North Fork for 35 years. I grew up here as a kid every summer and raised my two daughters’ here the same way. Glacier and the North Fork has been our home for a long time, and I moved from Maryland last summer to be here full time. I live in Kalispell during the week and am at the North Fork most weekends.

I volunteered for the Treasurer position because my career is in business, I have an accounting and business degree, and have done accounting for others in the past. I thought I might be able to help out J

Thank you for your patience during this transition time and please feel free to contact me.

Don’t forget our meeting this Saturday, Sept. 5th at 8 pm.

See you all there!

Heather Sullivan

Heather SullivanHeather Sullivan, Treasurer
North Fork Landowners’ Association
P.O. Box 1603
Columbia Falls, MT. 59912

Message from Bonny Ogle

Effective August 31st, after five years of working with some of the greatest neighbors a person could want, I’m retiring from the North Fork Landowners’ Association as Treasurer.

I had done this before back in the 1980’s but things have changed a great deal since then.  It was a learning experience then but there were no phones or radio phones, internet or spreadsheets!  This time it has been an even greater learning experience and there have been many teachers and helpers along the way.  Too many to even begin to mention here.

Thanks to all who helped me or even just provided moral support with a smile or a hug when you came into the hall.  Hopefully I’ll still get to see you in the neighborhood.

Please use my new email if you need to contact me about anything or just to chat at .  All of you North Forkers who need to reach the new Treasurer, Heather Sullivan, please email her at   She’s a great gal and I know she’ll do a good job for you all.

Our heartfelt thanks to Bonny for taking such good care of the NFLA finances for all these years. Bonny… you are a wonder.

2016 Board of Directors Elections

Jan washing windows
New South Director Jan Caldwell cleaning windows at Sondreson Hall last spring

At the NFLA Business Meeting last Saturday evening, new members were elected to the Board of Directors. Randy Kenyon replaced Karen McDonough as President while Karen will be moving into the Past President position replacing outgoing Past President Debo Powers. Allen Chrisman is moving from his 2015 position as North Director to the Vice President slot, replacing outgoing Vice President Donna Harrison. Don Sullivan will be serving as the new North Director for two years and Paul Marotz will continue serving as the other North Director for one more year. Jan Caldwell was elected as the new South Director replacing outgoing South Director Carol Groebe. Jan will be serving for two years while Alan McNeil serves one more term as the other South Director. It was also announced at the meeting that long time Treasurer Bonny Ogle will be transitioning out of that position for the next year helping Heather Sullivan step in.

All of the community appreciates the time and hard work of all the outgoing officers. Thank you Karen, Debo, Donna, and Carol for taking such good care of the NFLA. And we are also grateful to Bonny for all of her hard work over the years and her willingness to work with Heather during the transition. Finally, we appreciate the new members of the Board volunteering their time to take up these positions.

Grizzly bear population monitoring on the North Fork

Grizzly from Pat ColeHere’s a message from Rick Mace, Research Biologist of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks… The grizzly bear population monitoring team would like to capture and radio collar a couple grizzly bears in the NF Flathead River starting in the next few days. We would be working both on FS and private lands.  All of the Forest Service sites would be off of the existing open road system as we have done in the past. All sites will have approved signs and we will obviously avoid any active timber sales and trail heads.  Most of our sites have been used now for many years without incident.  We anticipate capture sites in Trail, Red Meadow,  and Moose Creeks. Also we may work off the main north fork road near Mud (Garnet) lake going towards the border.  We would like run the capture program for a maximum of about 10 days depending on success, starting later this week. Approximately one month ago, we placed a press release in the local newspapers informing the public of our intent to capture bears on public lands.

North Fork Neighbor Beth Weber Passed

Beth WeberOur good neighbor Bethany Ann Warner Weber died from ovarian cancer on May 2, 2015. She is survived by her husband Steve Weber. Her obituary in the Daily Inter Lake says… Beth enjoyed her time with family and friends at the North Fork cabin and various North Fork community activities which included creative roles in the Polebridge Fourth of July parade, her many years hiking in Glacier National Park with her hiking groups, The Great Gripe Getaway and The Trampers, her rotating supper club, the Basic Food Group, her Riverview Greens book club, all things Notre Dame, and she was a proud member of PEO, Chapter BM. Summer trips with her nine grandchildren were planned carefully and were a great source of pleasure. Beth’s full obituary may be found here.

Beth is going to be missed by everyone on the North Fork. And we apologize to Steve for not having said something sooner. We failed to see her obituary in the paper until today. We’ll try to be more vigilant in the future.