2017 NFLA Fall Newsletter

The 2017 NFLA Fall Newsletter comes to you courtesy of the North Fork Landowners Association (NFLA).  A copy of the newsletter is sent out every fall to NFLA members reminding them to renew their membership and includes a membership renewal form as well as a letter from the NFLA President.

We invite you to join us! Membership dues are only $15 a year per person. Your dues are important to us. They help us maintain the Community Hall and organize lots of exciting activities that bring the community together. We have activities for everyone, whether you are interested in reading, gardening, hiking, biking, dancing, birding, or floating the river.  We hope to see you at NFLA activities this fall/winter including Thanksgiving day dinner.  More information about joining the NFLA may be found here.

Get a copy of the current newsletter and access to past newsletters on the NFLA Newsletter page.

2017 Annual Financial Report Available for Review

Treasurer Chris Heitz reports that the Annual Financial Report for the 2017 fiscal year has been audited and is now ready for your review. Read the full report here.

Thank you, Chris, for all of your hard work throughout the year. And thanks to the Audit Committee who performed the audit!

Don’t forget, you can get access to all of the associations documents including this report on the Documents/Meeting Minutes page.

Food Drive for the NW Montana Veterans Food Pantry

Larry Wilson announced at last night’s NFLA Business Meeting that we will once again be conducting our October food drive.

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 meeting of the year.

This year we’re collecting for the NW Montana Veterans Food Pantry. According to their website, “You can help by donating coffee, canned and boxed goods, juice, frozen meats, grains, cereal, produce and peanut butter.” They’ve provide a Food & Nutrition Chart as a guide to what might be most appropriate to donate.

If you want to write a check, you can give it to one of the Board members and they’ll see that it gets turned in with the food. For those who want a receipt that they can use for tax purposes, just let Larry or someone on the Board know and they’ll make that happen.

In years past we’ve collected over 100 pounds of food. We can do it again! So gather up your food donations and either bring them with you to the hall for the Sunday, October 8th, Business Meeting or drop it off with a neighbor who will be coming.

Results of the August 2017 Business Meeting

The August 2017 Business Meeting was held last evening. There was a proposed by-laws amendment on the table to change the business meeting day from the first Saturday of the month to the second Sunday of the month. This proposed amendment was approved by 2/3 of the members attending the meeting last evening. The time of the business meeting was not changed. As a result, the business meeting dates for the remainder of the year are:

  • Sunday, September 10 at 8PM
  • Sunday, October 8 at 8PM

Before the September meeting there will be a presentation at 7PM be Lois Walker: The NFLA’s 70th Anniversary: Seven Decades of People, Issues and Activities.

Our new Board of Directors is as follows:

  • President Larry Wilson: e-mail (and also send a letter via the mail to Box3 Columbia Falls, Mt 59912 or Kintla Ranch Road Polebridge Mt 59928)
  • Vice President Rachel Peura: e-mail
  • Past President Randy Kenyon: e-mail
  • Treasurer Chris Heitz; e-mail
  • Secretary Dawn Olson Jacobson: e-mail
  • North Director Lynn Ogle: e-mail
  • North Director: Irv Heitz: e-mail
  • South Director Kevin Ulrichsen: e-mail
  • South Director Bill Walker: e-mail

Don’t forget to get your AIS prevention pass for anglers

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, Montana anglers are reminded that they need to purchase a new Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass.

The AIS Prevention Pass is required for all anglers, in addition to a fishing license. The cost is $2 for residents and $15 for nonresidents. This is not a license fee increase, but rather an additional requirement from the 2017 Montana Legislature to fund the fight against aquatic invasive species such as mussels.

The pass is available at all Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks license providers and online at fwp.mt.gov. If you purchased a fishing license prior to May 19, you will need to obtain an AIS pass.

“We know this will be an inconvenience for some anglers, but protecting the health of our waterways is critical,” said FWP director Martha Williams. “The AIS program we have in place is our best chance at keeping mussels from spreading to other Montana waters and at keeping other invasive species from gaining a foothold in the state.”

Also included in SB 363 was a fee for hydro-electric facilities. The AIS Prevention Pass is anticipated to generate about $3.2 million in revenue per year. The hydro-electric fee will generate about $3.7 million.

The 2017 Legislature provided additional funding for FWP’s aquatic invasive species program after the discovery last fall of aquatic invasive mussel larvae in water samples from Tiber Reservoir. The response plan includes increasing the number of inspection stations around the state, operating decontamination stations at both Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoir, an expanded public education and outreach effort, and doubling the water sampling efforts for mussel larvae around Montana.

Also, because it is a separate program and not a fee increase, the pass can be purchased by non-anglers as well who would want to help contribute to Montana’s fight against aquatic invasive species.

Subscribe to the NFLA Website and Never Miss a Post

Did you know that you can now subscribe to the NFLA website and you’ll receive an email every time we post new information? Is that cool or what?

Check out the subscribe area in the side menu (over on the left if you’re on a computer), fill in your email, then confirm that email address when it shows up in your inbox. That’s all there is to it. If you ever want to unsubscribe, then that’s easy too. The notification email tells you how to do that.

Never miss another important NFLA announcement. Subscribe today!

AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) Protocols for Glacier Park

With the advent of the aquatic invasive species introduction of mussels, however isolated, in Montana, federal and state agencies are taking strong preventive proactive measures.  This includes Glacier Park, whose mission makes this extremely important.  For those of us on the North Fork, this is having a significant impact on watercraft practices, particular to Bowman and Kintla Lakes.  Watercraft usage is limited to hand propelled vehicles only.  If trailers are utilized, they are not allowed to enter any water. Inspections are going to have a greater impact.  All watercraft are required to be inspected each and every time they enter the park, no exceptions, even for those that never leave the valley.

The only fully authorized inspection station is at Apgar.  However, the Park has gratefully taken us locals into consideration and are offering limited inspections at the Polebridge Ranger Station under the auspices of our new Ranger, Jim Dahlstrom.  He has requested boaters contact him in advance (888-7842 in case he is occupied elsewhere and unavailable, thus avoiding unfortunate inconveniences.  In addition, due to overcrowding at Bowman Lake, new protocols are in place.

Because parking on the road will no longer allowed there when the parking lots are full, vehicle traffic on the Bowman Road may be restricted until parking becomes available.  This is to ensure visitor safety and that emergency vehicles can enter the area.  They are going to do their best to give advance warning to folks, but the entrance to the North Fork at Polebridge will not be affected.  Jim asks that everyone be aware and respect these new protocols, and to contact him directly if they have any questions.

Bark Ranger Presentation

From hydroponicshighway.com

On Saturday, June 3rd, is the first NFLA Business meeting of the year, starting at 8PM at Sondreson Hall.

Before the meeting is going to be a presentation (starting at 7PM) by Glacier Park’s Dog Handler Mark Biel with Gracie “the Bark Ranger” on an innovative approach to critter control.

With the help of the Glacier National Park Conservancy, Glacier Park implemented a Bark Ranger pilot project to determine if a trained herding dog could help reduce human-wildlife interactions at Logan Pass this summer.

And Gracie, a 2-year-old female border collie, is the first.  So come meet Gracie on June 3 and learn all about the cutest ranger of them all.

Jim Dahlstrom, New Ranger at Polebridge

Jim Dahlstrom is the new Glacier National Park ranger at Polebridge. He was kind enough to provide us with a biography (see below). Jim will be coming to an NFLA business meeting early in the summer to get acquainted. Welcome Jim!

I began my career with the NPS in 1999 at Rocky Mountain National Park first as a volunteer, then as a backcountry ranger for two seasons before becoming a law enforcement ranger in 2002.  I’ve spent time working at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Pipestone National Monument, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Grand Teton National Park, and most recently was Chief Ranger for the Niobrara National Scenic River in Nebraska.

My wife Christy (also a NPS alumni) and I met at Rocky, and were married in Estes Park.  We have an 8 year old son, Gerard, and 6 year old daughter, Medora.  We enjoy camping, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, and fishing as a family and are so excited to be coming to the North Fork.  If you are around the Ranger Station this summer and you hear someone yelling “Bear!”  keep in mind the kids might be playing with our pug.

My emphasis on serving as a NPS ranger has always been to serve the visitor, while protecting the Park’s resources.  I have had the pleasure of working in some amazing places and have always found that it is the dedicated individuals in local communities  that step up to help take care of our country’s treasures.

I first heard about the North Fork early in my NPS career, as a place of tremendous beauty and genuine rustic character.  I knew back then that being able to serve in an area like that would be my idea of heaven.  I am humbled at the opportunity to serve this area and one of the crown jewels of the NPS, and look forward to making new friends and helping take care of one of America’s crown jewels.