North Fork Patrol finishes winter/spring property checks

The North Fork Patrol has finished its winter/spring patrol; 137 properties registered with the patrol were checked. 11 property owners were contacted about various issues (damaged stovepipes or vent stacks, snow damage etc.).

We will be having our spring meeting in May, so if you have any questions or concerns please contact Mark at 406-890-5043 or

A note from the North Fork Patrol

The North Fork Patrol has finished checking on all properties that are currently signed up (113). Landowners have been notified if there was any property damage. This was mostly due to snow sliding off roofs and damaging vent stacks, stovepipes, satellite/Starlink dishes and a solar panel mount. There was no evidence of any vandalism on patrolled properties.

This year, especially due to all the local road projects, we can definitely expect to see more people in the area driving around, getting lost and “looking around”. So please remember that the best “security” is relying on neighbors to keep an eye on each other’s properties.

If you have questions, contact Mark Heaphy at 406-890-5043 or

Real estate scammers target North Fork landowner (unsuccessfully)

From Mark Heaphy of the North Fork Patrol . . .

Recently a landowner reported that they had gotten three phone calls in the last week from three different realtors who were checking to see if they had just asked them to list their property for sale. They had not.

Evidently there is a scammer who picked up their information from Flathead County GIS (public site and easily obtained information) and then contacted local realtors on Zillow to see if they would list their property. They used fake email addresses that mimicked their name and cell phone number.

Fortunately the realtors got suspicious and contacted the landowners to verify. The landowner then contacted the county plat room and their title company’s title fraud specialist to make sure everything was in order, which it was. The fraud specialist did comment that: “She looked into things and she found a similar deal also in the North Fork area that failed at closing last year. The scammers typically target vacant land and out of state owners.”

Unfortunately the North Fork is not immune to this type of fraud. So please be aware, especially if you’re an out of state landowner.

North Fork Patrol year-end report

North Fork and the moon - photo by Mark Heaphy
North Fork and the moon – Mark Heaphy

The North Fork Patrol had its year-end meeting this past Thursday, December 16, and had only a few things to report:

    • There were no major incidents this past year. Recorded patrol mileage was 1427 miles.
    • With the increase of people in the area, the board wanted to recommend to folks who store weapons in their structures that they make sure guns are locked up, preferably in a safe.
    • Keeping an eye on your neighbor’s property goes a long way to helping out the community and the patrol.

Mark Heaphy

An update from the North Fork Patrol

Here’s the latest activity report from the North Fork Patrol, courtesy of Mark Heaphy . . .

All 126 properties were checked at least once and 618 miles were logged.

There were a few places that had downed trees, dented vent stacks, unlocked doors and a damaged screen (due to a bear). All owners were notified.

North Fork Patrol update

The North Fork Patrol had its spring meeting on 30 May. So far this year the patrol has logged 722 miles and checked on 132 residences. Only two owners had to be notified of damages. 

As folks return to the North Fork for the summer, the patrol reminds them to be sure to have a plan of action incase of medical or fire emergencies. 

I hope you are having good early summer.


Report from the North Fork Patrol’s Board Meetings

Following is a report from Mark Heaphy… Since January of this year, the patrol has logged more than 658 miles of patrolling, has checked on 151 properties and notified 19 landowners of various problems or damages. The heavier, longer lasting wet snows of this past winter took out more than a few stacks, vents and chimneys. Also, Irv and Chris Heitz have been added to the patrol and will assist in patrolling the more northern properties.

Thank you Mark and all of the participants of the patrol for all the hard work. Your North Fork neighbors appreciate it!

If you would like to learn more about the North Fork Patrol, check out their webpage here.

North Fork Patrol Spring Board Meeting

The North Fork Patrol had its spring board meeting on Wednesday, May 24. Here are two main highlights:

  • Currently there are 130 properties on our list; all have been checked and 10 were notified concerning damage or other issues.
  • The board voted to give an individual a monetary award for the reporting of a poaching up north.

The North Fork Patrol, with the written permission of a landowner, checks North Fork properties for evidence of trespass, poaching and external physical damage. For more information about the North Fork Patrol and who to contact if you are interested in signing up, see the North Fork Patrol page.

2016 Winter North Fork Patrol Meeting Update

Mark Heaphy reports that the North Fork Patrol recently held their annual winter meeting. Here are some highlights: The North Fork Patrol has about 150 properties signed up and almost all have been physically checked at least once this winter. The good news is that out of all of those checked only one had any problem, a damaged vent stack. They plan to get business cards that say “North Fork Patrol” that they may opt to leave at places checked, writing notes on the back with the date, etc. And the Patrol is getting close to putting up the new sign near the southern end of the Home Ranch Bottoms pavement, replacing the old one that’s falling down. 
The Patrol has also recently made several updates. They have a new email…. that folks can use to get in touch with them. They have also updated their signup form (click here to get the new form). Finally, the Patrol has updated the Emergency Services on the North Fork information sheet (click here to see the new sheet).  It is strongly recommended that you print out this new version of the form, fill in your GPS coordinates, and have it handy in case of an emergency.
A patrol member will be making a complete report at the first NFLA meeting scheduled for Saturday, June 4. And you can get more information about the North Fork Patrol by going to their web page.

Patrol Agenda for July, 2015

Prepared by Lynn P. Ogle for Mark Heaphy.

Patrol is asking people to get license numbers and descriptions of strange vehicles and people, in or around your homes.

It is very difficult to know if you have given people permission or if they are renters or trespassers if you do not give them a written permission slip.

If you are in the renting business you need to realize the following:

  1. You as the owner of the property or equipment need to give your renter a written permission slip, or you might get an unexpected call from a Sheriff’s Officer.
  2. You need to know that the Renters may place you in a liable seat if you have a fire get away and or damage your neighbor’s property. That includes State and Federal properties. If the renter has renters insurance, they may minimize your risk, but don’t think it does until you have checked it out.
  3. You as the Land owner are responsible to provide the necessary escape routes in case of a disaster.
  4. Your duties include informing your renters that they must clean up their mess and pack it out; you know the rule; pack it in and pack it out!
  5. You should make them aware of all of the animals that might become violent in the event of their pets and garbage. Make sure that they know that they must remove all of the garbage they bring with them.

You as the owner of the property should check with your own insurance company before you rent to anyone!

We as the North Fork Patrol are not responsible for damages. You as the landowner are responsible and if you choose to rent then any damages to your property needs to be reported to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office @ 406-758-5610 or 900 South Main Street in Kalispell, Mt 59801. For more information about the North Fork Patrol, see their web page.