2013 Spring newsletter now available

The 2013 spring newsletter is available on line. This year’s newsletter contains information about summer activities and announcements about the NFLA as well as the calendar and signup form. Click here to get to the newsletter page on this website.

As always, our thanks go out to everyone who helped with this year’s newsletter. And a special thanks to Flannery Coats for doing all the hard work of putting it together and getting it mailed out.

2013 NFLA Calendar now available

The new 2013 NFLA Calendar is now available. Many thanks to all of the people who made this year’s calendar possible. A special thanks goes to Larry Kinsolving, the member of the BoD responsible for coordinating the whole schedule. Flannery is working on the Spring Newsletter which will include an abbreviated version of the calendar. Be sure and check the online calendar often during the year as new items could be added.

Fire Adapted Communities workshop

Jennifer Mayberry LaManna from FireSafe Montana says… Please join us in Libby Montana for the Fire Adapted Communities Workshop on Friday April 26th and Saturday April 27th, 2013. We are looking forward to some good presentations and discussions on how wildfire impacts a community. If you have any further questions you can email execdir@firesafemt.org or contact Ed Levert at 406-293-2847.

2013 FireWise Day

2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the Wedge Canyon Fire, which destroyed seven homes and twenty-nine outbuildings in the area between Whale Creek and Trail Creek.  54,400 acres burned.  The costs of suppressing the fire and protecting structures exceeded $50 million.

The NFLA’s Fire Mitigation Committee is planning a FireWise Day workshop to recognize the tenth anniversary of the Wedge Canyon Fire as well as the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Red Bench Fire.  The workshop will be held on July 10, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Sondreson Hall, immediately preceding the Summer Interlocal meeting.

First, we’ll take a look at North Fork fire history, focusing in particular on the Wedge fire.  Then we’ll examine changes in the North Fork since 2003 that may affect fire behavior.  Finally, we’ll consider the potential impacts of climate change on wildfire in the North Fork.  Tentative presenters at the workshop include Wally Bennett and Steve Frye, who played instrumental roles in efforts to suppress the Wedge fire, as well as our own Allen Chrisman

Fuels mitigation grant

In 2012, the DNRC awarded the North Fork community a hazardous fuels reduction grant.  It’s the third such grant that the community has received; well over 100 North Fork landowners have participated in the program.  Monies are distributed on a cost-share basis, with the grant providing 75% of the cost and the landowner providing the remaining 25%.  The total value of the grant, with landowners’ share, is about $133,000.

As of March 1, 2013, most of the grant money has been committed to landowner projects.  It’s possible that we can obtain additional funding, contingent on the resolution of budget issues in Washington, D.C. and a demonstration of continuing landowner interest in the program.

Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund

The North Fork Landowners Association is in the process of applying for a Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant for the 2013 weed season. The grant would reimburse landowners for 50% of the cost of having a commercial applicator spray the weed infestations on their property. Ideally, we are seeking approximately 10 landowners who would like to sign up to participate in the pilot year of the grant. Please email Valerie Cox, Weed Committee Chair at valeriekcox@yahoo.com or call her at 406-570-7734 to sign up.

Polebridge school investigated

Alexander James Kroll selected an interesting historical topic for his Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology thesis at the University of Montana… the Polebridge schoolhouse. Alex says that this is the very first schoolhouse that was archaeologically investigated in the state of Montana and only the 5th to be looked out in the West. You not only learn about the Polebridge schoolhouse, but also the historical context and all about rural education.

You can download a copy of Alex’s thesis from here, but be warned that it’s 178MB so could take awhile and a lot of FAP.

Don’t forget that you can get access to Alex’s thesis and biographical information as well as other historical interviews and North Fork stories on the North Fork History Project’s web page. Check it out.