Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project

Marked treesAs discussed at the October Business Meeting, the NFLA Board has proceeded with application for a Hazardous Fuels Project grant from the Flathead Economic Policy Center.  Fire Mitigation Committee Member Allen Chrisman met with Mason Richwine from the FEPC on Wednesday October 16 to look at the project at the Hall.

The intent of the project is to remove surface fuels, ladder fuels, and provide space between the crowns of the remaining trees to reduce the fire hazard.  Excellent work has been done on the property to reduce surface fuels and prune the remaining trees.  This project will remove additional trees to provide more space between crowns, and prune the trees that are left.   Continue reading Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project

New Sign on Sondreson Community Hall

New sign on the Community HallThe NFLA board has been discussing a new sign for Sondreson Hall for over a year.  While visiting the North Fork, Paul Genovese became interested in what was happening up here.  He checked out the NFLA website and listened to the oral history interviews posted by the North Fork History Project.  After that, he started reading the board minutes where he discovered that we were interested in a sign for the Hall.  He contacted me because I was still the NFLA President at the time and we talked about the sign design that the board had in mind.  Using a computer-controlled plasma cutting machine he cut the design out of a steel plate with a rustic finish.  When the sign was finished, he drove up to the Community Hall and mounted it.  Many thanks to Paul for his initiative, creativity, time, materials, and interest in the North Fork Community.


NFLA annual food drive results

The annual NFLA food drive was started again this summer during the NFLA’s
August business meeting. Throughout the late summer and early fall, food was
donated by members of the North Fork community and collected at the Community
Hall. At the beginning of October, Tom Edwards gathered these donations and
delivered them to the Columbia Falls Food bank. The 2013 donations included
38 lbs. of food. Estimating $1.50 per pound, the total for food was $57.00.
There were additional donations in checks for $75.00. That makes the grand
total for this year $132.00. We want to thank everyone who donated an
participated in this years food drive effort.

Hunting season is here

White tail buckHunting season is already underway for bow, moose, and bear hunters, and rifle season for deer and elk opens on Oct. 25th running through Dec. 1. That means there will soon be a lot of hunters on the North Fork, including local residents, folks from around the state, and out of state hunters.

We recommend contacting the North Fork Patrol for advice on the best ways to mark your property against trespassing (see the Contact page for more information on the North Fork Patrol).

Be sure to always wear orange when you go out hiking, even if you don’t plan to leave the main road. And it’s a good idea to get an orange vest for your dogs, too! (Just make sure the girth is snug and doesn’t ride too far back on male dogs – we know of a certain dog who has had some trouble peeing in his orange suit…)

For you hunters, please be considerate of others in the woods, pay attention to private property signage, and don’t leave gut piles or other attractants where they could attract bears and endanger your neighbors.  If you are in any doubt about the rules, check out FWP’s Hunter Page on their website.

Stay safe, everybody!

Maintenance Committee update – new porch on the back of Sondreson Hall

Lynn Ogle, Gary McDonough and Allen Chrisman replaced the back porch at Sondreson Community Hall on Wednesday September 11, 2013.  The decking on the existing porch had rotted.  The porch was replaced with pressure treated 4×4 stringers and 2×6 decking, and placed on concrete pads to prevent ground contact and rot.  Thanks to Lynn for picking up the materials in town, and to Lynn and Gary for providing the tools and expertise necessary to complete the project.  We were one board short – but found a scrap to finish out the project for the time being.

Tuchuck Trail Report

An MCC (Montana Conservation Corp) Trail Crew will be working on the higher section of Tuchuck on September 9-16.  Even though they have received only 50% of the RAC grant funding for this project due to sequestration, they will try to get as much done as possible in a week.  This is great news because the switchbacks going up to Tuchuck Peak are in terrible condition.

Flathead Forest Friday Focus: Weeds

Everyone Invited for a Breakfast Chat on Friday, September, 20th

KALISPELL, MONT. – Nearly 30 species of invasive plants, or weeds, can be found on the Flathead National Forest. Each year forest employees strategize when and where to put its resources in the fight against these invaders. The tools used to kill the weeds are constantly changing as botanists consider everything from plant sniffing dogs to plant eating insects. Come chat with us about our efforts. Continue reading Flathead Forest Friday Focus: Weeds

Good turnout for astronomy night

Astronomy nightAbout 30 people came to the Kinsolvings for the first astronomy night of the year.  Our presenter and guide to the stars, Mike Hawkaluk, came early and set up two large telescopes so that we could take a peak at the setting sun.  We were actually able to see several sun spots on the sun’s surface.  Once the sun went down, Mike gave an interesting slide presentation that provided great context and background for what we were going to be seeing in the night sky.  Then he led us to the Kinsolving’s field where the telescopes were set up and showed us double stars, nebula, star clusters and more.  Mike had this terrific laser pointer that enabled him to show us exactly which stars and constellations were under discussion including Capella, Cassiopeia, the Great Square of Pegasus, and the summer triangle.

The second astronomy night of the season is scheduled for Saturday, September 28th on the Hart’s deck.  Mike will return with a new presentation, so you don’t want to miss it.

NFLA auction dinner was well received

Fried squash blossoms

One of the items on offer at the NFLA auction earlier this month was a wine dinner for 6 with all the trimmings.  Chef Morgan Hart’s goal for this year’s auction dinner was to source ingredients locally to the greatest extent possible. This effort included not only taking advantage of the trout pond and gardens at HartsCore but also accepting generous donations from North Fork neighbors Lee Secrest, Molly Shepherd, Debo Powers.  Morgan also visited local farms including Kalispell Kreamery and Farm to Market Pork as well as shopping at the Whitefish Farmer’s Market and Glacier Produce.  The search for a locally sourced piglet was, however, thwarted. Continue reading NFLA auction dinner was well received

New holdings for the NFLA Library of Nature Books

Debo sent word that there are new nature books available for check out.  These include:

  • Small Mountain Owls by Scott Rashid
  • Lepidoptera of the Pacific Northwest:  Caterpillars and Adults by Jeffrey C. Miller & Paul C. Hammond
  • Butterflies Through British Columbia by John Acorn & Ian Sheldon
  • The Moth Book by W. J. Holland
  • Montana Starwatch by Mike Lynch
  • Stars Over Montana:  The Men who shaped Glacier National Park by Warren L. Hanna

For more information including how to check these and other books out, see the Trails Committee page.