Outdoors

Forest and wildlife management policy, outdoor learning programs, parks, public land, and recreation.

Eric Knoff

The avalanche education, training and information outlet in the Flathead has been in flux over the past few years with old partnerships ending, and new ones forming. The National Forest is hoping to build partnerships and answer some of the demand for upgraded services through the Flathead Avalanche Center.               

The Center recently hired a part-time director Erich Peitzsch. He works for the US Geological Survey based in Glacier Park as a Physical Scientist. He has also been the Avalanche Forecaster during spring plowing on the Going to the Sun Road.

Katrin Frye

The snow line has crept down the mountainsides even though much of the Flathead Valley floor remains snow-free. Public Relations manager for the Whitefish Mountain Resort Riley Polumbus said the mountain is prepping for its December 7th opening.  

The storm over the weekend brought enough snow to cover the hill even down at the base lodge. Polumbus said they measured 30 inches of snow at the Summit on Friday afternoon, it was up to 48 inches Saturday afternoon, and then another 5 inches fell by Sunday morning.

The Montana Chapter of Trout Unlimited announced plans this week to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who illegally introduce fish species into the state’s waters, something wildlife officials say is on the rise.

"It is one of the most irresponsible things that somebody could do to Montana's fisheries," said Mark Aagenes, Montana TU Conservation Director.

Craig Moore, GlacierWorld

The number of people being killed in avalanches in Montana has been growing over the years. New avalanche education opportunities have been cropping up to combat this trend.         The Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop started up three years ago in the Flathead

The Workshop features a range of speakers presenting on weather conditions, avalanche safety, forecasting, and more as well as back country winter safety gear representatives.

Katrin Frye

The Glacier Youth Corps Partnership just wrapped up the first of two summers of volunteer work at the Park. Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Kusky with Glacier said the Partnership is an opportunity for the Park to get different projects completed, and for the volunteers to learn about careers in the Park Service. Kusky said the project also aims to connect the next generation with Glacier Park.

flickr/USFWS Headquarters

The Flathead Lake fishery has cultural, ecological, and economic significance for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on the south end of the lake, and for the non-tribal land around the north end. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Tribes have been co-managing the lake, but disagree over the best way to discourage non-native lake trout dominance over native trout.  

Katrin Frye

Boaters traveling from water body to water body, and travelers passing through the state may have noticed something new this summer.

Mandatory boat check stations are not new to the state, but increased funding means there are more of them.

Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist Linnaea  Schroeer with Fish, Wildlife and Parks said the state set up 20-mandatory check stations this summer, up from 16 the year before.

She said Montana is one of only 5-states free of zebra and quagga mussels.

The others include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Katrin Frye

Glacier as a National Park was only 10-years-old when Lyle Ruterbories was born. When the first cars drove over the completed Going-to-the-Sun-Highway Ruterbories was 13.

In his 70’s he became a ranger, and his wife Marge a campground host at the remote Kintla Lake campground.

Now, at the age of 93-and-a-half he’s still the camp ranger.

Katrin Frye

A Land Trust effort in the Flathead aims to maintain farmland, open space, wildlife habitat, and water quality.    The Flathead Land Trust has been working with the current owner of a 189-acre property along the north shore of Flathead Lake. Land Protection Specialist Laura Katzman with the Flathead Land Trust said the property was originally homesteaded in the 1800’s. The old barn is still there, but the home has since come down.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is looking into simplifying fishing and hunting licenses in the state.

Right now there are about 100 different types of licenses—and FWP wants to cut that down.

Department Director Jeff Hagener has appointed a twelve member council to study the issue for the next half-year or so. The council will try to streamline the process without reducing the amount of revenue coming in.

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