Glacier Park Fund Lists Park Funding Accomplishments and Needs

The Glacier National Park Fund has supplemented the park’s declining federal funding to the tune of $3.5 million dollars for the past 13 years. After looking at the rationale for the Fund’s merger with the Glacier Association (reported in September), I believe the combined organization will offer increased support for the park during the next 13 years,

As a member, I enjoy the late-in-the-year mailings that detail how the Fund’s support has helped Glacier National Park during the recent season as well as getting a heads-up on emerging projects.

In 2012, contributions from the Fund helped the park complete repairs on Sperry Chalet (see 2011 avalanche damage post), the lookouts on Scalplock and Swiftcurrent, and the Belly River ranger station. Year-to-year maintenance on trails continues (as always), with an emphasis on the Ptarmigan Wall, Avalanche Lake, and Loneman Lookout trails. Some 3,500 grade school students participated in the Winter Ecology School Program and the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher training. Research work went forward on harlequin ducks, fishers and bats, bear-proof food storage containers were added to campground, and the citizen science program kept up its use of volunteers for countless projects.

Highline Trail – David Restivo, NPS

Upcoming Needs

You can see a list of the Fund’s 2013 projects online. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The creation of a Glacier Conservation Corps youth group to assist with trail maintenance, weed control and restoration. If the Fund raises $50,000 by December 31, it will receive a matching grant from the National Park Foundation.
  • Damage to the popular Highline Trail during a July thunderstorm will require $20,000 in additional repairs in order to safely open the trail during 2013. (I agree with those who say that if visitors take one hike in the park, this should be it.)
  • The well-received Citizen Science and Adopt a Trail programs both need additional funding.

Exciting and much needed projects, I believe, that support the Crown of the Continent’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of nonfiction and fiction focused on Glacier National Park, including “The Sun Singer” which is set in the Swiftcurrent and Belly River valleys.

A Glacier Park Fantasy Novel

Glacier Park Fund and Glacier Association to Merge

from the Glacier Park Fund

West Glacier, MT, September 25, 2012 – The Board of Trustees of the Glacier National Park Fund and the Board of Directors of the Glacier Association (formerly the Glacier Natural History Association) have agreed to a merger of these two Glacier National Park Partners.

The merger will be effective January 1, 2013, and the new organization will be the Glacier National Park Conservancy. The conservancy’s goal will be to generate financial support for the Park in an era of reduced federal budgets through increased private fundraising and philanthropic activities, and continued operation of the bookstores within Glacier National Park and at other federal agency partner sites in Montana.

The Glacier Park Fund has provided close to $4 million to Glacier National Park and is pleased to take another exciting step in growing our commitment and support to Glacier.

From extensive support of trails, to research and management of wildlife and plants, to educational programs and preservation of the red buses and historical records, artifacts and buildings, the Glacier National Park Conservancy (GNPC) will continue in the same tradition of helping to preserve a quality of visitor experience while protecting a very special national treasure.

The Glacier National Park Fund was established in 1999 as the non-profit fundraising partner of the Park. The Glacier Association is a non-profit cooperating association of the National Park Service that was originally formed in 1941 and incorporated in 1946.

As a 1980s volunteer with the Glacier Association when it was called the Glacier Natural History Association and as member of both organizations, I look forward to seeing a strengthening of the efforts of both approaches to park stewardship and fundraising through the merger.


Malcolm R. Campbell, the author of contemporary fantasy and satire, also created the Kindle e-book “Bears; Where They Fought” about the land and history of Glacier National Park’s Swiftcurrent Valley. His article about the Glacier Park flood of 1964 appears in NPS-produced “A View Inside Glacier National Park – 100 Years 100 Stories” available through the Glacier Association on line bookstore.

Visit the Glacier page on my website.

This and That, Mostly About Books

While Georgia’s heat wave continues, I’m doing just fine when I’m inside working on short stories. The A/C can hardly keep up with temps over 90, much less over 100. As long as I’m working on my story about a Florida river, I can imagine floating in its cool waters even though “in real life,” the river is a mess due to the recent flooding from Debby.

Lately, I’ve been wondering what’s going on in the world that’s causing so many people to search on the phrase “light conquers all.”  A year-old post here on Malcolm’s Round Table about author Pat Bertram’s novel Light Bringer has been getting dozens of hits per day for about two weeks now. If you’re one of the people searching for that phrase, leave a comment and tell me what’s happening.

After reading author and artist Terri Windling’s recent post about artistic inspiration, I felt inspired to use her words as a springboard and post a few words about where authors get their ideas on my Magic Moments blog. Stop by and tell me what inspires you to write, draw, compose music or make a quilt or create a new sculpture.

Long before I was born, my father’s family lived in Fort Collins, Colorado before moving to the California coast. Because my father loved the Colorado high country, I followed in his footsteps and climbed mountains there one summer before finishing school and being summoned by “my friends” at my local draft board to join the Navy. So it is, that I watch the news about the Colorado fires, the people who have been driven out of their homes and the heroic efforts of the fire fighters with horror and awe mixed together with memories of better times. The news from the fire lines seems better at the moment.

On July 9th, author Melinda Clayton will stop by for a chat about her third novel Entangled Thorns, including why a Florida author is lured to Appalachia again and again for her stories. I enjoyed the interview!

Publisher’s Description

Beth Sloan has spent the majority of her life trying to escape the memories of a difficult childhood. Born into the infamous Pritchett family of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia, she grew up hard, surrounded not only by homemade stills and corn liquor, but by an impoverished family that more often than not preferred life on the wrong side of the law.

After the mysterious death of her brother Luke at the age of thirteen, seventeen year old Beth and her younger sister Naomi ran away from home, never to return. As the years passed, Beth suppressed the painful memories and managed to create a comfortable, if troubled, life with her husband Mark and their two children in an upscale suburb outside of Memphis, Tennessee.

But the arrival of an unwelcome letter threatens to change all that.

Against her better judgment, and at the urging of her sister Naomi, Beth agrees to return to Cedar Hollow, to the memories she’s worked so hard to forget. When old resentments and family secrets are awakened, Beth must risk everything to face the truth about what really happened to Luke that long ago summer night.

With three out of four of my novels partly set in Glacier National Park, Montana, I’m usually distressed when I read about the continued absence of funding, especially for such mundane sounding line items as infrastructure and maintenance. The good news this summer is the Glacier National Park Fund’s plan to begin an adopt-a-trail program to help pay for the upkeep on the remaining 750 miles of trails (down 250 miles since I was first there). As a member of the Fund, I heard about the plan via a letter and a brochure. The details are not yet on the Fund’s web site, but I think they will be soon.

When I write my next Montana novel, I really don’t want to hear that more trails have been abandoned due to Congress’ continued lack of support. Maybe all of us can help pick up the slack.

Otherwise, I know newspapers, websites and magazines often feature the summer’s hot reads every year about this time. What with the heat wave, I’m ready for books about snow and ice.


Only $4.99 on Kindle

Montana’s Uncommon Critters Posters

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has four great posters featuring the burrowing owl, paddlefish, cutthroat trout, and coeur d’alene salamander. As you can see from the salamander art shown here, artist Peter Grosshauer uses vivid colors to bring these critters alive for your PC’s wallpaper or as illustrations for your next nature talk or hike.

You can find these posters ready for download on the Glacier Park Fund’s “Just for Kids” page. (I hope it’s legal for adults to enjoy these posters as well.)

You May Also Like: Good Nature Stories Make Good Earth Stewards posted yesterday on Magic Moments.

Coming June 22: An interview with author Smoky Trudeau Zeidel, who will be talking about her new novel The Storyteller’s Bracelet.

Coming Soon: Author Melinda Clayton will stop by to talk about her new novel Entangled Thorns.


Glacier Park Fund’s “Spring for Glacier”

The Glacier Park Fund’s “Spring for Glacier” is a annual  fundraising event benefiting Glacier National Park’s four non-profit partners. It features local silent auction items and live auction art from several well known artists.  Lodging is also available at a special rate for the event night only – at both the Belton Chalet and Lake McDonald Lodge.

If I didn’t live on the far side of the country, I would definitely put on some railroad man clothes and show up for this event. For more information, click on the invitation graphic here:


Three out of four of Malcolm R. Campbell’s contemporary fantasy novels are set in the park, including the recent heroine’s journey “Sarabande”

‘Fall for Glacier’ Scheduled for September 6-9

While spring has hardly sprung, especially in the high country, it’s time to make plans for autumn if you’re interested in this year’s Fall for Glacier September 9-12 experience at Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier, Montana.  Enjoy the following on this exclusive weekend:

  • Exclusive BNSF Railway Private Train Ride from Whitefish to Glacier Park Lodge.
  • Three nights stay at the century old Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier including all meals
  • Blackfeet Reservation and Lewis and Clark historical tour
  • Special guests and Blackfeet interpretive programs by renowned ledger artist Terrance Guardipee and Native American Music Award winner Jack Gladstone
  • Red Jammer bus tours
  • Discover Glacier hikes and scenic boat ride with Park interpretive rangers and researchers.
  • Glacier High Tea with special guests
  • Horseback riding and golf in view of the majestic mountains of Glacier
  • Welcome reception Thursday evening
  • BBQ cookout and Great Northern Railroad history with special guests on Friday night
  • Tickets to the Backpackers Ball gala event on Saturday night– dinner, live performance by Jack Gladstone, and a live and silent auction of Glacier art, memorabilia, and outdoor packages.

Call 406-892-3250 for reservations and information or see the website here.

The weekend is sponsored by the Glacier National Park Fund. Stay tuned for information about the Fund’s soon-to-be-implemented Adopt-a-Trail program to help cover the costs of trail maintenance throughout the park.


Glacier Park Volunteer Opportunities

Glacier National Park relies on 50,000 hours of of volunteer help from over 500 individuals every year. You can find information about programs and requirements here. And, you can find an application form here.  There is a limited amount of no-cost housing for volunteers working 32 or more hours per week.

Volunteers, primarily for work between June and September, are needed in the following programs:

  • Nurturing Native Plants
  • Transit Center
  • Visitor Center
  • Interpretation
  • Campground Host
  • Citizen Science
  • Back Country Patrol
  • Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Headquarters Phone Volunteers
  • Group Projects

The Glacier Institute

The private nonprofit Glacier Institute offers educational programs and adventures within the park and the Flathead National Forest. Offerings include outdoor education courses, youth camps and the discovery school. According to the institute, “Volunteers are always appreciated at our field sites and include various duties such as assisting with educational programs and facility maintenance and cleaning.” Volunteer and staff position information can be found here.

Glacier National Park Fund

The Glacier National Park Fund was established in 1999 to conduct fund raising activities on behalf of the park. Their efforts support NPS and volunteer group projects such as the planned restoration of the Heaven’s Peak Fire Lookout.

For a list of events requiring Glacier Park Fund volunteers, click here. For a list of current projects for which the fund is raising money, click here.

Boy Scouts of America

Scouts volunteering in Glacier National Park dates back to the 1920s when Eagle Scounts helped create some of the park’s first trails. In 2010, both Glacier and the BSA celebrated their 100th birthdays; appropriately, the Scouts were volunteering again. Scouts, scout leaders, and parents who are interested in Glacier volunteer projects should contact the Nu-Ooh-Sa District for programs and information.

For information and volunteer needs throughout the nation’s 400 National Parks, click here. On the western site of the park, check with the North Fork Preservation Association for trail clearing and other opportunities.


Set partially in Glacier National Park

Glacier Park Fund Continues Trail Maintenance Support

The Glacier National Park Fund partners with the National Park Service in the Save the Trails Project. Past work has included the McDonald Creek overlook and the reconstruction of the Horse Bridge.

This year, most of the park’s historic hotels and campgrounds will be open by mid-June and hikers will be out on their favorite hikes. Trail flooding is just one of the yearly spring problems that necessitates maintenance.

If you would like to help support Glacier year-around, the Glacier Park Fund offers a way to do it. Click here for information. In addition to maintenance, work will continue this year on a wheelchair accessible trail across the lake from Many Glacier Hotel and the Hidden Lake trail boardwalk.

Budget cuts at the federal level make volunteer help and donations via the Glacier Park Fund urgent. Keeping over 700 miles of trails in good shape takes a fair amount of effort. Those who have been going to Glacier for years will remember that the park once advertised over a thousand miles of trails. Let’s not lose any more of them.


Vanilla Heart Publishing announced today the release of a new satirical e-book in the “Jock Talks Series.” Authored by Smoky Trudeau Zeidel and Malcolm R. Campbell, Jock Talks Lightning Safety is a parody of the summertime helpful hints articles that often run in daily newspapers. Along with the fun, the book takes a look at safety myths which really are nothing more than myths.

Click on the link for Amazon and on the cover for OmniLit.

Public Comments Sought for Glacier Fire Lookout Project

from NPS Glacier National Park:

Heaven's Peak Lookout - NPS photo
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park today announced plans to seek public comments for a proposed project to stabilize the existing Heavens Peak Lookout.

The National Park Service (NPS) has decided to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for the project to review all possible resource issues from the proposed Heavens Peak Lookout stabilization. This environmental analysis will begin this summer (2010), with a goal of having the EA completed by spring 2011.

The goal of the project is to stabilize the historic Heavens Peak fire lookout that was built by conscientious objectors during World War II. Stabilization of the lookout would slow down the accelerating deterioration so that this historic structure can remain on the landscape as part of Glacier National Park’s cultural history.

Constructed in 1945, the Heavens Peak Lookout was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and embodies the NPS rustic design philosophy of buildings that are “harmonious” with the landscape. The lookout is located on Heavens Peak, within recommended wilderness inside Glacier National Park. It lies within an area of high grizzly bear density.

Heavens Peak Lookout is structurally sound at this time, but the deteriorating roof and missing shutters threaten its long-term survival. The proposed project would repair the roof, shutters and exposed exterior wood surfaces, paint the exterior and stabilize the masonry. Glacier National Park Fund would pay for the stabilization as one of their legacy projects in honor of the park’s Centennial.

In addition to the proposed action, two other alternatives have been identified to date: 1) no action, in which case the lookout would eventually be lost, and 2) rehabilitation which would fully rehabilitate the lookout and re-build the trail access to the lookout.

Comments and concerns on the proposed Heavens Peak Stabilization project should be submitted online by Monday, August 16, 2010, at or mailed to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Heavens Peak Lookout EA, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936. There will be another opportunity for review and comment when the environmental assessment is completed.

This announcement appears to represent a change in plans. This fully funded Glacier Park Fund legacy project was supposed to get underway next month according to earlier announcements.


Every purchase of this mountain adventure novel set in Swiftcurrent Valley, the Belly River Valley and Chief Mountain benefits the Glacier National Park centennial committee.

Buy the book, then head for the park and follow Robert Adams’ quest yourself while celebrating the centennial.

Glacier Centennial: Heavens Peak Fire Lookout

Heavens Peak - Rachel Zinger photo
A fire lookout constructed of wood, stone and glass perches at the tip of the north ridge of Glacier National Park’s Heavens Peak. Built on the prominent, often-photographed 8,994-foot mountain in 1945 at a cost of less than $5,000, the structure once served as an integral link in the park’s network of manned fire lookouts. The lookout was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Calling the rustic lookout “the most enduring legacy of the Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp in Glacier National Park,” The Glacier Park Fund has taken on the building’s restoration as one of its Glacier Park Centennial Legacy Projects. The proposed work involves stabilizing the roof, repairing and reconstructing shutters, repairing and painting exposed exterior wood surfaces, and masonry stabilization.

Fire Lookout - Gary Ludwig photo
The Glacier Park Fund projects funding needs of $36,000 of for the lookout’s rehabilitation. (Click here to make a donation.) The planned restoration work will slow down the accelerating deterioration so that the historic structure can withstand the harsh alpine conditions in harmony with the landscape.

While air observation allows a more comprehensive coverage of the park
and has replaced the manned lookout almost entirely, the Heavens Peak fire lookout once provided observers with a marvelous panoramic view including the Livingston Range, the Lake McDonald Valley, Logan Pass and the Garden Wall. Typically, observers used an Osborne Firefinder (aligning the sites rather like aiming a rifle) to pinpoint the exact location of any observed smoke on a circular park map.

The construction of the Heavens Peak lookout was one of many projects completed by conscientious objectors assigned to Glacier Park’s World War II Civilian Public Service Camp (CPS). The camp housed 550 men.

The Glacier Park Fund’s overall goal for multiple, short-term legacy projects is $250,000. According to the fund, the Heavens Peak Lookout restoration, in consultation with the park’s historic architect, is part of a 2010 birthday gift to the park. In 2009, restoration work on a 1913 ranger cabin was completed providing space for a winter school programs. More accessible trails, a wildlife viewing platform and upgraded Logan Pass visitor center exhibits are also on the wish list.

My Glacier National Park Centennial posts can be found on Twitter by searching on the #glaciercentennial tag.

Purchases of this adventure novel benefit Glacier Park