Public Invited to Celebrate the Centennial Of The National Park Service At Glacier National Park

from NPS Glacier National Park

Park Entrance Fees Waived for August 25 –August 28

Entrance fees to the Park, as well as all other units of the National Park Service, will be waived for four days.

NPScentennialWEST GLACIER, MONT –On August 25th celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The celebration is as much a reflection on the importance the national park system has played in our nation’s heritage as it is an opportunity to look forward to the next 100 years. As we take that look,we must do everything we can to foster the next generation in becoming outstanding stewards and advocates for Glacier National Park and prepare them for the future challenges of protecting its natural resources, celebrating its cultural legacy, and providing for outstanding visitor experiences.

At Glacier, we are in the forever business, always taking that long look forward to where we are headed. The next generation will be challenged by managing the parks in the face of climate change. For this park it could mean the loss of its remaining glaciers with significant impacts on the ecosystems and the waterways which originate from here. The next generation will also face an ongoing change in park demographics.This could mean a demand for new recreational experiences, adapting to increases in visitation, and adjusting to rapidly evolving technology.

Our cultural heritage at Glacier National Park goes back far beyond the establishment of the park. It goes to the deep connectivity that the Kootenai, Blackfeet, Salish, and Pend D’Oreille have to this landscape. Thosenative traditions and practices are an important part of the deep rich texture of Glacier National Park. As the park and tribes move forward together in the next 100 years, the next generation has the opportunity to strengthen important programs, such as Native America Speaks, tourism development, and the Iinnii project, and develop new initiatives with our tribal partners.

As we enter our second century, I invite you to celebrate with us the sense of wonder that these historic and wild landscapes have instilled in us all.

The National Park Service Centennial Week Events

 

  1. Commemorative coings
    Commemorative coins

    National Park Centennial Instameet: Glacier National Park, partnering with the Glacier National Park Conservancy, the Department of the Interior, and Visit Montana as well as special guest photographers are hosting an Instameet on August 25from 6 p.m. to sunset in the Apgar Village Green near the Apgar Village Inn. Visitors are encouraged to come together to connect, explore, and celebrate creativity with a camera, make new friends, exchange ideas, and celebrate the 100thbirthday of the National Park Service (NPS). All ages, levels of experience and types of cameras are welcome. Around 6:15 p.m. the host of the Instameet will say a few words in regards to the National Park Service centennial. The official Glacier National Park Service centennial visitor photograph will be taken around 7:00 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to sign the photo matte and be a part of NPS history. The photograph will be posted on our social media sites, printed and hung in the park, as well as copy presented to the director of the National Park Service. It is anticipated that attendance will be high;visitors are encouraged to park at the Apgar Visitor Center and take the bike path to the event.

  2. NPS Photo
    NPS Photo

    Happy Birthday NPS 100 Ranger Program: Say “Happy Birthday NPS” and join a national park ranger for a special program at the St. Mary Visitor Center Auditorium, Thursday, August 25, 8:00 p.m. Admission is by ticket only, with only 209 tickets available. Attendees can pick up a free ticket at the St. Mary Visitor Center beginning on the morning of August 24.The program will explore the history of the National Park Service, reflect on the last 100 years, and the role Glacier will play as we prepare for the next 100.

  3. Logan Pass Star Party: Explore the dark skies of Glacier National Park and attend the Logan Pass Star Party. Admission is by ticket only. Attendees can pick up their free ticket (one per vehicle) at the Apgar or St. Mary Visitor Centers beginning Thursday August 25. The Logan Pass Star Party will be held at Logan Pass Parking Lot from 9:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday, August 26. Attendees will have opportunities to meet with rangers and members of the Big Sky Astronomy Club while taking in the unusually dark skies. There will also be telescopes available to look into the depths of the universe.
  4. Give Back To Glacier Week: The Glacier National Park Conservancy (GNPC) is hosting a “Give Back To Glacier Week,” from August 19 –28.GNPC volunteers will be at entrance locations throughout the park asking for involvement in the program. The GNPC is the official fundraising partner of Glacier National Park providing funding for vital projects and programs that preserve and protect the park.

Wish I could be there.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell’s contemporary fantasy novels “The Sun Singer” and “Sarabande” are set in Glacier National Park. He was a bellman at Many Glacier Hotel while in college.

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Bark Ranger to Protect Glacier’s Goats

from NPS Glacier National Park

Through a Pilot Program a Herding Dog Is Being Trained To Prevent Dangerous Human-Wildlife Interactions at Logan Pass

WEST GLACIER, MT –Glacier National Park, through NPS Centennial year funding from the Glacier National Park Conservancy, is implementing a pilot project to determine if a trained herding dog, “Gracie,” will help to reduce human-wildlife interactions at Logan Pass this summer.

Logan Pass Visitor Center - M. R. Campbell photo
Logan Pass Visitor Center – M. R. Campbell photo

An increase in park visitation has led to an increase in human–wildlife interactions at Logan Pass in recent years. Visitor interactions with mountain goats and bighorn sheep can be dangerous for both people and wildlife. While no serious injuries have been reported at Logan Pass, habituated wildlife have caused serious injury and even death to visitors in other national parks and wild areas. Wildlife habituation can also lead to the death of the animal.

To date, park employees have used conventional hazing methods (arm-waving, shouting, use of sirens, shaking cans of rocks, and moving vehicles) to move goats and sheep out of the parking lot—but the animals tend to return within a short period of time. Because mountain goats and bighorn sheep have an innate fear of predators, however, it is expected that the adverse conditioning activities will encourage the wildlife to stay away for longer periods.

“This program represents a proactive method of wildlife management. The park is trying to provide for safe wildlife viewing by moving wildlife a safe distance from a known area of high visitor use,” said Mark Biel, the dog’s owner and Glacier National Park’s Natural Resources Program Manager. “Through the use of a wildlife shepherding dog and educational visitor contacts, we hope to prevent adverse human–wildlife interactions.”

A Dog Who Loves to Work

“Gracie” is a two-year-old female border collie. Biel describes Gracie as a “medium energy dog that loves to have a job to do.”

Gracie is currently being trained by the staff at the Wind River Bear Institute, in Florence, Montana, known primarily for training Karelian Bear dogs. Biel is being trained as her handler. He plans to conduct wildlife shepherding activities with Gracie at the Logan Pass parking lot and Visitor Center. She is expected to be on duty by mid-July.

Gracie will be trained not to make physical contact with wildlife. She will wear an orange vest or harness indicating that she is a wildlife service animal and will only be off-leash during the shepherding activity. Once wildlife have been moved a safe distance away from the designated area, the shepherding will stop and she will be leashed.

These activities will occur approximately 3–4 times a month, as needed. The shepherding will only occur if the wildlife shows no signs of stress from interaction with humans and vehicles. Shepherding will not occur if it is too hot, if there are other wildlife in the area, or if there is too much traffic and crowding in the parking lot.

The use of dogs to shepherd wildlife is a proven technique for safely and effectively moving wildlife away from areas of concentrated human use. In the 1990’s, Glacier National Park contracted with the Wind River Bear Institute to have trainers and their Karelian bear dogs help manage habituated roadside bears. The project was successful in keeping bears away from the road for the remainder of the visitor season. Waterton Lakes National Park, in Canada, contracts with a business that uses border collies to move habituated deer out of the Waterton townsite before the deer give birth. This has greatly reduced the number of dangerous deer–human encounters. Airports across the country use trained herding dogs to prevent wildlife–aircraft collisions by keeping birds and deer away from runways.

Biel and Gracie will act as wildlife ambassadors, making visitor contacts to remind people about staying a safe distance from all wildlife as well as explaining the dangers to both people and wildlife, of approaching, touching, and feeding habituated wildlife. The Bark Ranger team will also be available to talk to schools and other groups about wildlife management and concerns about habituated wildlife.

Glacier September 19 Update: Access to Logan Pass Changes This Weekend

from NPS Glacier National Park

 

Guard rail replacement in June - NPS Photo on Flickr
Guard rail replacement in June – NPS Photo on Flickr

The last day to access Logan Pass by vehicle from the east side of Glacier National Park will be Sunday, September 21, allowing accelerated fall season rehabilitation on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Vehicle traffic will be restricted on the east side near the St. Mary Campground beginning Monday, September 22. Vehicle access to Logan Pass will be available from the west side of the park through Sunday, October 19, weather permitting.

Fall access to east-side hiking trails between the St. Mary Campground and Logan Pass will be limited during road rehabilitation activity beginning Monday, September 22. Hikers wanting to hike any of the trails that are accessed, or may be an exit point, along the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, are highly encouraged to contact the park at 406-888-7800 before departing. The trails that are affected include Siyeh Pass, Baring Basin, Piegan Pass, Otokomi, St. Mary Falls/Baring Falls/Virginia Falls, Gunsight and Sperry Trails. For more information on status of trails and access, please contact the park or visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/trailstatusreports.htm.

Access to some backcountry campsites on the east side of the park will also be affected. All backcountry campers are required to have a permit from the park’s backcountry office for overnight stays. All backcountry permits must be obtained from the Apgar Permit Center at this time of the year. For more information on backcountry camping and trail access, please contact the park at 888-7800 or visit http://www.nps.gov/glac.

Times and locations for boat inspections for boats launching in Glacier National Park are changing. Inspections for the west side of the park will be conducted at the Apgar Backcountry Office, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily through the end of October. Boat inspections for the east side of the park, Many Glacier and Two Medicine areas, are by appointment only. Appointments are available by contacting the park at 406-888-7800.

The Logan Pass Visitor Center will be open through this Sunday, September 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Apgar Visitor Center and the St. Mary Visitor Center are open through October 5, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily.

Many Glacier Bridge Replacement

Swiftcurrent Bridge, which provides access to Many Glacier Hotel, was losing its structural integrity, had a cracked deck, and could no longer handle high water.  - NPS photo from the park planning document
Swiftcurrent Bridge, which provides access to Many Glacier Hotel, was losing its structural integrity, had a cracked deck, and could no longer handle high water. – NPS photo from the park planning document

Visitors to the Many Glacier area of the park should be aware that the replacement of the Swiftcurrent Bridge will begin shortly after the Many Glacier Hotel closes for the season on Sunday, September 21.  Visitors can expect short delays beginning September 26. As of September 29 there will be no vehicle or pedestrian traffic as the bridge is replaced. It is anticipated that the work to replace the bridge will continue through mid-November.

Access to Cracker Lake and the Piegan Trail will be through the Grinnell Picnic Area, at the Grinnell Trailhead. The Swiftcurrent Bridge is located at the foot of Swiftcurrent Lake and provides vehicle and pedestrian access to the Many Glacier Hotel Historic District, and the Many Glacier Hotel.

Autumn visitors to Glacier National Park will find less crowds, cooler temperatures, and changing vegetation colors. Area residents and visitors are reminded that the park is open year-round and park recreational opportunities can be found during all seasons.

Nice to see infrastructure work going forward.

–Malcolm

Seeker for promo 1Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of three novels partially set in Glacier National Park, “The Sun Singer” (paperback) “Sarabande” (out of print) and “The Seeker” (on Amazon and Smashwords in paperback and e-book).