Wednesday, June 22, 2016

National Park Service Announces New National Recreation and Water Trails

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis recently announced the designation of six local and state National Recreation Trails, adding more than 350 miles to the National Trails System. The proclamation also includes three National Water Trails, which adds more than 600 miles to the National Water Trails System.

“By designating these new National Trails, we recognize the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Jewell. “Our world-class network of national trails provides easily accessible places to enjoy exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while also boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities in local communities across the country.”

“The network of national recreation and water trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors,” said Jarvis. “With summer here, I hope everyone will take advantage of a trail nearby to hike, paddle or bike. It’s a great family outing and an opportunity to fill your lungs with fresh air and enjoy the beauty of the world around us.”

National Recreation Trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. Each of the newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers and a letter of congratulations from Secretary Jewell.

While national scenic trails and national historic trails may only be designated by an act of Congress, national recreation trails (including national water trails) may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization.

The National Recreation Trails program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of Federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.

For more information and a list of the new trails added to the system, please click here.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Black Phantoms - A Wolf Encounter in Glacier National Park

"Black Phantoms - My Wolf Encounter" is a short film by Jake Bramante, the first person to hike all of the trails in Glacier National Park in one year, which is chronicled on his Hike 734 website. He put together this video for a local film festival in November of 2011. Jake does a great job of describing his encounter with a pack of three wolves during one his hikes. Enjoy! ‎


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Research Protects Grand Teton’s Wildlife

The Grand Teton National Park Foundation recently published a short video (below) which highlights several Foundation-funded research projects that are currently underway within the national park. Research findings from these projects influence management decisions and conservation plans, with the ultimate goal of preserving Grand Teton’s magnificent wildlife for the enjoyment of future generations.

Research Protects Grand Teton's Wildlife from GTNP Foundation on Vimeo.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Release of Draft Revised Plan for the Flathead National Forest, the Forest Plan Amendments for Helena and Lewis and Clark, Lolo, and Kootenai National Forests

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service recently released the draft revised land and resource management plan (draft forest plan) and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Flathead National Forest for public review and comment. In addition to the effects of the draft forest plan, the DEIS includes the environmental consequences of the proposed forest plan amendments to incorporate habitat management direction for grizzly bears for the Helena-Lewis & Clark, Lolo, and Kootenai National Forests. Written and electronic comments will be accepted for 120 days.

The publication of a Notice of Availability of the draft documents in the Federal Register begins the public comment period on both the draft forest plan, amendments and DEIS. A total of two open houses are scheduled in Kalispell and Missoula during the 120-day comment period. These open houses are intended as an opportunity to visit with individual planning team members and review maps of management area allocations by alternatives. The location and schedule of these open houses will be publicized in local newspapers and can be found on the Flathead National Forest website. The draft documents are available for review and comment online.

Comments may be submitted via email to, via facsimile to (406) 758- 5379 or in writing to: Flathead National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Attn: Forest Plan Revision, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT., 59901 The Forest Service will carefully review the comments on the draft Forest Plan, Amendments and DEIS. There will also be an objection process for any unresolved concerns prior to the final decision.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Free Official Mobile App Launched for Yellowstone

The NPS Yellowstone National Park app is now available from the Apple App Store, and an Android version will be available soon. This free, official mobile app provides useful information about visitor centers, places to stay and eat, shopping and services, and historic places and natural features. Cell service and Wi-Fi are limited in the park, so visitors are encouraged to download the app before they arrive. More information is available online at

The new app offers many useful features. Users can:

• Explore the interactive park map, which is easy to use while outdoors and includes large font sizes, illustrated trails and services, scenic highlights, and multiple zoom levels. By tapping the “Locate me” button, you will always know where you are.

• Learn more about points of interest with text and photographs.

• Discover rich natural and cultural resources with self-guided walking tours.

•Get up-to-date information about what is happening in Yellowstone, including links to geyser predictions and road construction information.

• With the tap of a button, share a digital postcard with friends and family.

• Get up-to-date accessibility information for facilities and some trails in the park, audio-described sites, and alternative text for images.

Visitation increased considerably last year, and this summer promises to be just as busy—if not busier. To get the most out of a Yellowstone adventure, visitors should plan carefully before they arrive. Lodging and campgrounds fill early, and it is unlikely to find a place to stay at the last minute. The official Yellowstone National Park website provides a wealth of trip planning information

The NPS Yellowstone National Park app was developed in partnership with the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, NPMap, Harpers Ferry Center, Montana State University, and Colorado State University. The app was made possible, in part, by a donation from Canon U.S.A., Inc., through the Yellowstone Park Foundation.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Clif Bar Issues Voluntary Recall of Three Flavors That May be Contaminated With Listeria

Clif Bar & Company is initiating a voluntary recall of CLIF BAR® Nuts & Seeds energy bars, CLIF BAR® Sierra Trail Mix energy bars, and CLIF® Mojo® Mountain Mix® trail mix bars, sold nationally, after its ingredient supplier, SunOpta, was found to have distributed sunflower kernels that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes (L.mono).

Clif Bar has not received any reports of illness; however, the company is initiating the voluntary recall in an abundance of caution.

Only the flavors meeting the following criteria are affected by the recall:

• CLIF BAR® Nuts & Seeds energy bar all pack configurations with “best by” date ranges starting 08JUN16 through 21JAN17

• CLIF BAR® Sierra Trail Mix energy bar all pack configurations with “best by” date ranges starting 05JUN16 through 24MAR17

• CLIF® Mojo® Mountain Mix® trail mix bar all pack configurations with “best by” date ranges starting 16JUN16 through 02FEB17

Pictures of the products listed above are available here.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in pregnant women, young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

People who have purchased any of the above products are urged not to consume the products and to destroy it. All retailers who received the products are being contacted. Any questions can be directed to 1-888-851-8456. Details also can be found here. Clif Bar is consulting with the FDA on this voluntary recall.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Glacier National Park Road Status Update

This week, plowing crews on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park cleared new snow and debris from 19 avalanches that were triggered during last week's winter storm. In addition, road crews plowed snow from the Logan Pass Visitor Center parking lot for the second time in three weeks.

Before the road can be opened to motorists, crews will need to clear the forty-foot deep "Big Drift" down to pavement and install hundreds of guard rails along the steepest parts of the road.

Going-to-the-Sun Road Hiker/Biker Access

Currently, the hiker/biker closure on the west side of the park is located at Bird Woman Falls Overlook, approximately thirteen miles past the vehicle closure, while the road crew is working during the week. On the east side, the hiker/biker closure is located at Siyeh Bend, approximately two miles past the vehicle closure. On Saturdays and Sundays bicyclists and hikers may travel as far as conditions allow.

Hikers and bicyclists on the west side are encouraged to use the free shuttle that can be accessed at the Lake McDonald Lodge shuttle stop across from the Camp Store. The shuttle runs daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Lake McDonald Lodge to Avalanche.

Hikers and bicyclists should always be alert for snowplows and other heavy equipment on park roads as well as areas of ice, slush, avalanche zones and fallen rock. Visitors are reminded to use caution when traveling as patches of ice and the danger of avalanches remain. Please be aware of wildlife on park roads and report any bear or mountain lion activity or sighting, regardless of the location, to a park ranger.

Other Roads

On the west side of the Park, the Camas Road is open. The Inside North Fork Road is currently closed to vehicles between Logging Creek Ranger Station and Fish Creek, due to past flooding events that damaged the road. The southern end of the Inside North Fork Road is open to Camas Creek, approximately 6.5 miles north of the Fish Creek junction.

On the east side of the Park, Cut Bank Road is currently closed at the park boundary. Some snow remains but the road is passable to the park boundary. Hiker/Biker access is allowed beyond the closed gate. The Chief Mountain Road and border crossing are open. Many Glacier and Two Medicine Roads are both open. For current road conditions, check the park's website.


On the west side of the park, Sprague Creek, Apgar, Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake and Fish Creek Campgrounds are now open. On the east side of the park Two Medicine, Many Glacier, and St. Mary Campgrounds are open. Most campgrounds in Glacier are first-come first-served with the exception of Fish Creek, St. Mary, some of Many Glacier and half of the group sites in Apgar. Campground sites can be reserved online at

Warm Weather Expected

Warmer temperatures are expected this weekend with highs in the mid-eighties for the west side of the park and the upper seventies on the east side of the park. These warm temperatures will cause increased snow melt and higher water conditions in streams and rivers. Visitors are reminded to use extreme caution near waterfalls, streams, and rivers throughout the park.