Glacier National Park recently was awarded a $4,100 grant from the National Park Foundation to support the launch of the "Flathead Wild and Scenic River Corridor Stewardship Project." The grant will benefit park visitors through the purchase and availability of gear designed to minimize impacts on river corridor environments while recreating.
The grant has enabled the park to purchase gear including several hundred waste bags (biodegradable, puncture-resistant human waste bags), five fire pans, and eight Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee-approved bear-resistant coolers. Park visitors floating the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River are encouraged to check-out this equipment for their use at the Apgar Backcountry Permit Office, free of charge.
The Flathead River, part of the designated Wild and Scenic River System, has seen increased visitor use within the last ten years. Associated impacts include numerous fire rings, poor or improper food storage in grizzly/black bear habitat, and improper human waste disposal. Many private river users lack the gear needed to minimize their impact on the river environment due to expense. The park believes that making this gear available to river users, in congruence with Leave-No-Trace education already provided by park staff, will help reduce impacts along the river corridor.
"With these strategic grants, we have been able to positively impact hundreds of national parks across the country," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "This unique program helps the parks enhance the visitor experience, engaging more people, and ultimately building a stronger community of park enthusiasts who share an appreciation and commitment to protecting America's Best Idea, their national parks."
For more information on availability of gear, contact the backcountry office at, 406-888-7857
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