Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Top 10 Stories from Glacier National Park in 2012

2012 was another busy year for Glacier National Park. The park made headlines in the national media on a couple of occasions. Mishaps in the backcountry seemed to dominate the news this year. Below is my rundown of the top 10 stories from the park over the past year:

10) In September Glacier officials announced that the Quartz Creek Fish Barrier Modification and Improvement Project had been completed. The barrier was constructed in order to prevent additional non-native fish from reaching Quartz Lake in the northwestern section of the park.

9) In July the National Park Service announced that it had acquired the second largest privately owned property remaining in Glacier National Park. The 120-acre property, which was in private ownership but located entirely within park boundaries, is on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River near Harrison Lake. It was originally settled by Dan Doody, who was appointed as one of the first six Glacier rangers after the park was created in 1910.

8) Back in August Glacier National Park announced that it will proceed with plans to expand the Apgar Transit Center parking lot in order to accommodate increased visitor use due to the relocation of visitor center operations. The parking lot will be extended approximately 90 feet to the north, and 90 feet to the east, and will provide approximately 190-195 spaces for passenger vehicles, including 9 accessible spaces, and 21 RV or oversized vehicle spaces.

7) After 40 years of government service, Glacier National Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright announced his retirement in November, which will be effective at the end of the year.

6) Last January two lost cross-country skiers were rescued after an unplanned, overnight bivouac near Bowman Lake.

5) Sixteen miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road were closed for three days in July after several rock and mud slides occurred between The Loop and Triple Arches. One of slides was captured on video.

4) A Colorado man drowned in the North Fork of the Flathead River in Glacier National Park in September. The man was fishing near Camas Creek with a local relative when they became separated from each other's sight by a bend in the river. The relative went downstream to check on the man but was unable to find him. SAR rescuers found the victim’s body later that day.

3) In July a Glacier National Park trail crew member was seriously injured after sliding approximately 200 feet down a snow field from the Highline Trail to the Going-to-the-Sun Road below.

2) Back in October two hikers were rescued after spending an unanticipated five nights in the backcountry. One of the hikers slipped and fell approximately 100 feet down a steep area between Cut Bank Pass and Dawson Pass. Unable to make their back up to the ridge, the hikers dropped down to the Nyack Lakes area where they waited for rescuers.

1) In July, Jakson Kreiser, a 19-year-old seasonal employee with Glacier Park, Inc., went missing while hiking from the Logan Pass area. An extensive search was conducted for several days, but search personnel were unable to locate the Michigan native. His remains were found in September in an area southwest of Hidden Lake.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

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