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Glacier National Park

Toll Of Government Shutdown Still Being Tallied At National Parks

Jan 30, 2019
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park explore the boardwalks near Old Faithful.
Courtesy National Park Service

Update: The original story, published Jan. 30, was updated on Jan. 31, with an additional statement from Sen. Steve Daine's office.

WEST YELLOWSTONE — Federal employees have returned to work at public lands throughout the nation, but the cost of keeping national parks open during the record-length partial government shutdown remains unknown.

Glacier National Park sign.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

National Parks in Montana are re-opening visitor centers and assessing how to move forward following the longest federal government shutdown in history.

Blue skies and sunshine made a rare appearance in Glacier National Park Monday morning as staff there returned to work after the 35 day partial federal government shutdown.

An image detailing the bathtub of weak snow layers around Dickey Creek in the Flathead Range on Jan. 15, 2019.
flatheadavalanche.org

The Flathead Avalanche Center has issued an avalanche watch through Saturday for several mountain ranges in Northwest Montana.

The backcountry avalanche watch issued Thursday morning warns of high avalanche danger Friday and Saturday in the Swan, Whitefish and Flathead Ranges and Glacier National Park.

Skiers and snowshoers hike behind a closed gate in Glacier National Park, Dec. 2018.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

An unprecedented move by the National Park Service could free up millions of dollars for staffing and cleaning-up trash and restrooms at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks during the partial federal government shutdown.

Glacier National Park sign.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

Two weeks into the partial federal government shutdown, people are still flocking to national parks, including Glacier, with or without their typical amenities.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission voted today to adopt a rule to ready the state to manage grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park if they’re removed from the endangered species list.

That rule sets mortality thresholds for grizzlies, which mean the state will manage for a total population of at least roughly 1,000 bears in part of an area known as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, home to the largest population of grizzlies in the lower 48. It also says the state will monitor connectivity of bears between ecosystems.

Glacier Park Plans To Upgrade Buses With Hybrid Engines

Dec 6, 2018
Glacier Park's Logan Pass Visitor Center on a busy summer day.
Tom Westbrook (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park has announced plans for a major overhaul to its 33 red tour buses, including adding hybrid engines.

The buses, manufactured in the late 1930s, will be placed on a new chassis and get new V8 engines with an electric assist system.

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will vote on Monday to proceed with a rule related to the management of grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park if the bears are removed from the endangered species list.

Known and probable documented mortalities of grizzly bears in the NCDE from 2004 to 2018.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

2018 has been the deadliest year since scientists started keeping track for grizzlies in Northwest Montana.

"We did have a record high number of mortalities," says Cecily Costello, a grizzly bear research biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and she’s talking about the huge swath of land in and around Glacier National Park, known as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE). About a thousand bears live there.

Hilary Cooley, the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, presenting at an annual meeting on grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, Nov. 20, 2018.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it no longer plans to propose removing the population of grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park from the endangered species list this year.

"We were on track to try and have a proposal, or at least have an evaluation of recovery and a potential proposal, out by the end of the calendar year," says Hilary Cooley, the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, at an annual meeting Tuesday on grizzlies in what’s known as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, or NCDE. 

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