Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Kudos to Manley

by By Larry Wilson
| May 25, 2022 7:55 AM

It is still not quite summer, but one or two sunny days makes us realize we are, at least, on the edge of summer. Grizzlies have been seen by nearly everyone. One resident who lives north of Trail Creek has already counted sixteen bears and even I have seen three.

Bear sightings go well with the celebration held at Home Ranch Store last Saturday. About 100 people gathered to thank retired bear specialist Tim Manley for his many years of service to the North Fork and Western Montana. He and his crew were always pleasant and helpful. They concentrated on educating folks on how to live with bears and make it possible for bears and people to live together on the North Fork. It would be impossible to list all of the ways he did this from banging on pots and pans, to bear proof garbage cans to electric fences and even bear chasing Karelian dogs.

At the party NFLA President, Richard Hildner, passed Tim’s BIG, BIG shoes on to his replacement and presented Tim with a pair of smaller bear shoes. There was also a very nice plaque given to Tim from Flannery Coats on behalf of the North Fork Preservation Association. In addition to the actual bear management, I feel that Tim has been a major partner in promoting community unity. His efforts have made collaboration much easier than feuding and the North Fork is better for it. We all wish Tim and his wife many years of health and happiness.

On Sunday the NFLA Firewise Committee met at the home of Molly Shepherd to finalize plans for the Firewise Tour and the Firewise educational meeting on the morning of the Summer Interlocal.

The field trip will take place on June 15th from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Meet at the Heaphy residence at 9:30 to view what has been done since the Red Bench Fire of 1988. This is at 11530 North Fork Road.

From Heaphy’s the trip will travel to Sondreson Hall to learn about grants to mitigate the after effects of the Wedge Canyon Fire of 2003. Bring your own lunch even though snacks, coffee and water will be provided. The trip will then go to Ogles at 296 Kintla Ranch Road (this starts at milepost 50 on North Fork Road). Information on how to apply for a grant will be available.

The Firewise Day at Sondreson Hall will be on July 13th from 9:30 a.m. until noon. There will be great information on how to best protect your property in case of wildfire, the community fire plan, grant information, as well as 2022 fire projections for the North Fork.

The field trip will show you how to protect your property and the Firewise Day will add to your education and inform you how to apply for a grant to defray costs. I hope to see you at both meetings.

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