Sunday, April 14, 2024

North Fork Views: Groups doing good work

by By Larry Wilson
| February 22, 2023 2:00 AM

I guess that it is only natural that the Interlocal is dominated by the Forest Service, Glacier Park and Flathead County. They are the biggest agencies with the most money and are the most likely to do things that affect landowners directly.

Other groups are actually more important when we assess their influence on our way of life. The Border Patrol deals with the Border but they and Glacier Park step up in all kinds of emergencies. They are quick to provide aid in case of medical emergency or search and rescue. Of course the County and Forest Service are the main responders to wildfire.

The Preservation Association and the Landowners Association are important groups contributing to our special way of life. The Preservation Association watches the environment and provides a vital service in educating folks on how to live with bears.

The NFLA supports the community’s social structure but is vital for its role in Land Use Planning. The NFLA is the voice of a united community in dealing with all of the agencies – from traffic issues to wildlife agencies. A community voice is always stronger than individuals when dealing with government agencies on any issue.

The NFLA and the NFPA play key roles in how we live with bears, how we deal with tourists, how we influence the River and all of our efforts to keep our special place special.

State of Montana agencies also play an important part in managing wildlife, fish and timber health.

Sometimes it seems like we are in a perpetual fight about wildly different issues. The Road, grizzly bears, River and streams. Actually, we have mostly learned to disagree without being disagreeable.

As a result of our debates and discussions we have managed to pretty much balance protecting private property and grizzly bears. The Road is much better now than it was in 1950 but still remains a big issue. I suspect River and fish management will be a bigger and bigger issue as time goes on. Same thing with campgrounds, trails and roads up the major creeks.

The debates and the varied, complex management issues are why the Interlocal meetings are vital to the North Fork. We need to know the people who don’t agree with us. We need to have all the facts about every issue. Only then do we have a chance of arriving at the best management solutions.

What do you think?