Glacier National Park Conservancy

Honoring the legacy. Inspiring generations.

  • Fire Updates

    There are two active fires within Glacier National Park. The Sprague Creek Fire burning on Mt. Brown and the Adair Peak Fire burning in the North Fork. Road closures and evacuations are currently in place in some areas of the park. For up-to-date information, visit:

    Current Fire Information

    For current smoke conditions, view the park's webcams here:

    Glacier National Park Webcams

  • Glacier Conservancy Appoints New Executive Director

    Columbia Falls, MT – July 6, 2017 – Glacier National Park Conservancy today announced the appointment of Doug Mitchell as its new Executive Director.

    Mo Stein, Glacier Conservancy Chair of the Board of Directors, said: “Doug’s experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors will ensure that the Glacier Conservancy continues to protect and preserve Glacier National Park for generations to come. Doug’s deep Montana roots and his commitment to conservation make him the right leader to expand on our recent success and position the Glacier Conservancy as an even more valuable partner to Glacier National Park. We are thrilled to welcome him to the role.”

    Doug has been deeply involved in service to Montana for decades. He joins the Glacier National Park Conservancy from his current position as the Deputy Director of the Montana Department of Commerce, where he has served for the past four years. Doug previously served as Montana’s Chief Deputy Secretary of State for seven years and as the Montana Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Max Baucus for four years. He has prior experience in land conservation, having been a Managing Director of the Montana Land Reliance for four years, where he helped preserve thousands of acres of land for future generations. Additionally, Doug has extensive experience in the private sector, leading communications firm The Mitchell Group as President and CEO for ten years. He has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Stanford University. Doug and his wife Julie, a Flathead Valley native, have two children.

    Doug joins the Glacier Conservancy after a record 2016 – a year in which it funded 83 percent more projects than the year prior and raised $2.2 million in grants. These donations were funneled toward projects that enhance Glacier National Park, and include maintaining hiking trails, facilitating school field trips and researching Glacier’s habitats. These efforts are more important than ever as visitation at Glacier continues to grow. Last year, park visits increased 25 percent. With more visitors comes an increased need for protection and preservation, and the Glacier Conservancy is committed to delivering on these two important goals.

    “The work being done by the Glacier National Park Conservancy is truly inspiring.  In my view, philanthropy is a team sport, and I’m excited to collaborate with our team, our donors, the park, local businesses, other conservation organizations and the larger community to help protect and enhance the iconic treasure that is Glacier National Park. Working together, we will ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience the power and majesty of the park the same way we have. It is truly the honor of a lifetime to join such an amazingly accomplished team and to be able to give back to a place that’s meant so much to my family and me. I can’t wait to get started,” said Doug Mitchell.

  • Glacier Conservancy Donates $1.3M in Funding to Park, Begins Year-End Fundraising Campaign

     

    Students from Muldown Elementary enjoy a field trip to Glacier National Park Students from Muldown Elementary enjoy a field trip to Glacier National Park

    After a record-setting visitation year in Glacier National Park, the Glacier National Park Conservancy has donated more than $1.3 million to the park to help preserve and protect it for future generations.

    “Private donations to the Glacier Conservancy support critical projects aimed at preserving the park’s history, exploring its present, and securing its future,” said Nikki Eisinger, the Conservancy’s Director of Development. “Whether raising funds for the preservation of park facilities or funding the education and outreach programs in the park, the Glacier Conservancy is wholly dedicated to preserving the landscape, its unique history and experience of the park.”

    The $1.3 million contribution is only the first phase in funding for the 2017 park season and represents a more than 100% increase over last year. The donation will fund 44 projects and programs throughout the park.

    The significant increase in funding was requested by the park which faces a backlog of maintenance and higher demand for services due to increasing visitation and is made possible by generous donors both throughout the local community and nationally. From Backpacker’s Ball and Give Back to Glacier Week to Smith’s Round Up for Glacier and the Add-On For Glacier program adopted by many local businesses, support from the Glacier community has been key to this year’s success.

    “The park has so many important projects that would not be possible without the Glacier Conservancy and the generous support from our community,” said park superintendent Jeff Mow. “Our partnership is essential to fund engaging programs that serve our visitors and projects that sustain Glacier’s natural and cultural resources, particularly as we strive to meet and exceed the expectations of our record number of visitors.”

    Projects receiving funds for the coming year cover all corners of the park, including another year of the successful ‘Bark Ranger’ visitor education and wildlife management program at Logan Pass, a new Veteran Volunteer Corps that will bring together veterans with valuable military trades to train for jobs within the National Park Service, and the continuation of the astronomy education program that is attended by more than 30,000 visitors each year.

    “As thrilled as we are about this significant donation, our work is not yet done,” said Eisinger. “To meet the park’s basic program needs, we need to bring that total donated to $2 million by the end of the year.”

    Projects still seeking funds include trail repairs for Preston Park, lighting improvements that will help the park qualify as an International Dark Sky Preserve and a huckleberry research project that will help inform grizzly bear conservation.

    The Glacier Conservancy is the park’s official philanthropic partner dedicated to preserving and protecting the park for future generations. In the four years since the organization was founded, it has funded more than $3.1 million in grants for Glacier National Park.  To learn more and donate, visit glacier.org.

     

  • Fee Free Entrance Day on 9/24

    Parks Celebrates National Public Lands Day and the first annual Bike Your Park Day

    WEST GLACIER, MONT – The entrance fee for Glacier National Park will be waived on Saturday, September 24, in recognition of National Public Lands Day. National Public Lands Day is an annual event intended to encourage people to visit and support places like Glacier National Park.

    September 24 is the first annual Bike Your Park Day. This is a do-it-yourself free event in celebration of the National Park Service’s Centennial, and the 40th anniversary of the Adventure Cycling Association.

    Bicycling encourages people in a healthy, affordable, interactive way to explore parks and public lands. It can also assist in reducing congestion, noise and air pollution, demand for parking, and impacts on wildlife.

    Bicycling in Glacier means sharing the roads with both recreational and passenger vehicles of all sizes. Special precautions need to be taken by all visitors to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. Vehicles need to allow a 3 ft (1 m) distance between their vehicle and bicyclists.

    Bicycles are permitted on all of the roads in the park but are not permitted on trails with three exceptions:

    -         The paved path from Park Headquarters to Apgar Village,

    -         The Fish Creek Bike Path from Apgar Village to Fish Creek Campground

    -         The old Flathead Ranger Station Trail

    A great alternative to biking the busy Going-to-the-Sun Road is the scenic Camas Road.

    For more information on visiting Glacier National Park visit www.nps.gov/glac

    For more information on visiting surrounding public lands in Glacier country visit www.glaciermt.com

    For more information on cycling in Glacier National Park please visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm

    For more information on Bike Your Park Day please visit http://www.adventurecycling.org/bikeyourpark

    #bikeyourpark, #glaciernps

  • Current Road Conditions

    Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed for the winter from Lake McDonald Lodge to the foot of St. Mary Lake. Check the most recent road status and weather condition's on the park's pages:

    Current Road Status

    Weather Conditions

     

     

  • Secretary of the Interior Visits Glacier

    Courtesy of the Flathead Beacon

    LOGAN PASS – One-hundred summers ago, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act creating the National Park Service, Clements Glacier’s icy mass dominated the landscape just west of Logan Pass.

    A century later, when Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell came to Glacier National Park to mark the Park Service’s centennial, Clements was nothing more than a shrinking patch of snow and a pile glacial moraine.

    “Many of the glaciers in the park never even got a name,” U.S. Geological Survey Climate Change Research Coordinator Daniel Fagre told Jewell while hiking above Logan Pass. “By the time they started mapping the park, a lot of the glaciers were gone.”
    In 1850, there were more than 150 glaciers in this corner of Montana and many of them were still here when Glacier National Park was created in 1910 and when the National Park Service was established six years later. But the glaciers befan to disappear during the 20th Century. Clements Glacier was gone by the 1950s and today only 25 remain.

    Glacier National Park is one of America’s glaring examples of climate change. Fagre, who has been studying glacial recession since the 1990s, said the park’s glaciers are like a bank account for the climate. In some years, they’ll stay steady or even grow, but most years they shrink. It is possible that there will be no more glaciers in the park by 2030.

    “Glacier National Park is on the leading edge, maybe even the bleeding edge, of climate change,” Superintendent Jeff Mow told Jewell.

    Jewell visited the park on Aug. 25, the 100th anniversary of Wilson signing the Organic Act, as part of a nationwide tour to mark the centennial of the Park Service. The weeklong journey took the secretary from the nation’s first park, Yellowstone, to its newest, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, 87,000 acres in the North Woods of Maine that were recently protected by President Barack Obama. Jewell’s visit to Glacier was meant to highlight the impacts of climate change on the park system as well as how managers are responding to increasing visitation and shrinking budgets.

    Jewell stayed at the Lake McDonald Lodge on the night of Aug. 24 before taking a Red Bus tour to Logan Pass the following morning. There, she joined scientists, park officials and local media for a hike to Hidden Lake.

    “The fact that Glacier National Park may not have glaciers in the future is an incredible opportunity to tell the story of climate change,” Jewell said. “It’s a reminder that we must take drastic action.”

    During the hike Mow talked about the small steps Glacier is taking to promote sustainability in the park, from promoting the use of cardboard water containers to interpretive rangers conveying the story of climate change in their presentations to visitors.

    Jewell and Mow also talked about the impacts increased visitation is having on Glacier and the park system as a whole. In 2015, more than 307 million people visited the country’s parks and this year officials are expecting even higher numbers. More than 1.5 million people have visited Glacier in the first seven months of 2016, a 13.8 percent increase over last year.

    That increase in visitation has created challenges, especially along the park’s main thoroughfare, Going-to-the-Sun Road. The parking lot at Logan Pass and other popular spots is frequently full and congestion is common. But Jewell said busy parks are not necessarily a problem; the more people who are inspired by these public lands means the more people advocating for them, she said.

    “We told people to find their park this year and they listened,” she said.

    Mow and other Glacier Park officials have said this fall they will look at this season’s record-breaking visitation and see what lessons can be learned from it. Last year, after the Sun Road was closed due to a wildfire on the east side, the park instituted a queue system for people visiting Logan Pass. Mow said having people wait an extra hour or two to control congestions at the pass worked well and that the queue system is something they may revisit in the future.

    “So many of our visitors have waited a lifetime to see this place and so if they have to wait a little longer it’s OK with them,” he said.

    Jewell praised the work that Fagre, Mow and hundreds of others at Glacier Park were doing to ensure the park’s future.

    “These lands belong to all Americans,” she said looking across the landscape a Hidden Lake. “And we must make sure that everyone can enjoy these spaces for generations to come.”

  • It's Give Back to Glacier Week!

    The National Park Service will celebrate its centennial on August 25 and kick off another century of stewardship. In honor of this milestone, the Glacier National Park Conservancy is hosting Give Back to Glacier Week August 19-28, a community giving campaign aimed at raising $100,000 for park projects and programs.

    To help with the effort, the Windmill Foundation has offered to match all gifts during this campaign, up to $50,000, to challenge the community to make a difference and double their giving power.

    Every year, Glacier National Park attracts millions of travelers from all walks of life. Those who visit Glacier describe how the park indelibly changes them. From the moment they step out of the car, the park becomes part of their DNA and renews their spirit. Whether it’s the majestic mountains, expansive skies, or a wildlife sighting, Glacier offers a uniquely powerful sense of place that inevitably leaves each visitor with their own Glacier story.

    “The Glacier Conservancy is committed to ensuring a once-in- a-lifetime experience for each and every visitor for generations to come”, said Nikki Eisinger, Director of Development. “We work in close collaboration with the park service to identify Glacier’s greatest needs; we raise funds for projects aimed at preservation, education and research that serve not just the physical landscape, but also the intangible experience of visiting Glacier”.

    Earlier this year, Glacier National Park submitted funding requests for 41 projects to the Glacier Conservancy, totaling over $2 million and highlighting ambitious and new strategies in preservation, education and research.

    Projects that still need funding include the addition of viewing platforms at three popular waterfalls in the park, the reintroduction of bison into the Chief Mountain area and a variety of sustainability projects including new, renewable energy technology for Logan Pass, solar power for the North Fork Ranger District and the replacement of older gas-powered tools with quieter low emissions tools for work in the backcountry.

    There are many ways to support the park and no donation is too small. Donations will be accepted on their website, by mail or at one of the many donation boxes throughout the park and the valley. Glacier Conservancy staff and board and volunteers from Glacier Bank will also be at the west entrance to the park collecting donations on fee-free days August 25 – 28.

  • Going to the Sun Road Fully Open

    Drivers encouraged to drive with care.

    WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Vehicle access through Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is anticipated to be available tomorrow morning, Friday, June 17. Park road crews have finished snow removal, debris clean-up, guard rail installation, and facility preparation, and have assessed snow conditions.

    Services at Logan Pass will include restroom facilities and potable water.  The Logan Pass Visitor Center is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 18. Beginning that day, the visitor center will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.mthrough September 5. The center offers visitor information and ranger programs, and includes a bookstore managed by the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

    Visitors will need to drive with added caution along Rim Rock, just below Oberlin Bend on the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road where concrete barriers are temporarily serving as the guard rail. Approximately 65 feet of the masonry guard wall was destroyed by an avalanche following a late-May winter storm and the concrete barriers further tighten an already narrow two-lane roadway. The long-term repair for this section of masonry guardrail, along with several other portions of the road is currently scheduled for September.

    Once the road opens to vehicle traffic, the hiker-biker shuttle will stop operating for the season.  Bicyclists are reminded that bicycle safety restrictions on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road will go into effect when the road opens on June 17 and remain in effect through Labor Day, September 5. Bicycles are prohibited between Apgar Campground and Sprague Creek Campground from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, bicycles are prohibited eastbound (uphill) between Logan Creek and Logan Pass from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information on bicycle restrictions and average bicycle times, check the park newspaper available at park entrance stations or online at http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/inforequest/inforequest3.cfm.

    At Logan Pass, visitors will discover a snow-covered landscape and should be prepared for cold temperatures and wind. Icy conditions may also be encountered. Standing or walking on snow along the road is strongly discouraged. Be aware of snow walls along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and hazardous snow bridges that could collapse next to the road near Big Bend and the Big Drift.

    Trails near Logan Pass will be covered in snow and visitors should exercise caution when hiking. Be aware of unseen holes in the snow and snow bridges that exist. Avoid crossing steep, snow-covered slopes where a fall could be disastrous. Visitors should have the appropriate equipment and skills if hiking on snow. The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is closed due to snow conditions. Current status of park trails can be found at http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/trailstatusreports.htm.

    There are vehicle size restrictions for the Going-to-the-Sun Road.  Vehicles, and vehicle combinations, longer than 21 feet and wider than 8 feet are prohibited between Avalanche Campground and Rising Sun.  Vehicles over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass due to rock overhangs.

    Interpretive bus tours of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and other areas of the park are available through park concessioners, Glacier National Park Lodges and Sun Tours. For more information and reservations, visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bus-tours.htm.

    The park’s free shuttle system will begin operations on July 1 and run through Monday, September 5, Labor Day.   The transit system provides two-way service along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the Apgar Visitor Center and St. Mary Visitor Center, including a hiker express shuttle departing from both visitor centers at 7 a.m.

    Rehabilitation work on the Going-to-the-Sun Road will continue this year with activity near the St. Mary Entrance Station, though no delays are expected.  Sun Point will be closed again this year to all visitor traffic including picnicking, transit, restroom use, and hiking due to road rehabilitation activity.

    For current information on park roads, weather conditions, and visitor services visit Glacier National Park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.

  • Mudslides keeping Glacier's Sun Road closed near Apgar

    At approximately 3 a.m. Wednesday, another mudslide brought more trees and debris pouring onto Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, clogging culverts and again turning a 50-yard section of the pavement into a river for an hour or more.

    For a third straight day, the iconic highway was closed to all but essential traffic on the west side of the park near the Apgar Campground.

    But a Wednesday afternoon helicopter flight over the mountainside revealed what was behind the mess:

    Blame some busy beavers.

    Park spokeswoman Margie Steigerwald said rangers determined that massive amounts of rain earlier this week caused a large beaver dam to fail.

    “It explains all the logs and debris on the road,” Steigerwald said. “I don’t know what happened to the beavers, but it’s good news because it means it’s not a failure of the slope.”

  • Glacier National Park Conservancy announces Give Back to Glacier Week

    Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 3.51.52 PM (1)(Columbia Falls, MT) Earlier this year, Glacier National Park submitted funding requests for 48 projects to the Glacier National Park Conservancy, totaling over $2 million and highlighting ambitious and new strategies in preservation, education and research. To kick start the year end push to fund as many additional projects as possible, the Conservancy has announced its first ever community giving campaign, Give Back to Glacier Week, beginning Sunday, November 1.

    To help with the effort, the Glacier Conservancy’s Board of Directors has stepped forward with a $50,000 gift. All new donations to the Conservancy will be matched one to one up to $50,000, now through November 7, 2015.

    “This represents a significant opportunity for our community to support projects and programs that are important for our families. Glacier National Park is why so many of us choose to live here and part of living here is supporting this special resource in our own backyards,” said Glacier National Park Conservancy President Mark Preiss.

    Even with significant closures related to fires this summer, Glacier is still on track to set visitation records this year. This ongoing, increased use of the park leads to additional needs, many of which are not covered by government funding alone and need private support to come to fruition.

    Projects that still need funding include significant trail improvements to the Hidden Lake Trail at Logan Pass that sees six thousand visitors a day during the busy summer season, replacing the roadside interpretive exhibits along the heavily traveled Going-to-the-Sun Road and an ambitious Crown of the Continent Wildlife study that would stretch beyond Glacier into neighboring states and across the border to Canada – the first large-scale trans-boundary and multi-species project ever attempted in the Northern Rockies.

    There are many ways to support the park and no donation is too small. The Conservancy will be accepting donations on their website, but there are also other ways to support the park including choosing to fund a project in full and in-kind donations of materials or labor.

    Full details are available at glacierconservancy.org.

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