Improve Winter Emergency Response

This project is partially funded. $11,000 is still needed to fund this project in full.

Glacier National Park maintains a “fleet” of snowmobiles placed in accessible locations throughout the park. These machines are necessary tools for the higher-risk emergency responses needed during the winter months. Snow machines are not allowed anywhere in the park under normal circumstances but park rangers use these vehicles during emergency or search and rescue responses, when minutes of response time may mean the difference between life and death. Snowmobiles often provide the fastest access when weather conditions or darkness make it impossible to use a helicopter for rescue.

Snow machines are also used for combined patrols with the Forest Service and Border Patrol, and make it possible to reach radio repeaters and other critical infrastructure throughout the park that would otherwise be inaccessible during the winter months. Often the snow machine is the fastest and least expensive way of getting a technician there to restore the communications that we rely on daily for the safety of our staff and visitors.

The park currently has eight snow machines, all at least 15 years old. This project would purchase a newer, quieter and much cleaner-burning machine so the impact on wildlife and other visitors would be greatly reduced when park staff is forced to use these tools.

The Glacier Conservancy can also accept the donation of a new snow machine on behalf of the park for this project.