Current Projects

Through your generous donations the Glacier Conservancy will fund projects in Glacier National Park such as trail restoration, field trips, and citizen science in future years. 

Bastian Sander

PROJECT LOCATIONS

Map of Glacier with project locations

2022 Projects that need your support

Wilderness
Ranger talking to visitors
Increasing Ranger Station Staff at Many Glacier

Many Glacier is a popular destination for visitors of the park and during the summer month the area operates like a small town with NPS rangers supervising the activities happening in the area. This grant will provide funding for an additional staff member in the Many Glacier area and ease the burden on NPS rangers and provide a better experience for visitors. 

Dining room at Sperry Chalet, circa 1920.
Understanding Nutrient Threats to Lake McDonald

Studies done by the NPS and Flathead Lake Biological Station suggest the decrease in water quality in Lake McDonald due to increase in nitrogen and phosphorus. Thirty years ago the same study was done and the result was pristine water quality where more recent studies show phosphorus has increased by 7-12 times and nitrogen 2-3 times the previous number. The funding for this project would allow more investigation to be done and the creation of a long term monitoring plan and mitigation. 

Grassland with trees and mountain in background.
Rare Plant and Grassland Restoration

One of the park’s highest priorities is to preserve the ecosystems and wildlife and this project will undertake monitoring alpine and wetland native plants in the park. There will be designated plots that will be monitored which will provide the park with an estimated population and inform decisions regarding future conservation efforts and pending results, strategies to help replenish the rare plant and grassland population. 

Hiker looking at forest, lake and mountains.
Preserving Glacier's Recommended Wilderness

Glacier’s Recommended Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers have seen a dramatic increase in visitation and the staff that educate about conservation of the rivers and principles for visitors to follow have remained stagnant. There is a staff shortage to keep up with the number of visitors and this grant will utilize an NPS Centennial match to provide funding to increase staff. Funds will also be used to support wilderness education tools to reach visitors before they arrive in the park. 

A snowshoer walking on snow with mountains in the background.
Wilderness Program Data Steward

The park’s wilderness rangers have historically collected and stored data in a database which holds information used in making various park decisions. The database has become outdated and no longer functional. In today’s world the need for monitoring has never been more important with climate change, invasive species, and heavy visitation. This grant will go towards the use of 21st century tools and resources to protect the park to the best of our ability.

Wildlife
Speckled fish underwater
Translocation of Imperiled Westslope Cutthroat and Bull Trout

Gunsight Lake has been overtaken with invasive rainbow trout which put the native bull and cutthroat trout at risk. The funding from this grant will go towards removing the invasive rainbow trout and stocking the lake with more of the native bull and cutthroat trout. Adding more native species to the lake will provide high quality fishing as well as remove the issues caused by the invasive rainbow trout and make the native fish population more sustainable. 

Wolverine walking on scree
Glacier Wolverine Survey

During the 2016-2017 winter the first comprehensive Wolverine study was conducted on the western side of the United States. Using 185 cameras and DNA stations,22,000 photos were taken and 240 samples collected. This has provided a baseline for future studies. The funding will go towards repeating this experiment every five years to consistently monitor the wolverine population and keep it protected across the region.

Clark's Nutcracker getting ready to land on a tree with pinecones.
Keystone Species: Clark’s Nutcracker, Whitebark Pine, and Limber Pine

Clark’s Nutcracker and Whitebark Pine have formed a complex mutualistic relationship over thousands of years. Due to blister rust and fire exclusion the two are at risk of becoming extinct. Canada has already placed the two on the risk of extinction list but the US has not. The species will go extinct without quick intervention and this grant will tackle this issue and focus on maintaining the species’ health.

Harlequin Ducks
Songbird and Harlequin Duck Monitoring

Since the 1970’s nearly 3 million birds have disappeared from North America and national parks play a huge role in their conservation. The goal of the park is to install a monitoring system to focus on finding the factors that cause the bird population decline. The funding would also allow one intern to work with a biologist on this study. The importance of this grant inspires more to be concerned about bird population and learning about the issues behind their decline in the park.

Moose crossing road
Establish A Management Plan for Emerging Wildlife Diseases

Wildlife diseases are an increasing risk and the need for a disease monitoring system is becoming necessary to have in the park. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease that is spreading and posing a threat to wildlife populations. Funding for this project is focused on slowing the spread, finding a solution, and monitoring the CWD transmission and the animals that may have been affected by it. 

Bison walking on grass with mountains in the background.
Iinnii Initiative Baseline Natural and Cultural Resource Surveys

Bison once roamed the park’s east side and this project is focused on natural and cultural changes coming with the return of this species. As the species comes back a baseline is needed on the environment around them and then later to see how they affect their environment. Funding will support the fieldwork and data analysis of this important study. 

Grizzly Sow & Cub Crossing Highway
Maintaining Wildlife Connectivity

The US Highway 2 corridor is becoming a wildlife barrier between the park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Infrastructure and vehicles pose a threat to wildlife crossing but there are proven methods to allow for safe wildlife crossing. The funding for this project will allow for researching solutions for wildlife crossing. This is incredibly important as human infrastructure is causing the issue but also has the ability to create a solution and stop it. 

Wonder
Blue, white and red beaded wristband on two hands.
Native America Speaks and Tribal Engagement

This project focuses on strengthening and sustaining relationships with local tribal communities, Glacier’s first peoples and original stewards. Funding supports the award winning Native America Speaks program and other important aspects of the tribal engagement initiative. Working alongside the tribes to provide a more robust interpretation of Glacier’s natural and cultural resources gives more voice to the surrounding communities and enhances the visitor experience by connecting them with the cultural history and significance of the park.

Blackfeet and Flathead Indians dance at Going-to-the-Sun Road Dedication
Connecting With Park History

The Glacier National Park Museum and Archives preserves the park’s natural resources, cultural resources, and human history. However, opportunities to share the collection are limited. This project funds additional staff to connect the public with the unique park resources preserved in the museum and archives, both in person and virtually. 

People looking through a telescope at night next to the St. Mary observatory.
Half the Park Happens After Dark

There is no better place to explore the night sky than the world’s first transboundary International Dark Sky Park. Support for this project helps the park maintain a long-term commitment to preserving dark skies by funding on-site astronomy volunteers and interns, astronomy education programs, astronomy events, and the operation of Glacier’s new Dusty Star Observatory. In addition, programming strives to bridge the gap between a western scientific perspective and cultural interpretations of the night sky.

Park ranger pointing at mountains.
Ranger-Led Education and Distance Learning

National parks are always a sight to see and extremely important to inculcate the idea of preserving them in the younger generations. Glacier could see up to 10,000 students in one year and this grant ensures that school groups enter the park for free and the park is able to provide ranger led field trips, classroom visits, and distance learning programs. 

Corps member working in Glacier
Glacier Conservation Corps

The Glacier Conservation Corps brings youth to the park to be stewards and contribute hours of service to assist with critical park projects such as invasive weed control, trail maintenance and citizen science data collection.. In 2019 there were 140 days where young people assisted in park projects. The funding for this project is incredibly important in completing deferred maintenance projects and fostering young people that care about the park and its future. 

Lake McDonald Ranger
Glacier Institute Scholarships for NPS Staff

Park employees dedicate so much of their time to maintaining the park and making it a destination for visitors. This grant provides the funding to allow park employees to get out of the office and continue professional development and gain a greater understanding of the park. Each year the park sets records with the number of visitors adding additional stress to staff and this project provides the much needed break to keep the employees fresh and motivated to keep the park in good condition for your trip.

Two kids taking photos of plants
Glacier in Focus

Many kids in Northwest Montana have never been through the gates of the park. This project partners with the Glacier Institute, as well as with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Missoula County, the Blackfeet Nation and the Flathead Reservation and Lake County to provide the resources to bring kids into the park and give them a week to remember. Behind the lens of a camera, youth will spend five days living in a natural setting, learning about environmental stewardship and developing useful photography skills. This program provides students with opportunities to get outside, explore their creativity, be active, and work alongside positive adult role models who are passionate about the outdoors.

Girl planting in Glacier National Park
Native Plant Preservation Through Youth Engagement

Glacier National Park is arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth and it is the goal to keep it that way and continue and increase the effort of conservation. This grant targets youth to get them involved in conservation with a specific focus on native plants. The internships funded by this grant shows students the importance of conservation of native species and the park in general. 

Ranger on trail talking to girls.
STEAM Camp for Middle School Girls

The purpose of this camp is to provide life-long skills in leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving for 12-15 year old girls interested in science. Attending a camp like this creates future female leaders in the scientific field. Those who attend will work on a variety of scientific topics including archaeology and scientific investigation. Girls will leave the camp with a plethora of knowledge and the resources they need to make change in the scientific field.

People looking through binoculars at mountains.
Advancing Citizen Science Engagement

The citizen science program gives visitors the opportunity to do more than just observe the park but also work with scientists and gather data that is critical for park managers. Anyone is welcome to participate in this program and it has been really popular for young families with an interest in conservation. This grant will provide opportunities in science and research on mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pikas, loons, eagles, aquatic insects, and invasive plants in 2022.

Intern works as part of Quartz Lake Fish Project.
Young Scholar Fellowships

This grant will provide funding for 3-4 graduate fellowships and the research supported by park managers. The seed money attracts undergraduate and graduate students to conduct these research projects which are chosen from a list of park research project needs. After each project has been completed the students are required to show a final presentation and project summary. The park always needs research done and this grant gives the opportunity to students to deepen their interests at the benefit of the park.

Artwork for Glacier National Park's podcast "Headwaters" featuring a glacial valley and mountains
Glacier Podcast Season 3

Headwaters is entering its third season and it will feature six stand-alone episodes that are about 30 minutes long. The episodes will tell a story of a character from the park and the impact they had. The goal is that at the end of the season the episodes will have displayed the impact that a diverse group of people have had on the park and how they made it the way it is today. 

Ranger handing park information to a car.
Print Park Produced Publications

Glacier National Park and the surrounding areas are becoming some of the most popular places to visit in the United States. This grant will provide handouts with comprehensive information that can capitalize on the enthusiasm of visitors. These brochures can provide a plethora of information to visitors and provide them with the resources to maintain the park and focus on visitors’ safety and environmental impact.

PROJECT UPDATES

Program Assists In Bird Conservation In Glacier National Park

Program Assists In Bird Conservation In Glacier National Park

Photo: NPS When you're on a hike or looking up toward the sky in Glacier National Park, you will likely notice a vast array of birds. With the park being situated along the Continental Divide, several different habitats have emerged that are ideal for birds. More than...

Solar Panels Installed at Park Headquarters

Solar Panels Installed at Park Headquarters

Photo: NPS Next time you're in West Glacier, you may notice a recent upgrade at Glacier National Park's Headquarters building: a brand new rooftop solar system. The headquarters building is the hub of Glacier's operations, housing park leadership offices and providing...

Protecting Native Plants In Glacier National Park

Protecting Native Plants In Glacier National Park

Photo: Maddy Elrick and Brayden Hall Your generous donations to the Glacier Conservancy continue to assist the park’s native plant restoration efforts in many ways. From engaging future stewards in our local schools, to monitoring rare plants throughout the park,...

Sperry Chalet Complete

When the Sperry Chalet dormitory building was lost to the Sprague Fire in August 2017, the Glacier National Park Conservancy established the Sperry Action Fund to help restore the historic structure. Thanks to Sperry lovers around the world, the chalet reopened in the summer of 2020.