CONFLICT PREVENTION PROJECT:

North Fork Preservation Association

Providing bear-aware education and resources to both long-term residents and visitors on the western edge of Glacier National Park.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Photo by Lance Schelvan

The North Fork of the Flathead River runs the entire length of the river valley.
Demonstrating bear spray
Grizzly eating berries

Photo by Mangelsen

Hiking in Glacier National Park The North Fork of the Flathead River runs the entire length of the river valley. Demonstrating bear spray Grizzly eating berries

North Fork Preservation Association PROJECT BRIEF

During the 2023 summer and fall seasons there were few conflicts between bears and people in the North Fork Valley because natural food sources were abundant and thanks to the ongoing efforts of the North Fork Preservation Association’s (NFPA) Polebridge Bear Smart (PBBS) program. The grant from Vital Ground helped PBBS’s Initial Response volunteers monitor for signs of bear activity around town and deploy scare devices and trail cameras when needed.

On the western edge of Glacier National Park, many tourists and seasonal employees are drawn to Polebridge because of its scenic character and plentiful wildlife. While providing support for long-term residents and landowners, PBBS also targets outreach to those enjoying the North Fork more temporarily, many of whom have never lived and recreated alongside grizzlies before. Distributing informational posters to short-term rental owners, they help visitors learn the basics of securing attractants. They also provide bear aware and bear spray training for seasonal employees, empowering them to then teach tourists how to do their part in maintaining the wild heritage that makes this area so worth living and visiting.

 

 

North Fork Preservation Association at a glance

  • Bear aware training for seasonal employees
  • Distributing trail cameras and scare devices in conflict-likely areas
  • Informational posters and outreach to short term rental owners around Polebridge
  • Keeping bears and people safe along the North Fork of the Flathead River