Category Archives: Glacier National Park

Glacier Park’s 2017 Entry Pass Features First Blackfeet Ranger

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from NPS Glacier National Park

WEST GLACIER, MT. – The 2017 Glacier National Park annual entrance pass is now available at park entrance stations and the park headquarters building in West Glacier.

The pass depicts the image of Francis X. Guardipee, the first Blackfeet Native American to serve as a ranger in Glacier National Park. Guardipee became a ranger in 1930. His duties took him throughout the park, including Two Medicine, Nyack, and winters in East Glacier. He retired in 1948 and spent his retirement in Browning with his wife, Alma. He was a dedicated Boy Scout troop leader, and when he died in 1970, had spent more than half a century leading Boy Scout Troop 100. Chief Lodgepole Peak was named in honor of Guardipee in 1973. The peak is located in the Two Medicine area of the park.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) is the legislation that allows the park to collect entrance and camping fees, and retain 80 percent of the collected revenue. The remaining 20 percent is distributed throughout the National Park System. Basic park operations are funded by direct appropriations from Congress.

The entrance pass in 2017 will be $50. The $5 fee increase over the $45 2016 annual pass reflects input from the civic engagement process Glacier National Park implemented in November 2014 following a nationwide National Park Service review of fees. No other entrance or campground fees will change this year.

The funds generated by fees are used for projects that enhance visitor services and facilities, including interpretive programs at campgrounds, the backcountry campsite reservation program, repair and restoration of trails, restoration of wildlife habitat, improvement and replacement of restroom facilities, preservation and maintenance of roads, and shuttle bus operation and maintenance. To learn more about the types of projects funded with user fees, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/management/yourdollarsatwork.htm.

For more information on entrance and camping fees, please visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/fees.htm

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell’s novels The Sun Singer, Mountain Song, and Sarabande are partially set in Glacier National Park as is one of the short stories in Emily’s Stories.

Glacier Park Foundation Creates Historical Orientation Program for Hotel Employees

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Guests at Glacier National Park’s historic hotels often ask employees questions about the old lodges, but as years go by and more and more old timers disappear from the scene, that information is no longer common knowledge. To address this fact, the Glacier Park Foundation (GPF), a nonprofit organization that works to preserve the historic hotels, is creating a historical orientation program with handout booklets for employees.

Many Glacier Hotel lobby - Barry Campbell photo

Many Glacier Hotel lobby in 2013 – Barry Campbell photo

The majority of the hotels’ employees are seasonal and, while the mix has changed over the years, they are traditionally college students who work a few summers and then move on to careers in and out of the hospitality field. These employees (bellmen, maids, waiters, housemen, boat crew) generally interact with guests more often than the professional management staff and should be able to make good use of the handbooks.

Author an historian Day Djuff–who worked at the Prince of Wales Hotel–was the lead writer for the foundation’s first two handbooks which were distributed this past summer at Glacier Park Lodge and the Prince of Wales Hotel. Djuff also gave the employee orientations. A GPF director, Djuff is the author of Glacier/Waterton in a Snap and, with Chris Morrison, View With a Room, a well-researched history of the lodges.

The twenty-page handbooks will include information about the hotel’s history, personalities, art and architecture, and stories along with a timeline of notable events.

GPF president John Hagen said that the Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald lodge handbooks should be ready for the 2017 season, with the Swiftcurrent and Rising Sun handbooks ready as early as 2018.

According to Hagen, “Ray Djuff will give the orientation talk at Many Glacier, and Mark Hufstetler (another GPF director, Lake McDonald alum, and a professional historian) will give the talk at Lake McDonald” in 2017.

The hotels are operated by concessionaires selected by the National Park Service. Glacier Park, Inc. and Xanterra’s Glacier National Park Lodges, the park’s primary hospitality companies, have endorsed the GPF project.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is a former Many Glacier Hotel bellman and a lifetime member of the Glacier Park Foundation. His article about the 1964 flood at the park appeared the National Park Service’s A View inside Glacier National Park: 100 years, 100 Stories (2009) and in Glacier from the Inside Out: Best Stories from the “Inside Trail,” an anthology edited by Ray Djuff and Chris Morrison (2012). The “Inside Trail” is the foundation’s magazine.

 

 

Public Invited to Celebrate the Centennial Of The National Park Service At Glacier National Park

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from NPS Glacier National Park

Park Entrance Fees Waived for August 25 –August 28

Entrance fees to the Park, as well as all other units of the National Park Service, will be waived for four days.

NPScentennialWEST GLACIER, MONT –On August 25th celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The celebration is as much a reflection on the importance the national park system has played in our nation’s heritage as it is an opportunity to look forward to the next 100 years. As we take that look,we must do everything we can to foster the next generation in becoming outstanding stewards and advocates for Glacier National Park and prepare them for the future challenges of protecting its natural resources, celebrating its cultural legacy, and providing for outstanding visitor experiences.

At Glacier, we are in the forever business, always taking that long look forward to where we are headed. The next generation will be challenged by managing the parks in the face of climate change. For this park it could mean the loss of its remaining glaciers with significant impacts on the ecosystems and the waterways which originate from here. The next generation will also face an ongoing change in park demographics.This could mean a demand for new recreational experiences, adapting to increases in visitation, and adjusting to rapidly evolving technology.

Our cultural heritage at Glacier National Park goes back far beyond the establishment of the park. It goes to the deep connectivity that the Kootenai, Blackfeet, Salish, and Pend D’Oreille have to this landscape. Thosenative traditions and practices are an important part of the deep rich texture of Glacier National Park. As the park and tribes move forward together in the next 100 years, the next generation has the opportunity to strengthen important programs, such as Native America Speaks, tourism development, and the Iinnii project, and develop new initiatives with our tribal partners.

As we enter our second century, I invite you to celebrate with us the sense of wonder that these historic and wild landscapes have instilled in us all.

The National Park Service Centennial Week Events

 

  1. Commemorative coings

    Commemorative coins

    National Park Centennial Instameet: Glacier National Park, partnering with the Glacier National Park Conservancy, the Department of the Interior, and Visit Montana as well as special guest photographers are hosting an Instameet on August 25from 6 p.m. to sunset in the Apgar Village Green near the Apgar Village Inn. Visitors are encouraged to come together to connect, explore, and celebrate creativity with a camera, make new friends, exchange ideas, and celebrate the 100thbirthday of the National Park Service (NPS). All ages, levels of experience and types of cameras are welcome. Around 6:15 p.m. the host of the Instameet will say a few words in regards to the National Park Service centennial. The official Glacier National Park Service centennial visitor photograph will be taken around 7:00 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to sign the photo matte and be a part of NPS history. The photograph will be posted on our social media sites, printed and hung in the park, as well as copy presented to the director of the National Park Service. It is anticipated that attendance will be high;visitors are encouraged to park at the Apgar Visitor Center and take the bike path to the event.

  2. NPS Photo

    NPS Photo

    Happy Birthday NPS 100 Ranger Program: Say “Happy Birthday NPS” and join a national park ranger for a special program at the St. Mary Visitor Center Auditorium, Thursday, August 25, 8:00 p.m. Admission is by ticket only, with only 209 tickets available. Attendees can pick up a free ticket at the St. Mary Visitor Center beginning on the morning of August 24.The program will explore the history of the National Park Service, reflect on the last 100 years, and the role Glacier will play as we prepare for the next 100.

  3. Logan Pass Star Party: Explore the dark skies of Glacier National Park and attend the Logan Pass Star Party. Admission is by ticket only. Attendees can pick up their free ticket (one per vehicle) at the Apgar or St. Mary Visitor Centers beginning Thursday August 25. The Logan Pass Star Party will be held at Logan Pass Parking Lot from 9:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday, August 26. Attendees will have opportunities to meet with rangers and members of the Big Sky Astronomy Club while taking in the unusually dark skies. There will also be telescopes available to look into the depths of the universe.
  4. Give Back To Glacier Week: The Glacier National Park Conservancy (GNPC) is hosting a “Give Back To Glacier Week,” from August 19 –28.GNPC volunteers will be at entrance locations throughout the park asking for involvement in the program. The GNPC is the official fundraising partner of Glacier National Park providing funding for vital projects and programs that preserve and protect the park.

Wish I could be there.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell’s contemporary fantasy novels “The Sun Singer” and “Sarabande” are set in Glacier National Park. He was a bellman at Many Glacier Hotel while in college.

Bark Ranger to Protect Glacier’s Goats

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from NPS Glacier National Park

Through a Pilot Program a Herding Dog Is Being Trained To Prevent Dangerous Human-Wildlife Interactions at Logan Pass

WEST GLACIER, MT –Glacier National Park, through NPS Centennial year funding from the Glacier National Park Conservancy, is implementing a pilot project to determine if a trained herding dog, “Gracie,” will help to reduce human-wildlife interactions at Logan Pass this summer.

Logan Pass Visitor Center - M. R. Campbell photo

Logan Pass Visitor Center – M. R. Campbell photo

An increase in park visitation has led to an increase in human–wildlife interactions at Logan Pass in recent years. Visitor interactions with mountain goats and bighorn sheep can be dangerous for both people and wildlife. While no serious injuries have been reported at Logan Pass, habituated wildlife have caused serious injury and even death to visitors in other national parks and wild areas. Wildlife habituation can also lead to the death of the animal.

To date, park employees have used conventional hazing methods (arm-waving, shouting, use of sirens, shaking cans of rocks, and moving vehicles) to move goats and sheep out of the parking lot—but the animals tend to return within a short period of time. Because mountain goats and bighorn sheep have an innate fear of predators, however, it is expected that the adverse conditioning activities will encourage the wildlife to stay away for longer periods.

“This program represents a proactive method of wildlife management. The park is trying to provide for safe wildlife viewing by moving wildlife a safe distance from a known area of high visitor use,” said Mark Biel, the dog’s owner and Glacier National Park’s Natural Resources Program Manager. “Through the use of a wildlife shepherding dog and educational visitor contacts, we hope to prevent adverse human–wildlife interactions.”

A Dog Who Loves to Work

“Gracie” is a two-year-old female border collie. Biel describes Gracie as a “medium energy dog that loves to have a job to do.”

Gracie is currently being trained by the staff at the Wind River Bear Institute, in Florence, Montana, known primarily for training Karelian Bear dogs. Biel is being trained as her handler. He plans to conduct wildlife shepherding activities with Gracie at the Logan Pass parking lot and Visitor Center. She is expected to be on duty by mid-July.

Gracie will be trained not to make physical contact with wildlife. She will wear an orange vest or harness indicating that she is a wildlife service animal and will only be off-leash during the shepherding activity. Once wildlife have been moved a safe distance away from the designated area, the shepherding will stop and she will be leashed.

These activities will occur approximately 3–4 times a month, as needed. The shepherding will only occur if the wildlife shows no signs of stress from interaction with humans and vehicles. Shepherding will not occur if it is too hot, if there are other wildlife in the area, or if there is too much traffic and crowding in the parking lot.

The use of dogs to shepherd wildlife is a proven technique for safely and effectively moving wildlife away from areas of concentrated human use. In the 1990’s, Glacier National Park contracted with the Wind River Bear Institute to have trainers and their Karelian bear dogs help manage habituated roadside bears. The project was successful in keeping bears away from the road for the remainder of the visitor season. Waterton Lakes National Park, in Canada, contracts with a business that uses border collies to move habituated deer out of the Waterton townsite before the deer give birth. This has greatly reduced the number of dangerous deer–human encounters. Airports across the country use trained herding dogs to prevent wildlife–aircraft collisions by keeping birds and deer away from runways.

Biel and Gracie will act as wildlife ambassadors, making visitor contacts to remind people about staying a safe distance from all wildlife as well as explaining the dangers to both people and wildlife, of approaching, touching, and feeding habituated wildlife. The Bark Ranger team will also be available to talk to schools and other groups about wildlife management and concerns about habituated wildlife.

Goodbye to Many Glacier Hotel

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After working as a student at Glacier Park’s Many Glacier Hotel in the 1960s, I hoped I would end up living in the area and possibly being part of the workforce there over time. While that didn’t pan out, I thought, well, I’ll sell 100000000000000 copies of my novels including the two partly set in the hotel and will be able to fly out to Montana for a visit area year. While that didn’t pan out, I thought I’d go there occasionally and have my memories.

Many Glacier Hotel

Many Glacier Hotel

Now, as the National Park Service continues to refurbish the hotel, it has accomplished much in terms of infrastructure that will keep the 1915 hotel alive and well for many years to come. But, I’m not going back again and will let the Many Glacier Hotel of my memories suffice. Why?

I’m not going to rehash the issues here; I covered some of them in NPS to proceed with ill-advised restoration of Many Glacier Hotel Staircase. I believe this action and several less obvious changes are better classified as vandalism rather than preservation–or even restoration. I did not like the changes I saw the last time I was at the hotel. While many upgrades were necessary, changing the look and feel was not. Once the lobby and lake level spaces are gutted by the unfortunate rebuilding of a staircase (that has been gone longer than it was there), I don’t want to see the hotel again.

I have said my piece on this from the perspective of a person who wrote preservation grants and who worked in preservation at the municipal level. Nobody was listening to those of us who felt the changes violated the Interior Department’s own standards. Sentimentality won the day, and those of you who visit Many Glacier Hotel beginning in 2017 will see a new lobby/cafe/giftshop configuration. You might actually like it, and that’s fine because you didn’t grow up seeing it the way it’s been for over 50 years.

I applaud the NPS’ work–and those of many fundraisers–in support of stabilizing the hotel and in dealing with building code issues that are always problematic in older structures. But when the look and feel is altered, the historic nature of the structure is compromised. The hotel stands in (to my biased view) the most beautiful valley in a park that’s my favorite place on the planet. I hope many people will enjoy the Swiftcurrent Valley for years to come. I’ll enjoy it as I remember it as this blog discontinues any future mention of Glacier National Park.

As my father grew older, he stayed away from some places he recalled as childhood favorites because he liked them better as they were than as they became. Perhaps a lot of this are this way. The tide of change and so-called promise is as hard to stop as the incoming tide on a beach. So, sometimes it’s better not to go back to the old familiar places because nobody there knows your name any more and too much of what was familiar has been altered, sometimes in unforgivable ways.

I’m happy I saw the hotel several years ago before the worst of the changes arrived. Do you feel this way about some of the places in your past? Do you worry what you’ll find if you go back for a visit? Do you wonder if it’s best to stay away after friends who still live there tell you about the old buildings that were torn town for parking lots and the parks that were paved over for housing developments or the historic structures that were ruined by misguided efforts?

Or, perhaps these feelings only come to those who are starting to grow old.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R’ Campbell’s novels “The Sun Singer” and “Sarabande” are partly set in Many Glacier Hotel.

 

 

NPS to proceed with ill-advised restoration of Many Glacier Hotel Staircase

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Today’s news release from NPS Glacier National Park notes that restoration work on Many Glacier Hotel is continuing, especially in the annex (officially annex 2) where many rooms will be refurbished; the kind of structural, safety and stabilization that were done in the main annex of the hotel will also be carried out in annex 2. This coming summer, half of the hotel’s rooms will be closed during the project’s completion.Original double-helix staircase - NPS photo

In a separately funded project, the long-removed spiral staircase will be returned (rebuilt) in the hotel’s lobby connecting the main floor with the lake level rooms below.

As I’ve written in my blogs previously, I would have opposed the removal of the staircase in 1957 had I been working there at the time. While many old timers have (rightfully) mourned the loss of that staircase which had been in place in 1915, I firmly believe restoring the staircase now is not only a huge mistake by violates one of the preservation standards of the NPS’ parent Department of Interior.

Why This is a Mistake

  • The NPS is not removing this porte cochere to make the front of the hotel look like it once did.

    The NPS is not removing this porte cochere to make the front of the hotel look like it once did.

    The Department of Interior’s preservation standards state that “Changes to a property that have acquired historic significance in their own right will be retained and preserved.” This means that you cannot, within preservation best practices, convert a structure to the way it was in an earlier time since it’s ambiance, usage and looks have evolved over time. Buildings evolve, and the lobby without the staircase has more years of history than the lobby with the staircase.

  • The rebuilt staircase will alter the rooms below. The St. Moritz room stage will be removed, making it impossible to set up musical groups, much less return to the historic summer musical productions that were a long-time and historically significant offering by hotel employees. Ranger Naturalist talks will also be removed from the hotel, because the lake level renovations will remove their Lucerne Room venue when the gift shop is moved from the lobby downstairs.
  • The gift shop will probably not fare as well in the lake level where it will be out of sight and out of mind.
  • Others have complained that the staircase will be an open vertical “corridor” that will carry noise and cooking odors from the lake level up into the lobby.
  • To be consistent with the logic replacing the “historic” staircase, the NPS would also have to replace the former Many Glacier swimming bool and remove the added-on  porte cochère at the main lobby entrance that protects car and bus passengers from rain upon arrival. Other smaller-order changes have been made to the hotel since I worked there: I note that the NPS isn’t advocating returning those areas to their original as-built configurations. While I understand the urgent need several years ago to stabilize the hotel’s foundation, taking the historic “kinks” out of the lake-level “stagger alley” hallway was a very non-preservationist in approach. Does NPS plan to restore these kinks?

My comments to the Department of Interior and NPS-Glacier National Park about the park service’s justification for the violation of the standard prohibiting the return of buildings to earlier configurations have received no response. It appears that the NPS has overlooked its own standards in favor of sentimentality.

As a former Many Glacier Hotel employee, I’m done with the hotel because the new eyesore in the lobby will be nothing I want to see. As a former Historic Preservation Commission chairperson and preservation grant writer, I dislike the precedent of this violation of standards. Once the staircase is returned, anything can be returned and that’s a mess I don’t want to contemplate at Glacier National Park or any other unit in the system.

Malcolm

The black horse in my novels

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The Black Horse is both death defying and death seeking. In other words it is symbolic of death and rebirth. It signifies the closing of one door and the opening of a new door. It can also signify the need for you to take a leap of faith and trust what you are being guided to do even if you can’t see the reason or the result. Go blindly forth and believe.

Spirit Animal Totems and their messages

A black horse in a dream could represent a part of the shadow self or a part of your personality that you usually prefer to keep hidden; instinctual urges operating in the dark recess of your mind; the unknown, what is mysterious.

Spirit Animals and Animal Totems

Lake Josephine and Mt. Gould where Sarabande first meets Sikimí. - NPS photo

Lake Josephine and Mt. Gould where Sarabande first meets Sikimí. – NPS photo

A huge black horse named Sikimí has appeared in five of my novels, including the upcoming new release of Sarabande. In all of these stories, he has been a totem animal associated with the mountains of Glacier National Park, Montana.

The word Sikimí means black horse in the Blackfeet language. The Blackfeet are the long-time residents of the eastern side of Glacier Park and the adjacent plains. They are the people the land knows and their language is the primary language the animals, trees, mountains and forces of nature respond to.

Appropriately, Sikimí appears in what might be called a “journey novel,” in this case, a “heroine’s journey.” Typically, heroines’ journeys are associated with night, the moon, the underworld, and the subconscious mind.

Journey novels often portray both physical travel and shamanistic or internal travel. Horse symbolism is well known whether we find the information in classic books such as Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak or David Abram’s Becoming Animal, online sites like the two quoted at the beginning of this post, or intuit them in our meditations and dreams.

This Wikpedia photo looks like my vision of Sikimí.

This Wikpedia photo looks like my vision of Sikimí.

I felt immersed into Sarabande’s story as I wrote it because Sikimí, along with Maistó (Raven), is my totem animal. When I meditate–or dream–about travel to places I’m intentionally visualizing, I will be riding Sikimí. Sikimí is, by the way, a huge Friesian horse with the classic (as opposed to “sport”) size and conformation. So it is, that I find it easier and more intuitive using this horse in a novel about a young woman named Sarabande who is going on a journey, not only to another place but another realm.

Sikimí and I are old friends.

Ted Andrews’ associations of the horse with travel, power and freedom work perfectly as symbols throughout the novel. We know these symbols, subconsciously if not consciously. Sikimí is intended to help pull the reader into the story by attuning with the reader’s intuitive knowledge about horses. If the reader likes horses, rides horses, and most especially appreciates the original Gothic (light draft horse) Frieisians, so much the better.

Sarabande quickly bonds with the horse on their first meeting as  you see in this snippet:

SarabandeCover2015Sikimí nodded or seemed to nod, but within his breath she briefly glimpsed the soul of night, a soul as powerful as the broad-chested Friesian of its manifestation, and there were feral love and rage there that far exceeded the scope of her understanding. But within that scope, her heart told her that night in the shape of a horse would carry her to the cornfields of Illinois without trying to chart the destiny of the ride.

What would it be like to ride night in the shape of a horse? I hope readers will wonder about that as they follow Sarabande’s journey from mountains to prairie and back again. I think I know what it’s like, but readers may well have other ideas that will influence how they react to the novel.

Once the novel leaves my computer and a publisher releases on Amazon and other sites, the story is no longer completely mine. Everyone who reads it will, in a sense, be reading their own version of the novel depending, in part, on how the large black horse gets into their thoughts.

–Malcolm

Clear here to see the trailer for "Sarabande."

Clear here to see the trailer for “Sarabande.”

The Thomas-Jacob Publishing second edition of Sarabande will be released on November 1, 2015. The Kindle edition is available now on Amazon for pre-order.