Tag Archives: Flathead National Forest

Flathead National Forest announces new forest supervisor

Kurt Steele with wife Melissa and son Jack at USFS Fish Lake Campground in Idaho

Kurt Steele with wife Melissa and son Jack at USFS Fish Lake Campground in Idaho

Kurt Steele, Chip Weber’s replacement as forest supervisor takes over in mid-February.

From the press release . . .

Kurt Steele has been named forest supervisor for Flathead National Forest. He’s expected to begin work in mid-February. Steele has been the deputy forest supervisor for the Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forests for the past three years.

“I am very pleased to welcome Kurt to the Flathead National Forest,” said Regional Forester Leanne Marten. “Kurt is a proven leader who welcomes new voices and diverse perspectives, and has dedicated his career to public service.”

In addition to his current service as deputy forest supervisor, Steele has completed three recent temporary forest supervisor assignments on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, and the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois. Prior to his current position on the Nez Perce-Clearwater, Steele served as a district ranger on the Superior National Forest in Minnesota.

“I am tremendously honored to serve the public and forest employees as Flathead National Forest’s new supervisor,” said Steele. “I look forward to engaging with our partners, local businesses, and surrounding communities as we write the forest’s next chapter together. The Flathead Valley is an incredibly special place, and my family and I are excited about the opportunity to be able to settle in here and raise our family in this welcoming, community-oriented area.”

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Flathead National Forest’s September Trails Initiative

From the press release . . .

Kalispell, MT, August 2, 2018 – Flathead National Forest is inviting local citizens to join its September Trails Initiative and help make a few trails close to home a little better.

Volunteer work parties will be held the last four Fridays and Saturdays in September 2018 on a wide range of trails within roughly an hour of Kalispell. Each weekend of work parties features one of the many non-profit partners in the Flathead Valley that work hard to make the whole trail system a great place for a wide range of trail lovers.

Each work party starts at 9 at the trailhead and ends at about 3:30pm rain or shine. Be sure to bring a long sleeve shirt, long pants, sturdy boots, pair of work gloves, lunch, plenty of water and a winning attitude. Expect a physically strenuous day and a hike up to 3 miles one-way.

For more information and to sign up for one or more work parties visit http://bit.ly/SeptTrails2018. When you sign up you will receive a confirmation email with more details on where to meet and what to expect.

“Few activities on National Forests are more rewarding than helping maintain trails: get outside, get a little work out, feel the joy of working alongside some new friends, and perhaps most importantly, immediately see how your efforts improve trails that many others will enjoy.” –MJ Crandall, District Recreation Lead for Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District.

Finally, come celebrate all the good work we get done as well for the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act on Tuesday October 2nd at 6:00pm at Backslope Brewing in Columbia Falls.

For questions, contact MJ Crandall, Hungry Horse-Glacier View District Recreation Lead at 406-387-3818 or mjcrandall@fs.fed.us.

 Schedule Meet at: Work party location Partner
Weekend 1  
Friday September 7 9:00am Emery Creek Snowmobile Trail  (FSR 1614) Flathead Snowmobile Association
Saturday September 8 9:00am Emery Creek Snowmobile Trail  (FSR 1614) Flathead Snowmobile Association
Weekend 2  
Friday September 14 9:00am Danny On National Recreation Trail #370 Montana Wilderness Association
Saturday September 15 9:00am Danny On National Recreation Trail #370 Montana Wilderness Association
Weekend 3  
Friday September 21 9:00am Tally-Ashley Trail #800 Flathead Area Mountain Bikers
Saturday September 22 9:00am Tally-Ashley Trail #800 Flathead Area Mountain Bikers
Weekend 4   
Friday September 28 9:00am Ousel Peak Trail #331 Bob Marshall Wild. Foundation
Saturday September 29 National Public Lands Day! 9:00am Skiumah Creek #204 Bob Marshall Wild. Foundation
Trails 50th Celebration  
Tuesday October 2  


Backslope Brewing in Columbia Falls All

Flathead Forest trails budget increased

The last “Flathead Forest Friday” meeting centered on recreation, including a report on the trails maintenance budget. It seems things are looking up a bit . . .

The Flathead National Forest will have about $553,000 next season for trail work, which is a little better than previous years. The budget was slashed to about $363,000 during federal sequestration last year and was about $477,000 in 2012.

According to Becky Smith-Powell, the Forest’s recreation program manager, more than $200,000 of the trails budget will go toward capital expenses, with the remainder going to staff and other items.

There are 2,257 miles of trails in the Flathead Forest, including motorized vehicle and ski trails. By comparison, Glacier National Park has about 700 miles of trails, and its trail budget runs close to or at $1 million annually.

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