Monday, May 10, 2010

Glacier National Park 100 Years and Counting

High, wide and handsome views such as this are a dime a dozen on the spectacular Going-To-The-Sun Highway on the west side of Logan Pass in Glacier NP. Each year thousands upon thousands of tourists flock here to gawk scenics such as this while hoping to catch a glimpse of Ol' Ephriam (not too close thank you). No grizz?  OK, how about a shaggy ol' Rocky Mountain billy goat instead or at least a by god moose or two...

This month the Park is celebrating its 100th birthday. And while we probably won't make the celebration I'll bet the farm our friends, Bert and Janie, will...And for good reasons since Bert spent many years there working as Park Ranger. In fact he was heavily involved in the infamous "Night of the Grizzly;" August 13, 1967 was the night two women were fatally mauled in separate grizzly attacks. Tragic events that were to forever change how bears and people are managed within our National Parks and elsewhere for that matter. For more Google "Night of the Grizzly."

But grizzlies are just the tip of a giant iceberg. All sorts of wildlife live within the Park, including hundreds species songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and shorebirds. Countless wildflowers, some found nowhere else in Montana, thrive in the many diverse climates ranging from relatively low elevation to peaks well over 10,000 feet. Below, by the numbers, are just some of the highlights.

5.11.1910—Glacier officially established as a park

1.2—Million acres
16,000—Square miles of protected land
350—National Historic registered places
131—Named lakes; more than 700 lakes, total
700—Miles of trails
25—Active glaciers
2030—The year scientists predict above mentioned glaciers may disappear
0—The number of permits/licenses required to fly fish within park boundaries

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