Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Press
Decision comes after federal government moved to allow electric bikes in parks
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Co. is preparing to purchase a fleet of electric bikes for use on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in 2020.
The decision to purchase the bikes, also known as “e-bikes,” comes just months after an order by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior paved the way for the powered bikes to be used in national parks. In August, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt issued a directive to create a clear and concise e-bike policy on all federal lands managed by his department, and on Sept. 19, Glacier Park officials announced that they would be treated like any other bicycle.
Courtney Stone, communications director for Glacier Guides, said the company hopes the e-bikes will help new people get on the Sun Road during the early spring. Glacier Guides rents bikes and offers guided tours.
“We think getting more people on bikes is a good thing, especially if it makes biking the Sun Road more accessible,” she said. “For some people, biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road might not have been an obtainable goal until now.”
Stone said it’s unclear what brand of e-bikes the company will buy, but it’s looking at getting 10 to begin. She said the company wants to make sure the bikes can withstand the rigors of the Sun Road and its steady, 6 percent grade.
“There are a lot of unknowns, so we’ll be doing a lot of test trips with the bikes in April,” she said. “It’ll be a busy spring.”
Glacier Guides is already taking reservations for bike rentals and tours in spring 2020.
According to the new rules, the operator of an e-bike may only use the motor to assist pedal propulsion. The motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling, except in locations open to public motor vehicle traffic. Motorbikes with a throttle are not e-bikes. All bicyclists must obey speed limits and any other state traffic laws.
In Glacier, cyclists are required to observe all traffic regulations; stay on the right side of the road and ride in single file only; pull over if there are more than four vehicles behind; and use a light or reflector at night or during periods of low visibility.
Additional restrictions are placed on bikes on the Sun Road during the summer. Bikes are prohibited on the Sun Road from Apgar to Sprague Creek between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Bikes are prohibited from traveling east (uphill) between Logan Creek and Logan Pass between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
POSTED BY RACHEL SUSSMAN POSTED ON APRIL 28, 2017Congrats to the winners of the first annual Climate Smart Champion Awards! These awards were created to recognize businesses, individuals, and youth in the Flathead that are going above and beyond to set a standard of sustainability for our community. Thank you to everyone who applied or nominated candidates. It was great to read about the amazing sustainability initiatives that are occurring in the region.Here are the winners:Business Category:Climate Smart Entrepreneur of the Year: Alissa LaChance, Dirt Rich Composting of Columbia Falls. Alissa introduced a new business concept to the Flathead by collecting food waste from businesses, schools and families and converting it into rich topsoil for gardens.Climate Smart Business Champion: ViZn Energy Systems, based in Columbia Falls, for developing a utility-grade energy storage system that uses stable, non-toxic batteries to balance out renewable energy production for times when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.Climate Smart Business Champion: Glacier Guides/Montana Raft Company, based in West Glacier, for sustainable practices and environmental leadership in the hospitality sector.Youth CategoryClimate Smart Youth – Individual: Caroline Dye, a Whitefish 9th grader. Caroline led a successful campaign to implement no-idling zones outside three Whitefish schools to keep kids safe from exhaust emissions. She also works with the Climate Smart Transportation Group to find no-idling solutions for diesel locomotives in the rail yard next to Whitefish Middle SchoolClimate Smart Youth – Group: Whitefish Middle School Student Council. The student council has led efforts to promote composting and recycling to reduce waste in the schools and has been active in the no-idling campaign.Individual Leadership CategoryClimate Smart Champion: Diane Yarus, a Kalispell businesswoman. With her husband Bill, Diane owns Airworks, a heating and cooling service. She’s been a leader in local and regional programs to build clean energy systems and promote conservation. She is a Flathead Valley leader in encouraging young girls and women to enter technical fields.Climate Smart Champion, Honorable Mention: Jeff Arcel, a Whitefish businessman. Through his company Aeon Renewable, Jeff is a pioneer in deploying renewable energy systems for individuals, businesses, and communities in the Flathead, including solar, wind and mini-hydro. He is a member of the Whitefish Climate Action Plan Committee.Climate Smart Champion, Honorable Mention: Richard Cohen, a Whitefish electrician. He has led countless tours of his climate-smart home that utilizes passive design, renewable energy and energy-efficiency measures. He works with clients to install renewable energy systems and integrate energy-saving measures into new construction and retrofits.
Montana Ecostar Pollution Prevention Award Winners Recognized
BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension has announced this year’s EcoStar award winners in recognition of their pollution prevention efforts. Now in its fifteenth year, the award program recognizes Montana businesses that create more environmentally and economically sustainable business models through pollution prevention strategies.
The Environmental Protection Agency is in its 25th year of National Pollution Prevention week.
The 18 Montana winners of the annual Ecostar Pollution Prevention award come from diverse parts of the state’s economy.
“The winners include folks from the agricultural sector, healthcare, tourism, spas, breweries and others,” said Montana Governor Steve Bullock. “These Ecostar award winners serve as excellent models for Montanans and their businesses… On behalf of a grateful state for all that you do, congratulations on winning this year’s Ecostar award.”
The Ecostar award winners conserved 8.4 million gallons of water, 3.5 billion British thermal units (BTUs) in heating, 6,725 pounds of hazardous waste, and they reduced 1,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, while saving $450,000 through their pollution prevention work, according to Jenny Grossenbacher, director of the statewide Ecostar program and Pollution Prevention Coordinator for MSU Extension.
“This is a notable impact on the state of Montana’s environment and people,” Grossenbacher said. “These exemplary efforts are individual to the company and as diverse as the state of Montana, while they share the common bond of maximizing the bottom line of the company, conserving natural resources and protecting public health.”
While saving money is a fundamental reason for many businesses to implement pollution prevention strategies, for Simms Fishing Products, the savings is only part of the reason, said Diane Bristol, director of employee and community engagement at Simms.
“Healthy fisheries are critical to the industry and key to supporting the activity that we are passionate about,” Bristol said
The businesses recognized for EcoStar awards are:
• Bayern Brewing, Inc., Missoula;
• Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa and Retreat Center, Boulder;
• Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant, Hamilton;
• Delaware North at Yellowstone, Bozeman, Yellowstone National Park;
• Desert Rose Restaurant and Catering, Belgrade;
• Flathead Lake Cheese, Polson;
• Galactic Farms, Missoula;
• Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, West Glacier;
• Glacier National Park Lodges, Columbia Falls;
• Katie Clemons, LLC, Livingston;
• Livingston HealthCare Farm to Institution Program, Livingston;
• MacKenzie River Pizza Company, Bozeman, Belgrade, Helena, Missoula, Butte,
Great Falls, Kalispell, Billings, Whitefish;
• Ravalli County Recyling, Hamilton;
• Sage Spa and Salon, Bozeman and Billings;
• Shelby Recyling Association, Shelby;
• Simms Fishing Products, Bozeman;
• Sleep Inn and Suites of Miles City;
• St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings;
For more detailed descriptions of individual businesses by region, contact Jenny Grossenbacher at (406) 994-4292, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: https://www.mtp2.org/ecostar.html.
Raft company honored with Eco Award 4/24/2013
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Company will be recognized at the state capital with an Eco Star Award on April 24 by Montana State University and the Montana Governor’s office for their 2012 pollution prevention efforts. Eco-Star Awards are given to small businesses in Montana that have shown great effort over the past year in pollution prevention.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft was founded in 1983. More than a year ago, they joined a two-year program started by the Yellowstone Business Partnerships called UnCommon Sense that helps businesses work towards becoming environmentally responsible.
The company’s efforts include replacing disposable items with reusable items, composting, recycling, not selling bottled water, teaching and practicing “Leave No Trace” ethics on all of their trips, refusing to use billboards, buying local and organic food when possible, and selling more “Made in the USA” and eco-sensitive retail items.
“We are a company that relies on a healthy environment and we are committed to becoming a more environmentally responsible company,” marketing director Corrie Holloway said. “We hope that other companies will see that they too can implement small changes that can make a huge difference.”
Glacier National Park News
Glaciers – A Melting Icon in the Crown of the Continent 2/13/2013
WEST GLACIER, Mont. –
Glacier National Park – carved from ancient glaciers that left the mountains high enough to scrape the sky. “It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. I mean views are spectacular and the wildlife is fantastic.”
An important facet to Glacier National Park’s ecosystem and aesthetics – the glaciers – may soon become a thing of the past. In 1850 there were 150 glaciers. Today? Just 26. They’re not the glaciers the park was named for, but they are melting and melting fast.
“For many of the glaciers, there has been a melt rate of about 50% or 70%, pretty high amounts,” said Dan Fagre. “And in a few cases, it’s been 100% because they’ve actually disappeared.”
Dan Fagre and his team at the United States Geological Survey have been closely monitoring glacier melt in the park. They photograph the Glacier to compare its melt across decades. They also do something else called Mass Balance Monitoring.
“Instead of just looking at the footprint, how much area it covers, you look at all the other parameters like the depth, the total mass of ice there. and you try to see what those kinds of change are,” Fagre continued.
Grinnell Glacier is just one of many that is measured and photographed every few years. Dramatic changes can be seen in the repeat photos from 1938 to 2009. Glacier Guides’ Corrie Holloway tells NBC Montana Grinnell is her favorite place to take visitors day-hiking.
“Whether or not you see snow and a glacier, you’re still going to get a valuable experience going up there,”said Holloway.
Fagre said the park’s glaciers are melting because our mountain system has warmed up two times as much as other parts of the planet. The higher you go up in elevation, the faster the rate of change.
“The drivers are pretty clear with greenhouse gas emissions and so forth,” said Fagre. “So we do know that these are pushing the envelope.”
Models predict all of the park’s glaciers will be melted by 2030. Fagre feels there will be some long term shifts in the ecosystem when they’re gone, as they provide a water source to alpine flowers, land, and aquatic species.
“During hot, dry summers they’re still able to melt and provide water when many of the snow fields are gone and the soil is dried up,” Fagre explained. “It becomes a lifeline for some of these aquatic organisms.”
But the world is constantly changing, and both feel Glacier National Park will never be the same Glacier National Park when it was founded in 1910, or the mass of ice that covered the park nearly 12,000 years ago.
“We set a place like this aside. wanting it to be that way for future generations. So clearly, there’s a sense of loss on a lot of people’s part that this protected area is not completely protected,” Fagre concluded.
“Even though the natural process is being sped up, it’s still going to be a beautiful area even after they’re gone,” said Holloway.
Copyright 2013 by KECI, KCFW, KTVM.
Glacier National Park News: CBS News Covers Glacier National Park’s Melting Glaciers 8/09/2012
Longtime Glacier Guide Corrie Holloway takes a CBS film crew to Grinnell Glacier to discuss the park’s melting glaciers.