Outdoor News September 1, 2017 - Explore! Outdoor News September 1, 2017 - Explore!

Outdoor News September 1, 2017

Glacier Park Lodge Closes Early

Xanterra Parks and Resorts decided to close Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park for the season on Wednesday due to air quality concerns from the Sprague Fire and other regional fires. The Sprague Fire is located approximately two miles from the Lake McDonald Lodge area. 
Lake McDonald LodgeThe fire is not currently and has not been a threat to the Lake McDonald developed area. However, heavy smoke from the fire has been settling in a highly localized area around the Lake McDonald Lodge.
Out of concern for employee safety, Glacier National Park Lodges (Xanterra Parks and Resorts) will close overnight accommodations, retail, and food and beverage services at the Lake McDonald Lodge area. Because employees work and live onsite they have a longer duration exposure to the air conditions. The lodge was expected to close September 27 for the season. Visitors with reservations for Lake McDonald Lodge should contact Glacier National Park Lodges at: http://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com or 1-855-733-4522.
No other visitor services in the Lake McDonald area are being adjusted at this time. Red bus tours that typically stop at Lake McDonald Lodge will have their routes adjusted slightly.
At the request of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service installed an air quality monitoring station at Lake McDonald Lodge on August 27, 2017. Two days of data indicate air quality levels have fluctuated between “good” and beyond the uppermost limit of “hazardous.” The hazardous air quality readings have occurred in the evening and earlier morning hours.
The park maintains an air quality monitoring station in Apgar. Those readings have fluctuated between “good” and “moderate” for the same period, further supporting the observation that poor air quality appears to be concentrated in a very small geographic area of the park near the Lake McDonald Lodge area.
The public can access the air quality monitoring station at Lake McDonald Lodge and state air quality information at the following sites. For an air quality index: http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.aqi. For Lake McDonald Lodge air monitor: https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/rawMAIN4.pl?ids215+29+08+17+M. For Montana smoke readings: https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl.
Visitors can also view the park’s webcams to get a visual sense of air quality at many locations across the park. Fire officials expect the Sprague Fire will continue to burn until the area receives significant precipitation later this fall.
Glacier National Park is over one million acres in size. The smoke impacts from the Sprague Fire and other regional fires affect only a small portion of the park. All other frontcountry park facilities are open.

Photo of Lake McDonald Lodge: By Acroterion (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Snowmobiles in Yellowstone

Beginning today, Yellowstone National Park will accept applications to the 2017-2018 winter season lottery for permits to snowmobile in the park without the presence of a commercial guide. The park requires all non-commercially guided snowmobile groups that enter the park to have a permit.
Snowmobiles in YellowstoneThe park invites those wishing to snowmobile without a commercial guide to apply through www.recreation.gov from September 1 to September 30, 2017. We will notify successful lottery applicants in mid-October. The park will make any remaining or cancelled permits available on a first-come, first-served basis through the same webpage beginning on November 3. There is no waiting list. Cancellations may occur throughout the winter season, so check the website often for openings. Trips can be for a maximum of three days in length, and permits cost $40 per day with a $6 application fee.
Permit holders are considered non-commercial guides and must be at least 18 years old on the first day of their trips. All snowmobile operators must possess a state-issued driver’s license and successfully complete the free online Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification program. Anyone can take the course to learn more about park rules that help visitors safely enjoy the unique experience of winter in Yellowstone while also protecting park resources.
The Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program was authorized in the 2013 final Winter Use Rule. The program allows one non-commercially guided group of up to five snowmobiles to enter Yellowstone from each of its four winter entrances per day. All snowmobiles must meet the park’s New Best Available Technology (BAT) standard which is explained on our website.
Check the park website for details regarding the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program, or contact the Program Coordinator, Ivan Kowski, at e-mail us or (307) 344-2165. 

Fire Advances on Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park has issued a Level 1 Evacuation Notification for Mazama Village effective last Sunday. The Level 1 notification informs residents and visitors to “be ready” for a potential evacuation of Mazama Village, including employee dormitories and trailer sites, in the event that the Blanket Creek Fire approaches these areas on the south end of the Park. Current or projected threats from the approaching fire indicate that there may be a need to evacuate in the future, however, there are no mandatory evacuations at this time. Rim Village, park headquarters and other areas in the park are not affected by this Level 1 notification.

Crate Lake WildfiresOn Wednesday, as the Blanket Creek Fire expanded another 1400 acres, hand crews completed preparing defensible space around Mazama Village infrastructure and made good progress chipping and removing small trees, brush and debris along Hwy 62.

The Spruce Lake Fire, in the middle of the park and west of Crater Lake, is also burning.  It grew 910 acres on Tuesday moving northward toward the Pumice Desert.

The park remains open however West Rim Road is closed for construction through today and some trails are closed due to fire activity:

  • Pacific Crest Trail, from the park boundary to Highway 62 and from the intersection of Dutton Creek Trail north to the North Entrance Road
  •  Boundary Springs Trail
  • All of Bald Crater Loop Trail
  • Bert Creek Trail
  • Lightning Springs Trail
  • Union Peak Trail
  • Stuart Falls Trail
  • Pumice Flat Trail

VT Outdoor Rec Economic Collaborative

In Vermont, a healthy outdoor recreation economy directly supports related businesses and organizations. Moreover, It also contributes to numerous other aspects of the Vermont economy and culture, including the encouragement of healthy communities and individuals, enhancement of the Vermont lifestyle and the Vermont brand, increased connection to nature and attraction of high quality employers and a sustainable workforce in all economic sectors.

Stowe, VermontThe Vermont Outdoor recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) steering committee is made up of Vermont businesses and non-profits including outdoor manufacturers, retailers, brand representatives, trail and user groups and conservation organizations, as well as state government.  The VOREC steering committee’s purpose is to engage with businesses, government, the nonprofit sector and the public to identify specific outcomes that promote business opportunities, increase participation opportunities, and strengthen the quality and stewardship of our recreational resources.  Toward that end,  VOREC is planning a series of public meetings get ideas on how to:

  • Promote business opportunities.
  • Increase participation opportunities.
  • Strengthen the quality and extent of recreational resources.
  • Strengthen the stewardship of recreational resources.

For the details see http://fpr.vermont.gov/VOREC.


Get a BS in Recreation

Over the past year, the University of Wyoming (UW) Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and the College of Business have worked with partners throughout UW and across the state to study and lay groundwork for a natural resources recreation and tourism program that will launch in fall 2018, pending approval.

Dan McCoyDan McCoy has accepted a position as coordinator of the proposed Bachelor of Science degree program. He will facilitate curriculum development, continue to develop partnerships throughout Wyoming, teach courses and oversee the establishment of this proposed degree.

The Haub School and the College of Business envision the new B.S. in natural resources recreation and tourism as a transdisciplinary program incorporating elements of business, recreation, tourism, human dimensions of natural resource use and environmental studies. The program will emphasize such areas as tourism, outdoor recreation and hospitality theory and best practices, entrepreneurial and business management strategies, ethical leadership principles and stewardship of natural resources.

The degree is being designed with involvement from stakeholders across the state who have an interest in bolstering Wyoming’s outdoor recreation and tourism economy by educating new entrepreneurs and leaders.

McCoy comes to the position from UW Campus Recreation, where he has served as assistant director since 2008, and where he has led the Outdoor Program since 1999. He holds a B.S. in recreation management from the University of Montana and an M.A. in adult and postsecondary education from UW. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School’s semester in Patagonia and is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational administration from UW.

McCoy also has worked as a field instructor for several outdoor adventure organizations and has taught courses for the Division of Kinesiology and Health and for the Haub School at UW. He began his new role as natural resources recreation and tourism degree coordinator on Monday. The position was made possible by a generous gift from a private donor.

Learn more about the natural resources recreation and tourism degree program at www.uwyo.edu/haub/academics/undergraduate-students/bs-in-nrrt.html.


Special Savings for Our Readers

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Video of the Week

If the idea of snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park intrigues you, perhaps skiing in the park will as well.  Yellowstone Expeditions has been offering winter tours of the park for well over 30 years.  This week’s video gives you a great idea of the experience and the things you will see if you happen to participate in one of the tours.  It’s time to be planning your winter activities!

This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
Global Creations EXPLORE!  The eMagazine for Adventure and Exploration

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