Saturday, July 20, 2024

Pave the North Fork Road to Camas

by Bob Graham
| July 29, 2021 12:00 AM

In regards to Flathead County Public Works Director Dave Prunty’s comments on the North Fork Road, I’ve never liked the cost-share program to control the road dust in front of our properties in the North Fork. I have not and will not participate.

Many North Forkers feel like I do. We think we are being fleeced by this policy. Sure, we benefit if we give in, but so do a hundred thousand plus locals and tourists who drive by our properties.

Please make the case why should we pay for them to have a more enjoyable ride at our expense? What benefit do North Forkers get out of the thousands of people visiting the North Fork? Do you think we enjoy the poop and TP along the river? Do we like Glacier Park sending tourists to Polebridge? Have any of us asked businesses to send their ATV clients or flotilla’s up the North Fork?

The North Fork is a treasure, for sure, and we know we will not stop the masses from coming. The county, the state, and everybody benefits from its beauty and recreational appeal.

It’s time to manage it better, to pave it to Camas and let it be rustic (graded gravel) to the border. I could even live without the mag chloride — it has ruined a couple of my vehicles already.

Tourists coming out of the park can choose at Camas, pavement or gravel? Bicyclists can loop down to Columbia Falls. The city would see more economic activity, the river will not be filled with dust, and locals can get to town more often, (scratch that) we don’t like going to town.

Still, county folks can recreate up our way, we are not opposed to this, but I’m sure they would like it better if they didn’t lose a muffler or get a flat tire. Some would be able to choose taking a scenic route into the park without having to go through West Glacier. And the state would be mandated to maintain and snow plow the road to Camas if it were paved. This alone would cut your budget in half.

Sorry I’m being so logical and forward-thinking. So please stop pushing us to share in the cost of dust control. Paving and dust control benefits everyone, isn’t this why we pay taxes?

Bob Graham lives in the North Fork.