EXPERIENCE Trails continue to be a top priority of the Fund. From stepping up to challenges like the 2007 Flooded Trails Initiative with emergency funding for the day-to-day rehabilitation of trails that simply could not be worked through federal allocations, the Fund is dedicated to ensuring that the 730 miles of trails are accessible to our visitors. In addition, GNPF has recently addressed making more of our trails accessible for wheelchairs, strollers and walkers. In 2010, we funded the first accessible trail in the Many Glacier Valley. To help ensure that the backcountry experience is safe, we have funded bear lockers and back country shelters as well as bridge repairs. In the front country, we have funded walkways and overlooks to ensure visitors have a quality experience enjoying the awesome views. Our latest project has included the watchable wildlife viewing areas. RESEARCH GNPF’s research is aimed at balancing a quality visitor experience while protecting and preserving a delicate ecosystem. We simply have to help provide the science needed in order for management to make good decisions that will affect the Park well into the future. Research typically receives very limited funding from federal resources. Thus, we have focused on wildlife inventories, connectivity corridors and monitoring projects that allow a baseline of information for decision making. We have supported vital research for flora and fauna projects including bears, wolverines, lynx, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pikas, owls, bull trout and native plants. The most notable research project has not only engaged citizen stewards but provided some much needed and excellent baseline data for the Park’s management personnel. With over 90 volunteers a year, the Citizen Science program utilizes volunteers to gather information on flora and fauna. Led by a University of Montana graduate and interns, the program not only allows for information to be gathered in a cost effective manner but also educates people about the need for research in Glacier. According to Jane Ratzlaff, GNPF’s Executive Director, “Glacier’s true stewards - those who will ensure its preservation for future generations - are all of us who have benefited from its powerful, restorative influence.” Glacier is a hiker’s paradise, a naturalist’s dream, an artist’s inspiration and a magical haven for everyone. Early proponents of the park established this priceless legacy……now it is up to all of us to pass it on to our descendants. The Glacier National Park Fund is the non-profit fund raising partner for Glacier National Park. Their mission is to support the preservation and protection of the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Park for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. For further information go to www.glaciernationalparkfund.org or call Jane Ratzlaff at 406-892-3250. Jane Ratzlaff, a Montana native, has been coming to Glacier since 1961. A graduate of Montana State University in Billings, she has spent her career in university development with her last job being the vice president for development for the University of Montana Foundation. In 2006, she followed her passion for Glacier and accepted the job of executive director of the GlacierNnational Park Fund. Jane feels that Glacier is a park for all people and believes that the Fund’s most important work is to ensure that visitors can enjoy Glacier to the fullest while tenderly caring for the health and well-being of its fragile ecosystem. She enjoys sharing the common bond and stewardship responsibility with other Glacier enthusiasts and takes great delight in leading hikes, visiting with Glacier lovers across the country and in connecting people to the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with preserving our treasured park.