By Gael Bissell

Living in Flathead

Newly released! LIVING IN FLATHEAD! A most incredible compendium of ideas and shared knowledge on how to manage and protect our natural resource rich environment together, all at your fingertips! 

Coordinated by the Flathead Lakers, the new LIVING IN FLATHEAD: A neighbor’s guide to living responsibly in the Flathead is a digital guide ( that gets to the heart of what we all need to consider to ensure we have clean water, open lands, diverse habitats and wildlife, resilient forests, and a strong local economy as our communities continue to grow. The focus is on what we as private landowners and visitors can do – landscape with native trees and shrubs, develop a rain garden,  adopt a drain, recycle and reduce waste, pick up plastic, join a local non-profit, institute fire wise management, etc.  And the Guide includes how-to advice and where to find resources and assistance. If we all do our part, we can reduce our impacts. 

To get started, take a look at the section on Birds and their Habitat that FAS helped to write. It is especially relevant right now, as many of us are seeing the return of migrating birds, and enjoying the early morning sounds of robins, nuthatches, and chickadees. These returning birds not only captivate us with their songs and vibrant plumage, but they also play crucial roles in our ecosystem, such as insect control, plant seed dispersal, and environmental cleanup. 

But these same birds need something from us. Researchers have recently calculated that a staggering 3 billion birds have been lost over the last 50 years. Leading causes of this decline include cats, collisions (including those with windows), and habitat loss. Birds need our help! 

The Guide’s Birds and their Habitat section will help you learn more about our native bird species, discover ways you can support them in your own backyard, and explore the numerous hot spots for bird watching in our valley.

Once you’ve investigated this section on birds, you’ll enjoy exploring the rest of Living in Flathead – including Living on the Land, Living by Water, Living with Wildlife. This comprehensive guide to land and water stewardship, and to living and recreating in harmony with our natural heritage, is an important resource for us all. Please tell your neighbors about It, and recommend it to newcomers and visitors.  Enjoy!