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a. Song of the High Peaks

b. Cycles and Seasons
Bedrock: The First Story
The Rising of the Sun and the Running of the Deer: A Glacier Year

c. Plant-and-Animal Communities
Over Going-to-the-Sun Road
Groves and Grasslands: The Prairie Sea
The Forest
Scrub Forest
Water Communities

d. Shooting Stars

e. Appendix

Pictorial Features

The Mountains of Glacier
The Forests of Glacier
The Vital Predator
Protective Coloration
Ursus arctos horribilus: The Vulnerable King
Bald Eagles and Kokanee Salmon: A Recent Gathering
A Triumph of Many Colors
Fire Succession: Key to Continuity

Illustrations by Celia Strain/Morgan-Burchette Assoc.

For additional information, visit the Web site for
Glacier National Park

Natural History Handbook

About This Book

This natural history of the mountain wilderness called Glacier National Park is not a guidebook, but provides an overview of the ecology of the region. At the same time, it is a personal statement, revealing one individual's response to this rugged, delicate land.

For their consistent cooperation and helpfulness, I wish especially to thank Chief Naturalist Ed Rothfuss and his capable staff. Technical and field assistance came from many; for special thanks, I would like to single out Art Sedlack, Francis Singer, Bert Gildart, Walt Martin, Craig Kuchel, and Danny On. The manuscript profited greatly from the criticism of Douglas Chadwick, to whom I am deeply grateful.


The National Park Service Division of Publications gratefully acknowledges the financial support given this book project by the Glacier Natural History Association, Inc., West Glacier, Mont.

About the Author

Greg Beaumont's interest in Glacier National Park dates from 1963, when he was a summer employee at Lake McDonald Lodge. In 1966 he and his wife were fire-control lookouts on Numa Ridge in the Bowman Valley. Now a free-lance writer-photographer, he lives with his family in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering the wisest use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their developement is in the best interests of all our people. The Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in Island Territories under U.S. administration.

The landform of Glacier National Park is a monument to the power of moving ice. This view from Stoney Indian Pass is startlingly different from the scene of a million years ago. When the glaciers of the Pleistocene were sculpturing the land. Only the higher peaks would then have been visible above the blanket of ice that flowed like a slow-moving river down into the Mokowanis Valley and out into the Great Plains beyond.


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