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Fund started toward rebuilding Glacier Park’s burned Sperry Chalet

The century-old Sperry Chalet burned on Aug. 21, 2017, in the Sprague Fire that plagued Glacier National Park. (Glacier Conservancy)
The century-old Sperry Chalet burned on Aug. 21, 2017, in the Sprague Fire that plagued Glacier National Park. (Glacier Conservancy)

PARKS -- A fund has been launched toward eventually restoring Sperry Chalet, which burned Aug. 31 in the Sprague Fire that's raised havoc in Glacier National Park.

The roof and woodwork inside and out of the main building have burned away, but the walls of fine rock masonry still stand, giving hope to the potential for restoring the century-old chalet that required negotiating nearly seven miles of trail to reach.

A Sperry Action Fund has been established by the Glacier Conservancy to cover costs related to work at the chalet.  

"We have been working with Superintendent Jeff Mow since the morning after the fire to offer support and assistance, as part of our mission to preserve and protect the park for future generations," the conservancy says in a media release.

With an initial emergency fund of $90,000, the conservancy has hired an engineering firm to assess the integrity of the remaining structure and recommend stabilization actions to protect the stonework remains through the winter. Stabilization must be done quickly as winter is fast approaching in the Glacier backcountry where the chalet was built at 6,000 feet.

"The Sperry Action Fund is in addition to the more than 50 projects and programs the park has requested funding for in the coming year, prompting the conservancy to reach out for more donations.

"This work represents the first step in assessing the extent of the damage to evaluate what future actions might be possible," the conservancy said.

"As a special thank you for any donations of $100 or more, we will send you a Limited Edition 12" x 18" poster of Sperry created and generously donated by Roy E. Hughes. Roy created this digital block print image when he was a Glacier National Park Artist-in-Residence in 2005."

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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