COLUMBIA FALLS - The Flathead River Alliance plans to put two permanent loaner life jacket stations on the three forks of the Flathead River, marking the first permanent life jacket stations on the waterways.
The organization secured a Flathead Electric Cooperative Roundup for Safety grant and plans to use the funds to build the stations.
Last year, the Flathead River Alliance had ambassadors handing out loaner life jackets, but they were only there while on shift.
The new stations will be set up at the West Glacier and Glacier Rim boat launch sites. The drop-off stations will be on the north and middle forks of the Flathead River.
"You don't float so we have a life jacket for you. We’re really hoping to increase the amount of life jackets we see on the river," said Flathead River Alliance Watershed Coordinator Sheen Pate.
A total of 20 to 30 volunteers are needed for the river ambassador program which started in 2021. Ambassadors are responsible for river education and outreach to the public as well as safety messaging.
Volunteers can also be a part of the Citizen Scientist Program and record data about watercraft and wildlife while on the river. More information can be found at http://www.flatheadrivers.org.