Climate Action Plan

After hundreds of hours of research, consultations with local and regional experts, countless meetings, and Herculean efforts by a committee of volunteers, the Whitefish City Council approved the Whitefish Climate Action Plan following a public hearing on April 16, 2018 - thanks to everyone who contributed to the effort! 

The Climate Action Plan establishes a foundation for Whitefish to strengthen local resilience to future climate change impacts and to make the transition to a clean energy economy.

The Climate Action Plan At-A-Glance can be downloaded here.

The full Climate Action Plan can be downloaded here.

Appendix A: Council Resolutions & Mayor's Proclamation

Appendix B: Public Participation

Appendix C: Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Appendix D: Haskill Basin Carbon Storage

Climate Action Plan Standing Committee

 The Whitefish City Council established a Climate Action Plan Standing Committee on October 1, 2018 through Ordinance 18-32. A committee of 1 City Council member, 4 City Staff members, and 4 members at large was appointed by Mayor John Muhlfeld in December.

The City Council resolution directs the Committee to:

Assist in the implementation of the Whitefish Climate Action Plan by establishing a working timeline for implementation, recommending actions and budget priorities to the City Council or City management, tracking progress towards the Plan's goals, updating the greenhouse gas inventory, and updating the plan.

City Council Member: Melissa Hartman

City Staff Members: Jen Sybrant, Joe Page, Karin Hilding, Hilary Lindh (Chair)

Members at large: Casey Lewis, Ryder Delaloye, Sierra McCartney, Kate McMahon (Vice-Chair)

CAP Standing Committee Meetings take place on the third Wednesday of every month at Whitefish City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

Next meeting is November 20 at 5:30pm.


Date Agendas  Minutes
January 16, 2019
February 20, 2019
March 20, 2019
April 17, 2019
June 26, 2019
July 17, 2019
September 18, 2009
October 16, 2019  


New Event:

Climate Smart Glacier Country is hosting a day of plenary sessions, workshops, DIY, student poster sessions, booths, and brainstorming at Flathead Valley Community College on November 2, 2019. Click here for the agenda.


Click on the image below to see the full-size poster

Start Composting at Home

Food and yard waste can take up as much as 30% of your trash bin, but less than 1% of garbage in Montana is currently composted. By starting to compost at home, you can greatly reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill while creating a nutrient-rich additive that will improve the health of your yard, garden, plants, and trees without the need for chemical fertilizers. 

Starting an at-home compost pile is simple! Those interested in seeing demonstration compost sites in-person can visit the WasteNot Compost Demonstration Garden at the Flathead Valley Community College Campus. For online resources and information, check out this link

The City of Whitefish is considering a composting pilot program in which there could be a central drop-off location for residential compost. To help us gauge interest in this program, please fill out this survey:

Get Water-Wise This Summer!

Whitefish has recently made a commitment to saving water as a community. Being careful about how much water you use can save you money and preserve our most valuable natural resource for future generations. Below are some helpful resources you can use to reduce your water consumption while still maintaining your outdoor landscaping and indoor comfort.

  • Make Your Home Water-Smart: The EPA maintains a comprehensive WaterSense database that you can use to find information about saving water both inside and outside your home. You can search for water-efficient products (like toilets, showerheads, or faucets), get landscaping tips, or learn about the biggest water wasters in your home.
  • Switch to Native Plants: The Center for Native Plants is a great local resource that can help you swap out your thirsty lawn for low-maintenance plants with great aesthetics. Check out their list of plants that thrive in the Whitefish environment.
  • Cultivate a Successful Lawn: If you’re attached to your lawn, there are still ways to maintain it better and save on water and fertilizer costs. This brochure from MSU Extension features insights and information on establishing and maintaining a lawn. And this flyer about irrigation runoff will help you keep the water you need exactly where you need it.
  • Take Shorter Showers: Spending less time in the shower and being sure to turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving can quickly add up to significant water savings.
  • Launder Smarter: Only wash full loads of laundry and use cold rather than hot water to save money on electricity bills. To save even more energy, air-dry your clothes on a clothesline during the hot summer months.
  • Check for Leaks: Small household leaks can lead to gallons of water waste per day. If you notice a leak, make sure to take care of it right away and periodically check your pipes to make sure you aren’t paying for water to drip into your walls or out into the dirt.

Refill Not Landfill

Climate Smart Glacier Country and the City of Whitefish are partnering to support the use of reusable water bottles through an initiative called Refill Not Landfill. To see the locations where you can refill your reusable water bottle in Whitefish, Kalispell, Columbia Falls, and Glacier National Park, visit this link or see the flyer below. Keep plastic out of our landfills and stay hydrated this summer!

Keep Trash Out of Landfills with These Simple Steps

The local nonprofit Citizens for a Better Flathead has partnered with the City of Whitefish to provide information about recycling and fixing old and used materials to reduce the amount of trash filling up Montana landfills.

The Recycle Brochure provides a list of public recycling drop-off locations, information about curbside pickup and what is recyclable, and where to recycle unusual materials like batteries or lightbulbs.

The Fix-It Brochure provides a list of local repair-people, from upholsterers to appliances repairers to musical instrument and tool repair. It also includes a list of online DIY repair guides.

Wildfire in the City Community Forum Helps Residents Learn About Fire Safety

On November 14, Flathead Valley residents gathered at Whitefish City Hall to hear from fire experts on the dangers of living at the urban-wildland interface and what individuals can do to protect their homes from wildfire. Speakers included Joe Page, Whitefish Fire Chief, Jeff Mow, Glacier National Park Superintendent, Rick Trembath, retired Bigfork Fire Chief and fire historian, Ed Lieser, Fire Behavior Specialist, Richard Hildner, former Smoke Jumper and Fire Behavior Analyst and current Whitefish City Councilor, and Bambi Goodman from the Whitefish Area Fire Safe Council.

Extreme fire danger is the new norm for summers in Glacier Country. The recent fires in California have proven the risk of living in communities unprepared for fire, as we do here in Montana. Wildfire is no longer restricted to rural, forested areas like Glacier National Park—instead, it has razed thousands of homes in urban areas across the West. Properly preparing can go a long way towards lessening the severity of a blaze and interested Whitefish residents can visit this link to learn more about fire safety and access fire resources courtesy of the Whitefish Fire Department. Click here for a publicly-available recording of the forum. The event was organized by Climate Smart Glacier Country and sponsored by the City of Whitefish and FireSafe Flathead.

For more information please visit:

Whitefish Receives SolSmart Bronze Award

Mayor John Muhlfeld

On September 17, the City of Whitefish earned a SolSmart Bronze award, in recognition of the city’s achievements in encouraging the growth of solar in our community.

SolSmart is a national program that recognizes cities, counties, and small towns for making it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar. It’s led by the Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Technologies Office. By winning this award, Whitefish joins over 200 local governments that have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

The City created an online permitting checklist, increasing transparency for community members and solar installers. And city engineers reviewed local zoning codes and identified restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development. Both projects were undertaken to reduce the cost to installers and pass on those savings to consumers to allow more local homes and businesses to obtain affordable, clean, and reliable electricity. Whitefish partnered with the Montana Renewable Energy Association, a Montana-based nonprofit acting as Montana’s statewide SolSmart Advisor, to achieve the designation. For more information about the SolSmart program, visit

Interested in beginning your own solar project? Check out these local solar installers:

Jordan Solar:

Northstone Solar:

(406) 250-2515

Aeon Renewable Energy:

(406) 250-7853

Thirsty Lake Solar:

Whitefish Green Homes Tour

On October 13, the City of Whitefish partnered with Climate Smart Glacier Country to host the 2018 Green Homes Tour. The tour took over 90 participants to three different houses built using the principles of zero-waste, energy efficiency, and alternative energy. The first was a house built by Yvonne May and Jake Christiansen and featured cross-laminated timber coupled with wood fiber insulation, triple-paned windows, and other energy efficient features. The second was built by Mark Van Everen and Bridgewater Builders, and featured a state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilation system to recover 80% of the heat used to warm the house, as well as cellulose insulation to minimize heat loss. The third was built by Richard Cohen with a focus on zero-waste living, and thus featured a composting toilet, solar thermal heating, and greywater irrigation for greenhouse plants. All three of these homes provided different examples of what it means to live green, and allowed the community to learn more about the importance of building with energy efficiency in mind. For more information about the event, click here to watch the video.

Flathead Electric Coop Vehicle takes advantage of charging station at the Whitefish Parking Structure!

A total of four charging stations are available in the parking garage; two are located in the covered lease spaces and two in the uncovered lease spaces. You must purchase a lease space to use the charging stations Monday-Friday between 8am and 6pm. Outside of those hours and all day on weekends the stations are available to the general public at no charge.

 Go Solar! Packed house attends community workshop

An enthusiast crowd packed Whitefish City Hall on 3/7/2018 to learn what it takes to go solar in the Flathead. They met with local solar installers, financial and policy experts, and representatives of Flathead Electric Cooperative.  The full workshop presentation can be viewed and downloaded HERE.