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 Climate Action Plan is NOW COMPLETE

The Whitefish City Council approved the 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 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


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 the link on our home page to learn more about fire safety and access fire resources courtesy of the Whitefish Fire Department. For a recording of the forum, see below. The event was organized by Climate Smart Glacier Country and sponsored by the City of Whitefish and Firesafe Flathead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YURIk5cCBZk

For more information please visit:   http://www.cityofwhitefish.org/fire-and-ambulance/wildfire-preparedness.php

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 www.solsmart.org.

Green Homes Tour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fseJlV2aXI&t

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, see the video below.

 

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

 


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.

  


 

General Information about the Climate Action Plan & Committee

The Whitefish City Council established a Climate Action Planning Committee on December 5, 2016 through Resolution 16-64. A committee of 10 people and 2 City staff members was appointed by Mayor John Muhlfeld in January.

The City Council resolution directs the Committee to:

Work with City Staff and the Climate Smart Glacier Country partnership to evaluate the City’s energy use and propose specific projects, benchmarks and other recommendations to conserve energy in the City.  The Committee may also propose actions to enhance community resilience and prepare for the effects of climate change.

 

 

The committee is developing climate action strategies in five chapters:

  • Buildings and Energy 
  • Water & Wastewater
  • Transportation & Land Use
  • Forests and Watersheds
  • Consumption & Waste 

In order to highlight the city's partnership with the schools, Whitefish School District will also have a chapter that showcases their ongoing efforts to advance sustainability.

All meetings are open to the public.

 


 

Climate Action Plan Committee Meeting Minutes

February 7, 2017 Meeting Minutes

February 28, 2017 Meeting Minutes

March 21, 2017 Meeting Minutes

April 4, 2017 Meeting Minutes

May 2, 2017 Meeting Minutes

May 16, 2017 Meeting Minutes
May 31, 2017 Meeting Minutes
June 28, 2017 Meeting Minutes

July 18, 2017 Meeting Minutes

August 30, 2017 Meeting Minutes

September 27, 2017 Meeting Minutes

October 11, 2017 Meeting Minutes

October 24, 2017 Meeting Minutes

November 14, 2017 Meeting Minutes

December 5, 2017 Meeting Minutes

January 2, 2018 Meeting Minutes 

 


 

LED Lighting

One of the recommendations of the DRAFT Climate Action Plan involves the conversion of the City's street lighting system to LED bulbs.  This concept was presented to the City Council at a work session on 2/5/2018.  Click here to see the presentation.  

Click HERE to see a map of the proposed LED Upgrade area