A Closing Note on Yenne Peak

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The serious effort by this writer and many others to name special places in Glacier National Park to honor important people who helped make it what it is has become a dead issue; however, I do not want to just let it die without a personal comment.

We had to give up on naming that well-known waterfall east of Logan Pass “Ruder Falls” because of bureaucratic rule changing, and the long fight to name a great rock tower on the Ptarmigan Wall “Yenne Peak” was thrown out by federal appointees who wouldn’t know a Glacier from a cactus plant. This was chiefly because of a wrongful claim by an Indian tribe citing twisted oral history. Bill Yenne’s mom and I are among many disappointed Park lovers.

For my closing commentary on this issue. I ask your understanding for our running a copy of one of my letters to then Senator Baucus and the BIA in Washington, in March of 2010.

G. George Ostrom

Kalispell, Montana

March 30, 2010 RE: Naming a Glacier Park Peak for Bill Yenne-

To Senator Max Baucus and “Whomever” else it may concern-

Dear Senator Baucus,

It is time for adding to Glacier Park’s history and for pleasing thousands of us who were influenced by “friend Bill.” Official action should be taken on naming the B-7 peak in Glacier National Park, Yenne Peak. Max, you’ve hiked with me in Glacier and do not need a rundown on my qualifications for having a thoughtful opinion in this matter.

Bill Yenne didn’t just know The Park he served so many years, he loved it with all his heart and soul. The great thing about his enthusiasm was, “It was highly infectious.” Bill’s positive attitude about all things in those spectacular mountains was immediately imbued in anyone he chanced to meet ... even if only for a few minutes along the trail.

Bill treated Glacier Park as a precious gift and wanted everyone to do the same. During 76 years exploring there, I never knew anyone who was more successful in that endeavor. It didn’t matter if Bill was guiding the National Park Service Director from Washington D.C. or rescuing some half-frozen college kids, he treated them as equals.

I still visit Glacier regularly and there is hardly a day when some vista or event doesn’t remind me of Bill Yenne. I’ve just completed a historical DVD narrative for the Glacier Natural History Association noting the Park’s Centennial this year. I know the history of Glacier Park, and deeply believe it is rightfully fitting for Bill Yenne’s name to be placed on that peak.

Sincerely,

G. George Ostrom

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