Daines Honors Montanan of the Week: Mark Biel of Flathead County

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines recognized Mark Biel of Flathead County for his outstanding work bringing new programs and research to the Crown of the Continent.

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Daines’ recognition in the Congressional Record is available here.

Through his “Montanan of the Week” initiative, Daines each week will highlight a Montanan by submitting a statement of recognition in the official Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.

Daines welcomes anyone to nominate fellow Montanans for Daines’ “Montanan of the Week” program by calling Daines’ office at 202-224-2651 or by filling out the contact form on Daines’ website: HERE.

The following is the statement submitted to the Congressional Record:


Mr. DAINES, Mr. President, this week I have the honor of recognizing Mark Biel of Flathead County, Natural Resources Program Manager at Glacier National Park, for his outstanding work bringing new programs and research to the Crown of the Continent.  

Growing up hiking and camping, Mark fostered a love of the outdoors, particularly national parks and public lands. He has had a long and distinguished career with the National Park Service and served at multiple national parks across the West. Mark has been at Glacier National Park for the last eight years where he has been recognized for his research on mountain goats and helped the park achieve designation as an International Transboundary Dark Sky Park.

He has also pioneered a wildlife shepherding program with his dog Gracie. Gracie, known as the “bark ranger,” has been trained to move bighorn sheep and mountain goats out of areas of high visitor traffic such as visitor centers and parking lots. The program has helped make the park safer for both humans and animals while also providing an excellent tool for educating park visitors on the importance of avoiding human-wildlife conflicts.

Earlier this month, in recognition of his work at Glacier, Mark won the National Park Service Director’s Award for Professional Excellence in Natural Resource Stewardship. He was selected over six other nominees; one from each National Park Service region.

I congratulate Mark on such a tremendous achievement and thank him for his dedicated service to Glacier National Park and our entire National Park System.