Glacier Biosphere Reserve and National Park is situated in northwestern Montana in the northern Rocky Mountains and adjacent to the Canadian Waterton Biosphere Reserve.

In 1932, Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Park were designated as Wateron-Glacier International Peace Park to celebrate the longstanding peace between the two nations. Glacier and Waterton have both been designated as biosphere reserves and as a single World Heritage Site.


Declaration Date: 1976
Surface Area: 410,056 ha
Administrative Division: National Park

Human Activities

  • Visitor recreation and environmental education Energy development- coal, gas, and mineral exploration in
  • British Columbia, Canada
  • Fire management- fire suppression and fuels build up near developed areas

Ecological Characteristics

Glacier National Park ranges from 985 to 3150 meters in elevation and straddles the continental divide in the North American Rocky Mountains. Habitat variations include grasslands, conifer and deciduous forests, lakes, wide glacial valleys and steep alpine zones.

There are approximately 1270 vascular plant species, 272 bird species, 23 fish species, and 63 mammal species. Threatened or endangered species include grizzly bears, Canada lynx, gray wolves, and bull trout. Glacier National Park is surrounded by National Forest Service wilderness areas to the south and west, the Blackfeet Indian Reservation to the east, and Waterton Lakes National Park and Crown Forest Lands to the north in Canada.

These lands collectively make up the protected lands in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. The park sustains great biodiversity and intact land connectivity allowing for species migration.

The park is a pristine laboratory for scientific studies of global climate change, snowpack, natural wildfire processes, species migration and population estimates, water and air quality. Research includes ecosystem and species impacts of adjacent human activities such as energy development, resource use, fire management, invasive species control, human population and economic growth. The park has a wealth of baseline data collected over the past 100 years.

> Back to Biosphere Reserves in the United States of America

                                                                                      Last updated : November 2015

Back to top