The Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) functions as a partnership between the Flathead National Forest and a 501.3c not for profit organization known as the Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center (FOFAC). These entities have partnered through a formal agreement to provide quality avalanche information products for the public and affected agencies that include avalanche advisories and education.
The purpose of the FAC is to help prevent the loss of life, limb, and property to human and naturally occurring avalanches through information and education to the community. The FAC provides the public with current avalanche, snowpack, and mountain weather information, as well as offering basic avalanche education and educational resources. Through a dual mission of avalanche forecasting and public education, we provide winter backcountry travelers the tools and resources to make informed decisions about recreating safely in the mountainous regions of Northwest Montana.
The Flathead National Forest houses and runs the avalanche forecasting operations of the avalanche center. It provides staffing, including a a full-time seasonal avalanche center director, several full-time seasonal avalanche specialists, and several part-time professional observers and educators. It provides infrastructure including office space, computers, internet, phones, vehicles, fuel, safety equipment, and supervision. The avalanche specialists and observers gather avalanche, snowpack, and weather observations, and use these data to create and issue avalanche advisories and other avalanche information products.
The 501.3c not for profit organization known as the Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center is focused on fundraising and education, and consists of a volunteer Board of Directors. The mission statement of FOFAC is to financially support Flathead Avalanche Center and save lives through avalanche education.