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Community Briefs


New Trail, Not Ready

   SEELEY LAKE – The public is asked to refrain from using the trail around the Seeley-Swan High School (SSHS) property for another couple weeks or until the ground dries out.

   When the trail was built, funds weren’t available to run a roller across it to compact the gravel. Although some natural compaction occurred during the winter, the surface will be soft after snow melt until it gets dry. Use by feet or wheels will damage the smooth surface. Use is encouraged later this spring.

   Last fall a section of the “Connecting the Community” pathway was built around the perimeter of the SSHS school property for use by students and local residents. The primary purposes are to provide a safe off-road route between the airport, SSHS and town and an outdoor recreation opportunity for residents, while minimizing disruption of school classes and studies.

   Some have asked what is the name of this trail. Years ago a reference was made to the “Blackhawk Trail” but exactly what that trail was has been lost to memory. Perhaps this will be called the new “Blackhawk Trail.” Anyone with a suggestion for the name of the new trail is invited to send it to

Cottonwood Lakes Road #477 Open for Snowmobiles

SEELEY LAKE - Cottonwood Lake Road #477 becomes a snowmobile trail (closed to wheeled traffic) from Dec. 1 – April 31, from beginning mile marker 1.23 to end mile marker 20.05. The rest of the road remains open to wheeled traffic.

There was a closure that went into effect this winter that prohibited snowmobile travel in a section of this snowmobile trail Monday – Friday while a contractor was hauling out of the Mountain Creek Timber Sale. This closure has been lifted and snowmobiles can now use this route seven days a week.

This route remains a snowmobile trail until April 31 and is thus still closed to wheeled traffic.

Seeley Lake Library News

SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Library Book Club will be discussing “The Sound of Things Falling” by Juan Gabriel Vásquez on Thursday, April 21 at 11 a.m.

In this story set in Bogotá, Antonio Yammara investigates the murder of a friend killed during the drug wars between the Medellín cartel and the government. During this investigation, Yammara discovers the ways his life and the lives of his friend’s family have been shaped by the country’s past violence. The author, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, has been described as “one of Latin America’s greatest literary stars.”  All are invited to join in the discussion. Books are available at the checkout desk.

The Seeley Lake Library is a branch of Missoula Public Library located at Seeley-Swan High School. The library is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Missoula County Commissioners Seeking Election Advisory Committee Applicants

MISSOULA - The Missoula County Election Advisory Committee (EAC) is looking to fill a membership term through Jan. 31, 2018. The applicant will then become eligible for reappointment to a three-year term.

Objectives of the EAC are to listen to stakeholders; conduct sound research and learn best practices; and to offer thoughtful advice and recommendations with the goal of increasing public participation in the electoral process.

The Missoula County EAC is comprised of citizen volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to study the efficiency and effectiveness of the elections process. The committee advocates for fair, robust and trustworthy elections. The board meets quarterly, but may meet more frequently during federal election years.

Applications are available online or in the County Commissioners’ Office, located at 199 West Pine Street. Submissions may be filed electronically, emailed to or faxed to 406-258-3943. Deadline for applications is Friday, April 8, 2016 by 5 p.m.

Please contact the Elections Office at 406-258-4751 with further questions.

DEQ Seeks Comments on Montana Water Quality Report

 HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comment on Montana’s 2016 Draft Water Quality Integrated Report. The report documents the state’s water quality conditions for the years 2013–2014 as required by the federal Clean Water Act. Comments will be accepted during a 60-day public comment period from March 14 through May 13, 2016.

 The Integrated Report summarizes the current water quality status and trends for water bodies under the jurisdiction of the State of Montana, including lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams. It does not include water bodies on tribal lands. It also contains a summary of state water quality information and an overview of Montana’s water pollution control efforts.

 A schedule for preparing water quality improvement plans, known as TMDLs, is included in the report’s Appendix B, the 303(d) list.  This sub-set of waters is not fully supporting one or more beneficial uses. A TMDL is a plan for restoring and protecting water quality.

 DEQ prepares this report every two years for EPA approval. Comments from the public and interested parties will be used to prepare the final report for submittal to EPA.

The draft report, appendices, assessment information and an interactive map can be viewed at DEQ’s Clean Water Act Information Center (CWAIC) site: Anyone experiencing problems accessing this site should contact the Montana Integrated Report Coordinator, Pam Arroues, by phone at (406) 444-6763.

 Comments on the report should be submitted electronically via the Public Comment link available from the CWAIC site or mailed to: Integrated Report Coordinator, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901. DEQ cannot guarantee that comments received after the May 13 closing date will be considered in developing the final report.


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