Week of July 11, 2024

  • It's time to get wildfire smoke ready

    Sarah Coefield Kerri Mueller and Amy Cilimburg, Missoula County Public Health, Climate Smart Missoula

    After a lovely cool spring and a slow start to summer, things are finally heating up and fire season is coming. Already, there have been wildfires in Washington, Oregon, and California, and some around Montana. As fire danger increases, the likelihood of seeing smoke increases, too. That means it's time to get smoke ready. Why do we care so much about smoke? For those of us who've lived through past fire seasons, we know what it means when smoke arrives. The air physically feels different. It...

  • Last logs run through Pyramid Mountain Lumber

    Keely Larson, Editor

    The last of the log inventory at Pyramid Mountain Lumber was run through the sawmill on July 3. The mill, which announced its closure in March due to a workforce shortage largely attributed to the cost of living in the Seeley Lake area, stopped accepting new log inventory on March 31 and has so far laid off no more than 10 people, said Pyramid Mountain Lumber General Manager Todd Johnson. As of July 3, the sawmill department of the mill has ceased operation. The boiler and kiln department will...

  • Fourth of July festivities and 100 years of Ovando School

    Jean Pocha and Keely Larson, Pathfinder staff

    The Fourth of July came at a perfect time, weather-wise, for the Blackfoot and Clearwater watersheds - just before temperatures were supposed to get into the high-nineties and even hundreds this week. Celebrations across the valleys were a delightful mix of some of the best parts of small town Montana, with elements that catered to locals and visitors alike. Books were available for purchase to support the Swan Valley Community Library, families wore matching outfits and water and popsicles,...

  • Celebrating Seeley Lake's Grand Marshals and the legacy of the Johnson family

    Keely Larson, Editor

    Editor's note: When I worked for two weekly newspapers in Ennis and Big Sky, we would run features each week that we either called the B feature - because it was the first page of the B section in The Madisonian, which is based in Ennis - or the Not So Average Jane/Joe in the Lone Peak Lookout, which used to be used in Big Sky. These focused on members of the community either really well known of whom we felt folks could use a broader picture, or people who weren't known at all but had a really...

  • Author Rick Bass to present new book

    Bruce Rieman

    Those who follow Montana writers are well acquainted with Rick Bass. Among our most celebrated authors, he has mastered his craft with more than 30 books including novels, memoir and collections of essays with such diverse outlets as Orion, Tricycle, Big Sky Journal, Outside, Field and Stream, Sierra, Buddhist Review and the Whitefish Review. He has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Book Critics Award. Born and raised in Texas, trained as a petroleum...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder staff

    Thirty-five years ago ... Thursday July 13, 1989 Arts & crafts show draws large crowds The Seeley Lake Folk Arts and Crafts Show and Sale held at the community hall last Saturday and Sunday drew probably over 1,000 people. Five hundred and sixty-seven people coming through the front doors signed the guest book, but many signed one line for the whole family, or failed to sign at all, so a totally accurate count is not possible. Total sales reported by the committee were $3,753 and this figure...

  • Stranger in a nice land

    Alan Muskett MD

    We have been up the Champlain waterways, through the Chambly Canal, down the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, up to Quebec on a train, and now on the Rideau canal, having passed through Ottawa. The foliage is verdant, the sky alternately weeping or dazzlingly blue, the churches ancient and towering, and the towns along the way quainter than quaint. There are a plethora of monster vacation palaces with 200K wake boats along the way, but they don't quite fit the narrative. This adventure is way...

  • The Mother's Day (Light Caddis Variant) hatch

    Chuck Stranahan

    "I'm not a quitter, grandpa!" Seven-year-old Chance was not about to give up. His older brother had caught a couple of trout on his own and his four-year-old younger brother had caught one too, with some undivided assistance from Grandpa Chuck. Now it was Chance's turn. He was standing on a narrow strip of gravel between a current seam on the West Fork of the Bitterroot and a strip of willows behind him. I had been watching from downstream. As his casts neared the point where some small fish...

  • Forest products industry and local mills are a vital partner for forest restoration, conservation goals

    Paige Cohn, The Nature Conservancy

    The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been doing forest conservation in the Blackfoot and Seeley-Swan Valleys since the mid-1970s and when we heard the announcement of the Pyramid Mountain Lumber mill closure this spring, like for so many in the community, it was a gut punch. Local Montana mills and all the contractors they support are a vital part of reaching our collective forest restoration and conservation goals, and we recognize that the economics of running a mill in Montana have gotten harder and harder. There has been nearly no change in...

  • Thought for the day

    Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church

    There are days that depth of spirituality looms massively. There are other days that there is just a steady stream of awareness that God is good and present in day-to-day living. As the country song reminds us, “some days a diamond, some days a stone.” Diamonds and stones both have value, it just depends on where you find them and what you do with them. A Christian faith is like that as well. It is stony times that build foundations for us. Try building anything with a diamond but try carrying a foundation stone on your finger. Neither...

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