Articles written by Ron Cox


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  • The ride around Salmon Lake

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake Historical Society|Nov 4, 2021

    The long talked about Salmon Lake Highway Reconstruction project appears to finally be coming to fruition. Most of this highway stretch replaced the original wagon road into Seeley Lake country in the early 1920s. Early ways into the valley were from the east and the west. The earliest main transportation route to and through here was via the Jocko Trail used by aboriginal peoples for ages coming from today’s Mission Valley. That trail comes from Jocko Pass, down Placid Creek, over Hill16/Tuppers Lake vicinity to the Riverview area south of S...

  • Barn reborn, come check it out

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake Historical Society|Aug 12, 2021

  • I like Tom Browder

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake, Montana|Oct 1, 2020

    I like Tom. He has roots in our neighborhood, worked in our woods in his younger days and had a successful business career. Not only is he a full time resident of our community, he is a full time participant in our community. As a lifelong Montanan from Missoula County, his business ventures in other parts of the country benefits us with fresh ideas. His opponent seems like a wannabe politician who only campaigns in this district because he failed to get elected in the district where he lives. I want to be represented in Helena by someone who...

  • Wage war on houndstongue

    Ron Cox|Jun 18, 2020

    Now is a very good time to attack the houndstongue noxious weed. Some plants are classified as "noxious weeds" because of some conflict with livestock or agricultural production. Houndstongue is not only legally noxious, it is very obnoxious to residential people and their dogs. Individuals may have their property scott free of the weed one year but find a new invasion the next. It spreads as fast as a virus using the neighborhood deer herd as a vector. Popular herbicides run off it like water...

  • Glacier lilies in bloom

    Ron Cox|May 21, 2020

    Now is a chance for Seeley Lakers to see a wildflower that is not found elsewhere in Montana. The white, creme or buff colored Glacier Lilies are unique to this small area. It is only found in about a one to two-mile periphery of Seeley Lake. The more common color in other parts of the valley, and in the rest of Montana, is a bright yellow. They very seldom are found mixed together. Other known locations for the white glacier lilies are in southeastern Washington and adjacent Idaho. The white va...

  • That dammed Clearwater

    Ron Cox, Local Historian with the Seeley Lake Historical Society|Dec 19, 2019

    Prehistoric Native American Indians referred to the main stream in our valley as Clear Water. Several impoundments now known as the "Chain Of Lakes" stilled the flow allowing sediments to settle. A springtime visit to the Blackfoot River confluence with its brown water makes the Clearwater namesake apparent. The Clearwater River has had a long history of being dammed up. The earliest on the river was in 1906 at what is now the Riverview bridge. It was a splash dam to impound water in what was...

  • Confusion reigned in dog conflict

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Feb 7, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE - This is to help clarify the recent letter by Mike McGrew titled “No Dogs Allowed” concerning conflict with dog owners printed in the Jan. 24 issue of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder. The misinformation leading to the situation was an example of someone not familiar with the area recommending a recreation opportunity on a California national website. Confusion reigned about the dogs because the title of the trail shown on their website map was “Seeley Creek Nordic Ski Trails” which are EAST of Seeley Lake while the map location was for...

  • If you got'em, light'em

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jan 31, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE - That’s what our sergeant always said announcing break time in Army basic training. It’s not 2017 but there is still some concern about smoke in our area. I live about a mile downwind of the air quality monitor. The photo above shows how my HEPA filter looked after about a month of breathing air while sleeping before Christmas. Half the filter was vacuumed to show the difference in the filter before and after cleaning. Our PM 2.5 air still routinely registers in the “Moderate,” regularly in the “Unhealthy for sensitive group” an...

  • WSAs Are Still Wildlands

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Feb 15, 2018

    Some of my Wilderness-friendly friends are bent out of shape because politicians want to release Montana Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) of that status, envisioning instant clearcuts and oil fields. Concern has been expressed that the action is being done without public involvement. These areas would then be managed in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the National Forest Management Act. Anyone who has followed or been involved in National Forest planning know any great changes won’t happen overnight. Some are a...

  • History Repeats Itself

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake Historical Society|May 18, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - During the record challenging winter of 1997, the Double Arrow Ranch barn collapsed. Coincidentally, the community had recently completed an assessment and had identified a need for a permanent home for the Chamber of Commerce and a museum, among other things. So instead of tossing a match to the rubble, the logs were taken apart and reassembled, Lincoln log style, with a tremendous amount of community volunteer efforts. It now serves as the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and...

  • Trail History of Seeley Lake - Second Generation Trails

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake Community Council Trails Committee|Nov 10, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - For more than 15 years, the Seeley Lake Community Council has been working to improve the “Connecting the Community” trail network. The goal was to provide multi-use routes within the business and residential areas and connect to the surrounding public lands. The bylaws of the council contain the phrase “benefiting the community,” to give them the direction to seek grants to begin improving the network. Their basic strategy was to start on Boy Scout Road at Highway 83 and work clockwise around the lake. They received three g...

  • Trail History of Seeley Lake - First Generation Trails

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake Community Council Trail Committee|Nov 3, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - This spot in God’s Country has always been a cross roads of trails. The Ancient Indian trail up the Blackfoot River (known as Cokahlarishkit, as Lewis rendered it, or “the River of the Road to Buffaloe,” better transcribed as Qoq’áax ‘í skit and translated as “buffalo road”) was the “Interstate Highway” serving travelers from today’s Idaho and Bitterroot/Clark Fork valleys. “Business” loops went to various hunting-gathering sites along the way. Here in what is now Seeley Lake, ancient trails went four directions before being “disc...

  • Visitors Numbers Tallied for Seeley Lake

    Ron Cox|Aug 18, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - The numbers have been tallied by Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor Center staff for people coming through the barn door in June and July. June Visitation We counted 317 (252 last year) visitors, accounting for about 1875 (2142) visitor-days. The overall average length of stay was about six days. About 40 percent of the travelers were just passing through or staying overnight. About 40 percent of the people were from Montana, the majority of which were locals or from Missoula. Washington and Minnesota each were about 10...

  • Bob Marshall in Downtown Seeley

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 28, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - When I first heard about the Bob Marshall Music Festival, I wondered how the champion of wilderness and solitude would feel about using his name for that event. The long distant races would be appropriate for his legendary 50-miles hikes with a knapsack and tennis shoes. He probably wouldn’t mind a little music. Beer?? The conflict about the festival location is a reminder that the community should pay attention and be involved in the County proposal to sell off the Drew Creek County Park located at the southeastern edge of the Do...

  • Be Very Afraid

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 7, 2016

    I’ve never been concerned about the chatter for transferring federal lands to the state because I always presumed those people don’t know what they are asking for. Other than being frustrated about the modern quagmire of legal challenges and budget constraints preventing everything everyone wants to do or wants done on federal public lands, I’ve never seen a specific example of what the state could do better. But recently during a road trip through the Midwest, I woke up one morning very afraid the proponents for transferring federal land...

  • It'll Take More Than Blue Paint

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jun 30, 2016

    Recently there was an article in the Missoulian by George Ochenski suggesting a way to “enhance access to public lands” is to “paint the corner posts on all state land sections blue.” He thinks that would make it so “any member of the public would know immediately whether the land they seek to access is public....” Well, that may identify the state land but it wouldn’t necessarily make it available to any member of the general public. First of all, assuming they could get there without trespassing on private land, according to State statutes, a...

  • Remembering Jonkel

    Ron Cox|May 26, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - Chuck Jonkel recently passed away after a distinguish career of being recognized as one of the leading bear authorities. More than three decades ago, Jonkel made tracks in the Seeley Lake area as the idea of protecting grizzly bear, including transplanting them to recover their population and enlarge their occupied habitat, was beginning to jell. In the early 1980s, I remember him making a presentation about the grizzly bear situation to what was then the Seeley-Condon Chamber of...

  • Cabin Fever Cures ~ Wintertime Pastimes

    Ron Cox, Seeley Lake Historical Society|Jan 21, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - Winters with deep snows and long nights in Seeley Lake have traditionally tended to cause restlessness from being in a confined area. Some get an unhappy and impatient feeling that comes from being indoors for too long. Others get extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation indoors for a prolonged time. All these feelings are commonly known as Cabin Fever. Over the past century winter residents have devised many ways to deal with this malady. These days find...

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