Articles from the March 25, 2021 edition

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  • Board votes to study and evaluate alternatives 

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – At their March 18 meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board passed a pair of resolutions that put the proposed sewer project on the shelf and resolved to find a solution to the groundwater pollution. They also worked on closing out the grants that were for the proposed project, worked on their fiscal year 2022 budget, discussed the process of appointing a director to the vacancy on the Board and got a legal update on the lawsuit against the District. Resolutions The Board passed a pair of resolutions dealing with the future o...

  • Teachers begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    MISSOULA COUNTY - Earlier in March, President Joe Biden sent out a federal order making teachers and school staff across the country eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This allocation came at no hindrance to the vaccine supply that was already expected to be given out to Montanans who now qualify for Phase 1b plus of the distribution plan. Seeley Lake Elementary School Superintendent Josh Gibbs said after Biden's announcement, the process of organizing a vaccination clinic at the school... Full story

  • Funding designated towards local Forest maintenance projects

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake campgrounds and day use sites as well as the Historic Double Arrow Lookout will see deferred maintenance upgrades starting this summer following an allocation of funding from the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). Montana Senator Jon Tester recently secured $285 million that will go into 54 national forest service projects according to a March 11 press release. Twelve of these projects will directly impact the Lolo National Forest including area campground sites and...

  • Exercise your right to know

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    Last week was Sunshine Week. It is a week spearheaded by the News Leaders Association to help the public understand the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. As the name implies, the goal is to shed light on our government agencies and bring transparency to the people. Have you ever sat through a board meeting and wondered what the board was discussing? Have you ever wanted more information about an item listed on the agenda or document being discussed prior to the meeting so you better understand i...

  • Who is leading America?

    Roxie Sterling, Seeley Lake, Montana|Mar 25, 2021

    Since when did we elect these so-called scientists to rule America? These scientists tell us to wear masks at all times and now two or three masks. Many elected officials go along with this. Just the thought of putting a mask on a child terrifies and makes me angry. Lack of oxygen can cause brain damage or heart problems to our children. It is called child abuse. What about those of us with COPD and asthma or congestive heart failure and heart disease? We need all the oxygen we can get. These so-called scientists and some elected officials...

  • Easter Hop-n-Bop offers alternate approach to traditional egg hunt

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake Lions Club is inviting local families to celebrate Easter at Seeley Lake Elementary School by picking up a basket at the Easter Hop-n-Bop. The event will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 3 and will end at roughly 2:30 p.m. Children will be able to pick up an Easter basket from one of four stations based on their age: 0-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. No signup is required. Lions Club Secretary Cheryl Lewis said they intend to give away over 200 baskets full of candy, small toys or trinkets. Every basket will contain a plastic...

  • Bills are harmful to wildlife and hunting heritage in Montana

    Wildlife professionals and managers, Montana|Mar 25, 2021

    We are 53 Montana residents and professional wildlife biologists and managers with a total of 1,696 years of experience in wildlife management and wildlife habitat management. Among us are 18 retired employees of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks with 534 years with the agency and three former Commissioners from the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission. We strongly oppose the following bills: HB 224 and HB 225 – Allows neck snaring of wolves and extends the season for wolf trapping – Neck snares set for wolves will result in the capture of man...

  • Leading the way in infrastructure and marijuana laws

    Representative Mike Hopkins, R - Missoula House District 92|Mar 25, 2021

    Things have been pretty crazy in the Legislature. We finished up the budget in House Appropriations and it will have moved across the House floor by the end of the week. The budget is in really good working order. We have been coordinating with Senate Finance and Claims to put the finishing touches on it. We said we would hold the line on State spending, delivering to the people of Montana a conservative budget that covered our essential services without any tax increases and that's exactly...

  • Be bear aware as bears emerge

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Mar 25, 2021

    Bears are emerging from dens with the onset of spring, and people are reminded to “Be Bear Aware.” Bears can be found throughout Montana. In recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded and bears are sometimes found in historic ranges beyond western Montana As bears begin foraging for food, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is asking residents to remove or secure food attractants such as garbage, bird feeders and pet food. The most common human-bear conflicts involve unsecured food attractants. People venturing into the outdoors sho... Full story

  • Getting started in the garden

    Sandy Perrin and Kelly Moore, Missoula County Plant Specialist and Missoula County MSU Extension|Mar 25, 2021

    To the right is a picture of my garden on March 1! It's not looking very promising right now! But by month's end, we will see the beginnings of this summer's garden. Late March – early April is the month when gardening starts in earnest in the colder northern climates. Keep in mind that last frost dates are everything in early spring planting. To plant at the correct time, you have to know when your last frost date is and then you count backward from there to get your March Planting Dates. T...

  • Spring prescribed burns planned

    Pathfinder Staff|Mar 25, 2021

    This spring, firefighters with the Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office as well as the Lolo and Flathead National Forests are planning to conduct prescribed burns to reduce hazardous fuels, restore wildlife habitat and better protect communities from future wildfires. Each project follows a Prescribed Fire Burn Plan. The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, or to escape as a wildland fire. Frequent, low-intensity fire is essential for improving habitat c...

  • Local high school student wins honorable mention for business pitch

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley-Swan High School junior Hannah Ayers received an honorable mention at the Prospects 2021 High School Business Pitch Competition for her business proposal for the Seeley Swan Sandwich Shop. She won a $250 Visa gift card that she intends to put towards her college fund. Matthew Olson, network development director for the Montana Chamber of Commerce as well as program manager for the competition, said Ayers was among the top 25 submissions out of 93 total. A total of 171...

  • Springtime in the Swan Valley

    Marilyn Mitzi Stonehocker, Condon, Montana|Mar 25, 2021

    Looking out the window I see melting snow, new grass emerging from a long winters nap, fragile buds starting to come to life. Springtime in the Swan Valley represents memories. My teenager years. Saddling my horse after a quick brushing, too excited to do the job proper, my saddle bag containing a package of hamburger, one potato, one carrot, some tinfoil, salt & pepper. Matches, maybe some pitch to help start the fire to cook a meal at some point. The good ole' days. Riding from the family home...

  • The greatest gift

    Pastor Erik Iverson, Faith Lutheran in Condon and Holy Cross Lutheran in Seeley Lake|Mar 25, 2021

    Prompted by a friend to explain his beliefs, Thomas Jefferson cut out of his Bible, among many other things, all of Christ’s miracles, and in re-making his own version of the Scriptures, retained Jesus’ crucifixion while ending the text with His burial, yet not the resurrection. Christ does not ask us to believe only what is comfortable for us and to discard anything that isn’t. Were that an option, most all people would likely create an ever widening doorway of verses to be taken out. Our sinful flesh seeks its own comfort, and the light...

  • Board approves two hiring procedures

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Rural Fire Chief Dave Lane provided several updates at the District’s March 16 board meeting. The Board also unanimously approved two standard operating procedures (SOP) related to wage increases and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Compliance. In the Chief’s update, Lane said this spring they have three volunteers that will be attending an EMT class and four members that will be attending the Basic Wildland Firefighting course in Lincoln, Montana. “That is pretty exciting,” Lane said. “Not only are we getting peo...

  • Florio had a blast writing new crime mystery novel

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – Approximately 34 people Zoomed in for Alpine Artisans' March 20 Open Book Club reading and discussion featuring Gwen Florio. Florio read from her latest book "Best Laid Plans," which begins a new crime mystery series. She also spoke about her other books and discussed her writing methods. Fellow writer Richard Fifield introduced Florio to the attendees, calling himself a huge fan of hers not only in her role of novelist but also as a journalist. Florio's 40-year journalism c...

  • Community Briefs

    Mar 25, 2021

    Weekly COVID-19 update As of March 22, there are 103,098 cases of COVID-19 in Montana. There have been 406,329 doses of vaccines administered and 158,085 Montanans fully immunized. There are 974 active cases, 4,718 total hospitalizations with 51 active, 100,710 recoveries and 1,414 deaths in Montana due to COVID-19 complications. Missoula County has had 8,560 cases, has 138 active cases, 8,333 recovered and 89 COVID-related deaths. For the most up-to-date and accurate information please refer to the Missoula County-City Health Department...

  • SSHS junior named Athlete of the Week

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – Seeley-Swan High School Junior Sariah Maughan won the Missoulian's Athlete of the Week for the week of March 14 after receiving the most votes. She was nominated after averaging 8.7 points at three State C tournament games the week prior and scoring 12 points in a loser-out victory over Jordan. Maughan has been playing basketball for seven years after starting at Seeley Lake Elementary in the fifth grade. "Basketball has always been fun," Maughan wrote in an email. "I like the c...

  • Gravel Pit Permitting, Mental Health Bills, Cigar Bars and More

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Mar 25, 2021

    “Open Cut 2.0” Bill would Ease Regulations on Gravel Pit Permit Applications A bill seeking to ease permitting requirements for gravel pits in rural areas and make it harder to call a public hearing on new facilities is drawing clear battle lines in the Montana Legislature, as property owners say it cuts them out of the process. In a hearing that lasted for more than two hours on Monday, March 15, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve Gunderson, R-Libby, called the bill -- House Bill 599 -- “Open Cut 2.0,” which he said built off the provision... Full story

  • Montana's Proposed "Pollinator Protection Act" Seeks to Help Save the Bees

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Mar 25, 2021

    Patty Sundberg remembers a time early in her 40-year career in beekeeping when a 5% annual colony loss felt like a big deal. Now, she said it’s all her company can do to hold that rate at 20% -- though, on bad years, it can swing even higher. In the mid-2000s, word of a frightening trend in bee populations began circulating in the scientific community: entire colonies of bees were dying off at stunning rates. Dubbed “colony collapse disorder,” some beekeepers were reporting hive losses as high as 30% to 90% during the 2006-2007 winter. The n... Full story