Articles from the March 31, 2022 edition

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  • Seeley Lake Wood Stove Zone proposed by Missoula County

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – Seeley Lake Wood Stove Zone rule implementation is back in the works as the Missoula City-County Air Pollution Control Board begins to revisit changes to the rules set. The changes were suspended in 2020. “This whole process was fully in motion until February 2020. Then, when the pandemic hit, everyone was distracted,” said Benjamin Schmidt, Missoula City-County Health Department Air Quality Specialist. “Even though we had gone through the entire process and held the first hearing in February 2020. It was decided at that time, b...

  • Local musician earns Golden Ticket on American Idol

    Jean Pocha, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    OVANDO – Growing up in a musical household, Zia Kloetzel of Ovando developed a passion for music. Not only is she deeply motivated by music, her mother Andrea Morgan said she has discovered it brings other people joy. After she was contacted this past summer by a scout from American Idol, Zia began the auditioning process for the 2022 Season of American Idol. She received a golden ticket during the auditions in Nashville, Tennessee and will continue the contest during Hollywood Week, airing M...

  • Girl Scouts cookie season in full swing, thankful for support

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - For the first time in nearly a decade, Girl Scout cookies arrived in Seeley Lake. Seeley Lake Troop #3436, a new troop that started this fall, pre-sold more than 4,000 boxes of cookies and looks forward to offering cookies at booths on Saturdays while supplies last. Troop Leader Chantel Lynch was excited to get a troop started again in Seeley Lake. "I was a Girl Scout when I was a little girl and had so much fun doing it," Lynch said. "I wanted my daughter to experience it as...

  • Appreciative for prayer in school

    David Rowell, Seeley Lake, Montana|Mar 31, 2022

    I very much appreciate Seeley Lake Elementary Superintendent/Principal Josh Gibbs allowing people who wanted to pray for the school and the children of Seeley Lake to enter the building. It’s just incredible to me that we have devolved into not wanting people to pray over our schools and children. I’m thankful that someone had the sense to appreciate that the group wanted to do that. If the reason for not allowing it is that it “is opening the floor to all types of religious groups,” I would say, “So?” If it becomes a security issue, then...

  • Farrar's response to Marshall on vaccine conspiracy theories

    John Farrar Ph.D., Ovando, Montana|Mar 31, 2022

    Mike Marshall’s opinion letter last week was directed at me regarding “vaccine conspiracies.” He started by referencing “flat-earth theories,” “Israeli space lasers,” “windmills causing cancer,” “microchips in vaccines,” etc. Was Marshall implying that what I have written is in the same category as evil windmill theories? Marshall wrote, “What you won’t see backing [the theories] up are hard facts. What you won’t see is a citation to a study or straight factual report that documents and backs up the assumption in the theory. No supporting e...

  • New year, new regulations

    Sydney Young, FWP Game Warden|Mar 31, 2022

    After last year's Legislative session, and the FWP commission meeting this spring, hunters can expect to see some changes to the regulations this year. Consult the newest edition of the regulations each year, as they may change annually or add clarification for specific rules. The new license year began on March 1 so all anglers are now required to have their 2022 Fishing License. All regulations are available in print or at: This spring, black bear hunters will be...

  • Bears are emerging - be bear aware, secure attractants

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    As winter gives way to spring, recreationists are taking advantage of the warmer weather to get outside. However, this is also the time of year bears are emerging from their dens and conflicts with people tend to increase. Swan Valley Connections Conservation Director Luke Lamar posted on social media that he observed the first grizzly bear tracks of the season March 24. 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 c...

  • Change Your Pace applications due April 29

    Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - Applications for local organizations to participate in the 2022 Change Your Pace Challenge are due Friday, April 29. Rules and applications are available April 1 online at The Seeley Lake Community Foundation's Change Your Pace Challenge (CYP) is a campaign for community-wide giving in June. During this month-long fundraising period (June 3-30, 2022), the Change Your Pace Challenge motivates community members...

  • Spring burn season starting in the Swan

    Flathead National Forest|Mar 31, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct spring prescribed fire projects when weather, fuel conditions and air quality become favorable. Smoke will be visible from various places in the Swan Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions. 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. These projects follow Montana air quality standards and are...

  • If the real estate market is hot, why are so many frozen out?

    Mar 31, 2022

    What is a "Hot" Real Estate Market? For the past two years, all that real estate professionals, economists and analysts seemed to talk about is the hot real estate market. But what does a "hot market" really mean? And if the market is hot, why are so many potential buyers frozen out? In simple terms, a hot real estate market favors sellers due to high demand for property and a low supply of homes for sale. But when you look a little deeper, you see that current market conditions are based on muc...

  • Council reviews bylaw template, receives local updates

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their March 14 meeting, the Seeley Lake Community Council reviewed the new template from Missoula County for community councils, received updates on the Seeley Lake Ranger District and discussed the next steps regarding the RV Dump Station at Clearwater Junction. Missoula County Community and Planning Services Office Manager Laurie Hire presented the April 2021 by-laws template for community councils in Missoula County. She recommended the Council review these and update their by-laws since they have not been changed since t...

  • Lenten Letter

    Rev. Carrie A. H. Benton, Pastor, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Mar 31, 2022

    Dear Mary of Magdala, I hear your voice sometimes, softly, almost like a whisper in a dream. Straining to hear you I close my eyes, try to block out all the other voices that want to tell me you're just a whore, therefore easily dismissed. Whore or not, you were there at the cross, when so many others fled. You were there in the garden seeking your teacher and friend. You were there in the Upper Room, I am sure of it, praying, united with the other women, the disciples, and with his mother, who...

  • UM Institute gauges attitudes toward Montana tourism

    UM News Service|Mar 31, 2022

    MISSOULA – A recent University of Montana survey found state residents still generally support tourism. However, there are growing worries about overcrowding, quality of life and newcomers flooding the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1992, UM’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research has conducted annual surveys of Montana residents on their attitudes toward tourism within the state. This study is conducted from October to December to track perceptions of the tourism industry in Montana. In addition to a standard set of que...

  • Weltzien extolls Savage as one of Montana's best writers

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – In 2018, when award-winning movie director Jane Campion began thinking about transforming Thomas Savage's "The Power of the Dog" into a film, the person she contacted for more information was English Professor (now Professor Emeritus) Alan Weltzien of the University of Montana-Western in Dillon. Even before publication of his book "Savage West: The Life and Fiction of Thomas Savage," Weltzien's extensive research into the author's life and writings had turned him into the a...

  • Annual Fur Dinner offers opportunity to share furs

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    OVANDO – More than a dozen people dressed in fur enjoyed an evening out at The Stray Bullet in Ovando at the end of February. While most would agree it was an unusual sight, that is exactly the reason Trapper Bob Sheppard and his wife Terry started the annual Fur Dinner nearly 10 years ago. "It is a fun way to promote the benefits of fur and a good reason to enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, during a dark cold evening," Terry wrote in an email. The Sheppards were the only people at the f...

  • California and Washington top origin states for new Montana residents in 2020

    Eric Dietrich, Montana Free Press|Mar 31, 2022

    California, Washington and Colorado are the top states of origin for people who moved to Montana in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to tax filing data presented to a legislative interim committee this week. The study, produced by the Legislative Fiscal Division in an effort to understand how migration patterns will affect the state's long-term tax revenues, provides some of the first-available hard data on pandemic-era migration trends. Widespread anecdotal evidence... Full story

  • Players recognized at Winter Sports Awards banquet

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley-Swan High School (SSHS) winter sports awards banquet was held March 15 at Seeley-Swan High School. Boys and girls basketball players were recognized for their participation and performance during the season. Each player receives a letter after participating in the required number of varsity games or meets. They receive a pin for every activity for which they meet the varsity requirements. For every year they meet the varsity requirements after receiving their pin in a specific activity, they receive a chevron....

  • A journey through the decades with LP And The Vinyl

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – With vinyl records suspended from the ceiling and hung as a backdrop, the intimate club atmosphere Sunday afternoon set the stage for LP and The Vinyl 2 Valleys Stage concert in the Seeley Lake Community Hall. The four San Diego-based musicians took the audience on a journey through the decades offering arrangements from favorite artists including the Beatles and Stevie Wonder, jazz standards and original compositions. As they sipped on their beverage of choice and enjoyed hors d...

  • Food Bank expanding services

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - New Seeley Swan Community Food Bank President Lulu Rodriguez and her board are looking to add services to the area. Currently the Food Bank is open every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. next to the Seeley Lake Elementary School multipurpose room. "We are hoping to open on Saturdays, once a month," Rodriguez said. "We have a lot of people who can't get to us during the day. The Food Bank wants to support them too." People must complete an application as services are typically income...

  • Small but mighty - Potomac Pioneers learn to play as a team

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    POTOMAC – With only seven girls out for the Potomac School Girls Basketball team not only did they see a lot of playing time, Head Coach Beth Copenhaver said there was a lot of improvement. The Pioneers finished sixth in the Copper League Tournament. "I've been most proud of the effort that they put on the court," Copenhaver said. "At the end of the day, if you go out and put everything out there and you work your hardest, that is what matters, that is what we count as a win – that we put our...

  • Blackhawks soar at first track meet of the season

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 31, 2022

    CORVALLIS - Seeley Swan High School's track team competed against athletes from 17 A, B and C class schools at the first meet of the season March 26. Seeley-Swan's returning state champions Walker McDonald, Owen Hoag and Sariah Maughan all showed they are back to defend their titles. McDonald took first place in the discus with a throw of 161 feet, just 4 feet shy of his best throw last year. He won by nearly 20 feet over Seeley-Swan's Klayton Kovatch. Kovatch took second place and extended his...

  • 20/35 Year Look Back

    Mar 31, 2022

    In celebration of 35 years of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, each week we will run parts of articles that appeared in the issue 35 years ago and 20 years ago. The entire issue will be uploaded to our website for you to enjoy. We hope you will enjoy the journey with us as we follow our community through the past 35 years as documented by the Pathfinder. 35 years ago: April 2, 1987 issue New Café opens in Swan Valley Dale and Karen Conley, longtime Swan Valley residents, have often... Full story

  • Community Briefs

    Mar 31, 2022

    Our Lady of Swan Valley Mission resumes summer-only Mass schedule SWAN VALLEY - Our Lady of Swan Valley Mission Church in Condon will be returning to a summer-only Mass schedule effective April 1. Sunday Masses are temporarily suspended until the church resumes its summer schedule Memorial Day weekend (May 29) through Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4). While OLSV has been a mission of St. John Paul II Parish in Bigfork since 2015, it has been served by a priest from The Sycamore Tree Catholic Retreat Center in recent years. Starting May 29 the Sunday...