Articles from the May 21, 2020 edition

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  • Successful opener on the Game Range

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – "I looked up and she held up this giant elk shed," said Austin Bernstrauch who was out antler hunting on the Blackfoot Clearwater Wildlife Management Area Game Range for the opener Friday, May 15 with his girlfriend Maggie Duran. "It was a good find. I was very proud of her." While this year's antler hunting opener on the Game Range had over 500 vehicles and more than 1,000 people participate opening day, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Wildlife Biologist Scott Eggeman said everythi...

  • Date of director seating questioned

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – According to a memo on the Seeley Lake Sewer District website the Board will not seat two newly elected Directors at their May 21 meeting. Instead they will wait until a special meeting June 15. The decision is sure to cause some waves at the May meeting as it goes against the Board’s own by-laws and relies on how the word “new” is interpreted in a section of the Montana Code Annotated (MCA). In a statement to the Pathfinder, Sewer Board President Pat Goodover wrote that when considering what date to seat newly elected Directors T...

  • Graduation will go on despite COVID

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – With all of the local schools in distance learning and social distancing still required by Governor Steve Bullock in the Phase 1 reopening strategy, plans for graduation ceremonies and end of the year celebrations are slowly coming together for area schools. According to the Missoula City-County Health Department's graduation ceremony order issued May 8, organizers must submit a Graduation Ceremony Operation Plan that shows how they will meet the minimum requirements and submit it...

  • Delivering customer service for 28 years

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY – It was just another day delivering packages to the Swan Valley. UPS driver Matt Hoge was within 10 feet away from the house carrying a package when two black bear cubs came running out from the corner of the house. While they narrowly missed Hoge who was in shock, his attention quickly shifted to the sow that was right behind them. The homeowner, who had opened to the door to greet him, stepped back into the house and closed the door. "I'm trying to get in. I had to yell at him a...

  • Protecting your freedom of speech

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    We have had a lot of questions and criticism lately regarding our Letters to the Editor section. Readers have questioned why we are willing to “print lies,” “spread hate and discontent” and “further divide the community by printing such garbage.” The answer to this is simple for us - Letters to the editor are a vehicle to exercise freedom of speech. It is a platform we offer to EVERYONE whether we agree with it or not. First and foremost, letters to the editor are run in the opinion section of the paper because they are just that, someone’s t...

  • New generation of leadership with Whitney Williams

    Jan Lombardi, Helena, Mont.|May 21, 2020

    As someone who has spent my career in the private sector, nonprofit sector and two decades in public service for the state of Montana, including working for Governor Brian Schweitzer, I am supporting Whitney Williams for Governor and her running mate Buzz Mattelin. As a team they bring exactly what I believe Montana needs to move forward at this very difficult time. Whitney and Buzz are leaders and problem solvers with vast experience in Montana and beyond. They will consider the needs of all of Montana, including small and rural towns often...

  • The national divide

    Lynn Carey, Seeley Lake, Mont.|May 21, 2020

    I saw this on social media and thought it spoke to the divide in our nation. “How sad it must be believing that scientists, scholars, historians, economists and journalists have devoted their entire lives to deceiving you while a reality TV star with decades of fraud and exhaustively documented lying is your only beacon of truth and honesty.” @christophurious...

  • More tools of the trade

    Dale Terrillion|May 21, 2020

    From the time I was 15 and bought my first chain saw, that old gear drive McCulloch for $25 with money I earned trapping, I've probably owned every brand of saw made: Lombard, Stihl, Pioneer, Husky, Sacs Dolmar, Solo-super Rex, Whitehead, yup that was a brand. It had a West Bend cart engine, 8.2 cubic inch, chrome-lined jug, what power. Ya could really roar the trees off the stump. Once while buck'n tree lengths at a rail siding with it, I found out come suppertime I could hardly hang onto my sp...

  • Take steps to keep bears out of trouble before it is too late

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    Bags of trash littering driveways and streets in Seeley Lake is an all too common sight lately. Missoula Bears reports black and grizzly bears are active in Seeley Lake and are getting into trouble with bird feeders and uncontained garbage. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reminds everyone that attractants should have been secured by April 1 including garbage cans, livestock feed and pet food stored in bear resistant containers, bird feeders put away and livestock secured by an electric fence....

  • Survey to address services in Missoula County

    Missoula County Commissioners Office|May 21, 2020

    Residents across Missoula County will receive mailed surveys this week asking them to provide feedback to help county leaders better understand the broader needs of the communities they serve. The county is working with the National Research Center to conduct the survey and analyze the results. The firm will mail invitations to complete the survey to 1,700 randomly selected addresses across Missoula County this week. Responses to the survey are anonymous and the adult 18 or older who most recently had a birthday in each selected household shoul...

  • Flathead National Forest prepares for 2020 fire season

    Flathead National Forest|May 21, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY - In the last two weeks, Flathead National Forest and other local firefighting agencies have responded to multiple human-caused wildland fires across Flathead Valley. As part of Wildfire Awareness Month which occurs every year in May, the Forest is asking the public to take significant steps to reduce wildfire risks around their property and during recreation activities. Now more than ever, it is essential that everyone do their part to prevent human-caused wildfires and prepare their homes and property for the summer. “Many p...

  • Montana property taxes keep rising - Who shoulders the heaviest loads?

    Eric Dietrich, Montana Free Press|May 21, 2020

    HELENA - Just how hard do Montana cities, counties and school districts lean on residential property taxes to fund government services? Figures presented to lawmakers last month indicate the answer varies widely across different parts of the state, ranging from as low as $125 annually per capita in McCone County to as high as $15,794 per capita in Madison County. The data was presented Jan. 13 by legislative researcher Megan Moore to a group of lawmakers and tax policy experts conducting an ongo...

  • Protecting Montana's waterways

    Emily McGuirt, Clearwater Resource Council|May 21, 2020

    Invasive Dreissenid mussels pose one of the biggest threats to Montana’s waterways. Native to the Black and Caspian seas, the introduction of zebra and quagga mussels has given rise to extensive detrimental environmental and economic impacts throughout the United States. These invasive mussels are now found in every major watershed in the contiguous United States, except one. The Columbia River drainage basin, which encompasses most of western Montana, is the last major watershed in the country that has not been invaded by zebra and quagga m...

  • Wildlife Services to cut back killings pending environmental review

    Johnathan Hettinger, Montana Free Press|May 21, 2020

    Wildlife Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that annually kills thousands of wild animals across Montana, will at least temporarily cut back on how and where it kills animals such as bears, wolves and coyotes in the state under a settlement reached Thursday with WildEarth Guardians. The settlement applies to wildlife in protected areas like Wilderness Areas and National Wildlife Refuges, and also halts the use of sodium cyanide bombs on public land and private land in 41...

  • Montana Loon Society loon watch

    Lynn Kelly, Montana Loon Society President|May 21, 2020

    Right on time, true to the mystery of the migration cycle - the loons show up and without our bidding (but with the help of our floating signs), take over their territories, build nests, fight off intruders, lay eggs and raise chicks. The average number of chicks in Montana (including Glacier National Park) has recently hovered between 40-50 chicks a year. But, our loons outdid themselves last year by raising an unheard of 75 chicks!!! (We didn't believe the reports at first and had to go back...

  • James "Jim" C. Banes

    May 21, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - James "Jim" C. Banes, of Seeley Lake, left this world peacefully in his sleep Tuesday, May 12, 2020. He was 64. As strong a man as he was, those who knew him well, knew of the painful physical struggle he had endured. For more than two years there were medications, hospital stays and too many high hopes and failed procedures. Jim just got tired. Jim grew up in California. He joined the Navy and was stationed out on the submarine USS Dixon. After the Navy he mostly worked as a long... Full story

  • Trust in God will conquer fear

    Kapp L. Johnson, Retired pastor living in Seeley Lake|May 21, 2020

    “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 Fear is dangerous. On the one hand, it can get us to act and bypass our thought process. On the other hand, it can get us to act and bypass our thought process. Sometimes that is good, sometimes that is not so good. How do we know? Should I be afraid? Shouldn’t I be afraid? Fear and reason don’t play well together. They make for a very difficult emotional experie...

  • Beargrass and Yucca, two signature Montana plants

    Rick and Susie Graetz, University of Montana|May 21, 2020

    Two particular flowering plants are the toast of late spring and summer in Montana. In the mountain forests and openings of northwestern Montana, beargrass – the official flower of Glacier National Park – struts its stuff along roads and highways, as well as throughout the wilderness areas in northwest Montana. Meanwhile, the sturdy yucca stands guard over the rolling land and river breaks east of the mountains. Both plants, so similar yet so different, are symbolic of the land they grow on....

  • Relating through connection, providing comfort

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – When Seeley Lake Elementary first grade teacher Rachel Bemis first talked with Missoula Aging Services RSVP volunteer Jim Haueter about providing their students with some of his hand-carved wooden animals, it was for a end of the year gift. Now with distance learning in full swing, they both agreed it would be a great addition to the weekly packet and bring joy to the students. Haueter started carving tree stumps on his property in more than 10 years ago when the bark beetle outbre...

  • The origins of 'quarantine'

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The word quarantine has been much in the news lately. In terms of COVID-19, it means stay in your home away from other people for 14 days. But where did the word come from? Interestingly, it originated during another pandemic, the bubonic plague that spread across Europe in waves. Quarantine derives from the phrase "quaranta giorni" which literally means "space of 40 days." It refers to the policy, first started in Venice, Italy, in 1377, of refusing to allow ships arriving from pl...

  • SSHS recognizes two Most Inspirational Students

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The Missoula Education Foundation and Missoula County Public Schools recognized senior Levi Reinitz and sophomore Crystal Lopez as a Most Inspiring Student at Seeley-Swan High School. SSHS Principal Kellen Palmer presented the awards at their home May 18. The award recognized the students' achievements and commitment to their education. Reinitz was a library aide for the past two years. He worked to ensure the student program would continue and created a job description and b...

  • Swan Valley author releases fourth book

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY – "I want to encourage kids to get outside, explore nature and understand the value of their natural heritage," said Swan Valley teacher turned author and illustrator Sharon Lamar. Since 2010 Lamar has published three children's books. She just released her fourth children's book "Wild at Heart" that celebrates a young girl's unforgettable hike into the wilderness. Lamar first ventured into writing and illustrating as a Christmas present for her husband Steve. "He liked it so much h...

  • 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...

  • Sunset School promotion

    Hali Richmond, Sunset School K-4 Teacher|May 21, 2020

    Graduation across the nation is looking quite a bit different this year, and the same is the case for this little girl's Kindergarten Promotion at Sunset School in Greenough. Normally, we would be gathering in our tiny schoolhouse with family and loved ones to celebrate the end of the year. This year, we are anticipating an outdoor movie theater style celebration, with appropriate six foot distancing of course! We will go out with a bang no matter what! Although the last three months of Sophia... Full story

  • Ovando School graduates

    May 21, 2020

    Congratulations Aiden McNally! He graduated from eighth grade at Ovando and will be attending Drummond High School in the fall. Congratulations Silas Hessler! He graduated from Kindergarten this year. He will return as a first grader to Ovando School in the fall.... Full story

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