Articles from the June 30, 2016 edition

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  • New Benches Installed Along Highway 83 Trail

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Community Foundation (SLCF) replaced the six wooden benches along the trail paralleling Highway 83 with steel-framed benches made of old skis. This is one of three improvements to the trail that the SLCF hopes to make in the near future. Ryan Richards installed the wooden benches during the summer of 2003 as a part of his Eagle Scout project. The benches bore the Boy Scout motto, along with the six steps to becoming an Eagle Scout, one step on each bench through...

  • Holland Falls - Trail No. 416

    Jun 30, 2016

    Directions: Turn east off Highway 83 near mile marker 35 onto Holland Lake Road. Stay to the left at all road junctions. After passing the Day Use Area and Campground, the road comes to a dead end at the trailhead, about four miles from the highway. Length: 1.6 miles one way Elevation: Trailhead: 4,050 feet; Falls: 4,800 feet. Usage: Heavy: Hiking. No motorized, stock or mountain biking. Services: Parking and vault toilet at trailhead. Holland Lake Campground and Day Use Area is just down the... Full story

  • Thirty Years Culminate in Pathfinder Celebration

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE – Spread across tables forming a large L in the Seeley Lake Community Hall were 30 oversized bound books. Each book held a year's worth of issues of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder newspaper. Starting from 1986, the volumes documented 30 years of community life in the Clearwater, Swan and Blackfoot valleys. The occasion was the Seeley Swan Pathfinder's 30th Anniversary Celebration June 25. People came to the community hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and were treated to food, anniversary c...

  • Technology in Rural Montana

    Emily Howard, Seeley Lake Elementary-Eighth Grade|Jun 30, 2016

    Jack and Belinda Rich currently run the Rich Ranch in Seeley Lake, Mont. with family and friends. The Rich family have shared their love for rural culture in Montana's outdoors for more than 40 years. Being in the middle of a technology revolution, the use of modern devices is being used, even in rural Montana on a dude ranch near Seeley Lake. The evolution of technology is undeniable and is even influencing the backcountry. Rich states, "Technology is not an enemy; it is helping more than...

  • Make Your Vote Count

    C. Burt Caldwell, Missoula, Mont.|Jun 30, 2016

    MISSOULA - This year I had the opportunity to participate in the processing of mail-in ballots for Missoula County in the 2016 primary elections. I was one of 42 people selected to remove ballots from the blue, secret envelopes and unfold them so they could be fed to the vote counting machines. I was impressed with the percentage of ballots returned this year as compared to previous years – per the Missoulian. I am sure people who mail in their ballots really want to have a voice in government, so I was disappointed in how many of the b...

  • 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...

  • Outdoor Burning by Permit Closed for Fire Season

    Jun 30, 2016

    MISSOULA - Due to forecasted high temperatures without precipitation to abate fire danger, the Missoula County Fire Protection Association (MCFPA), in conjunction with federal, state and local wildland fire suppression agencies, the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management and Missoula City/County Health Department officials, has determined Outdoor Burning by Permit in Missoula County will close Thursday, June 30 at midnight. All burns done that day will need to be fully extinguished. Folks calling to activate their permits on Friday,...

  • Burned Area Recovery Work to Begin for Morrell Complex

    Jun 30, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - Work to recover areas impacted by last summer's Morrell Complex Fire on the Seeley Lake Ranger District has begun and is expected to continue until mid to late-July. The work includes some road reconstruction and culvert replacement on Forest Road #720, Rice Ridge Road. The specific location for the road reconstruction and culvert replacement work will between mile marker 17.8 - 21.3. The road reconstruction work will cause delays and slow speeds for vehicles in the area of the...

  • Summer Season: Peak Time for Grilling Fires

    Jun 30, 2016

    As summer kicks off, home chefs everywhere are reaching for their grills, eager to usher in the long-awaited barbecue season. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that grillers pay particular attention to safety in the spring and summer months when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often. Three out of five households own a gas grill, according to NFPA’s latest “Home Grill Fires” report, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires. In 2009 – 2013, an...

  • America's Electric Grid - Adapting for the Future

    Dan Rogers, Manager of Member Service, Missoula Electric Cooperative|Jun 30, 2016

    For most of us, it is hard to imagine a life without electricity, yet behind your light switch exists one of the greatest infrastructure systems ever built. Our nation's electric grid traces its origins back to the 1880's, shortly after Thomas Edison's development of a commercially viable electric light bulb. However, our grid has evolved far beyond anything Edison could have imagined – growing into the single largest interconnected machine on the planet. The whole of the grid consists of 450,00...

  • County Parks, Trails & Open Lands Launch Online Map Tool

    Jun 30, 2016

    MISSOULA - The Missoula County Parks, Trails & Open Lands Program created an online mapping tool,, to make finding parks and trails simple and accessible to the public. This image-rich application works on desktop or mobile devices to encourage participation wherever the outdoor enthusiast may be browsing. “A core component of the County Parks, Trails & Open Lands Program mission is to provide places where people can recreate throughout Missoula County,” Parks & Trails Program Manager, Lisa Moi...

  • Reader Photo

    Jun 30, 2016

  • Reviving Tupper's Lake so It Can Thrive

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with the help of partners and local contractors, are working on the Clearwater-Blackfoot Project, 117,152 acres of land acquired in the Blackfoot Valley from Plum Creek in October, 2014. This past week they were working with West Slope Excavation at Tupper's Lake, two and a half miles from Seeley Lake and two miles north of Placid Lake, in preparation for their annual Revive and Thrive Event July 24. Ever since the purchase of the Clearwater-Blackfoot...

  • Please Pause for Pets and People

    Elinor Williamson|Jun 30, 2016

    Once again we want to thank all of you who helped make our last bake sale such a success. We must start with the Swansons who donated the beautiful wooden bowls. They were a big hit! The little dog pillow cases were a hit also. To all who bought and brought the goodies, we are extremely grateful and thank you very much. Now if we can get Brenda to bring 18 carrot cakes the next time, we will have another great sale. The four she brought went great and people wanted more. As with Connie's which...

  • Pet Summer Safety Tips

    Jun 30, 2016

    Never leave your pets in a parked car: Not even for a minute or with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Watch the humidity: “It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the h...

  • Potomac Hay and Grain Harvest Begins

    Jun 30, 2016

  • Pinchot Journal: Disappointment at Skunk Prairie

    Jun 30, 2016

    Submitted by the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society. Reprinted from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division Gifford Pinchot, who later became chief of the U.S. Forest Service, was working for the National Forest Commission in 1896 when he traveled south through the Swan Valley with Jack Monroe, a trapper and guide. In the previous installment of the 7-part series, they had prepared to cross the Swan River after realizing they may have been presumed drowned. I kept the forward end of the raft upstream, while Monroe controlled the rear....

  • School Board Approves New Hires and Discusses Theft

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Elementary (SLE) School Board of Trustees approved the bus contract transfer from Diane’s Buses to Conley Transportation, discussed the recent theft and hired Erin Lynch to replace Julie Little in second grade and Brett Haines to replace Andy Seiges for physical education. They also heard a presentation on the PIECES Framework from teachers Angela Harris and Julie Haines. Owner of Diane’s Buses, Diane Bourne retired and sold the buses and the business to Conley Transportation this spring. As of July 1, Conley Trans...

  • Regional Plan Draft Edited and Reworded

    Colleen Kesterson, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley Regional Planning Committee (SVRPC) met June 24 to revise the draft plan. They addressed sections of the Natural Resources and Environment Element. Changes were applied to sections pertaining to fencing, timber management and air quality. After consideration of submitted comments, some of Missoula attorney Colleen Dowdall’s edits were used as well as SVRPC member Dave Johnson’s additions and rewording. The SVRPC agreed to take out the word stock to describe fencing. According to SVRPC member Dwayne Forder, the...

  • Assistant Chief and Officer Stipend Discussions Continue

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Fire Board discussed the possibility of an Assistant Fire Chief and providing a stipend for officers at their June 21 meeting. Seeley Lake Fire Chief Bob Vanden Heuvel told the board he needs more time to determine what duties and responsibilities he would ask of an assistant chief and of his officers and what it is worth to the department and the individuals. Vanden Heuvel said that the most important thing now is for those in charge to be able to cover the chief’s duties and assist with some of the projects. H...

  • 11.7M Nonresident Travelers Spent Nearly $3.7B in Montana Last Year

    Submitted by the University of Montana ITRR|Jun 30, 2016

    MISSOULA – Nonresident travelers mean big bucks for Montana. The final 2015 nonresident visitor numbers were released April 27 by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) at the University of Montana. Researchers found the 2015 economic contribution of 11.7 million nonresident travelers to Montana was $3.7 billion. These visitors directly supported more than $3.1 billion of economic activity and 46,000 Montana jobs and indirectly supported an additional $2 billion of economic a...

  • Garnet Offers Montana's Best Preserved Ghost Town

    Rick Graetz, Department of Geography University of Montana|Jun 30, 2016

    GREENOUGH - It's quiet now, especially when heavy snows descend on the Garnet Mountain Range. More than 120 years ago though, Garnet was a boisterous place, going full blast even in the harsh winter months. Its main link to the lower elevations was a rough and somewhat torturous road that led south along Bear Creek to Bearmouth on the Clark Fork between Drummond and Missoula. The old town is part of a mining district that covered an extensive area of these mountains. Placer gold was first...

  • Saved by SPOT™

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SEELEY LAKE - Every year search and rescue crews are called into the backcountry to find recreationists who have gone missing or found themselves in trouble. Carrying a SPOT™ tracker offers peace of mind beyond the boundaries of cell service for the user and their loved ones and increases the ability of search and rescue crews to locate individuals in a timely manner if they need help. The device and service is available at Rocky Mountain Adventure Gear (RMAG) in Seeley Lake to rent or own. SPOT...

  • Montana Private Land Conservation: It All Starts With People Around a Kitchen Table

    Land Lindbergh and Hank Goetz|Jun 30, 2016

    It all started at a kitchen table in the Blackfoot Valley. Back around 1970. Local folks like us, including our good friend and neighbor Bill Potter. Worried about increasing recreational pressure on the river, our property and the lands surrounding ours. We knew what we wanted to do but we weren't sure how to do it. We knew we wanted to engage the public. They had a stake in the river and the land that surrounded it. So we got together...some landowners, river users, hunters, agency

  • What You Should Know Before Getting a License to Carry

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2016

    SWAN VALLEY - The National Rifle Association (NRA) has developed a motto recently, "The only thing that is going to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Condon resident and local expert Philip Gregory is putting his 20 years of military experience and 13 years as a law enforcement officer to work helping private citizens understand what it means to be the good guy and learn the when, where and how to carry a concealed weapon. While the only required training to obtain a...

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