Articles from the July 15, 2021 edition


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  • Cyclist killed by grizzly bear

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    OVANDO - Before dawn Tuesday, July 6, Leah Lokan, a 65-year-old cyclist from Chico, California, was killed by a grizzly bear while camping in Ovando. Friday morning, a grizzly bear suspected of killing Lokan was shot and killed by wildlife officials less than two miles from Ovando. According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks details about the attack suggest that the bear entered Ovando early in the morning and went near the Ovando Post Office at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, where the victim was sleeping in a tent. Another couple in her party were...

  • Kovatch named Gatorade Player of the Year

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS- In its 36th year honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade named 2021 Seeley-Swan High School graduate Klaire Kovatch its 2020-21 Gatorade Montana Girls Track & Field Player of the Year. Kovatch is the first Gatorade Montana Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from SSHS. The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Now a...

  • Fire danger extreme - Use caution outdoors

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    MISSOULA - Hot, dry conditions and lack of precipitation forecasted are prompting Missoula County fire protection agencies to raise the fire danger in the Missoula area to EXTREME, effective immediately. Extreme fire danger means that fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious and firefighters are rarely able to attack it directly making suppression efforts more complex. The tri-county area, including Missoula, Mineral and Ravalli counties, has...

  • Lost goat finds new home in Seeley Lake

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    HOLLAND LAKE – Finding a Billy Goat in distress near Upper Holland Lake was not something Jennifer Fife of Great Falls and her friend Ryan Seyler expected to find on their first day hiking into Big Salmon Lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. However after answering the goat's calls of distress and coming to its aid, they hiked out with "Penelope" to find its owner. With the assistance of Missoula County Sheriff's Sergeant Robert Parcell, the goat now has a new home in Seeley Lake. On June 25 F...

  • Lessons to be learned - not political platform to be used

    Andrea Morgan, Ovando, Montana|Jul 15, 2021

    I am lucky enough to live outside of Ovando, between the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and the mighty Blackfoot River. My entire community is deeply shocked and saddened by the recent bear attack. I offer my sincere condolences for the victim, her friends and family, and for the community of bicyclists that frequent the wild and beautiful spaces we inhabit. As I write, helicopters and planes are flying grids over town and the outskirts, searching for the responsible bear, and flushing animals out of hiding into the open in the process....

  • Tips for staying healthy this wildfire season

    Sarah Coefield, Missoula City-County Health Department Air Quality Specialist|Jul 15, 2021

    It’s Wildfire Smoke Ready Week and we’ve already had our first taste of what looks to be a long wildfire season. As I wrote last week, wildfire smoke is bad for everyone and it comes inside. Fortunately, there are simple steps we can all do to protect our indoor spaces and reduce our exposure outside! Homes and small businesses: Forced air for heating: 1. Close doors and windows. 2. Install the highest efficiency filter your system can use (preferably MERV 13 or better, but MERV 11 or 12 will work). 3. Turn on the fan and keep it on while you...

  • AAI Senior Scholarship and Youth Grants awards announced

    Alpine Artisans Inc.|Jul 15, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Alpine Artisans is pleased to announce our Senior Scholarship winner and three additional Youth Grant awards. Seeley-Swan High School recent graduate Kess Victor will use her $1,000 Senior Scholarship to attend University of Montana, focusing on therapy for children and adolescents with a minor in fine arts to supplement her therapy skills. Victor was the recent recipient of a 'Most Inspirational Student' award at SSHS, and her application for the scholarship award was equally...

  • FWP seeks comment on several wildlife-related proposals

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Jul 15, 2021

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public review and comment on several wildlife-related items approved for comment during the recent Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting. Proposals include the 2021 wolf hunting and trapping season, nongame check-off workplan, pheasant releases, Jordan urban wildlife plan, 2021 elk and deer muzzleloader season, 2021 elk shoulder season and 2021 contractual public elk hunting access agreements. More information on these items can be found on the FWP website under “Public Comment Opp...

  • Free family photo event this weekend

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – “We wanted everyone in the community to have the opportunity to get a family photo that doesn’t cost anything,” said Jama Mauldin, executive director with Sparrow’s Vine Pregnancy Resource Center. Thanks to a grant from the Seeley Lake Community Foundation and collaboration with Nature Scapes Greenhouse, Mon-A-Lisa Photography and Seeley Office Stop Sparrow’s Vine’s vision will become a reality July 17. Families are invited to come for their free family photo this Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Nature Scapes Greenhouse on H...

  • Important questions to ask a potential real estate agent before listing your home

    Carrie J. Sokoloski Realtor, Keller Williams Western Montana Realty|Jul 15, 2021

    You're probably aware of the sweeping impact the pandemic had on the real estate market across the country. In our area, much of our inventory quickly sold. The lack of homes for sale has put potential sellers in the driver's seat. Agents are competing for just a handful of sellers. Sellers have their pick of real estate professionals and a market hungry for new listings. It's more important than ever to determine which agent is the best fit for you and your listing. Sellers want a professional...

  • Volunteers dig in to remove fragrant waterlily

    Clearwater Resource Council|Jul 15, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Clearwater Resource Council (CRC) sponsored an invasive fragrant waterlily "dig-it" event on Saturday, July 10. The demonstration project on Seeley Lake is being used to test efficacy of removing waterlily rhizomes to reduce the spread of invasive waterlilies on Seeley Lake. A total of nine volunteers and three CRC staff removed a very large truckload of rhizomes this past Saturday. CRC plans to return to the demonstration site over the next three to five years, at a minimum,...

  • Forest Service offers public land for private opportunities

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - While Forest Service land is open to the public, businesses and other organizations have opportunities to lease or hold events on federal land that may require a fee for use. Kate Jerman, Lolo National Forest public affairs officer, said in an email that federal regulation allows the Forest Service to issue authorizations for use and occupancy of National Forest Lands. “An objective of recreation management for the Forest Service is to identify, analyze and monitor the changing demographic composition of the country and regional m...

  • My favorite day

    Roger Andruss, Elder, Condon Community Church|Jul 15, 2021

    “This is the day the Lord has made …” (Psalm 118:24) For some of us, this season of COVID has felt a bit like the movie Groundhog Day. Have you seen it? In the movie, Bill Murray plays a cynical TV weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day, over and over again, when he goes on location to Punxsutawney to report about their annual Groundhog Day. His predicament just about drives him crazy until he sees a different way of looking at it. Is that what the psalmist meant when he wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice...

  • Loving Hearts brings out its best for upcoming fashion show

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Loving Hearts Thrift Store is prepared to show off the best it has to offer at its annual Fashion Show. The fundraising event will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14 inside Mission Bible Fellowship. Brunch will be served at 10 a.m. before the show begins around 10:30 a.m. Loving Hearts Manager Mary Newpower said this is roughly her sixth year organizing the show. They were unable to host it last year due to COVID-19. Throughout the past couple of years, volunteers have set...

  • Offering a unique riding experience

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Adventures Operations Manager Heather Myre said she is looking forward to helping customers and staff explore the natural area in and around Seeley Lake with her new motorized recreational vehicle rental business venture. The service operates out of Kurt's Polaris on Highway 83 even though Myre considers it an entirely separate business. Myre is the daughter of Curtis Friede, owner of Kurt's Polaris since 1989. Myre grew up recreating with motorized vehicles. After...

  • Selling signs with amusing sayings

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Annie Micklitz helps her husband Jeff sell his custom made slogan signs every Sunday at Seeley Lake Market. Annie said Jeff makes his signs in his woodshop from trees or reclaimed pallet wood from their property. Some of his products are hand painted while others are stenciled on with custom stencils. This is their fourth year selling the signs at the market. The couple has lived in Seeley for around six years having moved from Wisconsin following Jeff's retirement. "He's always...

  • 20/35 Year Look Back

    Jul 15, 2021

    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 seeleylake.com 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: July 17, 1986 issue: Pathfinder buys Valley Times Pathfinder Press, Inc., Seeley Lake, recently acquired the assets of... Full story

  • Potomac chef offers 'eclectic' menu

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    POTOMAC - Jennifer "Niffer" Stackpole owned her catering service The Balsamroot Catering Company for around a decade before she opened her new food truck the Copper Cliff Cafe last summer. She loves sharing her love of food with her customers and welcoming the community to her outdoor venue in Potomac Thursdays and Saturdays and serving patrons at the Seeley Lake Market on Sundays. Stackpole said she grew up around cooking quite a bit as her grandmother was a "great cook" and her mother was a Fr...

  • Dumbbells and pots

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    Half of the year is gone and far more than half the people whose New Year’s resolution was to get in shape have long since put away the dumbbells and let their bodies go to pot. Which brings up the questions, why are exercise weights called “dumbbells”? And just what “pot” did their body go into? Dumbbell—the exercise equipment, not the name siblings throw at one another—traces its origin back to church bell ringers. Church bells are heavy, about 400 to 7,000 pounds heavy. So while the thought of youthful bellringers being pulled off their fee...

  • Community Briefs

    Jul 15, 2021

    Weekly COVID-19 update As of July 12, there have been 114,325 cases of COVID-19 in Montana. There have been 874,859 doses of vaccines administered and 434,242 Montanans fully immunized. There are 466 active cases, 5,555 total hospitalizations with 51 active, 112,185 recoveries and 1,674 deaths in Montana due to COVID-19 complications. Missoula County has had 9,423 cases, 41 active cases, 9,286 recovered and 96 COVID-related deaths to date. For the most up-to-date and accurate information please refer to the Missoula County-City Health Departmen...

  • Dry Cabin fire burning in the Scapegoat Wilderness

    Jul 15, 2021

    OVANDO - On Sunday, July 11 at approximately 1:30 p.m., the Dry Cabin Fire was reported and aerial resources were dispatched immediately to size up the fire. The fire is located approximately 20 miles north of Ovando, Montana, in the Scapegoat Wilderness. The aerial reconnaissance flight indicated that the fire was already an estimated 10 acres in size and within the day the fire rapidly grew to 50 acres due to terrain and heavy fuels. The fire is burning actively and is now estimated to be at...

  • DNA ties euthanized grizzly bear to cyclist attack

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Jul 15, 2021

    DNA results received Wednesday confirmed the bear killed by wildlife officials last Friday was the same bear who fatally attacked a camper in Ovando early on the morning of July 6. The DNA samples from the bear, saliva sample at the scene of the attack and samples from two chicken coops that were raided in the area all match up. Montana is bear country and recreationists can be bear aware by following some simple guidelines: • Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it • Avoid surprise encounters by traveling in groups, making noise and bei...

  • BLM closes Garnet Ghost Town and surrounding area due to wildfire

    Bureau of Land Management|Jul 15, 2021

    Due to a wildfire burning about a mile east of Garnet Ghost Town, the Bureau of Land Management has temporarily closed the historic site and surrounding area for public safety and to allow firefighters to conduct suppression activities. The closure order takes effect immediately for BLM lands in most of the southwestern portion of the Garnet Mountains from Elevation Mountain on the northeast to I-90 on the south. Some major landmarks within this closed area are Garnet Ghost Town, Garnet Range Road, Elevation Mountain, Douglas Creek, Mulkey... Full story

  • Campfires banned and Stage II Restrictions implemented

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 15, 2021

    Due to worsening fire danger, campfires are banned and other fire restrictions are taking effect at 12:01 a.m. July 17 throughout most of the Missoula area. Stage II restrictions will go into effect Saturday morning at 12:01 a.m. for areas including the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests, Bureau of Land Management land, US Fish & Wildlife lands, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Montana State Trust Lands and private property within Missoula County. Factors influencing this decision include... Full story

  • DNRC working to contain Anderson Hill fire near Garnet Ghost Town

    Kristin Mortenson, Community Preparedness and Fire Prevention Southwestern Land Office|Jul 15, 2021

    MISSOULA - The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is working to contain the Anderson Hill Fire located one mile southeast of Garnet Ghost Town in Granite, Powell, and Missoula Counties. Under Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) wildland fire protection, the Missoula Unit of the DNRC Southwestern Land Office responded and is employing full suppression strategies. There are values at risk-evacuation orders and warnings are being issued....