Articles from the July 16, 2020 edition

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  • Motion for attorney fees denied

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    MISSOULA – District Court Judge Leslie Halligan denied the Seeley Lake Sewer District’s motion for award of attorney’s fees against Don Larson but granted the District its Verified Bill of Costs totaling $510.24. Halligan declined to rule on a motion by the Plaintiffs to disqualify the District’s attorney Jon Beal. Halligan dismissed the lawsuit that was filed by Larson in June of 2018 on May 21, 2020. Approximately a week after the case was dismissed, Beal filed a motion to award attorney’s fees. In the order denying attorney’s fees, Halli...

  • Change Your Pace Challenge raises more than $65,000

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Community Foundation presented more than $65,500 to the Change Your Pace Challenge's 15 participating organizations at an intimate ceremony July 8. The check presentation is usually done at the Seeley Lake Community Foundation's annual banquet in August, which was canceled this year due to coronavirus. The Change Your Pace (CYP) Challenge is a campaign for community-wide giving that was started five years ago by the Foundation. During the month-long fundraising p...

  • Hungry Bear owners retire after 23 years

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY – For the past 23 winters, Mike Holmes has been starting a fire every morning at the Hungry Bear Steak House at 6:30 a.m. Every winter he brings in 30 cords of firewood for the Hungry Bear and the Gordon Ranch. This winter he can relax a little bit after he and his wife Sue sold the Swan Valley restaurant and retired July 1. The Holmes agreed to be successful business owners in the Valley, they had to invest a lot of time in the restaurant, working it and being there. While Mike won'...

  • Seeley man charged with embezzlement

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE –Kody Kelley of Seeley Lake plead not guilty May 28 to a felony charge of theft of property exceeding $1,500 by embezzlement. According to charging documents, on March 21, Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Foundation President Michael Richards stated that Kelley, the Foundation’s treasurer, used the Foundation’s debit card for personal purchases and money withdrawals. Kelley had been the Foundation’s treasurer since February or March of 2018. When Kelley stopped providing financial statements and coming to the Foundation’s meeting,...

  • Open Federal Lands rebuttal

    Bob Rathman, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 16, 2020

    In the July 2 Pathfinder there was a letter to the editor claiming that Federal lands are not open to the public. Just because there is a locked gate or other road closure does NOT mean the lands beyond are not open to the public, they are, you just have to get out of your rig and walk around the gate. You just aren’t allowed to DRIVE wherever and whenever you please. Roads are closed both year round and seasonally for multiple reasons, among them wildlife and habitat protection but also because the Forest Service doesn’t have the funds to mai...

  • Timber industry decimated by environmentalists

    Ellen Chaussee, Missoula, Mont.|Jul 16, 2020

    In response to opinion columns printed in the Missoulian by Adam Rissien titled “Our National Forest are more than Crops” dated June 28 and George Wuerthner’s column printed June 5 titled “Keep Carbon in the Forest.” Once again some of our environmentalists from the University of Montana are attacking the Trump Administration Policies delivered by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Personally as a 93-year-old great, great grandmother born and raised in Western Montana, I am pleased to see some reasoning sprouting from the Departmen...

  • Tourist organizations encourage mask use

    Glacier County Tourism organizations signed below|Jul 16, 2020

    As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in the state of Montana, we, leaders at Montana’s chambers of commerce and destination marketing organizations, join our business friends and colleagues throughout the state in calling on the public to wear masks or cloth face coverings to protect the health and viability of the communities we represent. In order for us to continue reopening or remain open as a state, it is imperative that we slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends mask-wearing to help slow the spread of the virus, which in turn c...

  • Are you ready for wildfire season?

    Sarah Coefield, Missoula City-County Health Department Air Quality Specialist|Jul 16, 2020

    The predictive meteorologists with the Northern Rockies Coordination Center are expecting above-average fire activity for our region in August and September. Things are heating up out there, and July will be over sooner than any of us would like. As we prep for a potentially bad fire season, and therefore bad smoke season, I have a question: Do you know where your air filters are? Hopefully, last year you stocked up on efficient furnace filters for your HVAC or HEPA filters for your portable air cleaners and you’re ready for this year. If n...

  • Fire danger increased to high, outdoor burning remains closed

    Missoula County Fire Protection Association|Jul 16, 2020

    MISSOULA - Warmer, drier conditions have tilted the scales in fire danger from Moderate to High. Recent lightning storms have ignited a dozen fires in the area but since grasses in the forest remain green and fuel moistures in larger forest fuels remains high, initial attack has kept all of those fires less than 1/3 of an acre in size. Human-caused fires are the major point of emphasis for wildland fire managers. Fire danger at lower elevations are more likely to spread in valley bottoms as grasses begin to cure. There has been a significant...

  • Forest Service recognizes Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

    Flathead National Forest|Jul 16, 2020

    KALISPELL – USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen recently honored The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, the nonprofit partner that coordinates with the Forest Service in stewardship of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, with the Chief’s 2019 “Enduring Service” award. In total, more than 73 nominations in five categories were considered nationally for the 2019 USDA Forest Service Volunteer and Service Award that recognizes public contributions to citizen stewardship & partnerships, cultural diversity, enduring service, and leaders...

  • Bridge and culvert replacement projects beginning on Seeley Lake Ranger District

    Seeley Lake Ranger District|Jul 16, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – Multiple bridge and culvert replacement projects are in progress or scheduled to begin within the next 2-3 weeks on the Seeley Lake Ranger District. Temporary road closures will be in place for public safety due to heavy machinery operations and temporarily impassable road segments in the project areas. “We thank the public for their patience and understanding as we work on these critical repairs,” said Quinn Carver, Seeley Lake District Ranger. “These repairs will ensure recreational access and long-term road integrity as well...

  • Day trips and stay-cations

    Ryan Sokoloski, Montana State Parks Manager|Jul 16, 2020

    Over the past dozen years, perhaps you have noticed an increase in the use of the term “stay-cation.” It seems every industry has been tapping into this idea; a high-end automobile manufacturer has a current commercial airing that mentions (among their sales pitch) “Day Trips are Better than Day Dreams.” Although I am not in the market for a new car, I certainly can agree with that tag line. Ever since I was in high school, I have wanted to visit and travel the Outback of Australia. Unfortunately for me, I am really no closer to achievi...

  • Fuels Mitigation Program helps landowners reduce wildfire risk

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – “There was a lot of dead timber and dead trees standing and it was quite a mess,” said Sandi Pisauro during a presentation about the Clearwater Resource Council’s Fuels Mitigation Program. “We knew right away we wanted to get something taken care of.” The Pisauroes moved onto three and a half acres on the Double Arrow last summer and received a grant to help mitigate their fuels. They worked with logger Jaylund Rammell and completed the project in about three months. “It worked so well and the property looks fabulous,” sa...

  • Missoula County requires masks in public spaces, with exceptions

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    MISSOULA - The Missoula City-County Health Department board voted unanimously to require facemasks in every indoor public space in the county at their July 9 meeting. They received over 4,000 comments from the public before the hearing, of which roughly half were processed. The processed comments showed 80% support for the initiative. The ruling goes into effect immediately and makes face masks the new normal as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the county and Montana. “Our cases are up and they continue to go up, our number of c...

  • Feds release data on Paycheck Protection loan recipients

    Eric Dietrich, Montana Free Press|Jul 16, 2020

    Tens of thousands of businesses and nonprofit organizations across Montana have benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program, a massive federal effort that has routed billions of dollars into subsidized bank loans intended to help small businesses keep workers on payroll during the economic disruption prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Data released this week by the U.S. Small Business Administration provides the first detailed accounting of the businesses aided by the program, indicating...

  • Handcrafted in Seeley Lake – A one-of-a-kind experience

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – With the COVID-19 regulations limiting vendors at farmers markets and closing fairs and festivals, craft vendors have been "left in a lurch." However the restrictions did not stop local craft businesses Montana Girl, Obsession Pottery and The Stubborn Moose from finding a creative solution. They opened a new cooperative named "Handcrafted in Seeley Lake" in the Filling Station Mall. They offer a fun, unique selection of locally handcrafted items and classes for the community and v...

  • Called to freedom

    Rev. Carrie Benton, Pastor, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Jul 16, 2020

    Galatians 5:13: “You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour each other, be careful that you don’t get eaten up by each other!” Freedom is a tricky concept in western democratic societies. Most of us think we know what it means. Or at least, we certainly react when we believe our personal freedoms are being t...

  • Prologue to the Timber Sale

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    If the early history of Seeley Lake is intertwined with the lumber industry, the rise of the United States Forest Service is incontrovertibly intertwined with Seeley Lake and in particular with the Big Blackfoot Timber Sale of 1907-1910. Historian and member of the Camp Paxson Preservation Board Gary Williams has provided information about that sale. The Seeley Swan Pathfinder will be bringing some of the interesting bits of information he has discovered about logging in the Seeley Lake area...

  • Cracking the transportation bottleneck

    John Blogett, Boulder Monitor|Jul 16, 2020

    In 2010, the Whitehall Senior Center, an activity and meals hub for seniors in Whitehall, was trying to unload a bus and a van it had been using to transport its patrons and residents of a nearby assisted-living home. The Montana Department of Transportation had designated the center that area's agency to provide state-funded public transportation for seniors and people with disabilities. But the center was finding the state's reporting system and other requirements too cumbersome. Dick Gustin,...

  • Glacier Park scientist talks climate change in mountain ecosystems

    Jackie Bussjaeger, This is Montana Editor|Jul 16, 2020

    Over his 29 years working in Glacier National Park, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research ecologist Dan Fagre has seen a lot of changes. Even as the pressures of climate change encroach upon this mountain region, Fagre and other scientists see boundless opportunities for research and education. Fagre and other members of the USGS Climate Change and Mountain Ecosystems (CCME) Program focus on alpine climatology, snowpack, snow avalanches, alpine vegetation, and glaciers for most of their...

  • Upper Holland and Sapphire Lakes - Trail No. 415

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Jul 16, 2020

    Length: 7 miles (5.5 to Upper Holland, 1.5 to Sapphire) 14 miles roundtrip Elevation gain: 3,100 feet (2,100 to Upper Holland, 1,000 to Sapphire) Services: The trailhead is located near Holland Lake Lodge and has a large parking lot as well as a pit toilet. Lot is mainly used for the Holland Falls trail (416) 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... Full story

  • Community Briefs

    Jul 16, 2020

    Seeley Lake Library closed for renovations SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Library will be temporarily closed for curbside service beginning the week of July 13 due to renovations taking place at Seeley-Swan High School. The public will be notified as soon as the library reopens. Thank you for your patience and support. Seeley Lake Water District closed to general traffic SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Water District Office is open to the public by appointment only. Please call 677-2559 to make an appointment. Masks are required. Seeley Lake R...

  • Bullock requires face masks for certain indoor spaces and outdoor gatherings

    Office of the Governor|Jul 16, 2020

    MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today issued a directive requiring face coverings in certain indoor spaces and for certain organized outdoor activities in counties currently experiencing four or more active cases of COVID-19 to slow the spread of the virus in Montana. Governor Bullock issued the directive to require businesses, government offices and other indoor spaces open to the public to ensure that employees, contractors, volunteers, customers and other members of the public wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose while r... Full story