Articles from the August 23, 2018 edition

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  • Petition calls for change

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 23, 2018

    SEELEY LAKE – A recent petition available at several businesses in downtown Seeley Lake asks the Lolo National Forest “to remove and replace the current ranger of the Seeley Lake Ranger District.” According to the petition’s author Seeley Lake resident Curtis Friede, the intent of the petition is twofold. First, it is to give members of the community a voice that he feels has been stifled. Second, it is to ask for change in leadership because the decisions made, including the management of the Rice Ridge fire and current closure of Big Larch Ca...

  • Seeley campgrounds remain open past Labor Day

    Seeley Lake Ranger District|Aug 23, 2018

    SEELEY LAKE - Beginning Aug. 17 the Seeley Lake Ranger District will not charge a fee at the Seeley Lake and River Point Campgrounds. The free camping at these locations will be in place for the remainder of the season. Fees will be charged again at the beginning of next season. The District will also keep these two campgrounds open past the normal Labor Day closing. They will remain open pending fall weather conditions. The decision to not charge fees and keep the campgrounds open is meant to encourage use of these recreation sites during the...

  • The best thing that ever happened to me

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 23, 2018

    SWAN VALLEY – "I will never forget the first time I saw those two," said Swan Valley resident Colleen Kesterson recalling the first time she met Hung Tu Tran and his younger brother Thê at Salmon Prairie School. "It was January 1980 and they were standing in front of the stove at the school and they had their flip flops on and their lunch sacks in their hand." The climate was just one of the many adjustments the brothers faced after becoming Vietnamese refugees in 1978. After leaving their im...

  • The Canyon Creek Fire blowup revisited 30 years later

    Zoie Koostra, Pathfinder|Aug 23, 2018

    This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the Canyon Creek fire, which began early in the summer of 1988 but made it's lasting impact when it burned over 200 square miles in one night on Sept. 6. The summer of 1988 was significant. After a hot and dry summer, fires that had previously been left alone as part of the "let it burn" policy burned out of control. The Forest Service adopted the policy in 1972, which allowed some fires started by lightning strikes in wilderness areas to continue to...

  • Animal Wonders Closes Out Campfire Program

    Andi Bourne|Aug 23, 2018

    Animal Wonders Inc. of Potomac packed the group camp site at Placid Lake State Park Saturday, Aug. 18 for the final Montana State Parks Campfire Program of the season. Of their 89 animals that they currently have at their facility, founders Jessi and Augusto Castañeda brought eight to the program to discuss their adaptations for survival. For more information visit

  • In support of the District Ranger

    Bruce Rieman, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 23, 2018

    SEELEY LAKE - Recently a petition has been circulating in Seeley Lake calling for the Forest Service to “remove and replace the current Ranger of the Seeley Lake Ranger District”. The petition also suggests there is “sufficient belief” and “consensus” in the community calling into question the Ranger’s competence, self interest and contribution to the vitality and resilience of the community. In my view this petition is an absurdity and an unfortunate example of poorly informed discussion in our community. I do not believe it represents a...

  • An invitation to share your ideas

    Lee Bridges, Missoula, Mont.|Aug 23, 2018

    SEELEY LAKE - Hello everyone, I’m Lee Bridges and I’m running to represent House District 92 in Helena. Thanks to those of you who voted for me in the June primary. Please join me Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 6 – 8 p.m., at the home of Addrien Marx and Jim McLean for a Meet Your Candidate open house and fund raiser: 380 Morrell Creek Drive, Seeley Lake. Between now and the November election I will be working to learn more from you about how we can all build a better Montana. I want to earn your vote. I’ve heard from many of you as I knock on doors a...

  • Two truths and a solution for Larson

    Doug Anderson, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 23, 2018

    SEELEY LAKE - Being the local expert in all things related to water, in Don Larson’s mind there are two truths: A) The existing septic systems, at least on his properties, are functioning properly, and probably the cleanest on the planet. No need for sewer. B) The water bills in Seeley Lake are “exorbitant”. I am surprised that he hasn’t solved both these problems by connecting pipe “A” to pipe “B”....

  • Strong enough to bend

    Heather Richards|Aug 23, 2018

    It was a hot, high noon in July as I topped Pyramid Pass headed down canyon on an eight-day backcountry trip to the heart of the Bob Marshall. I'd seen the burn scar late last fall after the fires subsided. I knew the devastation that lay ahead, but as I rode through it with fresh eyes of summer, I felt my heart strings twinge and the insurmountable lump in my throat form. I worked to fight back tears as my eyes took in the charred landscape sending more heart pangs deep in my chest and feeling...

  • Grants available for Powell County non-profits

    Aug 23, 2018

    The Powell County Community Foundation is accepting grant applications from non-profits throughout Powell County. The PCF awards grants, usually ranging from $500 to $1,200 for charitable purposes in the following focus areas: basic human needs, arts and culture, recreation and economic development. The application deadline is Friday, Sept. 7. The short application form is available by writing to the PCF at P.O. Box 834, Deer Lodge, 59722, or by contacting board members Kirk Sandquist, Steve Owens, Mary Ann Fraley, Claudia Dippold, Cheryl...

  • Board passes assessments and questioned over project schedule

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 23, 2018

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Sewer District board passed the annual levy of assessments at the Aug. 16 regular board meeting and assessment hearing. In other business, they set a public hearing to correct an issue with a Phase 2 grant application, discussed the resolution the board has been told requires the sewer be constructed and discussed “holes in essential information.” Public comment centered on the project’s schedule and the perception that the board is holding the project up as well as questioning what the voters and landowners had p...

  • Adventure Club wraps up another year of outdoor adventure and place-based learning

    Bridget Laird, SLE Outdoor Education Coordinator|Aug 23, 2018

    The Seeley Lake Elementary Outdoor Program recently wrapped up another fun summer of outdoor adventure and place-based learning. The 10-week long Adventure Club was led by Gus Batchelder, a graduate of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), and Ibby Lorentz, a recent Seeley-Swan High School graduate. This summer, SLE student participants in the program enjoyed kayaking and paddleboarding on the lakes in and around Seeley, hiking our many trails, mountain biking and taking part in the...

  • Wedding Announcement

    Aug 23, 2018

    Taylor Freyholtz and Josh Salvino were married Aug. 17 in Watford City, N.D. where they currently live. Mother of the bride Willie Freyholtz lives in Seeley Lake and parents of the groom Stephanie and Rico Salvino reside in Missoula.... Full story

  • Where the old folks go

    Erika Fredrickson, Missoula Independent|Aug 23, 2018

    After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1986, Bill Thomas started working as the medical director of a small nursing home in central New York. It was a run-of-the-mill institution, "depressing and dispiriting," he says. He was attending to an elderly resident's rash one day when she looked up at him and whispered, "I'm so lonely, doctor." Thomas says he had an epiphany. He realized the residents he was caring for seemed plagued less by medical issues than by boredom, loneliness and...

  • What's new at school?

    Zoie Koostra, Pathfinder|Aug 23, 2018

    Summer is drawing to a close and area schools will be beginning classes soon. Seeley Lake Elementary, Sunset School and Seeley-Swan High School are all adding new programs, teachers or learning tools in the upcoming year. Get the scoop on what’s new in school below. Seeley Lake Elementary This year Seeley Lake Elementary school starts Sept. 4. The school is welcoming three new teachers and rebooting some activities that were put on hold last fall during the Rice Ridge Fire. Kristy Pohlman will be teaching third grade, Robin Gaither will be t...

  • Too fat for wind

    Erik Hatch, Guest columnist - Former Youth Director, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D|Aug 23, 2018

    Last week I was down in Frisco, TX for the NDSU championship football game. Next to our hotel was…by all counts…the most tempting and fabulous building I had ever seen. On the outside it read in beautiful neon letters: Indoor Skydiving. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to skydive. It’s been one of my bucket-list items, for sure. When I was 14, my Godmother took me on a 3 day trip to Hawaii to celebrate my birthday/confirmation. She was a flight attendant with NorthWest and had the chance to fly me for free. One of the things we did while in Hawaii was a f...

  • Community Briefs

    Aug 23, 2018

    Correction - Foundation purchase amount of Deer Country Quilts building higher than $50,000 SEELEY LAKE - The Pathfinder erroneously reported that the Seeley Lake Community Foundation will purchase the building that previously housed Deer Country Quilts from Pam and Loren Rose for $50,000. According to SLCF Vice President Kevin Wetherell, the Foundation will be purchasing the building with a combination of $215,000 and a charitable contribution of equity from the Roses equivalent to $200,000. The $50,000 dollar fundraising goal set last Sunday...

  • Let's Kill The Trees Before They Kill Us!

    Dusty R. Weber, Hamilton, Mont.|Aug 23, 2018

    Elected officials have a moral duty to protect the health and lives of citizens they represent and to be good stewards of resources. According to the EPA, wildfire smoke has microscopic particles that penetrate deep into your lungs and cause aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases and is linked to premature death. Tree and vegetation removal correlates to less wildfire and smoke. It seems reasonable for elected officials to pursue policies and legislation that protect citizen’s health and exercise good stewardship. Politicians on both sides...