Articles from the September 29, 2022 edition


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  • Holland Lodge expansion proposal discussed at Council

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - Dozens of residents filled the Swan Valley Community Hall Sept. 20 for the Swan Valley Community Council meeting. While the Holland Lake Lodge expansion proposal was merely a side note on the agenda, it consumed half of the two and a half hour long meeting. Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling and Planning Team Lead Shelli Mavor were present to represent the United States Forest Service (USFS) and answer questions. Flathead National Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele, who is the deciding official on the Lodge expansion issue, was...

  • Local teacher named Teacher of the Year Finalist

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - "Teachers were the most intelligent, clever people who were really good at catching mistakes and telling you what you were doing wrong," was the perception Sheila Devins had about teachers while in grade school. "I just knew I would never be a teacher." Currently a kindergarten teacher at Seeley Lake Elementary school, the Office of Public Instruction named Devins one of four 2023 Teacher of the Year Finalists from a record number of 57 nominees across Montana. Despite her lack of...

  • Garage destroyed in fire

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake Fire Department responded to a garage fire that was called in around 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. A half dozen volunteer firefighters responded within 15 minutes. With help from bystanders they were able to keep the fire from spreading to the house and wildland. The cause of the fire was unknown at press time....

  • Lovato steps in as new editor

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - After more than 40 years and an award-winning career as a print journalist, Vince Lovato is excited to return to his roots of community journalism. Stepping in as the new editor of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, Lovato said he looks forward to bringing his professional and life experiences and grasp of technology to continue to be a steward of the paper for the community. "It is my goal to help improve the Pathfinder as it forges into its next era working with a small company that...

  • Holland Lake Lodge Once It Is Gone…

    Dale Terrillion, Polson, Montana|Sep 29, 2022

    As best I remember it, over 40 years ago, me and my cutt’n partner Butch was coming down from Alaska. Turned off in Albany, Oregon headed for the sleepy little cowboy logg’n town called Sisters. Butch had friends there. Took note of the scenery over the Santiam pass, noted in the distance Mt. Jefferson wilderness and the mountain majesty thereabouts. Was a few years since Butch was back and all of a sudden was big real estate developments Butch whistled, “What happened?” Last time he saw it--it was a meadow, horses and cows. As I drove through...

  • Stein will protect your rights

    Juanita Vero, Greenough, Montana|Sep 29, 2022

    Montanans’ constitutional right to privacy and a clean and healthful environment will be threatened this legislative session. Many of us living in House District 92 fiercely value our privacy and depend on the integrity of our environment. The Blackfoot River and its tributaries flow through this District, we know the importance of clean, cold, complex and connected waters. On my family’s ranch, four generations have benefited from and worked to protect a state of mind – freedom, opportunity, responsibility – that is Montana. Gary Stein u...

  • Corporate recreation comes to Holland Lake

    Chris Servheen, Missoula, Montana|Sep 29, 2022
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    An out-of-state commercial recreation corporation, POWDR Inc., has proposed to expand the Holland Lake Lodge on public land and convert it into a destination resort. The current lodge is a locally run seasonal operation from May 15 to Oct. 15 that occupies 15 acres of public land under USFS permit on the shores of Holland Lake in the Swan Valley. POWDR Corporation calls itself an “adventure lifestyle company.” It is one of the largest ski resort owners in the US and owns 10 massive mountain resorts. It claims, “POWDR has an incredibly uniqu...

  • Demand more transparency - Fight for Montana

    Bill Lombardi, Seeley Lake, Montana|Sep 29, 2022

    In autumn, that mournful season that stifles the lighthearted sounds of summer, larch turn golden and, against the Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine, light up the Seeley-Swan Valley like a votive-filled cathedral in Rome. It’s something to behold as you stand in awe of the magic wand of nature, whose invisible hand has crafted an infrastructure that rapacious people want to market to a public hungry for natural experiences touted by Hollywood. At Holland Lake, we’re seeing a docudrama (like TV’s Yellowstone) play out with the U.S. Forest Servi...

  • Gary Stein best choice for HD92

    Bridget Johnson, Missoula, Montana|Sep 29, 2022

    All elections are important, right? This one seems particularly so - ballots will be mailed Oct. 14. Election Day is Nov. 8. Sometimes we ignore midterm elections - everyone is busy. However, if we don’t pay attention, our Montana State Constitution could be overturned by extremists. The right to privacy is something we all hold dear. We love our public lands. Let’s make sure we don’t turn Montana into a one-party monopoly and a rich-man’s playground. I urge you to vote for Gary Stein to represent YOU, the citizens of HD92. He has served...

  • TipMont: Montana's outdoor crimes lifeline

    Sydney Young, Game Warden, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Sep 29, 2022

    Tip lines have been used throughout history by law enforcement for their wide range of applications and effectiveness in gathering information related to ongoing or high-profile crimes. In 2002, the FBI used a tip line when the D.C. Sniper attacks were occurring which led to the arrest of two suspects who were eventually charged and incarcerated. Tip lines likely weren't around when Governor Richards appointed W.F. Scott as Montana's first state game warden in 1901, but we've come a long way...

  • Invitation to Joy

    Rev. Carrie H. Benton, Pastor, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Sep 29, 2022

    "Rejoice in the Lord, always. Again, I say rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4) What is the point of our existence? People often wrestle with this kind of question or something like it. The Westminster Confession, one of the official Confessions of my denomination (written in the 1640s) opens with this question: What is the chief end of man? In more contemporary language we might ask: What is the ultimate purpose, goal or hope of humanity? The answer from Westminster: to glorify God and enjoy God...

  • Kelly Ann Fitzgerald April 13, 1965 – September 21, 2022

    Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - Kelly was born in West Lafayette, Indiana as Kelly Ann Hartman. She loved the dogs, cats, fish, birds and horses she had while she was growing up. In school, Kelly was on the swim team, band, choir, Brownies and Girl Scouts. Through these groups she got to travel to Florida for a cruise, Mexico and Europe at the same time as the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana. She and her parents would camp with friends from the Battleground Saddle Club and every summer they'd stay at a family... Full story

  • Flathead National Forest begins fall prescribed burning

    Flathead National Forest|Sep 29, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct fall prescribed fire projects when weather, fuel conditions and air quality become favorable. Smoke will be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions. Each project follows a prescribed fire burn plan. The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, or to escape as a wildland fire. These projects will follow Montana air quality standards...

  • Solution sought for emergency boat launches on Holland Lake

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley Community Council hosted a discussion on the poor condition of the Holland Lake boat launch and lack of emergency access at its Sept. 20 meeting. Members of the Swan Valley Emergency Services (SVES), Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling and Holland Lake Lodge owner Christian Wohlfeil were on hand for the discussion. Dowling said he received a letter from SVES regarding the unusable condition of the boat launch at the Holland Lake Campground. SVES cannot safely...

  • Bear awareness during hunting season

    Rebecca Ramsey, Executive Director Swan Valley Connections|Sep 29, 2022

    Grizzly and black bears are found throughout our region and this is the time of year that bears are in hyperphagia. This is a time when bears increase their feeding activity driven by the need to fatten up before going into the den for the winter. Once they enter the den bears go without food and water for months. If they do not get enough to eat in the fall, the sows don’t produce cubs and some bears may even die of starvation. We try to remind people this time of year to really pay attention to containing any attractants around their home. K...

  • Area group offers trauma support

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – A grant-funded, area support group designed to increase support to victims of violence will begin meeting weekly from 6 - 8:30 p.m., Oct. 4 at the Seeley Lake Foundation building. The group will meet every Tuesday through Nov. 15. Community members who were victims of abuse or caregivers to those who were victimized are welcome to attend, said Jama Mauldin, social worker licensure candidate. Mauldin, with Angela Harris, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, will teach how brains respond to trauma, then lead a group discussion. “We fee...

  • Fire District pins new member

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - Tabitha Bailey was sworn in as a new firefighter on the Seeley Lake Fire District at the Seeley Lake Fire Board meeting Sept. 20. Bailey has been a member of the Seeley Lake Fire Department Auxiliary since 2020 and took a leadership role. Fire Chief Dave Lane said she has been attending training, driving the ambulance and taking on other duties. "She does things that a member does without the benefit of being a member...the biggest one getting into the retirement system," Lane...

  • Behind the wheel of an Electric Vehicle

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    Editor's Note: Since the installation of the new Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station at the Seeley Lake Foundation Building, the Pathfinder interviewed two local residents to better understand the advantages and disadvantages to owning an EV from their experience. SEELEY LAKE – When Seeley Lake resident Auguste Lockwood heard about General Motors new electric vehicle (EV) named the Bolt, he purposefully drove it so he could say he hated it. After 10 minutes of driving it, Lockwood was s...

  • Lynx conservation fosters global connection

    Jean Pocha, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    OVANDO - Eurasian Lynx research team "LIFE Lynx" members from Slovenia and Croatia visited the Blackfoot and Seeley-Swan Valleys Sept. 11-18. They compared their large carnivore research, investigated community forests and shared their research with area schools through the Blackfoot Challenge Education Committee. The collaboration between LIFE Lynx and the Blackfoot Challenge began in 2015 when Executive Director Seth Wilson went to Slovenia for work on large carnivore projects. Wilson...

  • 20/35 Year Look Back

    Sep 29, 2022

    In celebration of 36 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. 35 years ago: October 1, 1987 issue Buckle up: It's the law No more excuses, folks, it's time to buckle up when you get in your car. State legislators voted last spring to make seat belt use mandatory in Montana. Beginning Oct. 1, people violating that law will... Full story

  • Five years of regrowth on the hike to Morrell Falls

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - We returned August 2022 to repeat photos taken in October 2017 following the Rice Ridge fire....

  • Lady netters rally to win tourney, Victor HS

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – The Lady Blackhawks won the Mineral County Tournament after a slow start against Lincoln Sept. 24 in Superior. The Seeley-Swan High School Volleyball team played five matches. Head Coach Janelle Greenwood said the team improved with each game on Saturday. Dani Sexton led the team in defense with 25 digs and six aces on the day. "Tru Good had an amazing dig on a really good hit by Drummond," Greenwood said. Good had 20 digs on the day. Kilty Hanson, Rilyn Richardson, Amaiya D...

  • Hawks hang tough in home loss

    Staff Report, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE -- The Blackhawks made a valiant run at visiting Lone Peak but fell short of victory in a non-league, home game Sept. 23 Lone Peak built a 33-point lead but the Seeley Swan High School School football team kept battling, scoring 22 second-half points before losing, 53-22, in front of a strong and supportive crowd. Two interceptions by sophomore linebacker James Hayhurst limited the Big Horn offense in the first half. SSHS falls to 1-3 after the non-league loss but lists 14...

  • Hawk frosh runs to state finals

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    THOMPSON FALLS – Seeley-Swan High School Cross Country runners participated in the Thompson Falls Invitational Sept. 20. “The kids ran so well, especially considering they had to train indoors last week because of poor air quality,” said Bridget Laird, head coach. Freshman and newcomer to the team, Kyle DeRonnebeck ran a 26:25 in his first high school cross meet. DeRonnebeck qualified for state. Wesley Stevenson, sophomore, continues to improve, Laird said. He ran a 28:41. Conner Chadwick had a time of 22:35. “It was a beautiful course along t...

  • Community Briefs

    Sep 29, 2022

    Holland Lake Lodge proposal brown bag lunch and conversation, Oct. 4 SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley Community Council is hosting a special meeting Oct. 4 from 12 – 2 p.m. at the Swan Valley Community Hall to discuss the Holland Lake Lodge expansion proposal. This is a local meeting for people unable to drive to the public meeting scheduled for 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in Seeley Lake. Flathead Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele, Holland Lake Lodge Owner Christian Wolhfeil, Stacey Hutchinson and Raj Basi will be present for the discussion. The meeting is a p...