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Community Briefs


September 21, 2017

Community Handbell Choir Fall Season Begins

SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley-Swan Mountain Bells, a local community handbell choir, will kick-off the fall season Tuesday, Sept. 26. New members are welcome. Anyone who is curious is encouraged to give the group a try and see how you like it. Members are expected to be able to read music.

The choir practices Tuesdays in the music room at Seeley Lake Elementary school. Set up begins at 3:15 p.m., practice is from 3:30 – 5 p.m. and then members should allow time to take down.

Director Joann Wallenburn does offer a word of caution, “Handbell ringing can be addictive and beneficial to your health!”

Sewer Public Information Meeting Postponed

SEELEY LAKE - The public information meeting regarding the Seeley Lake Sewer project scheduled for Sept. 21 has been postponed due to ongoing fire season impacts. The meeting will be rescheduled and date announced.

For more information visit or follow the district on

Blackfoot-Clearwater WMA, The Nature Conservancy Lands and Horseshoe Hills Area Reopened

The Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area (WMA), all of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) lands in western Montana and the Horseshoe Hills area on the Seeley Lake Ranger District are now open for public use. The lands had been closed due to extreme fire conditions and nearby fire activity and evacuations.

 Officials say fire conditions and suppression activities are lessening with the change in weather. Hunters and other recreationists should still pay careful attention to where they drive, relative to road closures and dry grass and stay clear of fire crews and equipment. Drive with caution and do not block gates; many roadways will be busy with demobilizing crews, heavy equipment and other resources used for firefighting.

Seeley Lake Ranger District Ranger Rachel Feigley said that the Cottonwood Lakes Road (Forest Road 477) remains closed due to fire suppression activities.

For up-to-date information on the closures and restrictions on Block Management Areas and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks lands visit, or call the FWP office in Missoula at 406-542-5500.

For current fire closures and maps that include Forest Service and BLM public lands, visit InciWeb online at

Closed Areas Around Archibald Loop Road Opened for Firewood Cutting

SEELEY LAKE - In an effort to increase the local community’s ability to access firewood, the Seeley Lake Ranger District is opening up several gated roads off of the Archibald Loop Road. Many of these roads have been gated since the Jocko Lakes Fire in 2007.

Anyone interested is encouraged to stop by the Seeley Lake Ranger District north of Seeley Lake on Highway 83 and pick up a map and more information or call 677-2233.

2-1-1 Program Offers Fire Relief Assistance to Seeley Lake Community

SEELEY LAKE - The 2-1-1 program at the Human Resource is now distributing fire relief funds donated for those impacted by the Rice Ridge Fire.

So far funds have been utilized to purchase air filters for Seeley Lake area schools and support the Montana Food Bank Network in providing food for evacuees at Camp Paxson. The funds are not available to individuals and families who incurred added expenses or loss during the Rice Ridge Fire.

To learn more call 2-1-1 or 406-549-5555 Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. A committee of community members will review requests. All requests will be considered and filled if possible. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the process.

Everyone is reminded that homeowner and rental insurance companies should be contacted. It is likely that part or all additional expenses as a result of the evacuations will be covered.


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