Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


Community Briefs


Grizzly Bear Killed in the Swan Valley

Swan Valley - A black bear hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear in the Swan Valley.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks personnel responded to the incident that occurred May 20 in the Piper Creek drainage in the Swan Valley on U.S. Forest Service land.

The hunter, an adult male from Pennsylvania, reported the incident to FWP. The adult male grizzly bear weighed 500 pounds and was approximately 18 years old.

The hunter told FWP game wardens that he mistakenly identified the animal as a black bear. The incident occurred during the spring hunting season for black bears, which ended May 31. The individual had a license to hunt black bears.

FWP game wardens investigated the incident in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They are still in the process of making a determination on any potential penalties. The dead grizzly bear was removed from the site.

Grizzly bears cannot be legally hunted in Montana. Black bear hunters are required to pass an identification test before purchasing a black bear hunting license. A hunter must present a certification of completion issued by FWP at the time of purchase. The test is available online at

Hunters are always reminded to learn how to identify bears, be absolutely sure of their target and, if in doubt, don’t shoot.

Come to Placid Lake State Park to Learn About the Common Loons, June 16

During the June 16 Campfire Program at Placid Lake State Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife Parks non-game intern for Seeley Lake Keely Benson will be sharing with us her experiences as a Loon Ranger and the progress she’s helped to bring about in the returning of Common Loon populations to the Seeley-Swan Valley, including her work in banding operations to track these elusive birds. She will share knowledge about loons’ favorite summer and winter spots, about their nesting and chicks and about how long you’ll have a chance to catch a glimpse of them in Placid Lake. The program starts at 7 p.m. in the group use picnic area behind Site 22.

Benson is from Plains, Mont. and this is her third year working for FWP. She studies wildlife biology at the University of Montana and says that growing up hunting, fishing and playing outdoors instilled in her a deep love of wildlife and the natural environment.

Garnet Day Celebrates Mining Heritage of Montana’s Most Intact Ghost Town, June 16

GREENOUGH - The sights, sounds and smells of a 19th-century mining town will come back to life during this year’s family-friendly Garnet Day June 16 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The annual event, hosted by the Bureau of Land Management and the Garnet Preservation Association, brings a bustle of activity to the now-dormant ghost town of Garnet.

Montana pioneer impersonator Jennie Pak will give a presentation about Lucia Darling, a school teacher in Bannack’s early days. Music throughout the day will be provided by The Narrow Road Band and Old Time Montana Fiddlers Band.

Other activities throughout the day include a wool-spinning demonstration, a quilt display, various old-fashioned games for children and a pie auction.

Another highlight of the day’s festivities is the ice cream social which was an annual event 100 years ago in Garnet. Lunch will also be available for purchase on site.

The day’s events are designed to give families a fun, wild-west experience in one of Montana’s most intact ghost towns, located 35 miles east of Missoula.

Visitors will be charged the standard usage fee of $3; no admission is charged for those 15 and younger. For those needing assistance, a shuttle service will be provided from the main parking lot to the town’s main street.

More than 100 years ago, Garnet was an active gold-mining town but after a fire destroyed many of the buildings and as the gold became more difficult to mine, the once prosperous town slowly went into a deep sleep until its last full-time resident passed away in 1947. The ghost town is now publicly owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Missoula Field Office.

To reach Garnet from Highway 200, turn south on the Garnet Range Road between mile markers 22 and 23 and travel about 11 miles to Garnet Ghost Town.

Visitors using I-90 should take the Bearmouth or Drummond exit, then take the Frontage Road to Bear Gulch. Garnet is 10 miles north on Bear Gulch Road. The Bear Gulch Route is steeper and not suitable for towing units.

For more information on the event, contact the BLM’s Missoula Field Office at 406-329-3914.


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