Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Rachel Feigley
Seeley Lake, Mont. 

Voices of input influence outcomes


August 30, 2018

When I arrived three and a half years ago to my dream job as the Seeley Lake District Ranger, I was privileged to step into a world of collaboration and partnership that has taken years to build. People interested in actively engaging in the work that not only the Forest Service does but also that of other Federal, State and private landowners continue to demonstrate how important it is to work together to achieve common goals. Where there are competing interests or legal frameworks surrounding decisions, it is critical to determine how to blend them to best meet the responsibilities entrusted to my position. Sometimes those decisions are unpopular despite attempts to articulate rationale.

Voices that provide input can greatly influence outcomes - and attempts are made to find that proverbial ‘sweet spot’ that balances differing views within other constraints. Constraints affecting decisions include sharing ‘zoned’ employees across the Forest because we no longer have a complete staff on each District, reduced resources resulting from more competition with other National priorities, and adhering to laws that apply to multiple facets of management.

My staff and I have increased efforts to share timely information about project and activities on National Forest lands. This information is readily available on the Lolo Forest Facebook page, by calling me or stopping by our local district office, by attending Community Council meetings where I provide updates, by reading the Pathfinder regularly. My door is always open and I invite you to gain accurate information and provide input.

My deep appreciation for Seeley Lake and this landscape starting decades ago when I came with my family for vacation in the Seeley/ Swan area. Seeley Lake is my community and I support it by shopping locally, volunteering at a variety of community events, as well as serving as the local district ranger. I do my best to balance the desires of the local community with the responsibilities of managing natural resources and providing services to all American citizens. It is my responsibility to manage resources, serve the needs of our communities, and protect the safety and well-being of residents in the area as well as those of our Forest visitors

I look forward to continuing to build relationships with community members and working with groups and partners who are so critical to the Forest Service in meeting its mission: “To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”

To our health,

Rachel Feigley

Seeley Lake District Ranger


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