Community Briefs


September 6, 2018

Fire restrictions rescinded across northwest Montana

KALISPELL — Cooperating interagency fire managers across northwest Montana followed suit with the Missoula area and rescinded Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Aug. 31.

Recent rain and cooler temperatures have substantially slowed growth of all area fires, but fire managers encourage people to recognize that, while evenings are cool, forest vegetation remains dry. Historically, many of the wildfires in the Flathead area have grown substantially with weather systems and high winds common in late August and early September.

Federal, State, and Private jurisdictions rescinding fire restrictions include: Flathead National Forest; Kootenai National Forest; Glacier National Park; Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; US Fish and Wildlife Service; Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; Flathead County; Lake County; Sanders County (has moved to Stage 1 Fire restrictions) and Lincoln County (contingent upon commissioner signature).


Seeley Ranger District campground status

SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Ranger District updated the status of campgrounds across the district, which includes no-fee camping beginning Sept. 4, 2018 on all campgrounds.

• Fees will no longer be charged at any campgrounds starting Tuesday, Sept. 4.

• The gate will be closed on Lakeside Campground Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 4.

• Seeley Lake, River Point, Lake Alva, Lake Inez and Rainy Lake Campgrounds will remain open after Labor Day weekend.

• A new area closure will be in place for the Big Larch Campground Complex starting Wednesday, Sept. 5, that will now include the Day Use Area in addition to the main campground. The closure is due to the tree removal contract work currently occurring in the area. Access to the Big Larch boat ramp will remain available until reconstruction work begins on the boat ramp.

• The boat ramp at the Seeley Lake Campground will remain open during the Big Larch boat ramp closure to accommodate boating use.

• Lake Alva Campground is expected to remain open while thinning of small diameter subalpine fir resumes mid-September along the main access road and around the outer circle of the campsites. This work is aimed at continued treatment of dead and dying subalpine fir trees infected by Spruce Budworm. It is anticipated the campground, day use area and boat ramp will remain open during contract work.

For additional information please contact the Seeley Lake Ranger District at (406) 677-2233.

Handbell choir fall season start-up

SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley-Swan Mountain Bells, a local community handbell choir, will kick-off the fall season on Tuesday, Sept. 11. New members are welcome. If you’re curious, please come give it a try and see how you like it. Caution: Handbell ringing can be addictive and beneficial to your health! We do expect members to be able to read music. If you’re really rusty, that’s OK! The choir practices weekly, on Tuesdays in the music room at Seeley Lake Elementary school. We typically set up at 3:15 p.m., ring from 3:30 – 5 p.m. and then take down.

This fall, the choir will prepare Thanksgiving music to play in area churches and will offer a Christmas Concert for the community in December.

An update on the missing D4 bell - It was found in plain sight in the SLE music room by the sons of one of the Food Bank volunteers. The choir is grateful for its return, saving them $500 in replacement costs.

For more information, feel free to contact the director, Joann Wallenburn at 677-4424 or – or just come to a practice.

2019 Missoula County Parks & Trails matching grant applications available

MISSOULA - The Missoula County Parks and Trails Advisory Board is accepting applications for grant funds that allow the Missoula County Parks, Trails & Open Lands Program to partner with dedicated community members interested in improving and maintaining public recreation sites located outside of the Missoula City Limits.

There is $40,000 of funding available for Capital Improvement projects and $10,000 for Maintenance projects. Grant recipients are reimbursed for half the cost of the project up to the award amount. Cash expenses, in-kind donations and volunteer service are recognized as an eligible match.

Applications due Oct. 22. Grants will be awarded by the Missoula County Commissioners next spring.

To learn more about the program or for an application visit: or stop by the Community and Planning Services office at 323 W. Alder Street. For more information contact John Stegmaier, Parks & Trails Coordinator at (406) 258-3458 or email


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