RV Dump letter approved, local resources for seniors shared

Seeley Lake Community Council

SEELEY LAKE – At their Nov. 8 meeting, the Seeley Lake Community Council unanimously approved a letter to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks asking them to repair and reopen the Clearwater Junction RV Dump station for the 2022 season. They also hosted a Senior Symposium with representatives from various groups and received several updates from Seeley Lake District Ranger Quinn Carver.

Per the discussion from their October meeting, Council Secretary Tom Browder and Council member Bruce Friede drafted a letter to FWP Director Henry Worsech regarding reopening the Clearwater Junction RV Dump station.

The letter stated the two-year closure of the RV Dump Station at Clearwater Junction has created a series of issues for the Seeley Lake Community. Not only are there more than 350 cumulative camp spots available in 24 taxpayer owned campgrounds along Highway 200 and Highway 83, the pandemic has increased camper usage in the valley encouraging additional dispersed camping in the area as well.

One of the issues the Council identifies is added pressure at Lindey’s RV Dump on Highway 83, the only RV Dump in the Valley. The letter states the RV Dump at Lindey’s has three holding tanks and their system seems to work fine.

The second issue identified in the letter is RV owners opening the valve and dumping their holding tank on the road as they drive.

Friede told the Council the RV Dump was installed at the Junction to complement the campgrounds. While the RV Dump is owned by FWP, it sits on Montana Department of Transportation property. There was no money asked for or received for using the RV Dump since the cost was intended to be covered by the trailer license fee.

Council member Sharon Teague asked if they should ask FWP to articulate why they shut it down.

Friede said they probably would get a couple of different answers but the important part was opening the dialogue.

“You get things fixed by communicating,” Friede said.

Vice Chair Jack Greenwood agreed starting the conversation was the focus.

The letter stated that the Council understands that there is adequate grant money available to repair or replace water and septic facilities.

“The Seeley Lake Community Council, on behalf of the residents and businesses in our area, are requesting that the Clearwater Junction RV dump station be repaired and put back into use,” concluded the letter.

After the Council’s approval, Browder said that they will submit the letter to the Commissioners for their approval and then send to FWP. He clarified that the Council cannot apply for grants, but they could assist FWP in researching options and help them in any way they can.

To read the entire letter visit https://www.seeleylake.com/home/customer_files/article_documents/council_rv_dump.pdf

Carver provided many updates from the Seeley Lake Ranger District including discussion on an upcoming project to salvage the Douglas fir that are being killed by a beetle attack from Richmond Ridge east to McCabe Creek. He said the salvage projects will be broken up into four pieces.

The first is the Highway 83 North Seeley Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) taking all the hazard trees along the highway past Lake Alva including maintenance work in the WUI and all the dead Douglas fir. The other three areas of the project include area around Monture/McCabe adjacent to the Blackfoot Clearwater Conservation Area, Coopers Lake and behind Double Arrow.

Carver said Lake Alva Campground is in “dire trouble” right now in regard to tree health. They will be logging the area.

“It is scary to me to put people under that stuff,” Carver said. “It is going to look drastic when it is done, I’m not going to lie. Big Larch is going to look like a picnic when we are done compared to Alva just because of the species types.”

This summer they planted 699 donated white pines around Lake Alva Campground. They are rust resistant and came from the Coeur d’Alene nursery.

Carver said they received a lot of funding through the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. This allowed them to restore the Double Arrow Lookout this past summer. They will continue to make improvements to the campgrounds with those projects including the boat launch in Seeley Lake Campground, new picnic tables and other improvements.

Representatives from Missoula Aging Services, Seeley Swan Pharmacy, Veterans and Families of Seeley Lake, Seeley Lake Senior Center and The Seeley Lake Community Foundation presented about services available to seniors and volunteer opportunities with their organizations. To learn more view the recording of the meeting on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/fHQe8gQr0KRaavcILx54FxMF6LuBrgvHRRDZntEUwkFg6RsqMhJ_cuXf-XaBkpJV.j1wDHsR4dBVjwgXH. Passcode: jFP!5WVL

In other business, Missoula County Commissioners Juanita Vero swore in new Council member Garry Swain.

The Council will not meet in December. Their next meeting will be held Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitors Center. The agenda will be posted on the Council’s Facebook page and in the Pathfinder the week prior.


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