20/35 Year Look Back

In celebration of 35 years of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, each week we will run parts of articles that appeared in the issue 35 years ago and 20 years ago. The entire issue will be uploaded to our website seeleylake.com for you to enjoy. We hope you will enjoy the journey with us as we follow our community through the past 35 years as documented by the Pathfinder.

35 years ago: March 5, 1987 issue

Car seats, seatbelts can save lives

If you have any doubts about the value of car seats for children or seatbelts for adults, local law enforcement officials advise you to think again. According to Highway Patrolman Norm Nash, "We would have many more fatalities in our area if people didn't use seatbelts."

An accident which occurred near milepost 21 on Highway 83 last week is just one example. From the picture (right) it's hard to believe that a Missoula woman and her four children escaped serious injury when their car went out of control and collided with several trees. All of the occupants were reportedly either wearing seatbelts or were secured in child car seats.

Montana law requires the use of child car seats and that is another good reason for using them for all travel in a car or truck. The state law covering car seats for children under four provides for a possible fine of $10 to $15 and having to obtain one on first offense with fines of $15 to $100 for subsequent offenses.

According to Roy Linn, Extension Safety Specialist at Montana State University, people have many excuses for not using car seats. Following are some good reasons to use car seats or seatbelts.

• A parent's arms are not the safest place in a car for a child. A 30-mile per-hour crash can exert a force of 450 points on a 15-pound baby. And, if not buckled in, the parent's body, slamming against the child and dashboard or seat, can increase the force of impact many times.

• It is 25 times more dangerous to be thrown from a vehicle than to be secured inside.

• Automobile accidents cause far more deaths of small children than diseases and illnesses. Eight of 10 fatalities can be prevented through use of car safety seats.

• Eighty percent of vehicle accidents occur within 15 miles of home and 80% occur at speeds less than 40 miles per hour. It is important to "buckle up" at all times.

• Many kids hate car seats but use of a car seat at all times, from the first trip in a vehicle, develops the proper expectations and habits.

• Odds are that half of all drivers will be in a disabling accident in their lifetime.

• Car seats really do protect children. Infants have survived, without injury, a crash in which the car rolled three times.

To read the rest of the issue visit https://www.seeleylake.com/home/customer_files/article_documents/1987-03-05.pdf

20 years ago: March 7, 2002 issue

Clearwater Junction - North


The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is currently conducting environmental and design studies for proposed transportation and safety improvements to Highway 83 south of Seeley Lake. The project begins at milepost (MP) 0.1, Clearwater Junction, Highway 200 and continues to MP 13.0. The highway section north of this project has recently been reconstructed by MDT. The proposed improvements include widening the roadway to include 4-8 foot shoulders and locate the highway on a slightly new alignment near MP 4.1 - 4.5 to correct a substandard curve. No additional lanes are proposed.


Several alternatives have been explored to correct the curve at milepost (MP) 4.1 - 4.5 and also take into consideration wildlife crossing needs. This portion of the project would require a steep cut into deer winter range on the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area. So the MDT and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) are cooperating to design a wildlife crossing that would maintain or even improve habitat in the area affected by the new road alignment.


To correct the substandard curve at MP 4.1-4.5, the roadway would shift slightly towards the Blackfoot Clearwater Management Area (WMA) and the Clearwater River approximately 15 meters (50 feet). This location would carve into the rock outcropping, making a very steep cut slope which would be difficult for wildlife to negotiate...

To read more of this article and the rest of the issue visit https://www.seeleylake.com/home/customer_files/article_documents/2002-03-07.pdf


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