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Welcome to the website of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder.
The Pathfinder is the award-winning weekly newspaper serving the communities of Seeley Lake, Condon, Swan Valley
and the Blackfoot Valley of Montana.

Highlights from the November 26, 2015 issue

Are you in 4th-12th grade? Write for the Junior Journal! Click HERE for more information!!


Visit the Seeley Swan businesses with links below.
Their sponsorship makes this website possible.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties
(Real Estate sales in Seeley Lake)

Blackfoot Valley Dispatch
(Local news source for Lincoln, Ovando, Helmville
and Canyon Creek)

CLB Custom Landworks
(Landscaping, Tree Care and Fencing)

Clearwater Montana Properties, Inc.
(Proudly partnering with Cabela Trophy Properties
for Real Estate Sales)

Double Arrow Resort
(Historic Lodge & Golf Course)

Great Bear Properties
(Real Estate Sales in Seeley Lake)

Lindey's Prime Steak House
(The Place For Steak & Burgers on the Bay!)

Montana Loon Society
(Supporting Montana's Common Loons)
Pine Hills Outfitters
(Outfitting in the US)

Swan Mountain Outfitters
(Outdoor Recreation Services and Exclusive Lodging)

Swan River Valley Real Estate
(Real Estate Brokerage)

Swan Valley Centre Cabins
(Vacation Lodging in the Swan Valley)
Seeley Lake logger Brett Haines attempts to remove the twin top of a ponderosa pine. The top broke off smashing through Seeley Lake residents Ray and Barbara Cebulski’s second floor during the storm early Wednesday morning, Nov. 18. Haines was unable to lift the tree top off the house without first cutting off some of the tree’s weight.

- Cottonwood Lakes Road to Close for Log Haul Traffic

SEELEY LAKE - Approximately three miles of the Cottonwood Lakes Road (#477) on the Seeley Lake Ranger District will be closed beginning Dec. 1 for public safety while log truck traffic associated with the Mountain Creek Stewardship project is occurring on the road. The closure will remain in place until the work is completed, which will be no later than March 31, 2016. If the work is completed before March 31, the road will be opened. 

- Residents Awake to Chaos - Many Without Power

SEELEY LAKE - Many residents in Missoula County were awakened Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, Nov. 17-18 by the sounds of trees snapping and, what some described, as “a freight train” roaring through the area.

- Montana TNC Honored with National Award

HELENA - The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Montana was awarded the prestigious 2015 National Land Protection Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This competitive award is presented annually to one nominee for significant contributions to land protection in partnership with the USFWS. This year’s award highlights the Conservancy’s work in Montana’s Crown of the Continent, including conservation easements, land purchases and restoration, community engagement and stewardship work in the Blackfoot Valley and along the Rocky Mountain Front.

- SpaghettiOs Recall Issued Due to Choking Hazard

Campbell Soup Company is voluntarily recalling 14.2 ounce cans of SpaghettiOs Original due to a potential choking hazard posed by pieces of red plastic found in a small number of cans.

- Junior Journal - Rapid Forest Assessment in the Auggie Fuel Treatment Are, by Kara Good

- Swan Songs - Ryan Donald Greenwood; Rodney Allen Kvamme

- Letter to the Editor - Referee Needed for Land Board Appraisal Process on State Lease Lands

- Rememberin’ Back When - Part 2 Turkey in the Straw, or Car or Post Office, Made in America - Fuzzy Logic, by Mule Bit Perkins

- Thanksgiving Day Presents Hidden Hazards

When most people think about Thanksgiving, images of turkey, stuffing and time spent with loved ones typically come to mind, not fire hazards. However, an increased risk of fire is, in fact, a reality of Thanksgiving. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as on a typical day.

- Governor Bullock Secures Approval of Plan to Extend Health Coverage to Thousands of Montanans

HELENA - Governor Steve Bullock, joined by Sen. Ed Buttrey and Holly Blouch, announced that Montana’s innovative plan to extend health coverage to thousands of the state’s residents has been approved by he Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

- 1929 Fire Survivor Donated to Historical Society

SWAN VALLEY - In October, Roger Donald generously donated an original homestead cabin to the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society (USVHS). The cabin, locally known as Grandma Whalen’s cabin, will be moved from its current location off Kraft Creek Road to the site of the Swan Valley Historical Museum.

- Seeking Nominations for 2016 Neighbor Awards

HELENA - Governor Steve Bullock, along with a group of Montana-based organizations, is seeking nominations for the “Montana Neighbor Awards.”
The awards give recognition to landowners who work collaboratively with their neighbors to enhance Montana’s sense of community

- Seeley Lake Fire Board - Snowplow Bid Approved and Cadet Program Suspended

SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Board of Trustees accepted Rod Stevens’ bid for snow plowing both Station 1 and 2. Rod Stevens Construction was one of two bids received for the 2015-2016 snow-plowing contract. Stevens has held the contract for the last several years.

- Love Brings “Missing Bells” to Seeley Lake

SEELEY LAKE – Former Seeley Lake resident Donna Love has written a number of picture books introducing young children to elk, herons, osprey, loons and national parks. Her most recent book, “Santa and the Missing Christmas Bells” (“Missing Bells”), is a chapter book targeting a third-grade reading level, though in interest level it will also appeal to younger and older children.

- Small Business Saturday - Year-round Impact of Shopping Small

As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates all small businesses on a daily basis.  When our small businesses do well, our communities do too. Therefore, as part of our annual tradition, I encourage you to join millions of Americans and “shop small” on Small Business Saturday®, Nov. 28, to complete (or start) your holiday shopping.

- Snapshots of the Mind - Sometimes Our Images are Borrowed but This Scene has Its Own Portrait in my Heart 

It was a scene straight from a Leanin’ Tree Christmas card. The five-by-five bull elk was moving uphill on a well-traveled path through lodgepole pine while snowflakes as large as dollars and wetter than kisses pasted his sides. He was so close it seemed I could reach out and tickle his ribs with my gun barrel.

- TNC Highlights 2015 Accomplishments and 2016 Goals

SEELEY LAKE - The Nature Conservancy (TNC), in collaboration with The Blackfoot Challenge, held a public meeting Nov. 16 to provide updates on the Clearwater-Blackfoot Project. TNC had purchased 117,000 acres in January 2015 from Plum Creek. TNC discussed what they worked on during the field season, shared their goals for stewardship work in 2016 and opened up the meeting for discussion and questions about the project.

- Community Center Projects and Plans

POTOMAC - The Potomac/Greenough Community Center (PGCC) in Potomac is undergoing changes and improvements. Jeanne Hall, PGCC chair, said the projects will support and benefit all the groups that use the center. The center has been in use since 1978.

- Swan Valley Regional Planning Committee - Committee Works through Final Element
SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley Regional Planning Committee discussed the Implementation Element at their last meeting Nov. 19. Planner Robert Horne expects to have a complete draft for the committee to review at the December meeting.

- Business of the Week: Seeley Lake Antler Crafts

- Enter with Thanksgiving and Praise

It is one of my favorite holidays this week - Thanksgiving. Between feasting, family, friends, floats, furlough and football, it always seems to be a fabulous time!
There is a long tradition of Thanksgiving in our nation, dating all the way back to the Plymouth Plantation in 1623. Although it is not a holiday found in the Bible, giving thanks is certainly a very biblical thing to do.

- SSHS Recognizes Fall Athletes

The Seeley-Swan High School (SSHS) fall sports awards banquet was held Nov. 17 at Seeley-Swan High School. The banquet was held to present varsity letters, pins, chevrons, All-Conference and Academic All-State awards to members of the SSHS varsity fall sports team members.

- Swan Valley Community Council - MDT Extends No Passing Zone, Commissioners Support SVE Safety Issue

SWAN VALLEY - Newly elected Missoula County Commissioner Stacy Rye spoke at the Nov. 17 meeting of the Swan Valley Community Council (SVCC). She told those in attendance that the commissioners supported the citizens concerned about the danger to buses and drivers pulling in and out of the Swan Valley School (SVE) on Highway 83. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) responded to Swan Valley citizens’ letters about the SVE safety issue in a letter sent to SVCC member Marcia Tapp.


- Community Briefs