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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 July 23, 2015 issue
Visit the Seeley Swan businesses with links below.
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Morrell Lookout sits at 7,700 feet atop Morrell Mountain overlooking Seeley Lake. It is staffed every summer from early July through mid October, depending on the fire season. It is open to the public when it is staffed.
- Energy Code Requirements Raise Questions for Log Home Builders
MISSOULA COUNTY - New energy code requirements are leaving local log home builders questioning their ability to offer affordable log homes in the future. Current codes adopted by the state of Montana last November require: log diameter to average 14 inches; include a continuous air barrier that seals all the joints; and have a whole-house mechanical ventilation system. A blower door test is also required to meet code. Log home construction is one of the industries that supports the economy of the Seeley and Swan Valleys. All new homes, including log residences, built in Montana must meet the current energy codes.
- A Bird’s Eye View
SEELEY LAKE - From a perch 3,700 feet above Seeley Lake, the Morrell fire lookout keeps a watchful eye for any sign of suspicious smoke in the 20-mile plus view shed from Morrell Mountain. Fire lookouts have played a historic role in the west by spotting wildfires when they are small, protecting forest interests and the communities. Morrell Lookout is one of less than 40 lookouts across Montana that is still staffed every summer.
- Psychological Perspectives, Center of Attention
– Letters to the Editor: Support Patriots Day Parade; Change the Fisheries Management on Seeley Lake – Part 1
- Everyday Heroes Educate at Potomac Library
POTOMAC - Readers and participants of all ages enjoy the summer reading program at the Potomac library. The program is part of the Missoula Public Library (MPL) summertime reading fun offered at all the branch libraries.
- Discussion Continues on Hwy 83 Safety
SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Community Council (SLCC) continued to discuss its proposal for safety improvements on Highway 83 as it passes through town. The council also chose to take no action against a contentious Highway 83 access south of Salmon Lake and approved a SLCC Facebook page at its July 13 meeting.
- Local Counties Among 15 Counties Designated as Natural Disaster Areas
HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock announced July 15 that fifteen Montana counties have been designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as primary natural disaster areas due to drought conditions and nine additional ones have been named contiguous disaster counties. Secretary Tom Vilsack notified Bullock through a letter.
- 2015 Recreational Trails Program Grants Awarded for Local Projects
HELENA – Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) announced that 60 trail organizations, communities and various land-managing agencies throughout Montana will receive federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) federal grant awards for their projects in 2015. Local recipients include the Seeley Lake Driftriders, Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club and Swan Ecosystem Center.
- Swan Valley’s Summer Offering - Berry Picking Tradition
The Swan Valley is home to an abundance of huckleberry plants growing throughout the forested mountain slopes of the valley. Known by many names - bilberry or whortleberry among others – the huckleberry grows on moderate to steep slopes in moist, well-drained soils with just the right balance of shade and sunlight at elevations between 3,500 to 7,200 feet.
- Public Comment Sought on 2015-2016 Snowmobile Program Grant Awards
HELENA – Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) is seeking public comment on recommended funding levels for 2015-2016 Montana Snowmobile Program grant applications. Public comments are due by Friday, July 31 at 5 p.m.
- Beck Creek Gardens Thrive in Swan Valley
Can you grow food in the Swan Valley? Beck Creek Gardens is answering that question.
- Tour Reveals Good and Bad Aspects of Fire
SEELEY LAKE - “Do animals really sense a fire and flee ahead of it?” That was one of the questions asked by an out-of-state visitor on the July 12 Wildland Fire in Seeley Lake Tour associated with the Norman Maclean Festival. The answer came from Rick Trembath, one of the participants on the tour.
- Road Closures Due to Bridge Replacements
SWAN VALLEY – The Flathead National Forest will be replacing three bridges located on the Swan Lake Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest.
- PSC Meeting Seeks Abandonment Comments
SEELEY LAKE - The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) held a public meeting July 13 to seek comments on abandoning the propane pipeline that services Seeley Lake. Five Valleys Gas Company (Five Valleys) has proposed to abandon their pipeline and change its customers to individual tanks that would be serviced by Energy Partners, LLC (EP). EP wholly owns Five Valleys.
- Medical Center Continues to Move Forward
- Swan Valley Regional Planning Committee -
Natural Resource Objectives Best Met through Best Management Practices
- Schmitz a Hit with NBC Heat
- Conley Receives Foundation Scholarship
- A Miraculous Relationship
- Recreation & Trails Update ~ Week of July 21