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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 December 18, 2014 issue

Visit the Seeley Swan businesses with links below.
Their sponsorship makes this website possible.
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)

Prudential Montana Real Estate
(Real Estate Sales in Seeley Lake)

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)
Sledding spills were part of the thrills at the Community Appreciation Day at the Rich Ranch, Dec. 14. Shoes went flying when the sled full of siblings 7th grader Dakota Wood, 1st grader Kilty Hanson and three-year-old Kimber Hanson came to a sudden stop.

- Storage Unit Burglars Leave Traces

Early Friday morning, Dec. 12, eight Clearwater Mini Storage Units off Highway 83 north of Seeley Lake were burglarized.
Items stolen included moose and elk mounts, chainsaws, camping gear and a Joe Montana 49ers signed and framed jersey.

- Appreciation Day Equals Great Winter Fun

December marks the 20th year Rich Ranch has hosted the Seeley Lake Community Appreciation Day, but the tradition has an even earlier history.

- New Report Warns Collaborative Legacy Threatened

Collaboration on natural resource issues has been touted as a way to “end gridlock” and “find common ground and develop localized solutions” for more than a decade. According to a new report released by The Wilderness Society (TWS) entitled “Collaboration at a Crossroads,” this legacy is threatened without increased support from Congress, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and local citizens. The Lolo National Forest and USFS northern region indicated they feel the USFS is on track with the TWS report.

- Swan Songs

Charles A. Williamson 1938 ~ 2014 & Jennifer Wutzke Milliorn 1983 ~ 2014

- Montana Island Lodge Adopts New Business Model

The University of Montana (UM) Foundation has adopted a new business model for the Montana Island Lodge (lodge), on Salmon Lake. In response to the retirement of General Manager Jane Fisher, the foundation has decided to limit the services and rent the lodge on a per night basis. Property Manager Kevin Denman was hired to protect the property and maintain the buildings and grounds.

- If We Build It, They Will Come

Smiling faces entered the Seeley Creek Trails Yurt every day this week and the members of Seeley Lake ROCKS (Regional Outdoor Center for Kinetic Sports) are thrilled with that response. 
“We hoped if we built it they would come and it appears to be true,” said Chris Lorentz, president of Seeley Lake ROCKS. 

- Please Paws for People and Pets - by Elinor Williamson

- Opinion - Letters to the Editor

Misunderstanding Breeds Fear and Hatred; Open Meeting Law Applies to Party Caucuses

- Montana Delegation Negotiates Public Lands Legislation to Success

The U.S. Senate approved the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act and North Fork Watershed Protection Act on Dec. 12 as a part of the historic public lands agreement negotiated by Montana’s Congressional delegation.

- USVHS Offered Home Christmas Tour

Visitors who participated in the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society (USVHS) Tour of Homes on Dec. 14 viewed six homes on a self-guided drive along Salmon Prairie Road in the Swan Valley. The USVHS museum, decorated in a snowman theme and other seasonal decorations, was also open to visitors during the tour. A Christmas tree located in the museum, decorated by USVHS members with snowmen ornaments was awarded to the highest bidder in a silent auction.

- MCT’s Blackbeard the Pirate Sails Into Ovando

Blackbeard the Pirate, played by Zia Kloetzel (middle), along with her gang, Bluebeard (left) played by Madeline Swanberg and Redbeard (right) played by Carson Geary, sailed into Ovando, Dec. 12. The Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) worked with students from Ovando and Sunset Schools starting Monday. They performed MCT’s Blackbeard the Pirate Friday. “The kids did great and really worked hard this week,” said MCT Director Mary Kate McLaurine.

- Historical Society Hosts Scrapbooking Presentation

Scrapbooking was the focus of the December program of the Seeley Lake Historical Society (SLHS) Brown Bag at the Hayloft. Presenter Jennie Taylor, of Seeley Lake, offered information on creating traditional and digital albums.

- Community Briefs

Seeley Lake Library News; FWP to Hold Legislative Open House in Missoula; Missoula BLM Issues Decision on Chamberlain-Wales Project; Avoid DUI During Holiday Crackdown; Missoula County Sheriff’s Department Call Activity 12/9/14 - 12/15/14

- A Good Time for a Good Cause

Decorated sugar and gingerbread cookies were just a few of the goodies offered at the 20th Annual Rich Ranch Community Appreciation Day. The Seeley Lake Trailblazers 4-H Club has been providing the cookies since the Community Appreciation Day moved to the Rich Ranch, 20 years ago.

- Hellgate Civilian Shooters Named State CMP Champions

Seeley Lake freshman Justin Thomas won the state championship at the first annual Montana State Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) match held Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Bonner Range. Hellgate Civilian Shooters team consisting of freshman Ibby Lorentz and 7th grader Sam Weisenburger from Seeley Lake and Alex Weisenburger and Sarah Donald from Missoula were the first place team for the match. Both Thomas and the team earned an invitation to the regional CMP match in Utah in April.

- BCBS to Pay $1M to Resolve Complaints

HELENA – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana will pay one million dollars in response to hundreds of customer complaints handled this year by Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen and her office. The complaints against BCBS fell into a broad range of categories including:  failing to calculate deductible payments or calculating such payments incorrectly, failing to process medical claims in a timely manner, failing to respond to Lindeen’s office when regulators attempted to resolve issues in early 2014, failing to record the payment of customers’ monthly bills and failing to provide customers with needed documents, including insurance cards.

- The Big Three

According to Wikipedia, “Big Three is a term used colloquially to refer to the three most prominent entities in any given grouping or subject.”

- Potomac Pioneers End Basketball Season with 10 Wins

The Potomac Pioneer Basketball season ended with three tournament games in the Copper League. Potomac Pioneer Coach Brad Hall played all A and B team members in the tournament games.

- Lady Blackhawks Win Two on the Road

The Seeley-Swan Lady Blackhawks were victorious over the Arlee Scarlets and the Superior Lady Bobcats at a preseason tournament in Arlee Dec. 12-13. The Ladies are now 3-0 on the season.

- Blackhawks Go 1-1 in Arlee

The Seeley-Swan Blackhawks were taken down by the Arlee Warriors but came out on top of the Superior Bobcats Dec. 12-13 in a pre-season tournament held in Arlee. The games give the Blackhawks a 2-1 record.

- Holiday ‘Spot It’ Winner for Week 2

Congratulations to the Kauffman family from Condon for identifying three of the five photos correctly in the Dec. 11 Holiday ‘Spot It’ contest. Thank you to all the others that entered this week. For every correct answer, they were entered in the $100 Grand Prize drawing.

Below is another chance at the $20 weekly prize and entries in the grand prize drawing. This week is an early deadline so answers must be received by Saturday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. to be considered.

Good luck and happy spotting!

Please enjoy select archived articles, Passages columns, Swan Songs (obituaries) and Eye on The Environment columns from local organizations. Links to these offerings are available on the left side of this page.
Also at the left you will find links to local area information and our site sponsors and other potentially interesting or useful websites.

* Disclaimer: This website is undergoing a revision so you may find new as well as very old pages!
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Please email comments, letters or other matters to: pathfinder@seeleylake.com
This website is maintained by
Andi & Nathan Bourne, Editors and Publishers,
Seeley-Swan Pathfinder,
PO Box 702,
Seeley Lake, Montana 59868.
Phone 406.677.2022.

Copyright 2014 Pathfinder LLC PO Box 702, Seeley Lake, MT 59868, 406.677.2022.
All rights reserved, no photograph, writing or other material may be used
without prior permission.