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Seeley Swan Pathfinder
August 20, 1998
The week of August 10th - 14th proved to be an informative and exciting time for twenty teachers from Ovando, Lincoln, Seeley Lake, Helmville, and Spokane. These teachers were involved in a workshop sponsored by Project WET Montana and The Blackfoot Challenge.
Everyone gathered at a designated spot each morning, greeted Mark the bus driver, boarded a small yellow bus, and visited areas from Roger's Pass to Johnsrud Park. The bus covered a total of five hundred miles, taking the teachers to the Alice Creek Ranch and the Meadow Spring Ranch to study wetlands. They also visited the Heddleston Mining District to see reclamation in progress and also the site of the proposed McDonald Gold Project.
Other places visited were the Upper Blackfoot Valley Historical Museum, the Potter Ranch to see how to lay out a timber sale near a stream, and the Blackfoot Waterfowl Protection Area. At the Stone Ranch, the site of a weed management area was visited, a visit to the Blackfoot-Clearwater Game Range centered around wildlife management, and the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks enlightened the teachers about the bull trout as an endangered species.
One warm afternoon Woody Baxter again proved he's the River Manager of the Year by guiding the teachers down the Blackfoot River.
Departments and people involved during the week were the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Project Wet, the Forest Service, Partners for Wildlife, BLM, U of M, MSU, Lubrecht Forest, Brent Anderson of Conifer Logging, Jerry Burns and Jim Maser. A large thanks goes to Becky Garland for planning and coordinating the entire week, along with John Etgin of Project WET.
As a result of bringing all these people together, it is hoped to plan a workshop that will combine all the students from Seeley Lake to Lincoln. Many great things are occurring in the Blackfoot Valley and these happenings should be shared with the youth.