Katelyn Andersen, 4-H extension agent has made a career move this year, recently changing to part-time family and consumer sciences extension agent, as well as part-time Rocky Mountain Laboratory's well-being and workplace environment facilitator in partnership through Montana State University.
As she ends 13 years working for us in Ravalli County 4-H, we wanted to say great big thank you to her for all she has done.
Since 2006, she has been serving as our 4-H extension agent, along with her many other community efforts. It was so neat to see Katelyn grow from a newbie, learning to work with the local youth and 4-H families, then having children of her own, and now her children becoming 4-Hers.
What a journey. She has spent so much time making a difference in so many youth's lives and experiencing all the events and opportunities right along with our 4-H community, young and old,Cloverbuds to Altunni.
Now also knowing her as a friend, neighbor and fellow 4-H mom, we appreciate what she has brought to our program these many years, and how hard she has worked. Her after hours meeting schedule alone was mind boggling!.
How exciting that her path has now led her to be a fair “barn mom" too. Be sure to tell her thank you when you see her, drop in at the office to say hello (she is still there part-time), or drop her a note of your appreciation.
Is there any tradition more American than the renegade who does the right thing?
I was hoping for 4-5 of that sort among the Republican senators in DC, so that the impeachment “trial” would have to include witnesses and documents and no longer be the sham it became. (“Okay, he’s guilty but not that guilty.”)
Remember the 1939 movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” with Jimmy Stewart? It was based on a fictional Montana senator who went to our nation’s capitol and bucked a corrupt system.
It ends happily except for the corrupt politicians. Can that sort of thing even happen here anymore?
You can argue that there can be different opinions about just what the right thing is, but doesn’t it come down to either integrity or power and money? Yes, both are American traditions, but there comes a time to choose.
BLM has no designated motor-free hiking trails in the Pryors. (The Forest Service has just one - less than two miles.) BLM’s proposed Travel Plan designates only a couple dozen miles of interesting motor-free trails. Unfortunately, BLM may open many of these new trails to mountain bikes.
Brett French’s article “Appraising the Pryors” (The Billings Gazette, Jan. 26) reports BLM discussed “one-way trails” and trimming vegetation “to improve sight lines” to reduce speeding bike collisions. Wouldn’t it make more sense to designate quiet and peaceful trails limited to foot traffic — without hazards of racing mountain bikes? There are already over 200 miles of mountain bikes routes in the Pryors. I’ve ridden several. But there are places bikes don’t belong.
BLM staff suggested one proposed three-mile trail “seemed an unlikely mountain bike route because of its length... Six to 12 miles is closer to the distance that cyclists are looking for.” Does BLM think that only trails too short for mountain biking should be proposed for quiet walking? Hikers and equestrians like longer trails, too.
To her credit, Jenny Alexander, BLM outdoor recreation planner, noted the Acton Recreation Area “used to be pretty quiet” but has turned into a popular downhill mountain biking area since bike trails were built. It’s fun riding bikes downhill fast. But BLM should avoid this fate for quiet trails in the Pryors by designating mountain bike-free trails. As Alexander said, people go to the Pryors “for the solitude and to get away from the crowds.”
On Sunday, Jan. 26, someone topped and mutilated two of the locust trees that have graced our downtown Hamilton for at least 15 years.
The two trees in question are in the middle of the first block of Main Street on the north side of the street in front of Tamarack Square. These trees are the property of the city and the perpetrators did not have permission to do this. The city has a lot of money invested in these trees.
Tree topping (Google it) destroys a tree’s natural grace and beauty, invites rot, encourages water sprouts (commonly called suckers) and greatly shortens the tree’s life span. The water sprouts grow rapidly to replace the vegetation that was removed so that the tree will not starve as it is the tree’s leaves that produce its food. This rapid growth is very weak and is attached to rotting stumps because topping cuts have a very limited capacity to seal themselves from air and water.
By the end of next summer, these trees will be about as tall as they were before the vandals struck but they will be forever compromised. The perpetrators who ruined these trees should be held accountable.
A bad haircut grows back but a bad tree cut is forever.
The editorials in the Ravalli Republic, January 12 and 19, 2020, about the EIS report by the FWP, are all informative; "Careful balance needed for bison" by Martha Williams, Director FWP, "Free-roaming bison EIS draws battle lines in Mt" by Chuck Denowh, and FWP based bison decision on science" by Michael Hoyt.
Michael Hoyt wrote "Mr. Denowh claims that FWP's finding will force free-roaming bison onto private property." That is not what Mr. Donowh said, as he wrote "Fortunately, FWP lacks the legal authority to unilaterally force free-roaming bison to be introduced anywhere in Montana"....Michael Hoyt suggested fencing out the bison. Really! The people living along Eastside Highway North of Stevensville can tell you that their fences do not keep out "free-roaming" buffalo.
Actually what I find totally missing is any writing about Brucellosis, "The contagious, costly disease of ruminant animals that also affects humans." From USDA web site, "Facts about Brucellosis." Brucellosis (undulant fever) can be eliminated by vaccine. Banks was the veterinarian who discovered the vaccine in the late 1800s. "Studies have shown that, if Brucellosis eradication program efforts were stopped, the costs of producing beef and milk would increase by an estimated $80 million in less than 10 years." Eradication is done by vaccinating calves, testing cattle and domestic bison for infection.
The buffalo of Yellowstone can not be vaccinated because they are classified as "wildlife." So what is evident to us citizens of Montana is that the 1954 cooperative state-federal Brucellosis eradication program to eliminate the disease from the country will be made helplessly ineffective by "wildlife" classification of buffalo that the APR (American Prairie Reserve) is actively pursuing for their "free-roaming" buffalo. And the APR has not said they will give access to the BLM land enclosed by their prairie reserve.
The FWP has elaborate plans laid out to contain diseases, fences, etc. It will take a whole new branch of government to implement what they propose. You can read the whole FWP EIS statement at fwp.mt.gov., and how you can respond to their proposals.
I do have to agree with Chuck Denowh that the FWP and the APR do have the same goals. You can read more about the APR in the Fall 2019 Range magazine, "Buffalo special report; cowboys or buffalo — critical mass."
If you love Big Sky Montana, you need to keep yourself posted on current happenings in and around Montana. This is not about who is right, who is wrong. It is about using common sense and protecting the good people of Montana.
The Good Book says that we reap what we sow. That is taken from Galatians 6. We can reap eternal life or we can reap corruption. To use in everyday life, if we sow order and respect, we can expect to reap those. However, if we sow chaos, we may not like what we reap.
Webster defines chaos as the confused collection or state of things; complete disorder. Chaos can lead to anarchy,which Webster defines as the state of society where there is no law or supreme power; a state of political disorder.
The state of anarchy is what those who are hungry for power love, as they can appear as the knight in shining armor on the white horse, so to speak. When in actuality they are the ones responsible for the chaos, and their idea of order is that they rule, their word is law, and to object is certain bondage or death. I understand that the younger people do not trust the government, yet what they believe to be freedom from law and order, is really the path to chaos, more government and no freedom.
Wisdom that I talked about before, beginning with the fear of the Lord, comes from knowing God, His character, and doing His simple commands, brings peace. His children do not give up anything. And what they gain far outweighs anything the world has to offer. Wisdom is really common sense. If you have peace in your heart in making decisions, I would say you are following wisdom and common sense. The "intellectuals" seem to lack peace, wisdom and common sense.
In the U.S.of A. are we going to sow a Godly heritage of order, or are we going to sow foolish chaos and anarchy?
Libraries for me have always been places to find treasures: answers to questions, books to read, movies to watch, and always a warm and comforting atmosphere. The Bitterroot Public Library is certainly such a place, and it makes me very happy to volunteer there one day a week.
So, when the library wanted help getting signatures from Hamilton, Corvallis, and Victor voters to run an additional three-mill levy for the library, I was happy to help. The library has not asked for a levy for 22 years; as one committee member remarked, “We have a 21st Century library running on a 20th Century budget.”
As the Bitterroot Valley grows, so does library use. As a volunteer, I enjoy seeing people from all walks of life use the library: from the Socrates Cafe group, to little ones and their parents at Story Time; from visitors to Hamilton looking for information, to regulars coming in for computer use and research; from patrons who love checking out movies, to the truck driver who loves audio books for his long hauls.
As Henry Ward Beecher put it, “A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life.” So, when you are asked if you would like to sign a petition to put this three-mill levy on the June ballot, please say yes — or if you don’t want to wait for someone to ask you, stop by Chapter One Books and sign one of their forms. Our library needs you!
Wolves of the Rockies attended a two-day Montana Environmental Quality Council meeting recently in Helena.
During that time, three or more hours were devoted to discussion of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Montana and the Rocky Mountain states.
Many experts from other states described the harsh realities and challenges posed by this disease in their respective states, and it provided us with a clear vision of what may soon unfold here in Montana. The EQC or perhaps, more importantly, the MFWP wildlife division leadership made no mention of the unintended positive effects of wolves and other predators and the critical role they may play in sanitizing the landscape. Why is that?
It is apparent that the state chooses to ignore the fact that its wolf population can serve a vital role in controlling the spread of CWD and other diseases. Wolves tend to kill the weaker animals in a herd, thus culling to a greater or lesser degree some of the CWD-addled animals. Conversely, the absence of predators may allow sick animals a longer period of time in which to transmit diseases like CWD, thus reducing the advantages of the “sanitation effect” wolves and other predators can have on prey species.
So why isn’t the Wildlife Division within MFWP leading the charge with acknowledging the positive contribution of large carnivores and their sanitizing effect on Montana’s landscape? Their silence on this issue and its overall reluctance to use the best available science in response to CWD and other diseases is both alarming and disappointing.
The rhetoric that MFWP wildlife “manages our wildlife responsibly and for all” is disingenuous. It is clearly apparent that the Wildlife Division caters to, or worse yet is an active advocate for, hunting organizations. The needs of so many of us who find intrinsic value in wildlife continue to be ignored. Doesn’t wildlife belong to everyone? Apparently, it is a ‘pay to play system’ in Montana; clearly its policies are crafted to reward hunting organizations for their contributions to the state agency regardless of the science.
Scientific scrutiny of hunting as a conservation strategy has raised many unanswered questions about carnivore hunting, specifically. The debate is riddled with disagreements over the value of an animal’s life, the human role in nature, and the effectiveness of lethal and nonlethal management of wildlife.
Hunters claim they champion carnivore conservation, provide revenue for management, control growing carnivore populations and reduce attacks on domestic animals. However, it seems most hunters are unsupportive of wolf conservation. In fact, the attitudes to hunting rules, wolf population levels, and sustainability seem inconsistent with hunter stewardship.
Thus, it is apparent that hunters often hold attitudes and engage in behaviors that are not supportive of broad based, critical ecological objectives of conservation — as in the case with addressing issues like CWD and other diseases. We understand that attitudes take time to change. But when is it time to begin a vital conversation about the importance of carnivore conservation as it relates to the overall health of our wildlife and the landscape?
All Montanans have the right to equal representation when it comes to the decisions made about wildlife in our state — regardless of whether we are members the consumptive community. It’s time to examine the motivation that presently guides the leadership within the wildlife division of MFWP and reevaluate the ethics, policies and the goals of the agency that is charged with conservation in our state.
Natural resources, specifically wildlife on public lands, must be managed to ensure that current and future generations always have wildlife and wild places to enjoy.
The American Legion Post wants to thank the Stevensville High School for an exciting evening with students studying the U. S. Constitution.
Yes, it was exciting to observe students explaining and defending basic issues concerning our Constitution. We think this program deserves community awareness and support.
The program is entitled: "We The People (The Citizen and the Constitution)." Since the program started in 1987 it has reached 30 million students. The program is nationwide; but the contest which we witnessed has only been conducted in Stevensville. The Legion hopes other schools in the valley will decide to participate and compete.
An example of just one of the questions addressed is presented to give the reader the degree of academic study and rational thought demanded of the contestants. “How have the values and principles embodied in the Constitution shaped American institutions and practices?” Maybe some us should try to answer that one during our next coffee break. Yes, it would be a challenge for most of us.
The state contest will be held in Helena on Jan. 21. We wish them success. Our special thanks go to Superintendent Bob Moore, the teacher/coach Wes Wells, quest speaker The Honorable Magistrate Kathleen DeSoto and the contest judges Representatives Balance and Greef and Senator Thomas.
As legionnaires we bring this event to the our neighbors attention because of our sincere concerns about failure to teach about our Constitution in many schools over the past few decades.
It was highly unethical of Chuck Denowh to use the Missoulian’s Guest Column to spread misinformation about FWP’s scientifically-based findings regarding the future possibility for free-roaming bison in Montana.
His implication that FWP’s finding “dramatically intensifies conflict over wildlife management in Montana” is pure baloney as is his statement that FWP is advancing the agenda of a radical, out-of-state environmental group.
The specialists (scientists) who work for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks began researching free-roaming bison eight years ago. They help public hearings and solicited written comments from concerned groups and individuals. Those scientists reached a conclusion not only based on solid scientific evidence but on the wants and needs of Montana’s citizens.
Mr. Denowh’s claims that FWP’s finding will “force free-roaming bison onto private property.” He seems to have forgotten that Montana is a “fence-out” state. If I don’t want my neighbor’s cows (or free-roaming bison) on my property it is my responsibility to fence them out.
Without relying on a single fact, Mr. Denowh blames FWP for doing the bidding of an extreme-environmentalist out-of-state organization. In doing so, he revealed what he truly is, one of our state’s most notorious backroom political operatives.
I just read an article about the negligent homicide of Judy Paul, and the driver was under the influence of THC.
She was given a slap on the wrist, a chance to hurt someone else. And she did. At what point is the state of Montana going to make their DUI laws stricter? She should never have gotten the chance to do this again. Never.
She should have been in prison, period, she killed someone. Giving anyone a second chance to do this again is mind blowing. There are people out there on their sixth, seventh, eighth and higher DUI. Obviously, taking away their driver’s license and giving them a fine is not enough.
I worked at the adult detention center in Virginia. Your felony DUI was an automatic, do not pass go, do not collect $200, prison sentence. You lost your license, paid a fine, and if you wanted to drive again, you had to make sure all your probation, fines and restitution was paid. Then you petitioned the governor to get your license back, if he said no, you’re out of luck.
Montana needs stricter laws for DUIs. You should never get the eighth chance, because obviously that’s not working. Wake up. Do something. This woman was convicted of a homicide and literally got away with murder. Shame on Montana and the lack of justice for Judy Paul. I was born and raised in Hamilton, and the laws concerning this matter have never changed.
This past week I had the great pleasure of being with young people from Stevensville High School as they presented a community hearing of the "We the People" competition.
Acting as a judge for these six teams of excellent students was certainly not an easy task. We hear so very much negative press about our young people today that it was incredibly refreshing to be with these students.
They are part of the "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution," a national program, led by their teacher, Wes Wells. It is so encouraging to see the knowledge and skills of presentation of these high school students. The Stevensville community should be very pleased with the support of superintendent Bob Moore, principal Brian Gum and especially teacher Wes Wells. My husband, Ed, and I have been honored to act as judges in the past and have learned and seen the passion Wes has for this program and these students. The program is after the regular school day. The students have committed to the program knowing the time they will have to invest will be added on to their already busy schedules.
The program promotes civic competence and responsibility among our nation’s students. The material is tough. There are six units made up of from three to six students. One unit title is "What are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System?" Another is "What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-first Century?" How many of us could answer these.
So there the kids sat, at a table with their notebooks primed, ready to refer to once one of the judges asked a question. They did not know ahead of time what question we would choose to ask. They were prepared. Composed. Well-spoken. Gracious. I am so very proud of these kids! Good luck to each of you as you compete with others from around the state.