MTPR

Seeley Lake Montana

A bear warning sign.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

A grizzly bear was detected in the Bitterroot National Forest about 15 miles west of Stevensville last week, according to a Montana FWP press release. Although there's no resident population of grizzlies in the Bitterroot, bear managers consider the area an important link between griz populations in the Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems.

Map of "Priority Landscapes" for forest management projects on the Lolo National Forest.
Lolo National Forest

Two proposed logging projects in the Seeley Lake area are the latest in a statewide push towards more use of a collaborative federal and state timber harvest program.

The Lolo National Forest wants to partner with the State of Montana on a pair of so-called Good Neighbor Authority projects to log about 5,000 acres of Forest Service land near Seeley Lake.

A plane flies over the Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake, MT, August 8, 2017.
Inciweb

Since before the smoke from the Rice Ridge Fire cleared in 2017, a team of University of Montana researchers have been tracking lung health of local residents.

They presented their early findings to the Seeley Lake Community Council for the first time Monday night.

A Forest Service map shows just one of the road closures in the Seeley Lake Ranger District. Rice Ridge Road #720 is closed between Camp Creek Road #685 and Richmond Ridge Road #667.
U.S. Forest Service

The Seeley Lake Ranger District is continuing work on roads as a part of post-fire recovery projects, causing closures and construction delays in many areas.

Volunteers fill sandbags at Fort Missoula, May 15, 2018 in Missoula, MT.
Olivia Sears

Flooding on some western Montana rivers slowed early this week, but warming temperatures mean more flooding is on the way.

Students fill sandbags in Missoula's flooded Orchard Homes area, Monday, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Cooler, wet weather is expected to start moving into Montana. MTPR's Edward O’Brien has more on how this could factor into the state’s unfolding flood crisis.

Candidates in the 2018 primaries seeking to challenge Democratic Senator Jon Tester and Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte are meeting in Seeley Lake tonight to answer questions from the Seeley Lake Community Council, local media, and the public.

Jean Loesch and her family live in Seeley Lake, Mont., which saw the longest and most intense smoke from Montana's wildfires this summer. Loesch has 10 children, adopted or in her foster care, and they are learning what it's like to have lingering respiratory problems.

Last summer, Loesch says, the smoke was so thick outside, the family couldn't see the trees across the street, so they stayed inside. It was still really hard to breathe.

"These guys were miserable," Loesch says. "I think each one of them ended up having to go to the doctor." Everyone needed inhalers.

Jocelyn Brown of Florence, Montana pulls a small fish out of the water.
Suzanne Downing

More than three times as many men participate in hunting and fishing nationally as women. A Montana program that seeks to change that by teaching women outdoor skills turns 25 this year. Becoming an Outdoors-Woman kicked off the anniversary with a weekend-long workshop in Seeley Lake.

Amy Cilimburg, the director of Climate Smart Missoula, helped Seeley Lake residents Joy and Don Dunagan get a HEPA air filter through a partnership with the Missoula City-County Health Department.
Nora Saks

This past wildfire season, unprecedented amounts of wildfire smoke in communities across western Montana threw public health agencies a curveball.

Yesterday, we dove into what we know and are still learning about the long term health impacts of exposure to wildfire smoke. Today, we’re looking at what it would take to provide filtered air to the most vulnerable Montanans.

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