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Volume XXVI, Number 29

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Click here to comment on our front page stories on the new Bitterroot Star blog!

Hamilton Schools launching Safe Routes to School Program

In an effort to encourage and enable Hamilton’s children to walk and bike to school, the Hamilton School District is beginning its Safe Routes to School Program. More...

MDMH Food Drive in full swing - and coming soon to a supermarket near you

By Michael Howell

Employees at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton decided to focus their community efforts during the month of February on raising awareness of and support for the various food banks operating in the Bitterroot Valley. More...

The hub of the activities surrounding Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital’s employee efforts aimed at raising awareness and support for the valley’s Food Banks, is the “Share the Love Bulletin Board.” Pictured here at the bulletin board are Surgical Assistant Debbie Atkins, Eric Etter from the maintenance department and “Pink Lady” volunteer Linda Brewer. Michael Howell photo.

Time capsule could contain gold nugget

By Michael Howell

Discovery of the time capsule buried underneath the cornerstone of the Stevensville Junior High School building following destruction of the historic structure a few weeks ago, spurred Ruth Baker, a board member of the Stevensville Historical Museum, to do a little further research. She went up to the Ravalli County Museum in Hamilton which houses the collection of old valley newspapers in the Miles Romney Room and looked up the July 5, 1901 edition of the Northwest Tribune and discovered there a list of all the items supposedly included in the time capsule. Evidence now suggests that there may be a gold nugget in the old tin box. More...

This time capsule, removed from under the Stevensville Junior High School building’s cornerstone following the demolition of the building a few weeks ago, may contain a gold nugget from Welcome Gulch. Photo courtesy of Audra Loyal of The Vespiary Book Restoration and Binding.

House passes changes to Stream Access Law

By Michael Howell

House Bill 309, a bill that makes changes to the state’s Stream Access Law, was passed on a 57 to 43 vote last Thursday, February 10, and was transmitted to the Senate where it will be considered by the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee. The bill, which proponents contend simply clarifies the law by more clearly defining what is an irrigation ditch in relation to recreational access, was sponsored by Representative Jeff Welborn, a Republican from Dillon, and sent to the floor by House Agriculture Committee members on a 13 to 8 vote. Opponents of the bill consider it an attack on recreational access that will effectively remove many of Montana’s streams and rivers from public access under the state’s Stream Access Law by expanding the definition of a ditch to include streams and river channels that have irrigation structures on them and carry return irrigation flows. More...

Elk monitoring begins in Bitterroot

By Michael Howell

As of Monday, February 14, about 35 elk in areas up the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot River had been radio collared and released as part of a study aimed at gathering information that may help in determining the declining cow/calf ratios and population numbers that have been documented. In the end FWP hopes to have 44 adult elk radio collared. General information about the animal’s body condition is also being gathered as well as blood samples to check for disease and pregnancy. More...

Dr. Kelly Proffitt (FWP Research Biologist) and a member of the Quicksilver Air Inc wildlife capture team processing a tranquilized elk in the West Fork of the Bitterroot.

Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks Biologist Craig Jourdonnais and FWP Research Biologist Dr. Kelly Proffitt place a radio collar on an elk up the East Fork of the Bitterroot.

Montana Senators move to delist wolves

Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester introduced legislation on February 10 to delist the Northern Rocky Mountain population of the gray wolves in Montana and Idaho from the endangered species list and return those wolves to state management. The Senators also sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar again urging quick action to approve Montana's application to hunt wolves in the West Fork of the Bitterroot. This application is in conjunction with the Senators' request to hold a state-wide gray wolf hunt. More...

Senators urge reauthorization of Secure Rural Schools program

Senator Jon Tester and Senator Max Baucus co-signed a letter to President Obama on February 7 urging him to help in their efforts to re-authorize the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-determination Act. More...


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