Bitterroot Star Masthead

Volume XXI, Number 9

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

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What's Inside

Support for sexually oriented business ordinance

Montana Farmers Union Convention

Town Pump to raise funds for food banks

Victor Lady Pirates on top

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Done By Dooney.

Harvest time. Chad Sutherland took advantage of the Indian Summer weather last week to chop corn along Eastside Highway. After Chad chopped the corn and filled the hopper of the chopper, his grandpa, Al Sutherland, trucked the corn back to the Sutherland Ranch east of Victor. Jean Schurman photo.

Middle East Fork Project FEIS released

Trees marked in advance of decision; Environmentalists barred from press conference

By Michael Howell

Controversial from the beginning, the Middle East Fork Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project has become even more so as the Forest Service approaches a final decision in the matter. The announcement of the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) at a press conference on Thursday was preceded, a few days earlier, by allegations from the Native Forest Network (NFN) and Friends of the Bitterroot (FOB) that trees had already been marked in cutting units while the Forest Service was still seeking public input on its various alternatives. Then, on Thursday, FOB President Jim Miller was escorted out of the press conference room by an armed law enforcement officer when he could not produce any press credentials. Two other FOB members were also barred from entering the conference room. More...

Oily film on river caused by bacteria, EPA says

Concerns remain for potential pollution problems

By Michael Howell

The apparent oil sheen that lines the water's edge along a stretch of the Bitterroot River north of Stevensville is not an oil sheen, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on-scene coordinator, Craig Meyers, who investigated a complaint about the matter last week.

"Someone thought there was oil being released from old cars used as rip rap along the bank in the area," Meyers told the Bitterroot Star in a telephone interview. "What he was seeing is a bacterial life form that can look a lot like an oil sheen," said Meyers.

The bacteria is observable in slow or stagnant water and indicates the presence of iron. He said that the bacteria uses iron as a catalyst for its own metabolism and then leaves an iron precipitate when it biodegrades. He said that the iron could be naturally occurring in the soil or it could be coming from the rusted cars. More...


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