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Former Forest Service chief to receive UM honorary doctorate

The University of Montana will award an honorary doctorate to former U.S. Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas of Florence during its May 14 commencement exercises. On March 4, the state Board of Regents approved the plan to present Thomas with an Honorary Doctorate of Science. Actor J.K. Simmons will also receive an Honorary Doctorate…

Water right objection filing deadline nears

Time is running out to file objections to water rights on the main-stem and eastside of the Bitterroot River. The Montana Water Court has set a deadline of June 1, 2016 to receive objections to water rights. Stream adjudication is under way in much of the Bitterroot Valley. On December 4, 2015, the Montana Water…

Floodplain violations under investigation

By Michael Howell Ravalli County Floodplain Administrator Brian Wilkinson has been investigating potential floodplain permitting violations at the Bitterroot River Lodge property south of Hamilton since late last summer. Wilkinson wrote the property owners, TDJ Brothers No 2, LLC and Bensch Family, LLC, in August 2015 about potential floodplain permitting violations involving ponds, buildings and…

Corvallis school to run operating levy

By Michael Howell On February 9, the Corvallis School Board voted unanimously to ask the community to approve a General Fund Operating Levy in the amount of $440,000 at the May 3 school board election. If approved the tax levy would support the fund which pays for most operating expenses, including salaries, maintenance needs, supplies…

Otto Teller honored at Woodside FAS

There is a new plaque at the Woodside Fishing Access Site on the Bitterroot River west of Corvallis honoring Otto Teller, the landowner who dedicated the land to the state in 1989 establishing river access there for the public in perpetuity. The plaque says: “For generations to come, we will share in and benefit from Otto Teller’s generous contribution in conserving wild tout fisheries. Otto set the example for all of us by being sensitive to land use and nurturing a healthy environment. We thank Otto Teller for his donation of land and the invaluable contributions he has made to Montana’s national heritage.”

By Michael Howell A dedication ceremony was held at the Woodside Fishing Access Site (FAS) on Thursday, March 3, in celebration of the erection of a new memorial plaque honoring Otto Teller who generously donated the land for the FAS in 1989. Creation of the new memorial plaque was spearheaded by Montana Department of Fish,…

Chamber honors Severson for lifetime achievement

Dan Severson, Stevensville businessman, received a standing ovation as Al Mitchell, Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, presented Severson with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce held its 110th annual awards banquet on February 20 in Hamilton. Awards were handed out in front of a packed house at the Bitterroot River Inn. In fact, according to Al Mitchell, Executive Director, it was one of the most well-attended banquets in years. Under Mitchell’s leadership, the Chamber…

Habitat for Humanity breaks ground in Stevi

habitat

By Michael Howell A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Stevensville last Sunday to celebrate the new Habitat for Humanity home going in at 103 Mission Street. It is going up right next door to another Habitat for Humanity home that was constructed in 2014. Active in the valley since 1998, the organization has helped eight families…

Darby Library to host talk on Islam

By Michael Howell The Darby Community Public Library Board confirmed its commitment last week to the ongoing Lifelong Learning Series of lectures with speakers provided by Montana Humanities and Tamarack, a library alliance. Library Director Wendy Campbell said she received some written complaints and phone calls objecting to the next scheduled presentation in the series…

County Health Board overrules Dept. of Environmental Health

By Michael Howell The Ravalli County Board of Health has overruled a decision by the Ravalli County Department of Environmental Health (RCEH) that would have denied a septic permit in the floodplain of the Bitterroot River along the banks of Mitchell Slough. Judy Mucha, who owns a parcel of land in the Alpenglow subdivision just…

Stevi to study Utility Bill Reduced Rate Program

By Michael Howell The Stevensville Town Council agreed last week to initiate a survey to gauge the effectiveness and the general acceptance (or not) of the town’s Utility Bill Reduced Rate Program. The program was designed to establish a fee that would be placed into a fund that could be used to help pay the…