Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

Trap-free group calls attention to collateral damage

Trap Free Montana Public Lands recently released photos of a Great Blue Heron who died after becoming ensnared in a steel-jawed, leg-hold trap that had been placed in a Bitterroot waterway. The trap was likely intended for a beaver, but, with jaws that measured 8.5 inches across, was large enough to capture any animal, including…

Commissioners stand firm in support of releasing wilderness study areas for managed use

Hundreds turn out to weigh in on issue By Michael Howell At a meeting last week, the Ravalli County Commissioners re-affirmed their position stated in a letter sent to Senator Steve Daines last September advocating the release of the Sapphire and Blue Joint Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) for management and in opposition to any new…

Local fisheries biologists awarded

By Michael Howell Two fisheries biologists in the Bitterroot, Mike Jakober working for the Bitterroot National Forest and Chris Clancy working for Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks, brought home awards from the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society’s annual meeting held recently in Butte. The theme of the 137th annual meeting was:…

Emma’s House children’s advocacy center to move

By Jean Schurman Emma’s House, the Bitterroot Valley’s Children’s Advocacy Center, has gotten too big for its location. Established in 2006, Emma’s House deals with children 18 years and younger that have been abused or neglected and are referred to the center by law enforcement or Child Protective Services. The need has always been here…

Christensen gets prison sentence, out on appeal

By Michael Howell   Dr. Chris Christensen, a Florence medical doctor, was sentenced last week to 20 years in state prison with 10 years suspended. He was convicted this past November by a jury on 22 felony counts at one of the longest trials Judge Jeffrey Langton could remember conducting. Charges included two counts of…

Business is booming at ammunition business

By Michael Howell   One of the biggest employers in the Stevensville area these days is an ammunition company located on the highway near Bell Crossing called Armscor Cartridge Inc., or ACI for short. Owner Darren Newsom, 47, is a Stevensville High School graduate who, instead of leaving town to go to college, went to…

Commissioners comment on proposed changes to NEPA rules

By Michael Howell   The Ravalli County Commissioners have responded to a federal request to comment on some proposed rule changes concerning the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Comments were requested on four “areas of efficiency” in NEPA procedures and environmental analysis. The federal government’s NEPA Services Group was seeking comments on the processes and…

County Commissioners’ stand on WSAs headed for public debate

  By Michael Howell   At a meeting last September 15, 2017, the Ravalli County Commissioners agreed to send a letter, drafted by Commissioners Greg Chilcott and Jeff Burrows, to Senator Steve Daines. Chilcott told the Board at the time that he was inspired to write the letter after having spoken with Senator Daines a…