Family Fun in the Forest: Hike to Ross Creek Cedars

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness/Lincoln County Zero to Five



Hike Description: From the forest to the Farmers Market, this collaborative hike with Lincoln County Zero to Five promises to be fun for kids and adults alike. All ages and all abilities are welcome for a

“Family Fun in the Forest” hike to Ross Creek Cedars.

We will begin at the nature trail and learn about the HUGE cedar trees found in this special spot.

Please bring water and a snack. The surface is flat and the distance is less than a mile.

We will meet at the Ross Creek Cedars trailhead at 11:00 a.m. Mountain Time and wrap up at 2:00 p.m. Everyone is then invited to finish the day with friends at the

Zero to Five Kids Corner of the Troy Farmers Market from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


For more information or to register for this event, please contact Henry Jorden via email at

Compliance and Safety Reminders on Montana Waters


Submitted by Montana FWP


Wardens are seeing many
water recreationists out of compliance


Unseasonably warm weather is occurring early
in Montana, and many boaters and anglers have been going to the local reservoirs and other waterways to get some relief from the heat. However, along with having fun, folks need to follow all the laws while
out and about.  Wardens have been checking a slew
of boaters and anglers recently, and some common issues are recurring as summer is getting underway:

License possession while fishing:

Many anglers contacted this spring and summer have not had their license in possession while fishing. This is a requirement by law. Anglers are required to produce their fishing license when requested by a game warden.

A good recommendation is to carry the original printed license and hold a digital “copy” on a phone
as a backup. The digital phone copy is legal, provided the license is quickly accessible and saved as a PDF, *screenshot of the license or a photo of the license. Sometimes, anglers have tried to rely on spotty
cell phone service to look up their licenses via the
internet, which has not always worked. Save a copy that you can find immediately!

*ALS Receipts and screenshots of “Items Held” on
the MyFWP page do not count as licenses. 

Required Safety Equipment on boats:

Multiple citations have been issued this summer for insufficient safety equipment on boats.  By law, the following are required for noted watercraft:

A wearable U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device must be readily accessible for every person on the vessel, regardless of age. This includes, but is not limited to, all boats, kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis and canoes.

All vessels 16 feet in length and over must have one U.S. Coast Guard approved throwable personal flotation device that is immediately available for use.

Children under 12 years of age must wear a life jacket on a boat less than 26 feet in length that is in motion.


There must be at least two people on board a
towing vessel, one operator/driver and one observer. If the operator is 12 or younger, the observer must be at least 18.

The person(s) being towed must be wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

Fire extinguishers:

All motorboats must carry a U.S. Coast Guard-approved type B fire extinguisher.

* Exception: motorboats less than 26 feet long that are propelled by an outboard motor and are completely open construction (no closed spaces where gasoline fumes may be trapped) are not required to have a fire extinguisher.

Validation Decals on Boats:

Wardens have found that most boats have
followed this rule, however, a few boats are still
missing their required decal.

All motorboats, sailboats or personal watercraft that are registered in Montana must display two
validation decals. Current validation decals are red in color and are in effect for a three-year period expiring Feb. 28, 2023. Validation decals may be obtained, free of charge, at any Fish, Wildlife & Parks regional office or at the website.

AIS Check Stations:

ALL WATERCRAFT are required to stop at all
open AIS check stations. Folks doing “drive-bys,” whether intentionally or unintentionally, are
being cited.

inspected before launching in Montana. This is
required by law.

Proof of Inspection Paperwork:

Many nonresident boats that have been contacted do not have their proof of inspection paperwork in their boat while on the water. Please always carry these.


For more information on fishing or boating laws, please pick up a copy of the 2021 Fishing Regulations or Montana Boating Laws. Good luck and be safe out there!

Keep Bird feeders clean or placed away for the summer months

Submitted by Montana FWP


HELENA – To prevent the spread of disease, such as
salmonella, bird enthusiasts should consider either
removing their bird feeders
for the summer or cleaning the feeder regularly. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has received several phone calls recently about dead birds around feeders and birds with crusty eyes.

Birds don’t need supplementary food in the summer. They typically eat naturally occurring food, such as insects, during this time of year when they are nesting and rearing their young.

If you suspect that you are seeing sick birds,
or find dead birds around your feeders, please contact your local FWP office. Bird feeders should be removed in the event illness is observed. The ground under feeders should also be cleaned as droppings will contain the salmonella bacteria.

Even when there is no sign of disease, feeders should be cleaned and disinfected at least every other week, or even weekly.

Prevent overcrowding by spreading feeders out or using feeders that only allow a few birds
to visit at one time.

Cleaning feeders: Clean your feeders with warm, soapy water. Disinfect with a 10 percent bleach solution to kill bacteria. Rinse the feeder and allow it to dry completely before using it again. Disinfect your birdbaths as well.

Clean your bird feeding area by washing all structures holding your feeders and raking the ground surrounding the feeders.

If you have observed sick or dead birds, do
not reinstall your feeders for a few weeks. As birds begin to migrate and cease traveling in flocks, it will be okay to put feeders back up.

If you find a dead bird, place it in a double
plastic bag. Please keep the bird in a cool
location (such as a cooler) until you’ve contacted FWP.  FWP may want samples for testing. Wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly afterwards.

If you live in bear country, please consider
placing feeders greater than 10 feet high, and more than 4 feet from nearby trees and bring them in at night or keep your feeders down for the active bear season.  If bear activity is observed in the general vicinity of the feeder or your home, the feeder should be removed permanently.