Autumn Wings, Woodpeckers, and Wildfire



Join Project Ascent for a unique fall outdoor educational program entitled, “Autumn Wings, Woodpeckers, and Wildfire” on Saturday, October 5th. The group will meet at 8:00 am Mountain Standard Time at the Venture Inn at 1015 West 9th Street, U.S. Hwy. 2 in Libby, Montana. Project Ascent is made up of a team of professionals who have an expansive collective knowledge of outdoor recreation, and a passion for improving the community and protecting surrounding areas for future generations. The organization is based in Thompson Falls, Montana, and it’s purpose is to offer outdoor education and recreational opportunities to under served youth and interested adults in Lincoln and Sanders Counties, as well as surrounding areas. See the website at: www.projectascent.org for more information on the group.

This autumn outdoor educational class is timed for the general fall migration of many birds, and will focus on birds of prey, waterfowl, and songbirds, with a side emphasis on woodpeckers and their specialized relationship with recent forest fires. We will visit sites of relatively recent fires near Libby, as well as river, lake, and wetland locations. Participants are asked to wear appropriate clothing for the day, and bring along an orange safety vest or similarly colored outdoor wear. We will have a few for folks to borrow if need be. Additionally, please bring binoculars, spotting scopes, bird book, water, lunch, proper footwear, cameras, full gas tanks, and a good attitude. There is no charge for this class, but please realize that slots are limited, so please plan on attending if you sign up. Our instructor for the day is Brian Baxter, who has degrees in both forestry and wildlife, and has been teaching outdoor educational programs for over 18 years. To sign up, contact Brian at Email: b_baxter53@yahoo.com, or call: 406-291-2154. This class will run from 8 am to approximately 3:30 pm.

Submitted by Brian Baxter


Lincoln Co.

Resource Advisory Committee seek project proposals from public

The Lincoln Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) is seeking proposals for projects that would enhance forest ecosystems or restore and improve land health and water quality on the Kootenai National Forest. Over 973,000 have been allocated to RAC projects over the past two years. These funds are made available to Lincoln County through the Secure Rural Schools and Self-determination Act. The Act was reauthorized in April 2018 and funds for the approved project proposals are available to be implemented in 2017-18.

The Secure Rural Schools and Self-determination Act provides funding for a variety of activities that benefit federal lands and resources. Title II projects fund work such as watershed restoration, noxious weed abatement, thinning trees, fuels reduction, enhancing recreation sites, and maintaining roads and trails. Individuals, non-profit organizations, and local governments can submit Title II project applications.

Proposal ideas should be directed to each district ranger that the project proposal resides: Rexford/Fortine Ranger District, Three Rivers Ranger District, and the Libby Ranger District. The Rangers will review proposals to determine if their project proposal will meet the requirements and intent of the Act. Project application forms and information regarding the Secure Rural Schools Act are available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/home. The deadline for project proposal submission is October 8, 2019.

There will be a meet and greet meeting on October 22, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Libby. There will be a voting meeting on November 20, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Libby to prioritize project proposals. The submitted projects will be considered for the 2019 project year funding with implementation in 2020-21. The public is always welcome to attend the RAC meetings.

For more information on the Committee or to learn more about the RAC, please contact RAC coordinator Katie Andreessen at 406-283-7781.

Submitted by Willie Sykes


CPMC’S Laura Larson-Crismore becomes certified professional in healthcare quality

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center is thrilled to announce that Laura Larson-Crismore has earned her certification as a Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) through the National Association through Healthcare Quality.  The CPHQ is the industry standard certification for the healthcare quality profession.

The Montana Hospital Association (MHA) offered a bootcamp in October of 2018 for 20 interested people from across the state.  Larson-Crismore filled out an application and was accepted to attend the Helena Bootcamp based on her answers.  She then traveled to Missoula on August 21, 2019 to sit for the certification testing, which she passed with flying colors.

According to the National Association through Healthcare Quality, there are approximately 12,000 CPHQ professionals.  Passing this certification signifies that individuals have demonstrated specialized experience, knowledge, and the highest standard of professionalism.  Prior to MHA offering this CPHQ, there were 23 CPHQs in Montana, and only 5 working in Critical Access Hospitals.  Due to the MHA opportunity, there are 9 more CPHQs all working within Critical Access Hospitals across the state.  “MHA wanted to increase the certifications within Montana healthcare organizations, including Critical Access Hospitals,” stated Larson-Crismore. “Their expectation is to offer 2 more certification opportunities soon which will triple the amount we previously had.”

When asked how this certification would benefit the community and the patients of Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Larson-Crismore explained that CPHQ helps to demonstrate competence in healthcare quality and preparedness.  “We want to constantly strive to improve outcomes for CPMC and our community,” she stated.  “Since taking on the quality role at CPMC, earning the CPHQ has been one of my personal goals.  I am thankful that MHA gave several of us throughout the state of Montana the opportunity to accomplish this goal.”

Anita Ivankovig, Chief Nursing and Operating Officer at CPMC is proud of Larson-Crismore for her career-long thirst for growth and knowledge.  “I am very proud of and impressed with Laura’s continued efforts to increase her knowledge in this professional field.  This is an extremely prestigious certification, and Laura has worked hard to obtain it.  Cabinet Peaks is very fortunate to have her on our team.”

Larson-Crismore has worked in healthcare for 17 years, 14 of which have been at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center.

Submitted by Kate Stephens