Bullet strikes home in Flathead Valley
According to a USFS press release issued on June 15, a bullet went through the exterior wall and into the living room of a residence on East Mountain Meadows Road last week.
The incident was a close call because the family was in the living room when it happened.
The press release reminds residents that target shooting is an appropriate use of public land in areas where it can be enjoyed safely, but that extreme caution should be used when discharging a firearm.
Eureka receives $200,000 for clean water
A June 14 press release from Senator Tester’s office announced that Eureka is one of the eight Montana communities awarded money to fund water projects.
The $200,000 is grant money from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intended to help rural communities generate clean drinking water and manage wastewater systems.
Nearby Sanders County also received $200,000.
According to the Senator, “Access to safe and clean drinking water is a necessity whether you’re running a business, farming or raising kids. These investments in Montana’s water systems will boost our economy ad keep our communities strong.”
CAP awarded grants for housing options
The Community Action Partnership of NW Montana (CAPNM) announced last week that it has received two national grants to research practical and affordable rental housing options.
CAPNM will use the funds to explore the feasibility of creating one or more tiny home “villages” across NW Montana.
The group will host tiny home roundtable sessions to engage local officials, bankers, builders, and others in discussions to identify obstacles ad solutions to development of tiny home villages.
Four half-day policy roundtables will be organized between the months of July and September. For more information about the project, contact Patrick Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 752-6565.
NWCHC receives $1.6 million grant
The Northwest CHC will receive $1.6 million in grant funding from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
According to press releases from Senators Tester and Daines, the grant funding comes after Montana’s CHCs nearly ran out of money and were forced to consider closures and layoffs when their funding expired.
More than $12 million in total will be awarded to our local CHC and others including Glacier, RiverStone Health, Bullhook and Bighorn Valley.
Both senators Daines and Tester have been actively pressuring congress to immediately refund Community Health Centers.
Montana DOT proposes safety improvements at Parmenter Creek Rd.
In a June 11 press release, Montana Department of transportation announced proposals for safety improvements in Flathead and Lincoln counties.
Comments are being sought on twelve potential projects designed to address run-off-the-road crashes. Only one of the proposed projects is in Libby, the others are in Kalispell, Whitefish, Somers and Columbia Falls.
The Parmenter Creek Road project would include replacement of guardrails and addition of curve warning signs. Construction would begin in 2019 depending on availability of funding and project development activities.
Comments can be submitted online at mdt.mt.gov/mdt/comment_form.shtml. For more information, please contact Missoula District Administrator Ed Toavs at (406) 523-5802 or Project Design Engineer Scott Gerkin at (406) 444-5446.
Safe swimming tips from MT DPHHS
The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and local public health partners are reminding Montanans to stay safe and healthy while having fun in the water this summer.
Swimming can be a fun way to spend time outdoors in the summer heat and is a great source of exercise, but it does pose some health and safety risks.
In 2017, 11 drowning deaths occurred in Montana. Six of the drownings occurred in natural water while others occurred at home or were the result of medical events or accidents leading to drowning.
“Nationally, drownings are a leading cause of injury deaths for children aged 1 to 14,” says Jeremy Brokaw, DPHHS Injury Prevention Program Manager. “Parents can play a key role in protecting children by taking these steps: learn life-saving skills such as CPR and basic swim instructions, fence off swimming pools, always use life jackets around natural waters, and always be on the lookout when kids are near water, including bathtubs.”
Brokaw adds that because drownings happen quickly and quietly adults should avoid distractions when supervising children near water and should always keep the kids in their line of sight.
Water recreation can also result in the risk of becoming ill. In 2017, public health authorities tracked 195 cases of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis in Montana, 28% of whom had exposure to recreational water before they became ill.
These protozoa can cause illness when someone swims in and ingests water contaminated by an ill individual or infected animal and can happen in natural water sources as well as swimming pools. “In order to prevent illness in yourself and others, don’t swim when you have diarrhea, and don’t swallow pool, river, or lake water,” says DPHHS epidemiologist Rachel Hinnenkamp.
When enjoying water this summer, DPHHS offers the following safety tips:
Shower with soap before entering pool
Don’t swim when you have diarrhea
Don’t swallow pool, river or lake water
Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes or check diapers every 30-60 minutes
Supervise swimmers, especially young and inexperienced ones – be a role model for others
Learn life-saving skills such as CPR
Use life vests when recreating in natural waters
Avoid distractions such as alcohol, drugs, or cell phone use around water
For more information on healthy swimming, please visit the DPHHS website at https://dphhs.mt.gov/
Post-fire response update
Following the 2017 fire season, the Forest Service is working on post-fire harvest, Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) and reforestation efforts.
In the Kootenai Nation Forest, the public comment period has closed for the West For Fire Salvage and Restoration Project and the team is currently responding to comments.
Public comment is being accepted o the Cub Creek Fire Salvage EA and on the Caribou Fire Salvage and Restoration Project EA. A field trip to view proposed salvage units at the Caribou location is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20.
Libby High School senior receives FSPW
Each year, Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness gives graduating seniors from high schools within the three counties the proposed wilderness lies in a chance to write about their favorite experience in the wild. The best submission from each school wins a $300 prize that can be spent on whatever the student wishes, although it is the hope of FSPW that they will use it to further their education.
This year’s winner from Libby High School was Emily Mossburg, who wrote about her adventures mentoring kids for the Kootenai Outdoor Adventure Program. Her essay will soon appear at www.scotchmanpeaks.org as part of the “Voices In The Wilderness Series.”
Emily Mossburg, recipient of this year’s Scotchman’s Peaks essay Scholarship. Photo courtesy of FSPW.