2018 Scotchman Peaks Photo Contest is open for entries

If you were in or around the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness sometime since November 1 of last year, and took a really cool picture, remember to enter it into the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness annual photo contest. You can post it to and tag it #2018fspwphotocontest, post it on the Scotchman Peaks Facebook page and tag it #2018FSPWPhotoContest, or do it the old-fashioned way and email it to Please include a description of where you took it, when you took it, and maybe even why you took it. High-resolution (2-megabyte or higher in jpeg format) are preferred. Pictures should have been taken within the wilderness or of the wilderness from outside (pictures taken within the wilderness are preferred.)

An individual can submit up to six photos, of which FSPW staff will choose what they consider the best from each submitter. We will then put those chosen up in a Facebook album after the contest closes on Halloween, 2018.

The final pictures will be judged by the highly qualified panel of Facebook Friends of Scotchman Peaks, who will vote with their “likes” on pictures posted in a special album. Ties will be decided by FSPW staff.

First, second and third place photo takers will be awarded a swag package from FSPW including a hat, bandana and t-shirt.

The Grand Prize winner’s picture will be professionally framed by Ward Tolbom of Hen’s Tooth Studios in Sandpoint. Ward is an expert framer, as well as a renowned water color artists and huckleberry picker.

Get your 15 minutes of photography fame. Post those pictures or send them in and invite your friends to vote for yours on the Scotchman Peaks Facebook page in November!

Hole in one hit at Cabinet View Golf Course

Dave Shipley hit a hole in one on hole number three at Cabinet View Golf Course on Monday, August 20.

The shot was from 150 yards and Shipley used a six iron.

Witnesses included Mike Managhan, Jay Adams, Jim Mee, and Wayne Haines.

Congratulations Dave.

Governor announces partnership to reduce prescription drug abuse

Governor Steve Bullock last week announced the State of Montana is using a $730,000 federal grant to help reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs by increasing the number of communities using medication collection boxes.

Governor Bullock and state health officials are working with the Board of Pharmacy and the Montana Pharmacy Association to distribute several hundred metal collection boxes to local pharmacies.

“One of the best ways to address opioid abuse is through the safe, convenient, and proper disposal of unused medications,” Governor Bullock said. “This is a terrific opportunity and we’re pleased to be partnering with pharmacies across the state to distribute the collection boxes in the coming weeks.”

A total of 212 38-gallon boxes and starter packs of liners are being offered at no cost to retail pharmacies and hospitals and clinics with on-site pharmacies to be used to collect and then dispose of prescription drugs. The funding is part of a grant awarded to the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan said that according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, between 60 and 92% of patients nationwide don’t finish their painkillers, and fewer than 10% dispose of them safely. Sixty percent of patients keep partially completed opioid prescriptions “for later,” while more than 80% don’t store their narcotic painkillers in a locked cabinet.

DPHHS, the Board of Pharmacy and the Montana Pharmacy Association are working quickly to identify pharmacies that are interested in participating.

“We are committed to protecting the health of Montanans,” said pharmacist Tony King of Geneva Woods Pharmacy and a member of the Board of Pharmacy. “We know that prescription drug abuse continues to be a serious issue in Montana, and we are proud to partner with DPHHS on this important project.”

King said the collection boxes will be put to good use by pharmacies as there are currently only 22 of them located in the approximately 360 pharmacies in Montana.

The collection boxes are from MedSafe Medication Disposal Systems with related inner receptacle liners from Sharps Compliance, Inc. The retail purchase price of each box is $3,445.

To be eligible, a pharmacy has to register as a Drug Enforcement Administration collector agent ensuring adherence to the collector guidelines. King said the registration process is very simple and there’s no cost. “I have operated a collection box for two years, and it has been a great success,” he said.

Christine Steele of the DPHHS Addictive and Mental Disorders Division said this will fill an existing need in Montana by providing the collection boxes to the numerous counties that don’t have any, as well as increasing availability where they do exist.

In 2017, DPHHS worked with 114 individuals representing 82 agencies to release its Addressing Substance Use Disorder in Montana Strategic Plan. The effort created a unified, statewide strategic plan to combat substance misuse and abuse in Montana.

The report states that ‘opioid use is the primary driver of drug overdose deaths in the state of Montana. Forty-four percent of all drug overdose deaths are attributable to opioids.’ Since 2000, more than 700 Montanans have died from opioid overdose.

As Attorney General from 2009-2012, Bullock made tackling prescription drug abuse a priority. He received bipartisan support of the legislature to create the Montana Prescription Drug Registry to provide doctors and pharmacists the tools they need to curb abuse, secured initial funding for prescription drop boxes at local law enforcement offices around the state, and held several statewide collection events.

For information on how to request a collection box, contact Steele at 406-444-1202 or email at

Public comment open for proposed grizzly bear rule

Public comment on the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) grizzly bear population administrative rule started on August 24  and ends Oct. 26.

The rule will provide a regulatory framework for the bear population objectives outlined in the conservation strategy recently completed by the NCDE subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. To learn more visit

Comments should focus on the content of the proposed rule and can be submitted in writing, via email or at a public hearing. Public hearings will be held during September in Great Falls, Conrad, Missoula and Kalispell.

The Kalispell hearing will be at Flathead Valley Community College, Arts and Technology Building, 777 Grandview Drive, at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 27

Comments can be submitted either orally or in writing during the hearings. Comments can also be submitted by mail to Grizzly Bear ARM, Wildlife Division, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701


The NCDE conservation strategy identifies a demographic monitoring area (DMA) that is home to the core population of grizzly bears in the NCDE. The DMA is comprised of the primary conservation area (which includes Glacier National Park and parts of five national forests including the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex), and an area identified as zone 1, which is a buffer zone outside the primary conservation area. The objective in this area, as detailed in the conservation strategy, is continual occupancy by grizzly bears, which will require maintaining good habitat conditions and adhering to population criteria.

Precise population estimates are difficult to obtain. The population objective for the DMA aims to continually maintain a population size above 800 bears with at least 90 percent certainty. Effectively, this would mean managing for a population of approximately 1,000 grizzly bears in the DMA.