Montana Hay Hotline

available for producers affected by drought

Producers can list hay for sale or donation using

Montana Hay Hotline


Helena, Mont. – As severe drought conditions and
wildfires persist across the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture is reminding agricultural producers of the availability of the Hay Hotline, an online tool that connects those interested in buying, selling, or donating hay or

The Hay Hotline allows producers to enter new listings with descriptions of the forage they have available to sell or donate. It also provides users with an option to search for available hay or pasture.

The online tool is maintained by the Montana Department of Agriculture as a service to the agricultural industry with the expectation that all buyers and sellers will treat each other in an equitable and lawful manner. The department makes no representations, express or implied as to the amount, kind or quality of hay listed or as to the
character of the participants.

The Hay Hotline is housed on the MDA website at: agr.mt.gov/Hay-Hotline.

For more information on the Hay Hotline, contact the Agricultural Development and Marketing Bureau at (406) 444-2402 or danielle.jones@mt.gov.

The Montana Department of Agriculture is serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky. For more information on department programs and services, visit agr.mt.gov.

Private Timberlands Closed to
Public Recreation Across NW Montana Due to Fire Danger

Due to extreme fire danger, private timberlands
across northwest Montana are closing to public access
and recreation, effective August 2, 2021.


Green Diamond Resource Company, SPP Montana, Flathead Ridge Ranch, MKH Montana, and F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber announced July 30 they are closing all
of their lands to all public access to reduce the risk of wildland fire. These restrictions include firewood cutting, nonmotorized use and walk-in use.

Stimson Lumber Company announced the

closure of its lands on July 29.


These closures will remain in effect until further
notice when conditions improve.


The lands owned by Green Diamond Resource
Company, SPP Montana, Flathead Ridge Ranch, and MKH Montana are former Weyerhaeuser lands and encompass approximately 600,000 acres across northwest Montana.


These private landowners appreciate the public’s cooperation in respecting these closures in an effort to help protect these forestlands from the risk of wildfire.

Italy soon to become new feast of culinary 

experiences offered in downtown Libby

by Tracy McNew

Chef Johnny Coiro of Dorio’s
recently moved to Libby from New York and is thrilled to soon be welcoming guests to his table of authentic Italian cuisine.

(Photo by Tracy McNew)

Several guests were treated to a special five-course Italian meal on Tuesday, July 27, at Dorio’s—located inside the former Kootenai Mercantile Building on
California Avenue in Libby. (Photo by Tracy McNew)


The Kootenai Mercantile
Company, originally located at
316 California Avenue in Libby, once boasted itself to be “Four
Departments in One Large Modern Brick Building.”  Libby’s Big
Department Store of the 1920’s carried everything from men’s
furnishings and hardware supplies to ladies’ apparel and groceries.  Since then, it has undergone a
storied tally of transformations which ultimately proved the very draw for its current owner, Vince Backen.

Since purchasing the landmark which had been abandoned for decades, Backen has been working diligently to bring life back into the building while consciously working to find ways to boost Libby’s economy by creating jobs and providing
needed and unique services.

Recent renovations at the
Mercantile building have created
a blueprint which is now home to Farmer’s Union Insurance Agency, The House of Libby Event Center – located downstairs, Books – a new and used bookstore, and soon to fill the north side of the building will be an Italian restaurant
called Dorio’s.  Its grand opening expected to transpire in the very near future.

Backen and his partners for Dorio’s hosted a soft opening of
the restaurant for ten lucky guests on Tuesday evening, July 27.  The private party in attendance had the opportunity to enjoy the pleasant and intimate atmosphere of the newly remodeled eatery while sampling a few specialties.

A five-course meal was
prepared for the guests by house chef, Johnny Coiro.  Having just moved to Libby from New York four days prior, Chef Johnny
introduced himself and each course with gusto.  The dining
experience included first a spread of antipasti followed by a pasta course, then a salad course.  After
a short and traditional “Italian rest,” stuffed roast pork loin with vegetables was presented. Finally, cheesecake and espresso were on the menu for dessert.

Although the diners were all overstuffed, the experience was deemed “bellisimo” by everyone in attendance and provided a
delicious preview of what Libby foodies have to look forward to
experiencing soon.  While Dorio’s opening date is not yet set, enjoying fine Italian food in the unique and intimate atmosphere will be worth the wait.

The name Dorio’s has been chosen
to honor Uncle Bert, “the
who was in attendance for the restaurant’s soft opening last week.  Uncle Bert, Backen,
Chef Johnny and friend Jack were all present with traditional Italian welcome.

Jack, who moved to the Libby area from New York as well, has been working on remodeling and preparing the restaurant since last October couldn’t be have been happier about the evening and Dorio’s pending Grand Opening.

Although not relatives in the traditional sense, it was agreed “Chef Johnny is more than blood.”  Dorio’s is a true labor of love for these guys and it shows.  In the details of design, superior service provided, and of course in the
authentic Italian dishes prepared.

Dining at Dorio’s has been
intentionally designed to be an intimate dining experience, so evening reservations will be
required. “The menu not extensive but rather focused on providing high quality and delicious food,” said chef Johnny. “And yes. We will have beer and wine available to enhance your dining experience.”

Buon appetito!