Local voices his concern about Libby’s Community Garden

Thank You Libby, the years seem to pass quickly, people, buildings, infrastructure all become familiar sites. There’s just one place I and others have questions that need to be addressed, meaning January is the perfect month to do so, because the questions apply to the “Libby Community Garden LLC” [LCG]. Many in the community would like an opportunity to get involved with the garden located on the ASA Wood school grounds, alleged half acre or more of public paid land. The Libby School Board allegedly in 2015 voted to allowing the properties large soccer playground to be shared with a garden. OK, this could be wonderful for the community as I thought in 2015, I didn’t have the opportunity to vote on the resolution to incorporate public land, to creating a large garden, I believe that the information as to it’s intended purpose would have swayed me.

Here’s where there intentions for community interaction confused me to the point I have to question certain aspects of it, for instance:

  1. Why is the garden named “Libby Community Garden LLC” ?
  2. Who’s in charge of the Non-Profit it has established?
  3. Why is the garden not open at all times?
  4. Who actually worked and built the garden?
  5. Why is the Libby Community Garden LLC even created?
  6. Is the garden making money on the produce?
  7. Who receives the money if any is generated?
  8. Why only a handful of individuals can benefit from the Garden?
  9. Why are other community gardens not subjected to the same?
  10. Why are there locks on gates, is it to keep the deer out?
  11. Why are many who helped build the garden no longer a part of it?
  12. Who paid the water, electricity and land in the past five years?
  13. Who donates vegetables to a restaurant without compensation?
  14. Should the garden answer any of these and many other question’s?
  15. Why is the Libby Community Garden LLC the subject of such


Thank You Libby, these questions seem to be on the minds of many, and for good reason, we all must address the elephant in the room. Quash any and all doubts in your mind, fix what allegedly is and may be broken for many years to come.

Charles D. Stambaugh, Libby, Mont

The effect of climate change on Montana’s forests

This article is part of a series by the Kootenai Climate Group designed to inform our community about the current and projected impacts of a changing climate. Human-caused carbon dioxide levels continue to rise causing average daily temperatures to increase. Here we focus on what that means for forest lands which are so important to the people of Lincoln County. According to the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment climate change will alter what our forests look like and even where they can grow.

By examining tree growth rings, glacial ice cores, and marine sediments scientists have determined that our present day forests evolved under remarkably stable climate conditions. However, over the last 150 years temperatures have warmed, slowly at first, and now much more rapidly. These new climatic conditions are pushing our forests and our ability to manage them into new territory.

Key findings of the Montana Climate Assessment include:

The number of days per year that exceed 90 degrees F is increasing. Higher summer temperatures and lower humidity stresses trees and other plants by increasing water loss via evaporation. Dry soil conditions during hot summers lead to increased tree mortality and reduced growth.

Montana’s average peak snowpack has been declining in recent decades. Warming temperatures, especially during springtime, are likely to continue to reduce our snowpack at middle and lower elevations, and further increase the risk of summer drought conditions.

Mild winters are becoming more common leading to conditions more favorable to bark beetle survival. Larger populations of bark beetles will increase the risk of extensive beetle outbreaks and large-scale tree mortality.

Forest fires will likely be larger, more frequent and more severe because of the increased amount of dry fuels and hotter summer temperatures.

Some previously forested areas no longer have climate conditions that allow for tree regeneration following wildfires and are transitioning to permanent grass or shrub lands. Tree seedlings are very sensitive to hot dry weather and survival rates of new seedlings after wildfires has declined.

Climate change is expected to significantly alter Montana’s forested landscapes. As humans continue to contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the magnitude of climate change will increase proportionally. Our forests will increasingly be affected by drought, beetle outbreaks, regeneration failures and wildfires. Forest managers can best maintain sustainable forest conditions by understanding current trends and planning for the projected range of climate scenarios. If we collectively act now, we may be able to avoid the worst possible outcomes. This topic will be further explored in future articles.


Submitted by Russ Gautreaux, Nora Reckin, Gene Reckin, and Kris Newgard for the Kootenai Climate Group, Libby, Mont.

Blood is non-discriminatory, why cant we be?

I’m lying here relaxed as the blood flows out of my vein, wondering whose vein the blood will flow into.  I’m thankful that the Red Cross recently started sending out an email to say where my last donation went.  That is, I know what city, what hospital but of course not the recipient.  I used to wonder whether blood was saved for a while and then discarded.  I have been assured that no blood is being discarded, in fact there is a very serious shortage of blood.

Isn’t it amazing that some find the need to separate folks according to race or ethnicity, age or gender, religion or politics, who is in and who is out, even though we all have the same blood?

I do know that when this bag is full it will not be noted that it was from an African, a Mexican or a Minnesota Swede.  It will not be marked for young or old, male or female, Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, straight, gay, conservative or liberal.  It will simply be blood–a gift of life!

Might we all be like blood and get beneath the skin, around opinions and recognize that we are all precious children of God with the same blood flowing through our veins.

Les Nelson, Libby, Mont.