The Libby Logger Greenchain had much to celebrate following the 2021 Western A Divisional Tournament held on their home turf. The Loggers played host to twelve team from across the State at Ralph Tate Gymnasium on February 26 & 27. When the final mat was cleared, the Greenchain athletes had successfully pinned down a Third Place Team Finish and twelve individual wins posting at the Top 8 podium, ensuring their place at the MHSA Class A State
Competition in Miles City this week. Pictured: LHS freshman wrestler, Jace DeShazer, powers through the semi-final round to secure his place in the 160#
final round. DeShazer would go on to place second overall. An impressive finish at his first Divisional high school tournament. Photo by Stacy Bender
SEE MORE FROM THE GREENCHAIN DIVISIONAL EXPERIENCE ON PAGE 7
“We have had great Senior Leadership this year and watching this team work hard to push each other every day leading up to
Divisional and State competition has been an honor.,” shared Coach Thompson.
Troy’s Old Fashioned 4th of July
Given green light for 2021
The county gave us the green light to move ahead with planning our 4th of July Celebration this year,” shared Susie Taylor, President and Director of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday evening, February 29. “People want normal back, and just to announce the event has brought joy and hope for that to happen!”
“I can hardly believe the support and people coming and asking already how they can help,” Taylor added. “It’s a go!”
“We have already been in contact with the Troy Fire Department regarding the ‘best fireworks display in the NW Corner of Montana,’” the Chamber shared in their official announcement Sunday night. The planning committee reportedly poised to jump in to action soon.
Those wishing to follow the excitement, find necessary forms for vendor registration, or looking to volunteer may do so by calling 295-1064 or logging on to the Chamber’s website at troymtchamber.org.
Morrison Elementary sixth graders explore winter ecology at Alvord Lake
by Brian Baxter
It was a beautiful day for a field trip. Though it was cold, fourteen sixth graders from Mr. Arpin’s sixth-grade class at Morrison Elementary School in Troy excitedly boarded a bus and headed to nearby Alvord Lake. Upon arriving, a bit of light snow and a slight northwest wind set in.
Most students were prepared and dressed for a hike in the winter woods where I offered tips on quietly observing nature and becoming a part of that natural world. Mr. Arpin, his students, their bus driver, Heather Hofer, and an additional supervisor for the day, Tracy Vranizan, followed me to the edge of the timber and the beginning of the trail.
Our venture began by moving slowly, taking it all in. The fresh snow of the previous day began to give up stories of life written on a new page of whiteness. Snowshoe-hare had been darting to-and-fro, munching on Oregon grape plants, Prince’s pine, and gnawing on young lodgepole pine. Pileated and hairy woodpeckers, along with red-shafted flickers had left their signs by drilling holes in dead and dying trees, the wood chips now resting on the snowy surface.
The class examined characteristics of several species of evergreens. They studied the smell of their pitch, structure of their bark, the number of needles per pine cluster, and overall shape of the tree to identify each species.
Students also discovered tracks of field mice, pine squirrels, and red-backed voles. I explained that with all these prey species around, there certainly must be a few predators in the area. So, we split the group into two tracking parties: one would stay on the woodsy trail and the other would hunt the edge of the frozen lake surface.
The dual tracking teams began to move in parallel fashion about 100 feet apart. They were quiet enough to be able to hear woodpeckers and ravens across the lake. Within minutes, the trackers discovered a different set of tracks.
These tracks were left in a two-by two-pattern with a bounding stride of approximately 28 inches. The mammal appeared to have been weaving in a pattern that alternated between the forest and the lake shoreline. The group then measured the print size, estimated a weight, and ascertained that these tracks were likely left by a wily weasel in winter hunting mode.
Further down the lake shore our group observed old evidence of use by waterfowl. Back in the woods, the tracking teams found a set of coyote tracks, further evidence of predator-prey relationships.
The student-pack of nature explorers then broke for lunch where Mr. Arpin built a fire. The class played and the sun came out.
The days lessons then ensued and included how to use a compass, and how to read a bearing tree sign. We also played a woods-game contest where the sixth graders guessed the diameter and species of various trees. The winners received small prizes.
Our day wrapped up with a five-minute quiet session where we all listened to the sounds of the woods, wind, water, ice, and wildlife. Food for the soul, for both young and old.
6th grade students examine a snowshoe hare trail with an abrupt about face turn. The tracking team behind them checks out the tracks of a weasel who had been hunting. Being the tracks of both are fresh, it is possible the ivory colored hare saw the white camouflaged weasel at the last second and quickly escaped. A classic example of winter mammal activity and predator / prey relationships. Photo by Al Arpin, Morrison Elementary School