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B2 – Missoulian, Monday, August 19, 2013


Lowell students to receive backpacks of school supplies By TANDY KHAMENEH of the Missoulian


a successful model to help children in need begin the Community roundup school year with a proper and complete set of school through its wholesaler’s supplies. United Stationers The program focuses on Charitable Foundation and students in kindergarten were packed by the through fifth grade. All employees. students receiving The United Stationers backpacks are among the Charitable Foundation many students who was established in 2009 as participate in the federally

subsidized school lunch program. The school lunch program is a widely understood and used indicator of individuals and communities in need of special aid and charitable programs. n The Missoula Senior Center, 705 S. Higgins Ave., will host a four-hour Driver Safety Class

(formerly “55 Alive”) on Saturday, Aug. 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. While this safe driving strategies class is designed for drivers age 50 and older, all are welcome. The class fee is $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers. There are no written exams or driving tests,

and,Montana mandates insurance discounts for qualified graduates. Pre-registration is advised. To sign up, contact the Missoula Senior Center at 5437154. For further information, call Thom Ainsworth, district coordinator, at 369-0149.

The parcels affected in the exchange are atop three drainages that flow into the upper Bitterroot River through Rye, Sleeping Child and Little Sleeping Child creeks. Water quality and fisheries protection issues were considered as part of the exchange that includes

Barrett placing a conservation easement on the lands he acquired. The exchange had the support of the local chapter of Trout Unlimited. “The resulting landscape is much more beneficial to clean water, quality fisheries and improved public access,” said Doug Nation, president of the Bitter Root Chapter of Trout Unlimited. “These watersheds have been used hard over the years and finally we will see them receive good stewardship from the CB Ranch, the state and Forest Service.” John Ormiston was the Bitterroot Forest biologist when the idea to work toward consolidation of the lands first arose. Now retired, Ormiston remembers that Doris Milner helped spearhead that initial effort. Darby Lumber had harvested every

merchantable stick off the lands it owned before the exchange process really got underway, he said. Today, the lands contain some of the most important big-game habitat in southwest Montana. Several thousand elk and a trophy deer herd winter there. This final exchange puts an end to the confusing checkerboard land ownership pattern in that area. “It is the final piece,” Ormiston said. “The Forest Service and CB Ranch borders are not in a relatively straight line. There are no more wholly surrounded private or national forest properties any more.” Wildlife and public recreation will benefit as a result, he said. “This is the culmination of a long-sought dream of making these lands whole and protected,” Ormiston said. “The wildlife and

recreational values on these lands are enormous and future generations will see this as one of the significant conservation accomplishments in the valley.” The completed exchanges, coupled with the conservation easement placed on Barrett’s lands, provide for more complete protection of the area than what would have been possible by simply buying out Darby Lumber, said David Genter, the exchange’s project manager. “The public ownership of the higher-elevation forestland and the considerable conservation commitment of the Barretts on the foothills make this an unprecedented success story,” he said. “The ongoing restoration work will continue and these lands will provide wellmanaged, critical habitat for generations to come.”

one raised a hand to snuff the blaze. The Bad Luck fire burned about 648 Continued square feet. It was the first time that concessionaire parked a wildfire was allowed to across the road from fire burn naturally under the camp was packing his provisions of an approved bags. wilderness fire But then came management plan. Wednesday and a new Since then, thousands lightning-caused fire just of acres have burned in the one mile from the wilderness as fire regained wilderness boundary that its natural place. was threatening to make a For the past 17 years, run, pushed by high winds West Fork District Ranger predicted to arrive by end Dave Campbell has made of the week. Hutton had the decision on which Despite what many ordered two helicopters to lightning-caused fires might think, there’s attack the new Nez Peak would be allowed to burn nothing easy about fire and they had been naturally inside the getting a lot accomplished managing a wilderness wilderness. before weather conditions fire. Over that time, he’s “People don’t realize shut them down. the complexity of what it is seen years when upward of Hutton briefly 50 fires burned at the same considered the possibility that we do,” Hutton said. time in the wilderness of putting in hand crews to “We are always very without any need for thoughtful of how we go try to subdue the new fire about actually managing a suppression efforts. burning through a sea of In July, he signed off on fire in the wilderness. We timber, but with the uncontrolled Gold Pan fire don’t just sit on a rock and the Gold Pan fire when it was just a few acres in size. still burning nearby and no watch it burn.” That initial blaze There may be no better logical safety zone in sight, example of the complexity burned in an area that idea was quickly set surrounded by old burns. officials face than this aside. In most years, the fire year’s Gold Pan fire. “We’re looking at a would have slowed to a Fire was officially giant wind event,” she crawl when it hit those fire allowed to return to the said. “The only way to scars. wilderness 41 years ago support those people “The forecast initially when, on a mid-August would have been through called for it to become day in 1972, lightning the air. We couldn’t fairly large, but for it not to struck a snag in Bad Luck guarantee that we could leave the wilderness,” Creek deep inside the get anyone in there with Campbell said. “We Selway-Bitterroot the wind on its way. thought it would probably “We knew this new fire Wilderness. stop at the Selway River.” History was made that was one that needed After the decision was suppression,” Hutton said. morning when, for the first made, humidity levels fell time since the 1930s, no “With all the conditions

to desert-like lows for almost a week and the energy release component in fuels exploded. The fire blew through some of the old burns and into stands of unburned trees. “Those factors changed fire behavior,” Campbell said. “The fire was still a natural occurrence, but its forecast changed.” When it crossed the Selway River and the fire appeared poised to potentially make a run at the wilderness border through an expanse of untouched fuel, the agency called in a type 1 team to build contingency lines along the wilderness border and guide the fire around important infrastructure. Once the weather calms, Hutton said her team will reassess where to put its limited resources to help guide the fire away from points deemed important as best they can. “We’ll use long-term analysis to attempt to figure out which direction it will go and then determine the best locations where we can focus our efforts,” she said. “We’ll do what we can to keep it out of places we don’t want it to be, in hopes we can hold it in check until a seasonending event comes along.” Right now, there’s no

predicting when that will happen. No moisture is expected to head this way in the next week. Larger fuels are as dry as they’ve ever been. “About this time of year, we typically start getting dry cold fronts,” Hutton said. “They are what give us the most problems. ... Short of sending in Patton’s army to suppress this fire, it’s realistically going to be here for a while.”

phrase, “let it burn,” that was coined during the 1988 Yellowstone National Park fires. “That’s really an oversimplification,” Campbell said. “It really doesn’t do justice to the challenge of managing this program of allowing fire to return.” Managing fire takes a combination of confidence and humility. Fire managers have to be confident in their decision-making processes to allow fire to regain its natural role and be humble enough to know that nature will always have the upper hand. “You can make the easy choice or the right choice,” Campbell said. “In the wilderness, the right choice is in keeping with the ideal that this is a place where natural forces will prevail.”


express what they are feeling, or understand it better. “All of that can be a help.”

Office Solutions & Services is donating 100 free backpacks fully stocked with supplies to Lowell Elementary School on Monday. The supplies were purchased by Office Solutions & Services


Land Continued

the purchase in its fiscal year 2001 budget. Before the deal could close, though, Darby Lumber filed for bankruptcy. Unable to wait for the federal funding to become available, Darby Lumber sold its holdings to Craig Barrett of Intel Corp. in 1999. The next year, the fires of 2000 burned the majority of the lands. Since then, Barrett’s CB Ranch has worked with the Trust, U.S. Forest Service and the state to block up the remaining sections. In the recently signed agreement, CB Ranch exchanged 1,920 acres for 1,940 acres of Bitterroot National Forest system lands. Bitterroot Forest Supervisor Julie King said the complex and, at times, controversial process


yielded a solution with a value evident to most everyone. “We are pleased with the outcome of this exchange process,” King said. “The consolidation of these lands will provide for more efficient resource management, reduce costs and provide greater certainty for public access and quality recreation. We appreciate the work of all the parties and supporters who promoted these land exchanges.” Barrett is thankful, too, to all those who offered support for the exchange process. “We are pleased that this long process is resulting in a more manageable landscape,” Barrett said. “The resulting exchanges will allow us, and the Forest Service, to be more efficient stewards of these important lands. I thank all the groups and individuals who supported our efforts

in these exchanges.” Ravalli County has supported the land consolidation effort since the 1990s. The potential of scattered development on the non-contiguous sections of land would have been costly to the county and created problems for resource management, firefighting and law enforcement, said Commissioner J.R. Iman. “We see the outcome positively as it saved the Forest Service and county a lot of money, both in buying land and managing what would have come in the future,” Iman said.

coming together like they were, it wasn’t cooperating with our suppression efforts.” Late Friday, the winds came, along with 9 percent humidity and 90-degree heat, and the nowreclassified Gold Pan Complex fires increased by 40 percent – to more than 26,000 acres, still within the wilderness in Idaho but knocking on the door of the West Fork of the Bitterroot.

are still devastated by this. And yes, insurance money will help rebuild these Continued school and libraries, but this is a way for authors to Book Council and Every reach out in a more Child a Reader. personal way to say ‘We When Love learned feel for your loss.’ ” about the effort, she was Healing and hope can more than happy to get be found through the involved. magic of books and the “There were so many stories they tell, Love said, children who were affected which is why she is and who are going back to sending the schools signed school who have lost their copies of her books “The friends, and some have lost Glaciers Are Melting!” and their brothers and sisters,” “Henry the Impatient Heron.” she said. “The survivors

Not only will the books be signed by Love, they will also be signed by children from Seeley Lake and Missoula. Love had several people inscribe in her books while at a recent weekend booksigning event at Fact & Fiction. “New school, new year, new dreams, blessings to you all,” reads one message. “Thinking of you and hoping you have a successful school year,” says another.

When the schools are rebuilt, the donated books will be housed in a special place in the libraries where they will be tended to by librarians Pi Johnston and Teresa Schroeder, both of whom suffered back and neck injuries in the tornado while ushering their students to safety. “Stories can touch children’s hearts,” Love said. “They can take them outside of the pain for a moment, or if it’s a story that relates to their pain, it can give them a way to


Industry Association Office. Tickets will be available for purchase the day of the raffle at the house from 10 a.m. to noon, just prior to the drawing. The winner must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Montana. The winner does not have to be present at the time of the drawing.

For more information and official rules, visit


College’s carpentry program, all of whom worked closely with professionals in the building trades. Raffle tickets are still available. Tickets can be purchased at Rosauers;

Orange Street Food Farm; the accounting firm of Junkermier, Clark, Campanella & Stevens; Caras Property Management; Missoula College; the Missoulian; Culligan Water; Western Montana Lighting; the Flagship Program; Pattee Creek Market; Garden of Read’n; Karl Tyler Chevrolet; and the Missoula Building

Ruth King


On a drive last week along Magruder Road, Campbell pointed out places where the Gold Pan fire had burned into earlier fires and slowed to a stop. There was only a short section where this year’s fire burned hot enough to scorch the canopy along the roadway. “When people hear that thousands of acres have burned, they perceive that all of it is completely blackened,” he said. “I hope that when we’re able to reopen the road, they will come out and see for themselves.” “It’s a change of perception for many that we can live with fire rather than put it all out,” he said. People also don’t understand how wilderness fires are managed. Many believe the agency just stands back and follows the

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08-19-13 Missoulian  
08-19-13 Missoulian  

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