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Big Sky

Big Sky’s Locally Owned & Published Newspaper

April 6, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue #7

Spring skiing in Cooke City Changes ahead

Arts Council of Big Sky

Celebrate Earth Week gallery Fashion photographer

Jon Marshall

Kids for the Wild grant recipients announced big sky town hall meeting april 11

Photo by Emily stifler

Big Sky Weekly

Publisher of the big sky weekly

Big Sky Weekly



On the cover: Anne Gilbert Chase climbing Skyline Ridge, a Gallatin Canyon classic. Photo by Emily Stifler.

2011 big sky

GOGGLE TAN CONTEST - Submit a photo of your sunburned, goggle-tanned faces to the Goggle Tan Contest on Facebook. Submit early for the best chance to win a full-day walkwade fishing trip from Gallatin River Guides, plus $50 in GRG bucks.

chamber of commerce

Business of the Year april 6, 2012 Volume 3, Issue 7 PUBLISHER Eric Ladd COO & SENIOR EDITOR Megan Paulson CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mike Martins MANAGING EDITOR Emily Stifler GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kelsey Dzintars EDITOR Abbie Digel Assistant Editor Taylor Anderson Distribution Director Danielle Chamberlain

Photo by Austin Trayser

VIDEO director Brian Niles

Spring brings exciting things

videographer Chris Davis

It’s spring in Montana, and that means sun and blue skies one day, then a powder storm the next. It’s the best of both worlds.

Account relations coordinator Kacey Brown Operations director Katie Morrison WEB Programmer/Designer Sean Weas CONTRIBUTors

Katie Alvin, Emily Baker, Mike Coil, Maren Dunn, Felicia Ennis, Beau Fredlund, Marcie Hahn-Knoff, Jimmy Lewis, Mike Mannelin, Lew McCabe, Brandon Niles, Ersin Ozer Jackie Robin, Greer Schott, Katie Smith, Austin Trayser and John Zirkle

Also, some exciting news: Big Sky is nominated for several awards that will be announced at the upcoming 2012 Montana Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation in Great Falls on April 11-13.

In that same vein, the Skyline bus system won the Federal Transit Administration’s Region 8 award for best bus wrap, for the Big Sky Resort wrapped Link Express bus.

Meg O’Leary, Big Sky Resort’s director of sales and marketing, was nominated for ‘Tourism Person of the Year’, alongside Dan Austin from Billings and Jenn Nelson of Red Lodge.

These are the tides of change. Get out there and enjoy the last turns of the season, and embrace the renewal that comes with spring. -Big Sky Weekly Editors

Big Sky Weekly Distribution



Editorial Policy

Outlaw Partners LLC is the sole owner of the Big Sky Weekly. No part of this publication may be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. The Big Sky Weekly reserves the right to edit all submitted material for content, corrections or length. Printed material reflects the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the opinion of Outlaw Partners or the editors of this publication. No advertisements, columns, letters to the editor or other information will be published that contain discrimination based on sex, age, race, religion, creed, nationality, sexual preference, or are in bad taste.

Letter to the Editor Parameters The Weekly accepts letters to the editor to give readers a platform to express their views and share ways they would like to effect change. These should not be Thank You notes. Letters should be 250 words or less, respectful, ethical, state accurate facts and figures, and proofread for grammar and content. We reserve the right to edit letters. Include: first and last name, address, phone number and title. Submit to:

ADVERTISING DEADLINE For April 20 issuE: April 13, 2012 CORRECTIONS The Big Sky Weekly runs corrections to errors we’ve printed. Please report them to

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2 April 6, 2012

The annual Big Sky Big Grass music festival, held at Big Sky Resort, was nominated as ‘Tourism Event of the Year’, and Big Sky as a whole was nominated for ‘Tourism Community of the Year’, having hosted the APEC conference in May 2011.

Table of Contents Community...4 Letters...7 Local News...8 Regional..10 Montana...15 NONPROFIT...17 Health Q&A...21 Business Profile...23 Classifieds...24 Real Estate...25 ENVIRONMENT...27

Word from the Resorts...28 EXPLORE...30 GALLERY...33 SPORTS...36 OUTDOORS...38 EVENTS...41 ENTERTAINMENT....42 ARTS ...45 COLUMN...46 BACK 40...48


Big Sky Weekly

Despite arguments, school districts won’t likely change borders in near future This is part three in a three part series on the Ennis and Big Sky School Districts.

By Taylor Anderson

Big Sky Weekly assistant editor

MADISON AND GALLATIN COUNTIES—It’s an issue that isn’t likely to evaporate any time in the near future. Big Sky residents would like to take action to transfer the Big Sky residents living in Madison County from the Ennis school district to Big Sky school distric. No records exist that document when the school district borders were created—though Ennis and Big Sky most likely followed county lines set in 1864—but school districts crossing county lines isn’t uncommon in Montana. What makes this geographical border of interest is twofold: two wealthy Madison County districts located in Big Sky are served mostly by Gallatin County, separated by a rugged mountain range and private road from the county where they pay taxes, and Ennis’s new $10 million school that was built amidst confusion and perhaps bad advice and was found in December 2011 to have been built with illegally raised, non-levied school district funds.

Districts 28 and 29 in Big Sky have accounted for about 75 percent of the Ennis School District budget in the last seven years. Those residents have accounted for about 50 percent Madison County's total collected taxes over the last five years.

Even if all of Big Sky’s residents were in Gallatin County, they would pay more in taxes. Gallatin County residents pay a .68 percent property tax versus the .52 percent in Madison County.

Commissioner Jim Hart maintains residents receive ample services in exchange for taxes—including road plowing, police, bus and health services. Big Sky residents say what they really want is access to the school they pay for.

The Montana Constitution allows property owners to petition county school superintendents to change district lines, but the code is full of red tape and stipulations that would likely force Madison County Superintendent Judi Osborn to reject a petition.

Erik Lovold and other parents living at Big Sky Resort drive their students to Lone Peak High or Ophir School in the mornings. Lovold says that although Ennis gives him money in restitution, he’d like more in return for his taxes.

The law states that in cases where the cumulative effect of transfers is greater than 25 percent of the district’s taxable value, the superintendent would consider the district’s passage of voted levies over the previous eight years, and the likelihood of an increase in taxes if the transfer were granted.

“There hasn't been any organization yet. A lot of us don't really know what to do to try and help rectify the organization,” Lovold said. “If I had it my way I’d section off a new county for [Big Sky]. “That’s just me saying 'hey I want to see things change, and I don't know how to go about it.'”

Removing 75 percent from the Ennis School District’s nearly $17 million budget in 2012 would either take a devastating toll on the courses offered to students or force a drastic increase in taxes on Ennis residents. Realistically, that potential impact would force Osborn to reject a petition. The law says the superintendent would host a hearing at which petitioners would present findings regarding impact a transfer would have on class size, student transportation, the ability of the receiving district to provide educational services, cost and travel time of students. These are some of the few sections of law that Osborn would potentially see as creating a positive impact on both sides. Osborn didn’t return requests by the Big Sky Weekly for comment on the article. Significant cooperation and agreement between the counties would be necessary to grant any proposed change. The trustees and property owners from both districts would have to agree that change is in mutual interest. “I think potentially the bigger issue is there has to be interest by both sides by the property owners [and] parents of students in the territory that’s in question,” said Dennis Parman, Montana Office of Public Instruction Deputy Superintendent. “I think in this case there may be some obstacles that would make it very difficult,” Parman said. “If there’s no upside for Ennis to transfer, they’re not obligated to.” Ennis School Trustee Lisa Frye has been an outspoken critic of her fellow board members. She said she would understand any attempt by Big Sky to changing districts. “I wouldn’t blame Big Sky people for looking at that,” she said.

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Residents in Big Sky, an unincorporated town of about 2,300 full time residents with high numbers of vacation homes, won’t likely take action any time soon. Gathering evidence to put forth a strong argument would take time and resources, and Big Sky school officials don’t appear ready yet to launch efforts. At a public forum in February, a resident asked whether the town could go about changing the county line, to which Big Sky School District Superintendent Jerry House responded that he had started a conversation with the Ennis school system. Asked whether anything was in the works from school officials late in March, House had no comment.

Growing interest in the school system in Ennis, a southwest Montana town with fewer than 1,000 residents, comes after the K-12 school spent nearly $10 million on a new, much needed school building. The school’s superintendent, Doug Walsh, is also in hot water with the Teachers’ Retirement System after the school paid him a salary while he collected retirement benefits. The school district and Walsh now owe the TRS $760,000. That issue is in early stages of court. Ennis is now moving toward remediating its actions. Walsh plans to resign at the end of June. Two, three-year spots on the school board expire this year; four Ennis residents are running for those positions. The board has volleyed with Madison County Commissioners on whether a comprehensive audit is the best way to start repairing the resulting mistrust from the community. The commissioners on April 3 decided they would move forward in pursuit of an audit that would bring light to any spending discrepancies in the past decade. The decision came after a series of meetings in which several trustees argued they didn’t think taxpayers should pay for an expensive audit. Ennis resident Kelly Robinson is a staunch proponent of the audit. She and her husband Dave Kelley, who filed suit against Walsh and several board members in 2010, have spoken out at board meetings that the board needs more transparency. “Our town can’t go through this again,” Robinson said. “We need an audit. We need a comprehensive audit.” To reach Taylor, email


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community Montana Library Conference is “reaching new summits” in April By abbie digel

big sky weekly editor

BIG SKY—Nearly 400 Montana librarians will be bustling around Big Sky talking books, information, and the future of Montana’s library system in mid-April. The theme of this year’s Montana Library Association conference is “reaching new summits,” chosen by Big Sky Community Library director Kathy House, also co-director of the conference. House believes the theme appropriately incorporates the idea of Big Sky, mountains and hiking. “There are so many new summits to reach, so many more places and people libraries are reaching out to, it made sense,” House said. The conference will take place at Big Sky Resort, April 11—14. House also allocated locations around town for certain events to give attendees, most of whom have never been to Big Sky, a taste of what the community has to offer.

House explained she couldn’t have planned the event without the help of Friends of the Library, Big Sky Resort, the Cook Foundation and the Outlaw Partners. Also, Lone Peak Brewery is hosting a brewery tour for the librarians. “We feel honored to share the success of our small community library with so many librarians across the state, demonstrating how efforts from resort tax, Friends of the Library, and the Ophir [now Big Sky] School Board make us possible,” House said. Big Sky’s library is a successful example for others of how libraries can work in conjunction with schools. “There’s very few community libraries around the state, but we have resort tax, which helps immensely. We are very fortunate to have a generous community that sees the importance of education and libraries.” Interested in attending sessions, but aren’t registered? Contact the Library at (406) 995-4281.

MLA conference higlights The Montana Book Award will honor the book “Raptors of the West” by Kate Davis, Rob Palmer and Nick Dunlop at an April 12 reception. Featured speakers are Joan Frye Williams, an internationally recognized library futurist and service designer. Since 1996, Williams has been president of her own library consulting firm based in California. Montanan Kevin Connolly, who has travelled the world as a photographer, author and inspirational speaker, will host the special program. Montana writer Maile Meloy, host the of the author’s luncheon, will talk about growing up in Montana and her path to becoming a writer, the creative process and the research involved in writing a spy novel set in London in 1952, and the effect of childhood reading. Attendees can visit the Big Sky Community Library at the welcome reception on Wed. April 11, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The Big Sky Conoco donated a $100 gas card as a door prize. The winner will be announced afterward at the Corral. Local musicians Mike Haring and Kevin Fabozzi will play at the welcome reception, and the membership dinner, while the Lone Peak High Pep Band’s debut performance will be at the Poster Session on April 13 from 5:45 – 6:30 p.m. in the Madison Room at the Yellowstone Conference Center.

Big Sky Weekly

Big Sky's Got Talent First annual Big Sky talent show brings in bucks, applause big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY—The first fundraiser for Big Sky Broadway, Big Sky’s only children’s musical theater company and summer camp, welcomed a packed house at the Lone Peak Cinema theater on a sunny Sunday afternoon. “In addition to buying tickets, the audience was very generous at the event," said Producer Barbara Rowley. Local stars Ava King and Emma Flach passed a basket through the crowd while BSBW director John Zirkle sang an adaptation of the show tune “Summertime,” wherein he added silly lyrics requesting funds. A wine-tasting benefit sponsored by By Word of Mouth followed the event. Big Sky Broadway reached its financial goals and netted over $2,000 in funds for this summer’s production. “We were thrilled by the financial success,” Zirkle said, “but I was also excited to see the artistic skills of our performers and their

Photo by chad jones

willingness to get up in front of an audience." All of the performers won prizes and accolades from ‘celebrity judges’ Heaven Phillips, Steve Merlino and Klaudia Kosiak. Enrollment for the two-week camp, which begins June 11 and culminates with performances of The Wizard of Oz on June 23-24, is now almost completely full. For more information about how to participate or donate to Big Sky Broadway, contact Barbara Rowley at

Cowboys coming to Big Sky? big sky weekly staff writer

Ladies and Gentlemen, after nearly a year, the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center board is close to making a decision on where to put its hall of fame campus. Among the finalists: Big Sky, Big Timber, Livingston and Twin Bridges. To solidify its good standing and hard work over the past months, the folks behind Big Sky’s application process

sent a cover letter to the board of directors to “highlight the reasons that make Big Sky the best location for the longterm success of the facility,” an email to supporters read. With the 10-page cover letter, the group sent a draft land sale agreement, along with 25 bullet points highlighting the dozens of potential partnerships and companies willing to lend a hand in the museum process. The decision will be made on April 30.

Big Sky Softball is back BIG SKY—After a yearlong sabbatical the Big Sky Softball league is back. This year the league is blessed with two new recently constructed fields at the Big Sky Community Park.

will be co-ed, consisting of seven men and three women on the field. The league has been one of the largest organized events for Big Sky in past years, with over 400 players, 16 teams and tournaments.

“The league is very thankful to have such an amazing asset available to use for games. This year’s season should be great fun,” said Eric Ladd, BSSL commissioner.

Team registration is now open. Cost is $500 per team on a first-come first-serve basis.

This year the league will start June 11 with games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The league

6 April 6, 2012

For teams or players looking to register contact Krista Mach at or Eric Ladd at or (406) 995-2055.

letters Separation agreement for Ennis Superintendent a mistake At last month’s Ennis School Board meeting, my fellow board members approved drafting a separation agreement with Ennis Superintendent Walsh. I would like to explain my reasons why there should be no separation agreement. The retirement benefit plan that was offered to all school employees in 2010 had to be exercised immediately upon retirement eligibility or lost. The exact language of the benefit option reads: “…the staff member must accept the retirement benefit plan on the first year they become eligible or forever lose the opportunity. No other retirement plan will be offered during the life of this plan.”

to be writing a separation agreement with Mr. Walsh. A new board may look at this and say we need the opinion of an attorney who was not involved in making the decisions and writing these contracts that have given rise to the TRS claims.



We now know that important documents were concealed from this board and from TRS. We know that the school board’s attorney, Elizabeth Kaleva, helped write contracts for Mr. Walsh that are the basis for the TRS claims. Those facts alone dictate that we need a second legal opinion.

It is clear from the decision of TRS that Mr. Walsh has never actually retired nor did he exercise the retirement benefit plan option. Mr. Walsh is as subject to the 2010 retirement benefit plan as any other school employee.

School board candidates Bill Clark and Craig George will support seeking a second legal opinion, and they will support a comprehensive audit of our district’s financial records. These steps need to be taken to restore our community’s trust and confidence in the Ennis School Board’s financial integrity.

Until the litigation with TRS is settled, it is a mistake for the board

Sincerely, Lisa Frye, Ennis

In memory of Jamie Pierre I would like to express my deep and profound gratitude to the community of Big Sky for the outpouring of love, kindness and support following Jamie's death. Moving to Big Sky was a dream come true for us and though our time there was brief it was a beautiful and cherished experience. We are taking each day as it comes and are surrounded by the love of family and friends back in Utah. With sincere and loving thanks, Much kindness and respect, Amee Pierre, Salt Lake City

Ophir School Kindergarten Registration Fall 2012 Children must be five years of age on or before September 10, 2012 Please bring birth certificate, immunizations, and proof of residency When: Wednesday, April 11, 8:00am-6:00pm Where: Ophir School Conference Room Contact Mrs.LaDawn@995-4281 ext. 200 with any questions No appointment necessary

A collection of lots within Yellowstone Club, on the saddle bordering Big Sky Resort.

April 6, 2012 7

Big Sky Weekly

local news Checking in on the state of Big Sky Town hall meeting scheduled for April 11 By taylor anderson

big sky weekly assistant editor

Big Sky—How is the school doing and when will its new changes be implemented? What is the real name of Route 64 in Big Sky? What is the status of the $24 million Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center Big Sky applied for? Big Sky community leaders will address residents during a town hall meeting in the Big Sky Chapel April 11 from 1–3 p.m. School board chairman Loren Bough will represent the Big Sky School District, which recently changed its name from Ophir School District, addressing the crowd via video from Russia. Bough will likely cover recent curriculum changes implemented at the behest of Superintendent Jerry House that increase graduation requirements from the current 22 credit minimum to 27–32 credits. House and a three-person committee also recommended the school district change its 99-year-old name from Ophir to Big Sky, for branding purposes. It’s not clear whether Bough will address the issue of space and growth in the school. The board has spoken to the school’s likely future use of modules for classes, and board member Barbara Rowley has said permanent infrastructure isn’t yet needed and may not be for years. That issue will likely come up in future board meetings. Gallatin County GIS representative Alan Armstrong will discuss the potential name change of Route 64 in Big Sky from Big Sky Spur Road to Lone Mountain Trail. A recent email poll showed residents prefer the entire road from the intersection at Highway 191 to Jack Creek Road be called Lone Mountain Trail, and that the town stick with a single name for clarity. Big

Sky Town Center project manager Ryan Hamilton indicated that maps might need changing with a name change. A group representing the push to win a bid for host of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center—led by Hamilton—will update attendees on the $24 million project. Big Sky is among a short list of towns in final consideration for that project. Women in Action will present results from the community health survey. Town Center master developer Bill Simkins set aside a parcel of land for that project’s development. An announcement is expected on April 30. The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce board of directors will close out the meeting with an update on marketing projects the group has started. The first, a wayfinding, signage and monument effort—also organized by Hamilton—has been more than a year in the making. Town leaders have been working with the Montana Department of Transportation on branding signs that would organize the various villages in Big Sky through green circle, blue square and black diamond labeled street signs. The Chamber will also highlight its five-year marketing plan that has emphasized incorporating Big Sky to Yellowstone National Park as well as summer marketing. A/D Creative Group, the Billings-based group contracted to market the town, will present its findings to those in attendance. The group will close the meeting with an update on recent staff changes. It hired four new employees to supplement the work of Robin Brower-McBride. The hiring followed a Chamber study that showed it was “woefully underfunded in its human resources.”

Help veterans come to Big Sky this summer big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY— Operation Never Forgotten brought warriors with physical and invisible wounds to Big Sky Resort for a week last winter to challenge themselves to new activities and discover new passions at an event called the “SAS Project.” “SAS” stands for Sports, Afield and Stream, which provides adaptive extreme sportsSSG Mike Mills with ONF Vice President based activities, adventure-based John Kinzinger at Old Faithful. Kinzinger was dog sitting another veteran's seeing education, hunteye dog service dog. ing and fishing, and mentorship. It aims to help injured veterans and their caregivers gain trust, self-sufficiency, as well as improve mental, physical and emotional health. ONF’s next SAS event is scheduled for this summer, July 17-23, 2012 in Big Sky. The public can help support Operation SAS by eating at participating restaurants: Buffalo Wild Wings - April 4, Billings, Bozeman, Helena, Missoula IHOP – All Wednesdays in April from 5 - 8 p.m., Bozeman, Billings, Helena, Missoula, Kalispell (Kalispell on April 25 only) Fuddruckers - May 2, Bozeman, Missoula, Great Falls and Billings

Kids for the wild

Local boy wins environmental award big sky weekly staff writer

Big Sky—Ophir School Fourth Grader Nicki Wade has grown up in Big Sky, but he never tires of being outside. Wade has received one of three first annual Kid for the Wild awards established in honor of Big Sky’s great musician and environmentalist, Walkin’ Jim Stoltz. “I like being in the woods. I feel good when I’m outside,” Wade says. And he has a lot of outside adventure in his future: Expedition Yellowstone with Ophir School, a Grand Canyon trip with his family and—this summer—a stint at Sanborn Western Camps, partially paid for with his $750 award. Wade is also aware that he needs to do his part to help with the environment, a stipulation of the award. In third grade, he helped collect all the recycling for the school. “I’m looking forward to backpacking,” Wade says

8 April 6, 2012

of his upcoming camp experience, though he admits he is also partial to other modes of transportation outdoors. “If I had the perfect afternoon, I would probably choose to go horseback riding,” he said. Another Kid for the Wild Scholarship was awarded to Emma Balunek of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Emma will attend an Alpengirls photojournalism camp in Montana. Balunek has worked on wetlands projects, and her interest in photography, dedication to the natural world and maturity will be important as she becomes a future caretaker for the planet. Tanner White of Billings, Montana is using his Kid for the Wild Scholarship award to attend Philmont Scout Ranch as part of his pursuit to become an Eagle Scout. White donates time to a number of different neighbors who need help, helps young people learn to fly fish, projects for wildlife advocacy and park restoration. White hopes his experiences will help him make change in the world.

Big Sky resident Nicholas Wade received a Kids for the Wild grant this year.

The Kid for the Wild award is administered by the nonprofit Walkin’ Jim co-founded: Musicians United for A Sustainable Environment (MUSE). For more information about applying for next year, or to contribute to the scholarship fund, contact Leslie Stoltz at lesstoltz@

local news

Big Sky Weekly

Big Sky artist selected for Alaska artist residency Parks visiting Park By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH NATIONAL PARK, Alaska—Big Sky animator, artist and photographer Corrie Francis Parks is planning for a month-long residency along the historic Chilkoot Trail this summer, outside of Skagway, Alaska. Parks, 32, grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, studied animation at Dartmouth College and earned an MFA at the University of Southern California. She and her husband Thom moved to Big Sky last November from Aspen, Colo. Through her work as a freelancer, she creates animated films that combine digital and traditional techniques. “I like to be very hands on. I do sand animation, stop motion and a lot of drawing. Then I take them into the computer and manipulate them in different ways, depending on technique and the story I want to tell,” she said, describing her work. The residency is part of an international program, with the collaboration of the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site (Parks Canada), Klondike Gold Rush

National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service), Yukon Arts Centre and the Skagway Arts Council. It was developed to help connect people, national parks and national historic sites through art. Parks will hike the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail looking for inspiration, gathering footage, talking to people, and being an ambassador for both for the park and the arts, she says. The trail was one of two main routes used by gold rush stampeders to access the Klondike from southeast Alaska, but it was established by the Tlingit people long before that, as a trade route. Today, it’s part of Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park and typically takes backpackers three to five days to walk. Historic mining equipment and other remnants of its past remain. Parks’ husband Thom, a Yellowstone Club ski instructor, will accompany her as cinematographer and technical support. Spending two weeks in the backcountry, they plan to interview people along the way about “wilderness and history and how they interact.” For the Yukon Arts Centre and the

Parks' work combines digital and traditional techniques

Skagway Arts Council, the residency is a way of fostering northern creative and cultural economy by bringing broader audiences into contact with contemporary artists, as well as exploring and challenging ideas and issues in landscape art. Parks will help facilitate this mission by offering public lectures in Skagway and Whitehorse before and after the backcountry trip. She plans to present some of her past work and discuss “how the literal and imaginary can combine powerfully in animated documentary.” Following the residency, Parks will return to Big Sky and compile her mate-

PBR is catching momentum big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY—The Professional Bullriding Tour is coming back to the Big Sky Town Center July 31 and Aug. 1. The PBR event committee has begun securing sponsorships, and new details of the event will be announced weekly. Business sponsorships are a critical component to making this event happen, said Eric Ladd, one of the event organizers. “We build the arena from scratch,” Ladd said. “Bringing this kind of quality act to Big Sky is expensive. Without our sponsors the PBR wouldn’t happen.” The event will kick off with a free community concert hosted by Big Sky Arts Council on July 31 featuring rising country star Morgan Frazier. Frazier is currently touring the country, performing at country festivals and award shows. That pre-party will include a fundraiser for two local nonprofits, the Big Sky Community Corporation and the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation. The Arts Council of Big Sky, who collaborated with the PBR event committee to bring Frazier to Big Sky, is happy to help make live music a big part of the event, said Brian Hurlbut, ACBS General Manager. The PBR is “another way we come to together as a community offer more great entertainment.” The main event at the Big Sky PBR will take place on August 1. The number of tickets avail-

able is not yet fixed, as the organizing group is still working to get more bleachers. This is the main limiting factor to growing this event, Ladd said. “We estimate that we could have sold at least another 1,000 tickets last year if we had more seats.” A bleacher purchase request is being made to Resort Tax this spring with the hopes of bringing 800 more seats to the Big Sky community for events like this. Current sponsors for this summer include: Title Sponsor – Yellowstone Club Presenting Sponsor – Continental Construction Big Screen Sponsor – Black Bull Barrel Sponsor – Fay Ranches Lodging Sponsor – Big Sky Resort Ticket Sponsors – Sotheby’s and Ressler - Toyota Program Sponsor – Sotheby’s Chute Gate Sponsors – Fay Ranches, Haas Construction, Ressler – Toyota, Jack Daniels, Centre Sky Architecture, STOA Mgt., Lone View Ridge Banner Sponsors – Bucks T4 Koozie Sponsor – Christies Great Estate Music Sponsor – Big Sky Arts Council Rooming and ticket packages will be made available soon at Big Sky Resort. Details for the event can be found at Tickets for the general public will go on sale June 15. Event sponsors will be able to secure seats before that time. Vendor spaces and banner sponsors are still available. Interested parties should contact Outlaw Partners at (406) 995-2055.

rials into a short animated film, likely a combination of photo, drawing and other mediums. She doesn’t have the film completely planned; instead, she says, she’ll try to allow the narrative and the technique to intertwine, “growing together at the same time, so the whole film blooms organically rather than planning everything out and executing it.” See some of Parks's work on Monday, April 19 at the Big Sky Community Chorus's Spring concert at the Big Sky Chapel.

Open meeting on Gallatin River research blue water task force

BIG SKY—Big Sky residents will have an opportunity to learn the results of the latest research on the Upper Gallatin River and learn about small steps they can take to improve the health of local water resources at an open meeting hosted by the Blue Water Task Force April 12, at 6 p.m. in the Buck Ridge Room at Bucks T4. The evening will begin with an update from Blue Water Task Force chair, Jon Holtzman, and executive director, Kristin Gardner, on the recent BWTF activities, which include development of a restoration plan for the Upper Gallatin, the Upper Gallatin River cleanup, and results from recent studies on the river. Mike Richter, a Big Sky resident who works for the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, will report on a three-year extensive study on groundwater quality and quantity in the Big Sky area. Ophir fourth graders will follow with an update on the status of the Ophir School Demonstration Rain and Water Conservation Garden. Alicia DeGroot, a Big Sky Watershed Corps member working for the BWTF this year, will discuss a small pilot project looking at the viability of disposing wastewater through snowmaking. The Wastewater Solutions Forum, a group of community leaders, conservationists, and developers working together to solve Big Sky wastewater issues, developed this project. The Ophir sixth grade will close the evening by discussing their servicelearning project on wastewater management in Big Sky. Refreshments will be served at the meeting. For more information contact Kristin Gardner at (406) 993-2519 or visit

April 6, 2012 9


Spring Adult Education Offerings at Ophir School 8000 Fitness Classes Fit Moms Mon. 9:20-10:20 a.m. (Free Childcare Provided) Boot Camp Mon. 6-7:00 p.m. Boot Camp Fri. 6-7:00 a.m.


Ballroom Dancing Foxtrot and Waltz


Art (Registration deadline April 16th) Learn to Stretch Canvas and Oil Paint Metalsmithing Gardening High Altitude Gardening Open Gym- These are FREE to the public Basketball Tues and Thurs 6-8:30 pm Mommie and Me Wed 9:30-10:30 a.m. Guitar Free Thursday Night Intermediate Group Jam Sessions For more information visit, look for the Adult Ed Program page under the Activities tab OR contact Katie Coleman, or 406-209-1643.

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Elk population down from 2011 winter count Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Yellowstone—The Northern Yellowstone Cooperative Wildlife Working Group conducted its annual winter survey of the Northern Yellowstone elk population on March 7. The survey, using three airplanes, was conducted by staff from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the National Park Service. Staff counted 4,174 elk, including 1,440 elk (34 percent) inside Yellowstone National Park and on Deckard Flats south of Bear Creek and 2,734 elk (66 percent) elsewhere north of the park. Survey conditions were favorable across the region with fresh snow and good visibility. The count of 4,174 elk at the close of the 2012 winter season was ten percent lower than the 2011 winter count of 4,635. Looking back further, between the winters of 2007 and the end of winter 2010, elk numbers ranged from

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6,070 to 7,109. The working group will continue to monitor trends of the elk population and evaluate the relative contribution of various components of mortality, including predation, environmental factors and hunting. The working group was formed in 1974 to cooperatively preserve and protect the longterm integrity of the northern Yellowstone winter range for wildlife species by increasing scientific knowledge of the species and their habitats, promoting prudent land management activities, and encouraging an interagency approach to answering questions and solving problems. The group is comprised of resource managers and biologists from the Montana FWP, Yellowstone National Park, the Gallatin National Forest, and the U.S. Geological SurveyNorthern Rocky Mountain Science Center, Bozeman.


Big Sky Weekly

Bridger Bowl avalanches a warning Persistent weak layer could cause similar avalanches in other ranges By Emily Stifler

Big Sky Weekly managing editor

BRIDGER BOWL—It started as a small, loose soft slab avalanche triggered by a ski patrol explosive near the top of Bridger Gully. The moving snow picked up more mass as it went, and after a few hundred feet it had enough weight to affect a weak layer buried five feet down. A jagged, 600-foot crown line zippered across the slope, tearing out the entire season’s snowpack, bulldozing mature timber, and running 1,800 vertical feet to a level almost adjacent to the bottom terminal of Bridger’s Alpine Lift. The drainage where the avalanche ran was carved out smooth in some places, striated with dirty brown, white and red snow. Shredded trees were strewn about the 20-foot tall piles of debris. It was March 27, and an eight-inch storm the previous night brought with it 1.5 inches of snow water equivalent (SWE). The two nights prior to the storm, the temperature had not dipped below freezing, causing the snowpack to be saturated all the way through. As the morning’s work progressed, patrol triggered four other avalanches

of the same stature. One—Boundary Chute—was off a ski cut. It was the same story: A small, oozing wet avalanche entrained more snow until it was large enough to trigger a massive, destructive wet slab avalanche. The carnage in Slushman’s Ravine ran well past the bottom gate that allows skiers to cross from Southbound, off Pierre's Knob, to access the Slushman's lift. “I want some of our locals to see this,” said patrol director Doug Richmond, looking at the gate. Across the way, cross-sections of trees were schmeared into the ice wall, a bizarrely beautiful and horrifying spectacle. The ski area’s upper mountain terrain had been closed the previous day because of the warm temperatures and avalanche activity out of bounds. The Bridgers had been in a major avalanche cycle for a month, with many natural and human triggered avalanches reported, including just outside the ski area boundaries. Like the Bridger Gully avalanche, most of the backcountry avalanches initiated at mid-elevations, and slid on a layer of facets left from October snow, said Pete Maleski,

Hyalite Canyon Road closed until May 15 BOZEMAN—Spring break-up conditions on the Bozeman Ranger District mean it’s time for the annual closure of the Hyalite Road to motorized use. That’s not about breaking up with your sweetheart. Instead, it’s about spring thaw. According to the Gallatin National Forest, “the road sub-grade thaws and gets saturated to the point that it can’t support the road and the large amount of vehicle traffic that uses it. Impacts to the road surface including surface cracking and potholes are highly likely when motorized use occurs during spring thaw.” The road will still be open to hikers, bikers, roller-bladers and other nonmotorized recreationists. The Forest Service warns users to be aware of the potential for falling rocks near the road, and debris on the pavement. Crews may also be working to clean debris from the road.

District Ranger Lisa Stoeffler expressed gratitude toward Gallatin County and the Bridger Ski Foundation for their work maintaining, plowing and grooming Hyalite Road. The number of winter recreationists has increased each year since the road was first plowed in 2007. This winter, Stoeffler said, the Forest Service estimated 10,000 visitors a month used the road. Additionally, the Buffalo Horn Trail #1, Porcupine Creek Trail #34 and Teepee Creek Trail #39, all in the Gallatin south of Big Sky, will be closed to pack and saddle livestock and mountain bikes until June 15. Heavy use during this time of year, when the trails are soft and muddy, can cause increased damage to the trails. For information about road and trail conditions, contact the Bozeman Ranger District at (406) 522-2520.

Bridger’s snow safety director. With the ski areas closing in April, backcountry skiers and snowboarders will likely be dealing with wet avalanche danger. The persistent weak layer that was the culprit in the Bridgers exists in many places around the region. “The Bridgers gave us a window into what can happen with these other ranges,” said Doug Chabot, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Chabot pointed out concerns in the snowpack this spring: - Depth hoar (like the October weak layer) can cause significant spring avalanche cycles. - When that layer gets wet (from solar heating or rain), large wet slab avalanches can break easily on it. - Once a wet slide occurs, the likelihood of many others occurring soon after increases. But there’s also a bright side of snowpack assessment with wet slides, Chabot pointed out. “As a skier, when it’s the most unstable out, it’s typically the worst condi-

tions—when we’re breaking through, our skins are glopping up, it’s wet, and unpleasant.” Safe skiing is all about timing, especially in spring, he said. “Once the surface snow is frozen and supportable, we keep our fingers crossed for a bit of a corn cycle,” Chabot said. “In spring, a few hours makes all the difference. Is water moving through the snowpack? Is it getting weaker? Is it cloudy?” Richmond’s lesson from the Bridger avalanches: sudden change should be a red flag, especially during a year with a weak layer like this year. That change could be a big snow or rain storm, wind loading near ridge tops, sluffs piling up in an apron, or big temperature changes. “If you’re seeing natural wet slab activity, that’s a crucial piece of info for decision making. It’s telling us that things are ripe to avalanche that day.” Go to and search ‘Bridger Bowl avalanche’ to see a video of Doug Richmond explaining some of the factors in the avalanche event at Bridger Bowl.

Bicyclists allowed on some Yellowstone roads yellowstone national park

Two sure signs of the onset of spring in Yellowstone National Park are sightings of bears emerging from their dens, and the appearance of hardy and prepared bicyclists on a few sections of park roadways. As plow crews continue to clear roads for the start of automobile travel, a portion of the park is open to bicyclists for this short season. Through April 19, the road between West Yellowstone, Madison, Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs is open to travel by adventurous and prepared bicyclists. There is no spring bicycle access to Old Faithful or Canyon areas. Cyclists should expect to encounter and yield to snowplows or other vehicles operated by park employees or construction workers. Also, the quickly changing weather can be blustery, snowy and brutally cold. Snow and ice may cover sections of road while bears, bison, elk, wolves and other wildlife could be encountered at any time. No services are

along these sections of road. Bicyclists are encouraged to carry bear spray and should be prepared to turn around and backtrack when encountering wildlife on the road. Snow removal efforts may also allow for a brief period of bike access into the park sometime in May from the South Entrance to West Thumb and from the East Entrance toward Sylvan Pass. The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner to Cooke City at the park's Northeast Entrance is open all year to cyclists and automobiles, weather permitting. Some interior park roads don’t open to automobile travel until Memorial Day weekend. Call (307) 344-2107 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays for updated road access information, or (307) 344-2113 for 24-hour weather information before traveling to the area.

April 6, 2012 11


Big Sky Weekly

Ennis School Board candidates By taylor anderson

big sky weekly assistant editor

These questions were compiled from residents in Ennis, as well as from the Big Sky Weekly. Answers have been edited for brevity.

Josh Vujovich to conduct the audit could be better used in moving forward to find solutions to the issues facing the school and community.

The following candidates are running for two open seats on the Ennis School Board. Elections are May 8. 1. What is your position regarding a comprehensive audit of the Ennis School District’s financial records over the past seven years? 2. What is your position regarding the construction of the $10 million grade school? 3. Big Sky pays about 75 percent of the costs of the Ennis School District but has no students in the school. Do you feel the board should work to provide more to that town, or are things fine as they are? 4. What’s enticing for you to run for such a scrutinized position at this time? 5. What are your plans to help repair the image of the school? 6. How do you plan to work with the board and new superintendent to ensure that you’re operating under the laws of the state?

1. I’m all for transparency in the school district and in government in general. In this situation, I don’t believe an audit would provide a great deal more information and transparency than we already have. If the point of the audit is to find out if funds from permissive levies (adult education and transportation) were used to construct the new school, that question has already been answered. Funds from permissive levies were used to construct the new school; about $2.5 million from adult education and $1.7 million from transportation, according to my numbers. To my knowledge, no trustee has ever contested the fact that those funds were used to build the new school. With this in mind, I have no interest in spending more taxpayer funds to find out what we already know, especially as I don’t believe it will bring us any closer to a resolution. I also believe the time, energy and funds required

2. The school has been built and is a wonderful new facility for the students, faculty and community. To question whether it should have been built, and what any candidate would have done or how he or she would have voted in the past is unproductive and doesn’t lead us forward or provide solutions. 3. I would support a dialog between the board and Big Sky residents as to what services could be provided. I would also endeavor to ease the tax burden for the entire district. 4. My children are four and one now, and will be attending the school in the near future. I owe too much to this community, school, and especially my children to sit idly by and do nothing while our town rips itself apart. The funding and construction of the school has created strife, disintegrated friendships, and caused animosity surrounding the students and faculty of the school. By moving forward and finding solutions to the problems facing our school with respect for all participants and using common sense to guide us forward, we can set an example for the students to follow when confronted with adversity.

5. To improve public relations and transparency by striving to answer questions to the best of my ability in a prompt and timely fashion. To proceed with clarity of purpose and transparency; to involve all interested parties, including the State Attorney General’s office, the Office of Public Instruction, Madison County Commissioners and County Attorney, and any of the public that wishes to be involved in a meaningful and constructive manner. 6. I would start by treating everyone with respect and dignity, seeking counsel from outside sources where appropriate, seeking second opinions when prudent, and listening to the opinions of the public, superintendent, principals, teachers and students. I’d also make sure the superintendent knows exactly what his or her roles and responsibilities are, and what tasks he or she is expected to undertake. I’d also make sure there were clear lines of communication between the board and superintendent, the board and teachers, and the teachers and superintendent. Please address any questions or comments to Thank you for your time, and hopefully your vote on May 8.

Bill Clark and contracts signed but not approved by the board. 2. We needed to renovate or build a new grade school and middle school. Doing it without letting all of the taxpayers in the school district vote was wrong. We must never let this kind of thing happen again.

1. I fully support a comprehensive audit of the Ennis School District’s financial records. We must regain the public’s trust in our schools and our financial stewardship. There must be a full and open review of the financial record to answer legitimate questions. Local attorney John Scully said this needed to be done almost two years ago. It still needs to be done. The audit should include all funds, not simply the funds used illegally to build the school. There are too many unanswered questions about contracts not being put out to bid

12 April 6, 2012

3. We need to schedule regular meetings between the Ennis School Board of Trustees and the parents, taxpayers and students in Big Sky, and use those to explore ways we can work together going forward. For example, we may be able to create a distance learning partnership with MSU and/or Montana Western. Using computers and new technologies might allow us to create classrooms without the usual bricks and mortar. It might also be possible to create a satellite program at Big Sky with a special focus on outdoor and wildlife subjects or even a secondary school recreation management focused program. What we need to do is use our imaginations and vision to create a real partner-

ship. I would like to hear ideas from residents of Big Sky. My phone number is (406) 682-7224. 4. Under normal circumstances I might not run for this office. However, this is the community in which I grew up. It’s where my children were educated and where my grandchildren are being educated. Given the difficulties the community now faces I feel I have the kind of background and backbone needed to help us solve these problems and move forward. It will be difficult and perhaps painful, but we have to restore confidence in our fiscal management before we will ever be able to move forward. 5. First and foremost we need a comprehensive audit. Second, we need to be certain agendas and detailed accurate board minutes are widely distributed to the community and local newspapers. Third we need to make a greater effort to be more inclusive of parents, teachers, students, taxpayers, School District employees and other community members in the decision making process. Fourth, we need to guarantee our books and financial records are

open to everyone at all times. All major contracts need to be put out to bid and open to community input. Fifth, we need to reach out to families who have taken their students out of our district and ask, “why?” Sixth, we need to be more respectful of community input at board meetings, answering the public's questions rather than simply treating questions as comments. 6. First, we need to be certain that we hire a competent new superintendent who has the proper background and qualifications to lead our school at this critical time. Second, the district has to get a new attorney and a new auditor so that we can start with a fresh, clean slate and so that the professionals we depend on are not in a position of conflict or compromise. Third, if I'm not sure of something regarding an item that needs voting on or a question being asked of me, I will do research and find the answer before voting or answering. Finally, moving the funds back to the county treasurer is another step that can enhance transparency and help restore confidence.


Big Sky Weekly

Craig B. George realized a new school or remodel would be necessary because the community was growing. We now have a beautiful and functional new school built with the future in mind. My primary objection isn’t the fact that a new school was built, it’s the fact that our right to vote on it was taken. Past and present trustees surreptitiously raised the mill-rate of non-levied funds to build the new school.

1. Unfortunately, I see that it’s something that has to be done to begin the process of healing within our community. The primary issue for the community over the past several years has been the fiscal spending of tax dollars outside of their designated revenue purposes. When Peter is robbed to pay Paul, is it also plausible that Jill was also robbed to pay Peter back? Without a complete audit we may never know. Whatever issues may be discovered because of an audit can best be remedied by a fresh set of eyes looking at a current overall accounting. 2. When my wife Susanne and I moved here seven years ago, we

3. True, the portion of Big Sky that is within Madison County provides a significant amount of the funding for the Ennis School District. Currently, I believe approximately seven students receive out-ofdistrict education from the Big Sky Gallatin County educational school district. The first question here should be, are they receiving the same or higher educational opportunities through this arrangement? If not, obliviously (sic) it needs to be addressed. Students, parents and the communities which comprise the Ennis School District should receive equal educational opportunities. Open conversation between all interested parties needs to begin. Because of the distance

Chad Coffman 1. My position regarding a comprehensive audit of Ennis School District is that the board must abide by the laws governing school finance, specifically the spending and/or comingling of specific funds. If it was deemed necessary to have an audit to identify errors in spending, then I would be prepared to consider doing so. 2. I have said all along, and publicly, that I believe that the board acted within the best interests of the district with the information it had at that time. I would like to think with the information we have now, things could have been done differently. The new school is built. Let's make sure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated, and move forward with our focus on the kids. 3. I both realize and appreciate the high percentage of taxes that Big Sky residents pay to our school. I feel that as a trustee, my obligation would be to the students of the district, including those in the Big Sky area, and seeing that they get the best education possible. I don't see where the school's job is to provide anything to the town of Big Sky, or the town of Ennis for that matter. 4. I felt compelled to run for this trustee position because I want to see the current situation within our school and our community resolved and our focus return to educating our kids.

5. I believe that the school needs to work toward more community involvement and better public communication. There are great things happening at this school and that needs to be at the forefront. I think that building a good relationship with the county commissioners is one place to start. I also feel the need for an article/overview of each board meeting should be written and submitted to all of our local newspapers--maybe that would spur more community involvement. I feel that the people sometimes forget they have a responsibility to keep informed of the happenings at the school. 6. I plan to do my best to educate myself, using all methods available, regarding state laws and statutes as they pertain to schools. As anyone would imagine, there is a fairly steep learning curve.

between Ennis and Big Sky, the School Board needs to extend their schedules to travel to Big Sky and hold community meetings throughout the year. Additionally, I believe that even though the students from the Ennis School District living in Big Sky and receiving their education through out-of-district service arrangements, they and their parents remain long term investments of the Ennis School District and should receive a strong commitment from the school district in meeting their needs. 4. This is a good question. Many of my friends have asked me why I want to do this. Several came to me and asked me to run for one of the open positions. All of them know that I have given a lifetime to public service. It was definitely my chosen career, and I know that from the challenges of that career and my outside interests, I have not only the desire to continue to serve my community, but the ability to successfully handle the challenges ahead.

members, the new superintendent and school staff. Then between the board and the community to which it serves. Goals need to be set and met. Each and every member of the community has a voice and they need to be respectfully addressed. The second task which needs to be addressed is the true fiscal picture. Determine all of the potential liabilities, if any, and establish a plan to limit their impact on educational services provided by the district. 6. Each of the elected board members come from different walks of life and possess different desires and strengths. My job will be to learn those traits, develop a working platform with them, and move forward with addressing the needs of the school district and the superintendent. Knowing the laws that surround the governing of the schools, its funding and its personnel is essential. The new superintendent needs to be an “overseer” meeting the needs of the school and its staff while balancing his or her advocacy to the board’s direction.

5. Open the lines of communication. First, between the board

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regional Condoleezza Rice to speak at MSU Freshman Convocation Sept. 5 MSU news service

BOZEMAN—Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of State who is also an educator, musician and author, will speak at Montana State University's 2012 Freshman Convocation, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5. Tickets will be available in August.

"We are thrilled to have a distinguished speaker whose life… exemplifies the value of family support, education, and personal courage in cultivating a purposeful and accomplished life," Potvin said. In addition to addressing MSU's incoming freshman class, Rice will also perform on the piano. An accomplished pianist, Rice has previously visited Bozeman, playing with the visiting Muir String Quartet and with Ilse-Mari Lee, a cellist who is also director of MSU's University Honors Program.

In connection with her appearance at MSU, Rice's memoir, Extraordinary, Ordinary People, has been Rice served as the 66th U.S. Secreselected as MSU's 2012 tary of State from 2005 to 2009. She freshman summer readis currently a professor of political ing book. economy and science in the StanRice's memoir is about ford University Graduate School growing up in the of Business. She is also the Thomas segregated South as and Barbara Stephenson Senior Felwell as the influence, low on Public Policy at the Hoover support and guidance Institution, based at Stanford. She she received from her Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary recently published a second memoir, parents and mentors. of State who is also an educator, musician No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My and author, will speak at Montana State UniAccording to MSU versity's 2012 Freshman Convocation, which Y ears in Washington, about her years Provost Martha Potwill be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. as Secretary of State. An expert on vin, Rice's memoir is a 5. A limited number of tickets will be made Russia and the former Soviet Union, testimony of the power available to the public in August. Rice has written four other books of education advancing Photo courtesy of Condoleezza Rice. about diplomacy. one's life, as well as a first-hand account of a The September event will be MSU's sixth convocation. transformational period in America's history.

Study: Gallatin County healthiest in Montana but residents drink more than state and national average By Taylor anderson

Big Sky Weekly assistang editor

For the third straight year, Gallatin County has been named the healthiest of Montana’s 56th counties, according to the 2012 County Health Rankings released April 3. Also marking a trend, Montana’s Indian Reservations ranked poorly on the list, and Montana’s Roosevelt County—located on the Fort Peck Reservation— was the least healthy of all ranked counties. Glacier County, of which 70 percent of the land is within the Blackfeet Reservation, was second-to-last. Eight percent of Gallatin County residents are in poor or fair health, 2 percent less than the national average. 13 percent of adults smoke and 17 percent are obese and inactive, each less than the national benchmark. The study showed that Gallatin County residents outdrink the nation by almost three times as much, with 22 percent excessively drinking. (Montana’s average is 18 percent). The motor vehicle death, uninsured, diabetic and mammography screenings rates were all higher in Gallatin County than the rest of the nation. Neighboring Madison County ranked third on the list, followed by Missoula and Daniels counties. Park County was 12th on the list.

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Big Sky Weekly


Big Sky Weekly

Rural Community Conference is May 15-16 msu news service

BOZEMAN—Montana State University Extension is hosting the fifth annual Rural Community Conference May 15-16 on the MSU campus in Bozeman. The conference will focus on rural development topics and provide an opportunity for citizens, community leaders, nonprofit and governmental groups, and elected and appointed officials to connect with others dedicated to improvements for rural Montana. Scholarships are available and preference is given to those who register by April 3. "This conference provides a forum for discussion about key questions regarding natural resource and energy development, population changes,

impacts of federal policy, and rural entrepreneurship,” said Dan Clark, Director of the MSU Local Government Center. “Each collaborator will leave with a greater awareness of the changing landscape of rural Montana and be equipped with new ideas and tactics to address changes in their communities.”

state executive director for the Montana Farm Service Agency and will share perspectives from Washington, D.C., as well as from his hometown of Fort Benton. John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America and former mayor of Meridian, Miss., will close the conference with an address on community revitalization.

Three nationally known keynote speakers will be featured at the conference. Don Macke, Director of Strategic Engagement and project director for Hometown Competitiveness at the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in Lincoln, Neb., will provide the opening address. Macke will address intergenerational transfer of wealth and apply it to Montana communities. Bruce Nelson, Administrator of the Farm Service Agency, will deliver the May 15 dinner speech. Nelson is the former

A panel featuring representatives from USDA Rural Development, American Farm Bureau, the Montana Economic Developers Association, and the Energy Promotion and Development Division of the Montana Department of Commerce will take place the morning of May 16. For more information or to register, visit

HUD, VA provide permanent housing and support to more than 50 homeless vets in Montana Latest estimate shows national veterans homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent The U.S. Housing and Urban Development program will provide $238,832 to public housing agencies in Montana to supply permanent housing and case management for more than 50 homeless veterans in the state. The assistance is pro-

vided through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program and local housing agencies across the country. Veterans participating in the program rent privately owned housing

and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.

10,500 homeless veterans. This is the first of two rounds of this year’s funding. HUD expects to announce the remaining funding by summer’s end.

The grants are part of $75 million appropriated this year to support the housing needs of approximately

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Big Sky Weekly

April 6, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue #7

business, health & real estate


Changes in store for the Arts Council of Big Sky By abbie digel

Big Sky Weekly Editor

Big Sky—The performing arts are alive and well in our community despite some changes, thanks to the continuous efforts of the Arts Council of Big Sky. This summer ACBS’s schedule will be without a headlining concert to cap off the summer season, but general manager Brian Hurlbut says the change is for the better. “We want to transition to what the Arts Council originally set out to do,” Hurlbut said. Instead of putting time, resources and energy into promoting and facilitating a headline concert at the end of the summer, the group will focus on the free concerts held on the Town Center stage every Thursday. That, Hurlbut says, is what they do best. Removing the headliner “was a very, very tough decision,” said Donna Thompson, who is co-president of the ACBS board with her husband Bob. It came down to finances, they explained. The 2011 headlining act, Keb Mo, didn’t do as well as ACBS had hoped. “We took a significant loss last year, and [this year] we would have been booking with money we didn't have. It’s not a good business model,” Mr. Thompson said. Prices of performers are on the rise, and for-profit music festivals like Spruce Moose and the Headwaters Country Jam have been popping up around the region.

Hundreds gather for a show in the Big Sky Town Center

“We are nonprofit, and to be thrown in that kind of mix where we have to spend $200,000 to $300,000 for a headliner, it’s not realistic,” Mr. Thompson said. He explained that attracting a big name like Jimmy Buffet would cost about $500,000. “We would be putting our organization at financial risk.” In the meantime, Hurlbut says ACBS is going to come up with a new model for next summer that

Promoting Big Sky on local, national scales

will draw people to Big Sky, like allocating more money to free concerts, or a daylong community festival. “It’s still all in the works,” he said. Also, with the completion of the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center slated for the end of this year, ACBS is excited to have yet another venue available for use, Hurlbut said. “We view it as an opportunity to offer more disciplines of the arts, like theater, dance, and lectures.”

“The weekly free concerts serve as a focal point during the summer months. These concerts are a great way to reconnect with fellow Big Sky compadres after the ski season”

Photo Courtesy of ACBS

WMPAC will have its own programming and niche, giving Big Sky residents and visitors more options for entertainment. WMPAC will also offer more opportunity for winter programming.

“It’s going to be a good complement to what we are already doing,” Hurlbut said. “WMPAC is very excited to work together. We both view it as a winwin situation. It’s hard to argue with more choices for the people.” For the first time in six years ACBS will host a strategic planning session, slated for June, with an outside facilitator hired to help. This meeting will help ACBS realign its goals, stimulate its process, and allow board members to think about where it should be in the future, Hurlbut said.

Ross Pfohl, branch manager at American Bank in Big Sky and longtime supporter of ACBS, believes in what in the Arts Council does for Big Sky. “The weekly free concerts serve as a focal point… during the summer months,” Pfohl said. “These concerts are a great way to reconnect with fellow Big Sky compadres after the ski season.” He loves seeing everyone from young families with children running around, dancing to the music, to retirees kicking back and enjoying wine and food spreads. “You get a great feeling of community when you are there.” This summer, expect one extra free Thursday night concert, Pinky and the Floyd, on Sept. 6. The concert, planned in conjunction with the Convention and Visitors Bureau (an arm of the Chamber of Commerce), is part of a familiarization tour of Big Sky. That week, there will be about a dozen travel journalists in town. “Expect there to be a lot going on that week,” Hurlbut said. That includes an extra farmers’ market, a concert and an extra performance of Shakespeare in the Parks. Continued on p. 18

April 6, 2012 17

nonprofit "Our mission is to bring all disciplines of the arts to people. With WMPAC and the movie theater, we plan to host independent film series, and ballet performances, really broaden our horizons." Continued from p. 17 The ACBS also is involved with the communitywide effort to produce a shared events calendar: The calendar, which puts all of Big Sky’s events in one place, should be running by this summer and will create an easier platform for tourists and locals to know what’s going on. Hurlbut has traveled nationally in the name of the arts in the past two years, visiting Baltimore, San Diego and Seattle for Americans for the Arts conferences. AFTA, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit, chose two organizations from each state for a study called the Local Arts Index— ACBS was one of two from Montana. Hurlbut’s role in this study was to gather data from Gallatin County, including the number of nightclubs, theaters, locally owned music

stores, and contribute his findings to AFTA. In turn, the AFTA will release the findings in a few weeks, called “Arts of Gallatin County,” an important reference for Hurlbut and other leaders in arts initiatives in the county, the state and the nation. At the conferences, Hurlbut met like-minded people “who do the same thing I do in different capacities.” He also found that word is getting out about the arts in Big Sky and Montana. “People are recognizing what we are doing here.” Information on the arts from more than 3,100 counties in the U.S. eventually will be available online through the American for the Arts website, with only 100 available first, including Gallatin County. This information will come in handy for grant applications, Hurlbut said. “In Gallatin County, and right here in Big Sky, it’s clear people spend money in arts and on cultural activities.” ACBS is in the process of applying for more state grants. Last year it received a state tourism grant for the classical music festival, and is continually looking at different foundations where funding may be available.

The program sends kids at risk of food insecurity home with a discreet backpack of food each Friday. In recognition of this essential support, YCCF received one of the food bank’s first ever Nourishing Community Awards. “The funding from YCCF literally increases the capacity of what we are able to do,” explains Lori Christenson, Program Direc-

BIG SKY—It's not too late to submit grant applications to the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation for the spring funding cycle. In order to align with internal accounting, and to make things easier for grant applicants, the new funding cycle deadlines for

18 April 6, 2012

“Our mission is to bring all disciplines of the arts to people. With WMPAC and the movie theater, we plan to host independent film series, and ballet performances, really broaden our horizons. It’s why we are getting out of hosting a headliner.” ACBS’s focus this summer is on the classical music festival, said Mrs. Thompson. “We’ve made a turn in doing the classical music festival. It’s different from what everyone else is doing in Montana.” “People feel this puts Big Sky on the map,” Hurlbut said. The performers last year named Big Sky as one of the prettiest places they’ve ever played, with a great vibe.

When ACBS was first formed in 1983, it presented three or four concerts a year. But this unsustainable model almost bankrupted the

“It makes Big Sky a better place to live and visit, and it’s special to be a part of that,” Hurlbut says. “I feel pretty lucky."

tor of the GVFB. “Instead of continually fundraising, we can spend time finding ways to be more efficient and effective, and to grow.” The GVFB has been able to reach twice as many children due to YCCF funding, and to partner with MSU Health and Human Development to analyze the cost/benefits and undertake nutritional analysis of the Kid Pack Program. In presenting the award, the Food Bank specifically pointed out how important the YCCF’s long-term commitments from its members have been to the program. “YCCF is a critical partner for us,” Christenson said. “The program might not even exist without their support."

YCCF changes grant deadline to May 1 big sky weekly staff writer

“In conjunction with moving the concerts to the Town Center—the momentum that brings— we’re building off of that.”

Looking forward

Nonprofit receives first-ever Nourishing Community Award Each weekend, 600 kids in 12 Gallatin Valley Schools leave school without having to worry about being hungry, due in large part to the generosity of the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation and its support of the KidsPack program.

organization, so ACBS transitioned to weekly summer concerts in 2008, and applied for resort tax funding in order to make them free. Since then, ACBS has taken off, Hurlbut said.

ACBS helps to bridge the gap between recreation, music and the arts, and it will continue to play a vital role in the community as more collaboration takes shape in Big Sky, with the new movie theater, performing arts center and other artistic ventures, Mrs. Thompson said.

YCCF funding essential nourishment for food bank big sky weekly staff writer

Big Sky Weekly

the YCCF will be May 1 and Nov. 1, according to Executive Director Casey Schwartz. "We hope these new deadlines will make things easier for our grant applicants," Schwartz said. Funding decisions will be announced this spring, just after June 1.

Northern Lights March Community Fund Grants go toward wilderness and trails BOZEMAN—The Northern Lights Community Fund awarded its March grants to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation. Both organizations will receive $500. The GYC will put the grant money toward creating a solution for the 155,000-acre Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area, an area of contention among many recreational users in the region. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation will use the grant to fund trail projects within the 1.5 million acre wilderness. “The Bob,” as it’s often referred to, includes the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Great Bear wilderness areas, which currently has over 1,700 miles of trails, much of which are maintained by volunteers. The BMWF works alongside the Forest Service to coordinate crew leadership, work itineraries, food menus, tool and equipment needs and pack support. “We're trying to take some of the money that goes into buying gear and invest it right back into the land and trails that our customers use,” said Mike Garcia, owner of Northern Lights Trading Company. “It's good for our water, it's good for wildlife, it's good for our customers and it's great for the economy of our state to have such areas set aside for recreation.” Northern Lights Trading Company established its Community Fund with the goal of clearly demonstrating the direct and positive effects of a consumer's local spending on the Bozeman community. The company has committed to donating $1,000 per month to a selection of conservation and human-interest organizations that help make Montana a great place to live and recreate.

Big Sky Weekly

Creighton Block

Rob Akey Greg Alexander Jim Barrett Diana Brady Lynn Cain Todd Connor

John DeMott Jerral Derr yberr y Flavia Eckholm Edd Enders Thomas English

Mark Gibson Don Grant Mimi Grant Ott Jones David Lemon

Asha MacDonald Mike Patterson Paula Pearl Jacqueline Rieder Hud Gar y Lynn Rober ts

Daniel San Souci Deb Schmit Laurie Stevens Dave Swanson Shirle Wempner

A RTIS T PROF ILE Jerral Derr yberr y grew up in small towns in Texas, Colorado and West Virginia. His formal education was in architecture, having earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of Texas at Austin. The training he received in architectural illustration techniques, casein, gauche and watercolor gave him the means to work his way through college and also were the first steps toward his future as a fine ar tist. In the 80’s through the late 90’s, he relocated to Taos and Santa Fe New Mexico, where he concentrated his effor ts on studying the oil painting techniques of the great New Mexico impressionist masters. It was during this period that he began painting primarily plein air subjects

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Big Sky Weekly

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health Q & A

Big Sky Weekly

Ask Dr. Dunn By Maren Dunn, D.O.

Big Sky Weekly helath contributor

I’m a rock climber with an elbow issue and am confused by the terms used to describe it. What is the difference between tendonitis and tendonosis? -Marcell from Belgrade Athletes like rock climbers, tennis players, golfers, runners or skiers tend to traumatize their joints with repetitive motions. Common injuries in these settings are muscle strains, ligament tears and tendon disruptions. It sounds like your elbow has a “tendonopathy” or injury to the one of the tendons that connects a muscle to a bone. Commonly, these injuries are named tendonitis, or inflammation of the tendon. This term implies that inflammation is involved, meaning cells mediated by the immune system have been summoned to the area in response to a recent injury. By definition, tendonitis is a term related to an acute, or new injury of a tendon. However, when the pain is chronic or lasting more than three months past the original injury, what you have is tendonosis. This term describes the change in the cellular makeup of the tendon itself. Interestingly, very few, if any, inflammatory cells are present with tendonosis. What is clear is that the cellular makeup of the tendon changes over time with repetitive stress. The collagen matrix, which gives the tendon its stretch and pliability, degenerates. The tendon loses its strength, blood vessels appear where they shouldn’t and the tendon itself appears scarred. Tendonitis usually heals with proper medications and rest, where tendonosis is much more difficult to treat and can lead to tendon rupture.

In your last column, you discussed symptoms of vertigo, but not treatment options. I’ve had BPPV for 10 years, with increased symptoms in the last six months. What treatment do you recommend? -Anonymous BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is a problem that can plague its sufferers on and off for years. Most cases are idiopathic, or have no known cause. Sometimes trauma to the head or whiplash is the culprit. In any case, the treatments are the same. Since the cause is calcium particles floating in the inner ear canals where they don’t belong, it makes sense that treatments are aimed at moving the particles back where they do belong. The two common “particle repositioning maneuvers” are the Epley and Semont maneuvers. Both involve rotation of the head combined with rapid position changes from seated to lying. Both can also be modified so the patient can perform the maneuvers without the assistance of a doctor. Studies show both methods are equally effective, and a person treated with them is 37 times more likely to improve than an untreated person.

“Pink eye” seems to be going around. Do we need to see a doctor for this? -Anonymous Acute conjunctivitis, AKA “pink eye,” is commonly caused by either a virus or bacteria, and less commonly, allergy. It’s an irritation of the eye’s conjunctiva, the tissue lining the inside of the eyelids and the surface of the eyeball. Just like the common cold, viral conjunctivitis does not require treatment with antibiotics, while bacterial causes do. How to tell the difference? Viral conjunctivitis typically has early morning crusts on the eyelids with watery discharge through the day. Other symptoms can include itching, burning or gritty feeling and either one or both eyes may be affected. Bacterial conjunctivitis also has morning crusting. However, the drainage during the day is thick and globular with white, yellow or green coloring that reappears within minutes of wiping the eyelids. It, too, can affect one or both eyes.

It’s important to distinguish between the two causes so the proper medication can be used, if necessary. Allergic conjunctivitis presents similarly to viral, however the patient usually has a history of allergies or can remember a potential allergen causing the symptoms. See your doctor if you’re unsure of the cause, if you believe the cause is not viral, or if your vision is affected.

Maren Dunn, D.O., is owner of Gallatin Family Medicine, a medical clinic in the Big Sky Meadow Village. Have a question? Email her at

These maneuvers can be repeated if there is a relapse, or if there is no response after the first try. In extreme cases, where no treatment is successful, surgery is an option. If medicines are prescribed, they are used to treat the symptoms of vertigo, not the underlying problem.

April 6, 2012 21

Big Sky Weekly


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22 April 6, 2012

business Business Profile ARP Wave clinic uses DC current to alleviate pain By Emily Stifler

Big Sky Weekly managing editor

BOZEMAN–Imagine a totally new treatment for people with chronic pain. In 20 days the ARP Wave Clinic takes a patient considering a knee replacement and makes them pain free, says founder Dennis Thompson. And it’s all without the drugs or surgery.

of motion, Erickson says. “You’re going to feel like you just got done squatting 500 pounds,” Erickson said. “Your brain can only contract your muscles two times a second. It’s intense, but it has to be.”


Erickson, a semi-professional baseball player now in his ‘50s, says he’s living proof that it works.

The clinic is headquartered in Minneapolis, and has

Big Sky Weekly

College of Business seeks nominations for Family Business Award msu news service

BOZEMAN—Nominations for the 2012 Montana State University College of Business State Farm Insurance Family Business Awards are due June 15. Sponsored by the MSU College of Business and State Farm Insurance, awards are based on business development, family/business links, community and industry contributions, innovative business strategies and practices, preparedness for succession, multi-generational family business involvement and longevity. Awards go to businesses in several categories: large, medium, small, very small, old and new.

“Iedition was told by [aof surgeon] the only wayRegional I could tisement which will around appear in the 2009-2010 the that Big Sky Telephone satellite offices the country, including one in continue to play baseball was with cortisone shots Bozeman. tewide Publishing - Montana under the heading(s) and Synviscof: (injections used to treat osteoarthritis “We’re a soft tissue neurological clinic,” said Paul Erickson, owner of the Bozeman ARP Wave Clinic. “We prevent orthopedic surgeries, help recovery, enhance athletic performance and get rid of pain, inflammation and scar tissue.”

of the knee), and grin and bear it while playing,” he said. “After the first treatment I could walk up stairs without pain, and the second I could sprint. I can do now with my leg and my knee what I did in my 20s.”

nformation correct? .......................................................................................... ❑ Yes ❑ No ber and address correct? ................................................................................. ❑ Yes ❑ No All family businesses headquartered in Montana, He opened the Bozeman clinic two months later, in except prior winners, are eligible for the awards. colors in myA machine ad may vary due to differences in printer December 2011. inks & paper. ... ❑ Yes invented by Thompson, the RX100, uses Anyone may nominate companies, and self-nomiDC current to retrain the electrical impulses in the nations are encouraged. Winners will be honored ecessary corrections directly on the ad as neatly as possible. Now, if you go in for an appointment, Erickson is muscles, break up scar tissue, elongate the muscles and promote healing, Thompson says. That’s the first 10 treatments.

The RX100 is followed by 10 treatments with a machine called the POV that contracts muscles 245 times a second, strengthening the muscles, and getting them back to absorbing shock and increased range

the one attaching the pads and working the machine, while a therapist in Minneapolis Skypes in to direct him. One visit takes about 20 minutes. And Erickson believes so strongly in it, he’ll give you the first treatment free: “We want people in here to show them it works.”

at the annual Family Business Day in Bozeman on Nov. 28.

Nomination forms are available by calling the MSU College of Business at 994-6796 or online at

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Big Sky Weekly


Freeride Competition – Starts at 9:30am Freeride viewing from Stillwater Bowl

Victoria Bentley is the Owner and Director of Bentley Bodies, a premiere mind-body-wellness boutique committed to healthy lifestyle choices. Locations are in Big Sky and Bozeman.

help wanted The River Rock Lodge is now accepting applications for P/T Front Desk summer position, Jun 5-Oct 9. 2 shifts, Sat, Sun, 4pm-12am. Hrly wage DOE. Send resume to info@ or apply in person at 88 Big Pine Dr. Big Sky

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real estate


Bozeman real estate group listed as one of 2012’s best brokerages


The entry gives some company history and reports that Fay completed more transactions in 2011 than any previous year of its 20-year history. Owner Greg Fay is also quoted. In looking over the remarks from brokers across the country, Fay notes, there are signs of momentum continuing for ranch and farm properties. “Like us, a number of brokerages closed a historic number of transactions in

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BEST BROKERAGES The Editors of the Magazine of the American Landowner Present Our Second Annual Survey of the Country’s Leading Real Estate Firms Specializing in Land.

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With offices in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon, Fay Ranches appears in the section on the West and is shown as closing over $100 million in transactions last year.


big sky weekly staff writer

BOZEMAN—The Bozeman-based real estate company Fay Ranches was recognized as a leading land brokerage nationwide in the spring issue of The Land Report. Compiled by “The Magazine of the American Landowner,” a quarterly publication, this second annual America’s Best Brokerages feature segments the leading land brokerages by region.


2011 and are off to a strong start in this first quarter of 2012,” Fay said. “Income-producing properties are doing especially well, but there is also interest in legacy properties, outstanding recreational assets, and opportunities for conservation activities.” The Land Report is known for its annual listing of the Top 100 Landowners in America and its unique profiles of people with large or unusual landholdings, such as T. Boone Pickens, Ted Turner, Jeff Bezos, Harrison Ford and Joe Montana.




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April 6, 2012 25

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26 April 6, 2012

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Big Sky Weekly

Mou n t a in

environment Montanans sought to detect invasive plant pests

MSU named one of top universities in environmental studies msu news service

Big Sky Weekly wire services

BOZEMAN—The National Plant Diagnostic Network needs help, and is seeking Montanans to detect new and invasive plant pests in crops, forests, prairies and landscapes, through its First Detector Program. Most reports of new and invasive plant pests come from the public rather than university or government specialists, according to Linnea Skoglund, a plant disease diagnostician in Montana State University’s Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology.

Network, monitoring for high-risk pests, diagnosing plant problems, submitting diagnostic samples, photography for diagnosis, and disease and pest scenarios.

BOZEMAN—Montana State University made the A-team in environmental studies.

Participants who score 70 percent or more on their tests will receive a certificate of completion. They will be able to monitor for highrisk pests and submit samples to their local plant diagnostic clinics. They will receive a monthly First Detector newsletter by email, as well as local and regional updates from state and regional coordinators for the National Plant Diagnostic Network.

The First Detector Program is for county extension agents, crop consultants, specialists, growers, master gardeners and anyone who works in the field with tree, plant and food crop production, Skoglund said. Those interested can take free online courses through the First Detector Program at The training consists of six modules, which participants complete at their own pace. The modules cover the mission of the National Plant Diagnostic

Big Sky Weekly

The school was recently named to a group of 16 colleges and universities exemplifying excellence in environmental academics, in the first-ever March Madness Tournament for Environmental Studies, which was put together by Enviance, Inc., a provider of environmental enterprise resource planning software, and Environmental Leader, a daily trade publication for corporate executives on energy, environmental and sustainability news. The 'Sustainable 16', as it’s called, were selected from a competitive field of colleges and universities who responded to a survey looking for the best environmental studies programs in the country, said Lawrence Goldenhersh, CEO and president of Enviance, and a tournament judge. "These are the institutions that will prepare the next generation of environmental professionals to lead environmental compliance, sustainability and social responsibility programs for some of the world's largest companies," Goldenhersh said.

MSU has a range of programs committed to sustainability and environmental sciences, including the Sustainability Center, the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, degrees in environmental engineering, environmental studies, and sustainable food and bioenergy systems. The tournament was designed to evaluate colleges and universities on academic and sustainability prowess as it relates to the environment, in a format similar to the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament. The Sustainable 16 are (alphabetically): Baylor University Colby College Colorado State University Cornell University Duke University Humboldt State University Montana State University Ohio State University Purdue University Rochester Institute of Technology Temple University University of California, Davis University of Florida University of Michigan - Dearborn UNC Asheville University of Texas at Arlington

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April 6, 2012 27

word from the resorts Moonlight Basin Big Sky

Big Sky Resort Big Sky

Big Sky Weekly

April 8: Easter Festivities (sunrise service, egg hunts, and more) April 9 – 15: Frequent Sky Card Holder Free Week

A season full of pow, competitions, smiles and high-fives is not over yet. Come out for an all-age, on-mountain Easter-egg hunt April 8 and keep your eyes peeled for five special hidden eggs on the mountain containing Moonlight Basin loyalty cards. Throughout the day, Mr. Easter Bunny will also be enjoying a day of spring skiing—rumor has it the bunny has been eyeing the cliffs in Moonlight’s Obsidian terrain and is ready to hop! For those eyes keen on the camera lenses and hungry for food and fame, submit your best powder and action shots for the “North Slope Showcase” photo contest. Winning photos will be framed and displayed this summer at the North Slope Deli located in the Moonlight Lodge. Moonlight’s spring pass sale is in effect with andesite-rock bottom prices. Purchase yours by April 30 and receive this year’s limited edition t-shirt. Current pass-holders who renew for the upcoming season also receive a customer-loyalty card good for purchases at all Moonlight Basin outlets. Balancing a summer/winter recreation budget? No worries –with a down payment, get your pass now and then pay the remaining balance in August. Although the lifts will conclude operations on April 8, Team Moonlight will be working hard all summer to prepare for the 2012-13 winter season and trust me, more is in store for next year. Tune in to our Facebook page for updates throughout the summer. We’re your mountain. moonlightbasin. com - Ersin Ozer

Snow: Powder and blue skies! Even when things are wet and warm in the meadow, the mountain is super snowy. Don’t get caught up in summer activities just yet – the ski season at Big Sky runs through April 15.

April 10: $19 Day for MT College students (must purchase in advance online) April 11: $29 Day (all skiers and riders eligible, must purchase in advance online)

Events: It’s the last week of the season – celebrate! Check out for details.

April 14: Pond Skim! Break out your craziest costume and come out to participate in or watch the annual pond skim. Live music by Milton Menasco and the Big Fiasco and The Dirty Shame.

April 7: Live music by The Crazy Mountain All Stars in Whiskey Jacks 3:30pm-5:30pm, 9:30pm12:30AM

April 15: Last day of skiing for the season at Big Sky Resort -Greer Schott

RESORT CLOSING DAYS Lone Mountain Ranch: Closed Rendezvous Ski Trails: Snow dependent Bridger Bowl: April 8 Maverick Mountain: Closed Lost Trail: April 8 Discovery Ski Area: April 8 Big Sky Resort: April 15 Moonlight Basin: April 8



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Big Sky Weekly

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April 6, 2012 29


There’s gold in them hills

Cooke City is one of America’s best ski secrets—but not for long

Big Sky Weekly

Arnold’s crew rode powerful new snowmobiles, something he says has helped skiers access amazing lines. The development of modern alpine touring and split board technology, too, has caused a surge of backcountry use in mountain towns across the West.

Early 19th century mail carriers may have been some of the earliest skiers near Cooke City. According to Exploring the Yellowstone High Country: a History of the Cooke City Area, during that time a man on skis or snowshoes carried mail from Nye City, up the Stillwater River area to a cabin near Lake Abundance. There, he met a man who’d skied from Cooke over Daisy Pass to pick it up. Although Indians lived in the surrounding area, miners founded the town of Cooke and it followed a classic boom and bust storyline. As mining began to fade, tourism came in with cars in 1915, saving it from becoming a ghost town. Cooke partied through the Roaring ‘20s, maintaining the colorful ‘Wild West’ reputation it continues today. But skiing remained a side note.

The Fin of Mt. Republic Photo by Beau Fredlund

By Emily Stifler

Big Sky Weekly managing editor

COOKE CITY— If snow is money, Cooke City is one of the richest places on Earth. Tucked in a narrow mountain valley near Yellowstone National Park’s northeast entrance, the town of 80 is, in winter, the end of the road. Snow banks bury cars and single-story buildings, and off-trail snowmobilers make pilgrimages there from around the continent. In the past few years, backcountry ski and snowboard tourism in and around Cooke has grown. There’s long been a small but hearty ski touring community based out of nearby Silvergate, and the spring Sweet Corn Festival has brought skiers and snowboarders to town in droves for nearly 20 years. Following a decade of visits by ski and snowboard film companies like Teton Gravity Research and Poor Boyz Productions, the town is picking up on the vibe.

The chamber of commerce this winter started a small regional advertising campaign, and locals have taken note of increased skier traffic. With one brand new business shuttling people into the mountains via snow coach and another building backcountry yurts, the trend is bound to continue.

Cal Arnold first read about Cooke City in Powder magazine when he was 15, living in Minnesota and skiing at tiny DM Mountain. Now, 15 years later, the Bozeman resident and business owner drives the four hours to Cooke several times a year to ski. “It’s unbelievable,” he says. “If you’re willing to hike you can access anything.” His crew of 11 came to town for a long weekend at the end of March and spent a couple days doing snowmobile accessed skiing on 10,000foot peaks five miles out of town.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as far as terrain is concerned. Cooke is surrounded by Forest Service land and the 943,648-acre Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. “The difference between Cooke and areas like B.C. and Colorado is that those guys are riding for 15 miles to get where they need to go, whereas we go two to five miles,” Arnold said. “It’s easy access.” And this year—one that’s been tough for many backcountry skiers and riders around the region because of low snow and high avalanche danger—has been decent for Cooke. In fact, the Snotel site at 9,100 feet in Fischer Creek reads the same as it did last year at this time, according to, and the snowpack there is relatively safe. Locals estimate an average weekend saw at least 20 skiers and snowboarders, with more early in the winter, when Cooke had some of the best snow, and later, when the ski areas were closed.

In the mid ‘50s, postmaster Gene Wade ran a rope tow on the north side of town for his kids to ski. A couple years later, in 1959, Betty Sommers moved to town after graduating high school in Belfry. At that time, tourism in Cooke pretty much shut down after Labor Day, she said. “As soon as it started snowing we started skiing and snowshoeing,” said Betty, who’s still living in Cooke 53 years later. “I lived in a little cabin with no water, had an outhouse, and it was far enough that you had to put on your skis or snowshoes to get to it but had to take them off to get in it.” Betty and her husband Bill sidestepped the ski hill with their wooden skis once a week, keeping it packed down so they could ski on it. “We didn't have too much else to do, no place to spend money and no money to spend, so we skied a lot.” Continued on next page

Cooke City Adventures The Alpine Hotel’s new owner this year invested in two snow coaches. The big Tucker holds up to 15 passengers, and the smaller Polaris Ranger holds five.

Photo by Emily stifler

30 April 6, 2012

“We’re landlocked from the east, so the idea was to bring customers from Cody and Billings that could drive to the parking lot and get them here,” says the Alpine’s manager Robert Weinstein.

While they’ve done some of that, Weinstein says more of the business has come from people driving into town from Yellowstone and seeing the Tucker parked out front. He’s taken photographers on scenic tours, and dropped off a few groups of skiers at Daisy Pass. “They do some runs and then ski back to town,” he says. The trip up takes 35 or 40 minutes, depend-

ing on conditions, and opens up hundreds of acres of terrain to skiers and snowboarders who don’t have a snowmobile. “I see the need for it,” Weinstein says, imagining a big market with college kids and other skiers. He plans to run the machines as late in the spring as there’s enough snow.


Big Sky Weekly

Sweet Corn Festival, April 20-21 A celebration of the skiing lifestyle, the Sweet Corn Fest has grown from its roots in the Cook City fire station, and now brings hundreds of skiers to town each year in late April. The Miners Saloon has hosted it for 15 years, and the bar’s owner, Raz Schneider, been planning it for 10. Big Sky Brewing has been the number one event sponsor since day one, and Schneider credits the Montana beer makers with keeping the festival alive. With more involvement in recent years from other local businesses, Cooke City as a whole has begun to really wrap its arms around Sweet Corn. “Cooke City is a small town that’s a little bit different than most places in Montana,” Schneider says. “It’s cool to get people to come up here and see what it’s like. It’s a pretty cool town.” “It’s the one weekend where there’s a bunch of skiers in town. Cooke turns into a ski town.” Wiley Miller in typical burned trees, north of town Photo by Beau Fredlund

When snowmobiles came to Cooke City in the early ‘60s, everything changed. Betty hasn’t been on skis since—except for learning to nordic ski this year at age 71. Today, her son Rick and his partner run the Exxon station that Rick bought in 1987. Their winter business, which includes a rental fleet of snowmobiles, depends on the snowmobile traffic that carries the town’s economy for several months of the year. But, Betty says, “it’s good to have more skiers and snowboarders because they’re fun.”

The Miners Saloon and the High Country Motel this year are co-sponsors of the festival. The High Country’s new owners, Paige Hood and Brandon Richardson, are another sign of changing times. The couple live in Red Lodge, and Richardson is originally from Jackson, Wyo. They’ve added a ski/snowboard tuning bench to the hotel, and have been catering to that crowd, said manager Benji Stone.

Exploring the Yellowstone High Country, referring to the unspoiled wilderness surrounding the town on all sides. “As mining activities slowly came to a halt, the residents of the small community began to realize that there was more than gold in those hills.” The skiers and snowboarders seeking deep powder, dramatic descents and remote locations are Cooke’s modern day gold miners.

“I’m a skier, that’s my life,” Stone said, calling Cooke the “best kept secret in America, skiing wise.”

Other businesses, too, are encouraging growth in that market. “We’re trying to get the word out that there’s great skiing here,” said Lisa Ohlinger, owner of the Elkhorn Hotel. The mentality among local businesses is changing, Ohlinger said. “It was all about snowmobiling, and now they’re more open to snowboarders and skiers.” In the ‘90s, a group of skiers and artists lived in a group of old mining cabins called Ewok Village on the south end of town. The Miners has hosted Corn Fest for 15 years Photo by Emily Stifler Since those were torn down 10 years ago, a lack of affordable housing has “This should be a major ski destination. My prevented the local ski community from growing dream is to have this place filled up with skiers very quickly, according to Chris Warren, owner of and snowboarders all winter long. We know it’s the Lovin’ Cup Café. going to happen. In the next five years, this place is going to be a ski mecca.” But one event in particular has kept ski culture alive in Cooke City over the years, Warren says. But, Stone warned, it’s not for the faint of heart. The Sweet Corn Fest, now in its 19th year, was founded by Bill Blackford, who used to run a ski and bike shop where Warren’s coffee shop now sits. That weekend in late April brings hundreds of skiers to town and with them, a party atmosphere. The festival celebrates the skiing lifestyle, and is a great economic boost during the off-season, Warren says. “Sweet Corn shows us what it could be like here.”

“It’s not a ski resort. It can be dangerous, and you gotta work your ass off to get the good lines. That’s what turns people away. You gotta be tough.” And that’s what makes it all worth it, Stone says. “While Cooke City never truly boomed as a gold town, this disappointment turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” wrote Ralph Gliddens in

“You can find places in these mountains that really feel like your own, places that no one else has possibly ever been,” Stone says. “That’s what so cool about Cooke.”

Local ski websites – Ben Zavora’s adventurous tales from the hills around Cooke City – Beau Fredlund’s spectacular photos of his mountain travels – all the news that’s fit to print

April 6, 2012 31

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Section 3:

life // land //culture

April 6, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue #7


In his mind’s eye The photography of Jon Marshall Marcie Hahn-Knoff

Big Sky Weekly contributor

Jon Marshall has visions. He sees a photographic image in his mind moments, days or even years before the shutter finally clicks. Sometimes his camera captures his idea immediately, but often it takes painstaking hours of melding together multiple images to get it right. It’s all part of his process, a mix of photography, creativity and digital editing mastery. Marshall’s interest in photography ignited along with a large section of the Bitterroot Forest during his first summer as a Missoula Smokejumper. Taking photos was a hobby until a brief stint in Portland, Ore. in 2008, where he was introduced to fashion photography. With the economy tanking and few jobs available, he jumped at the chance to advance his skills by working as an assistant for commercial photographers. The experience was an eye opening education into the world of film and production. As his personal photography style developed, Marshall’s focus gravitated toward portraiture, landscapes and fashion—atypical choices for a guy who jumps out of planes into forest fires and busts avalanches in winter as a Bridger Bowl ski patroller. His work is infused with realism, and his candid and multidimensional images often have an intimate and voyeuristic quality. Many pieces are self-described as ‘edgy’ and at times ‘slightly creepy’. They have the capacity to stir emotion and create conversation.

Meg: “After I began shooting in my new studio, I decided to do a series of counter culture portraits—capturing images of people that have a different outlook on what is ‘normal’. This was a good education on breaking stereotypes for me—the models I shot are every bit like you and me. I love the edginess of this image—her bright eye makeup and tattoo ink. Her facial expression draws the viewer in. There is drama, beauty, dark and light all in the same image.”

See more of Jon’s work and view prints available for purchase at Below: Butch Cassidy: “I have an ongoing Halloween series that has produced some of my favorite images. It started when I brought some studio lights to a Halloween party, set them up in front of a mossy fence, dragged over a log for a seat and gave people a few hours of party time to get into character. I’m convinced Butch Cassidy was sitting in front of my camera that night. I love how the light catches his eye and the dark shadow crosses his face.”

Currently, Marshall is focused on working with commercial advertising clients and is considering showing his work at local galleries. He has recently built a professional studio off his home in the Gallatin Valley, and hopes this creative space will help him bring more of the ideas stored in his mind to reality. Continued on p. 34

Left: Track Star: “I shot a series focused on capturing portraits of athletes in their environments. Many of my photos become a success through collaboration between my models, my production crew, my camera and me—we all bring something to the image. During this shoot I mentioned that I wanted to get a ‘finish line’ shot - my model dropped to his knees and threw down with ‘Olympianesque’ energy. Together we were able to create an impressive image.”

April 6, 2012 33


Jon Marshall Photography

Big Sky Weekly

Continued from p. 33

Terlingua, Texas: “I’ve been working on my landscape series since 1998. It is my own way of documenting my experiences and telling the stories of the places I’ve been. I was assigned to a fire management team in Big Bend National Park in spring 2011 and took thousands of photos during my stay. This image captures the pure grit of the rural desert landscape around Terlingua, a cinnabar (mercury) mining town that once boomed and has fallen into decay. It was 118 degrees Fahrenheit outside when I took this photo, hot enough to melt the soles off your boots.”

Self Portrait: “I was living at a house in Portland with this old junk car in the garage. In this image I was going for a ‘James Dean’ sort of feeling—capturing the glory days of this car before it was abandoned under plywood and old tires. The final image is a ‘composite’, a combination of seven different images.”

34 April 6, 2012

Tram Car: “A few years back, I entered a photography competition and won an editorial spread in a Portland based fashion magazine. I had a full production team for this shoot—makeup, models, stylists—and one seven-minute ride on the aerial tramway at Oregon Health and Science University. I shot 20 images and ended up one that popped. This image works because it has a lot of creative energy but is also very clean at the same time.”

Big Sky Weekly




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April 6, 2012 35


Big Sky Weekly

Mile high Manning and the Broncos have enough talent on their team to compete for a Super Bowl with him at the helm. That alone is worth the nearly 100 million dollar contract he signed over the next four years.

By Brandon Niles

Big Sky Weekly Sports Writer

Peyton Manning, arguably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game of football, is now officially a Denver Bronco. Team executive and long-time Bronco great, John Elway, made a shrewd investment and calculated risk luring the four-time league MVP to Denver. Time will tell whether or not the move will pay off. At age 36, Manning may not have a lot of time left before retirement. However, he’s been a dominant player in the league for more than a decade and should be able to instantly make

the Broncos a contender for another two to four years. The biggest risk with bringing him in involves his health status. Manning missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury and while cleared to play, is still in the process of getting his arm back in shape. I love this move. While there is an element of risk should Manning be forced to miss more time due to injury, the payoff for the Broncos could be huge. If Manning is healthy, he’s still one of the best in the game,

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The second reason this is a great move is that it gave the Broncos an excuse to trade Tim Tebow to the Jets. Tebow, a fan favorite with an unorthodox throwing motion who took the Broncos to the playoffs last season, is a player that the Broncos upper brass clearly didn’t want for their future. However, the fans love him and in the court of public opinion, the only way to get rid of him would be to make a huge splash at the quarterback position. Peyton Manning represents about as large a splash as you can make. Why get rid of Tebow? Tebow is a great, young kid with solid athleticism and a massive heart. He has a tireless work ethic and everyone who meets him speaks the world of him. Additionally, he has a winning mentality and is an excellent teammate. The problem is Tebow isn’t a very good quarterback. Perhaps one day he’ll become one, but the truth is that because of Tebow’s limitations as a passer, the Broncos had to completely

change their offensive scheme to play to his strengths. Furthermore, when the Broncos played against teams they’d faced before, the opposing defenses adjusted well and rendered Tebow largely ineffective. Despite his playoff heroics against the Steelers, he was largely exposed against the Patriots in the divisional playoff round. Moving forward with Tebow presents a bigger risk than signing Peyton Manning and perhaps drafting a young, more typical quarterback this year to groom as Manning’s successor. While the move is not without its risk, I don’t blame the Broncos for swinging for the fences. With a young team around him, Manning has the opportunity to bring the Broncos back to the Super Bowl, a place they haven’t been since Elway was throwing bombs in the late ‘90s. Brandon Niles has done online freelance writing about professional sports since 2007. His articles range from NFL news to team-specific commentary. A Communication Studies graduate student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Niles is also an avid Miami Dolphins fan, which has led to his becoming an avid Scotch whisky fan over the past decade.


Big Sky Weekly

Whitefish YSL finals The Youth Ski League Championships were held at Big Mountain in Whitefish March 23-25. Racers from Big Sky Ski Education Foundation and Bridger Ski Foundation rocked the podium on all three days. BSF’s Jacob Drake was first overall in the men’s division, Megan Petit second overall in the women’s division and BSSEF’s Alexa Coyle was third overall in the women’s division at the finals. Each received a championship jacket and beautiful framed photo of themselves racing. The following are the top 25 women and men’s overall results. Women’s Giant Slalom 1 MATELICH, Julia BSF/99 1:31.86 2 COYLE, Alexa BSS/99 1:32.11 3 ODONNELL, Libby BSF/00 1:33.99 4 PETITT, Megan BSF/99 1:34.01 5 PETITT, Erin BSF/99 1:36.22 7 BELL, Reece BSS/01 1:38.64 9 ASBELL, Riley BSF/01 1:39.62 10 SWOBODA, Alexandra BSF/99 1:39.85 12 HOLDER, Kuka BSS/00 1:39.90 15 SMITH, Natalie BSF/00 1:40.46 19 LUCKAY, Meredith BSF/01 1:44.55 23 WILLS, Heidi BSS/99 1:46.09 25 ST CYR, Maci BSS/00 1:46.26 Men’s Giant Slalom 2 DRAKE, Jacob BSF/99 1:37.60 10 HENYON, Walker BSF/04 1:41.41 17 KLATT, Cameron BSF/02 1:43.93 21 WILLS, Kyle BSS/99 1:45.17 24 LINKENBACH, Christopher BSS/97 1:45.39 Women’s Slalom 2nd MATELICH, Julia BSF/99 1:11.05 3rd PETITT, Megan BSF/99 1:13.53 6th BELL, Reece BSS/01 1:15.59

The Big Sky Ski Team and coaches relax in the sun after the three-day YSL Championships in Whitefish Photo by Lew McCabe

7th DELGER, Ella BSF/00 1:15.61 9th ODONNELL, Libby BSF/00 1:16.57 10th PETITT, Erin BSF/99 1:18.10 12th ASBELL, Riley BSF/01 1:18.60 15th HOLDER, Kuka BSS/00 1:20.76 17th ST CYR, Maci BSS/00 1:21.27 18th SWOBODA, Alexandra BSF/99 1:21.31 21st HETHERINGTON, Valerie BSS/99 1:21.78 22nd SMITH, Natalie BSF/00 1:21.95 Men’s Slalom 3rd DRAKE, Jacob BSF/99 1:27.09 6th WILLS, Kyle BSS/99 1:28.62 10th KLATT, Tanner BSF/00 1:30.19 16th SAAREL, Sam BSF/99 1:31.52 21st ROBBINS, Wesley BSS/99 1:32.97 22nd KLATT, Cameron BSF/02 1:33.13

Women’s Kombi 3rd COYLE, Alexa BSS/99 45.26 5th ODONNELL, Libby BSF/00 46.24 6th PETITT, Megan BSF/99 46.33 8th BELL, Reece BSS/01 46.79 12th HETHERINGTON, Valerie BSS/99 48.06 14th SMITH, Natalie BSF/00 48.90 15th HOLDER, Kuka BSS/00 48.96 16th SWOBODA, Alexandra BSF/00 49.23 21st BECKER, Riley BSS/01 50.09 22nd LUCKAY, Meredith BSF/01 50.46 23rd ST CYR, Maci BSS/00 50.59 24th RAYNOVICH, Natasha BSF/99 51.49 25th BOWEN, Emma BSF/98 51.85 Men’s Kombi 8th DRAKE, Jacob BSS/99 48.28 10th ROBBINS, Wesley BSF/99 49.08 15th LINKENBACH, Christopher BSF/97 50.07 21st JOHNSON, Charlie BSF/98 50.91

BSSEF Freeride Team tastes victory at seventh annual Headwaters Spring Runoff By jackie robin

Big Sky Weekly contributor

Big Sky—The Big Sky Freeride Team ended its season with nine skiers competing in the annual Headwaters Spring Runoff at Moonlight Basin on Saturday, March 31. The day started out with warnings of possible delays due to windy and foggy weather, but in the end the visibility stayed clear and the skiers were able to lay down solid runs throughout the day. Three BSSEF Freeride athletes found themselves with an armload of prizes. Howard Robin came in third place for the 12 and under boys, closely followed by D Raden in fourth. Lucy Amsden narrowly missed the first place spot but was thrilled with her second place finish for the Junior Girls category. The other BSSEF competitiors were Jackson Raden (6th boys 1316), Jackson Wade (20th boys 12-14) Ruby Speth (6th girls 13-16) Gracely Speth (DNF due to fall) and Cash Munro (13th-Men) With a daring run over “the spine,” three time Headwaters competitor, Micah Robin landed in first in the Junior Boys 13-16. Freeski competitions are judged on the degree of difficulty and creativity of line choice, and on technique, fluidity, control and style.

Coach Tim Bak, Howie Robin, Coach Joey Pestana, Lucy Amsden and Micah Robin at the Headwaters Spring Runoff.

April 6, 2012 37


Big Sky Weekly

Kat Hickman after 175 miles

New record set at Equinox Challenge Hickman skis 291k in 24 hours story and photos By Mike Coil Big Sky Weekly contributor

West Yellowstone—At the sixth annual Equinox Snow Challenge held March 24-25 in West Yellowstone, Kat Hickman of Bozeman set a new course record by cross country skiing 291 kilometers (175 miles) in 24 hours, breaking the previous record (also Hickman’s) by 21.5k. Another competitor, Alex Lussier, went further at 319 kilometers, but he covered part of the course on a snow bike. The Equinox Snow Challenge is a fundraising event sponsored by local merchants and businesses. All proceeds are used to benefit the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Athletes can compete in cross country skiing, running or snow biking or any combination of the three. The event derives part of its name from the fact that it is held around the spring equinox.

event and was full of campers and pickups as the athletes settled in for Saturday and Sunday under bluebird skies. While the sunny weather created soft snow conditions at midday, the nighttime temperatures rendered perfect skiing and a fast course. The USFS provided grooming throughout the event to keep the trail in near perfect condition. Bonfires were stoked through the night to add ambiance to the start area, and many of the participants had support crews that provided food and drink each time the skiers completed a loop of the trail. The Equinox Snow Challenge is now in its sixth season and growing every year. The original race in 2007 had about 30 skiers. This year's event included about 110 participants; eight of those were bikers, and 12 were kids in the 24-minute category. Full results from the event can be found at Dr. Coil brings it home

Events included a 24-minute category for kids, and three-, six, 12- and 24-hour categories for adults. Athletes chose a category and then tried to complete as much possible distance in that category within the time allotted. Teams included up to eight people, and teams kept at least one skier on the course at all times during the 24 hours. Six teams participated in the 24-hour category. The winning team "49 Nordic" amassed 397 kilometers. This year's event included a category for snow bikes, modified mountain bikes with oversized tires allowing riders to travel on snow. The ski and snowmobile trails around West Yellowstone are perfect for snow bikes. The top snow biker, Jill Hueckman, covered 213 kilometers in 24 hours. The event is held at the Rendezvous Trailhead in West Yellowstone. Many of the participants set up camp at the trailhead for the weekend. The parking lot was used as a staging area for the

38 April 6, 2012

Big smiles from Alison Gidley

Gear review

Family Wellness Month

World Travel medical kit By felicia ennis

Big Sky Weekly contributor

Adventure Medical Kits World Travel kit contains the necessary supplies for traveling to remote locations where medical assistance may be hours or days away. It’s easy to integrate into any packing repertoire. A first aid kit is only useful if you have it with you. I plan to take this kit with me to Morocco this spring. It’s well equipped for foreign travel. Why? A central piece in all Adventure Medical kits is included: a book called, A Comprehensive Guide to

Wilderness and Travel Medicine, by Eric A. Weiss, M.D. It is an excellent first aid book and easy reference. When in doubt consult the experts.

• Pediatrics • Chronic Conditions • Women’s Health • Pregnancy Care • Osteopathic Manipulation

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Wound care supplies

Medications to treat stomach upset, dehydration, pain, and allergies

Blister treatments

Ample space for personal prescriptions

Three TSA-approved bottles

Big Sky Weekly

• Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine by Eric A. Weiss, M.D.

Are your kids up-to-date on their vaccines?

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Trip duration: multiple days

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Big Sky Weekly


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Bozeman American Indian Council 37th Annual Pow-wow MSU Brick Breeden Fieldhouse April 6 – 7


Spring Concert

Bozeman Community Passover Seder Riverside Country Club April 7, 4 p.m. Dinosaur Egg Hunt Museum of the Rockies April 7, 10 p.m.

Monday, April 9th, 7:30 pm Big Sky Chapel, Meadow Village in Big Sky

John Zirkle, Director Klaudia Kosiak, Pianist

Bozeman Easter Egg Hunt Lindley Park April 7, 1 p.m. College Prep Workshop Bozeman Public Library April 10, 7 p.m.

Proudly Sponsored by:

The Big Sky Chapel

Big Sky Community Chorus Concert

Choppers open Mic Night Tuesdays thru April 15

Elise R. Donohue Lectures of the American West “New Deal Cowboy: Gene Autry and Public Diplomacy” lecture by Dr. Michael Duchemin Hager Auditorium @ Museum of the Rockies April 10, 7 p.m.

Shuffleboard night Lone Peak Brewery Wednesdays thru April 15

Pecha Kucha Night The Ellen Theater April 11, 7:20 p.m.

Bears in the Backcountry: What you need to know Bozeman REI April 18, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Yoga with Callie Yellow Mountain Center for the Arts Mondays 5:30 p.m.

Women’s Bike Maintenance Basics Bozeman REI April 11, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Business Afterhours Gallatin Family Medicine April 19 5:30-7:30pm

On mountain Sunday Service Big Sky Resort Chapel area cross by the Triple Chair Sundays 1:30 p.m. All Saints in Big Sky services for Holy Week Good Friday service April 6, 7 p.m. Holy Communion service with festive music. Refreshments to follow. Easter Sunday, April 8, 9:30 a.m. Donkey Basketball Lone Peak High School April 6 7 p.m. Skate Deck Art Auction Eye in the Sky Gallery April 6 , 5:30-8:30 Moonlight Basin Closing Day April 8 Easter Egg Hunt Moonlight Basin Madison Village Base Area April 8, 10:30 a.m.

Intermountain Opera Bozeman presents From the White House to The Ellen The Ellen Theater April 12 Montana Beer Festival Gallatin County Fairgrounds April 13, 6:30 p.m. Spire Spring Fling Fundraiser for Touch the Sky Spire Climbing Center April 13-14 Texas Hold’em Charity Poker Tournament Mixers April 14 Bridal Walk 2012 Downtown Bozeman April 14, 11 a.m. Winter Farmers’ Market The Emerson April 14, 9 a.m.

Frequent Sky Card Holders Ski Free Week Big Sky Resort April 9 – 15

Tango Class & Practice with Tango Montana Emerson Ballroom Sundays, 8:15 p.m.

Blue Water Task Force Open Meeting Buck’s T-4 April 12, 6 p.m.

Bozeman Film Festival Emerson’s Crawford Theater Presents “Chico & Rita” April 12

Big Sky Resort Pond Skim April 14

3rd Annual Soup n' Bowl Pottery Program Fundraiser Emerson Ballroom April 13, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Big Sky Resort Closing Day April 15 Business Afterhours Gallatin Family Medicine April 19 5:30-7:30pm

Big Sky Weekly

Ryan Matzinger and The NY City Jazz All Stars The Ellen April 17, 7:30 p.m.

Everybody sings. Admit it. The Big Sky Community Chorus presents its Spring Concert . The performance is free, and will take place at the Big Sky Chapel on Monday, April 9th, at 7:31 p.m. Featuring works by Mozart, Brahms, Eric Whitacre, Coldplay, and more, the concert will include over 30 singers from Big Sky. - John Zirkle

west yellowstone Yellowstone Cycle Days April 1 – 20 West Entrance to Yellowstone Open to motorized travel April 20

paradise valley

Live & Let Live Vegan Food Livingston Library Community Room April 8, 4:30 p.m. Black Water Band Chico Hot Springs April 13- 14, 7 p.m. Gardiner International Golf Tournament Livingston Golf Course April 12 Yellowstone River Clean Up Fleshman Creek Meet at Civic Center 8 a.m. April 14

virginia city

Downtime Chico Hot Springs April 7, 7 p.m.

Easter Egg Hunt on Boot Hill Virginia City April 8

Too Slim & the Taildraggers Chico Hot Springs April 8, 9 p.m.

Second Saturday Farmers’ Market Virginia City Artisans & Growers Guild April 14, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m

Easter Egg Hunt Sacajawea Park, Livingston April 8, 12:45 p.m.

Contemplative Prayer retreat in Big Sky April 26-29 By katie alvin A contemplative prayer retreat will be held in Big Sky from April 26-29. During this retreat, participants will learn more about how this form of meditation developed and how it fits within a Christian context, while practicing this and other forms of reflective centering. Community practice is highlighted - most activities will be done in groups but individual spiritual direction will be available during the retreat as well. This is a retreat for seekers of any kind. While a Christian context is the foundation, it is a welcoming place for anyone seeking to understand the great "I Am" in any context. The most important aspect of the retreat will be experiencing the Presence in community through silence, breath, listening, movement, body work, laughter, service and celebration. The retreat will be led by two Presbyterian pastors and an elder: Tom Letts, Joelle Beller and Katie Alvin, all of whom served the former Community Protestant Church of Big Sky. They have since continued their relationship and are entering the retreat ministry together. Cost for this retreat is $245, which includes three nights of lodging in two neighboring Big Sky vacation homes, all meals, spiritual direction, massage therapy/body work, yoga, and (if necessary) transportation to and from the Bozeman airport. For more information visit, or email

April 6, 2012 41


Hundreds of ski movie fans filled the Lone Peak Cinema Lobby Photos by Chris Davis

Big Sky Weekly

The theatre was full of energy and neon green wayfarers

Generations of skiers converge for Greg Stump’s “Legend of Aahhhs” in Big Sky By Jimmy lewis

Big Sky Weekly contributor

BIG SKY—As children of the ‘80s, but not exactly “retro,” my ski partner and I drove up from Belgrade to Lone Peak Cinema on a fine spring afternoon. We parked beside a customized four-wheel-drive van, the color of which was predominantly yellow with black trim—the same color combination of my favorite ski jacket of all time, the one I wore with pride as a teenager: the yellow and black North Face “Extreme” jacket featured on the back of my freeskiing hero, Scot Schmidt, as he jump-turned down the steeps and soared off cliffs in Warren Miller’s "Beyond the Edge." Could this, in fact, be Scot’s van? Could Scot, along with ski filmmaking legend, Greg Stump, really be inside the cinema making an appearance as the ads for Stump’s newest release, “Legend of Aahhhs,” claimed? My friend and I, well accustomed to devising schemes to get first chair on crowded powder days at Bridger Bowl, arrived early. The freshies were metaphorical: a beer and a friendly chat with Scot Schmidt, who more than lived up to his reputation as a world-class athlete with an approachable and affable personality. In fact, upon meeting him, Schmidt struck me as a regular guy. One glance up at the widescreen above the bar displaying scenes from “The Blizzard of Aahhhs,” however, reminded me how looks can be deceiving. But mingling with Scot and Stump were only part of this unique affair. As showtime drew nearer, more and more folks arrived; and, before too long, skiers of all ages filled the foyer of Lone Peak Cinema. There were senior skiers; middle-aged and nearing middle-aged skiers like myself bearing a few tell-tale gray hairs; the hip and attractive 20-somethings; teens; and even children—a bouillabaisse of skiers all gathering together, somewhat paradoxically, to experience the new while learning about the past.

42 April 6, 2012

To my amazement, I spoke with more than one skier in his and her 20s who admitted meekly being somewhat—if not completely—ignorant of Stump, Schmidt, Plake, and “The Blizzard of Aahhhs.” The edification of these generations of skiers is, you might say, the most important job of “Legend of Aahhhs,” and it’s here where Stump really delivers. Stump’s “Legend” possesses a certain amount of epic ski footage that generated a few “aahhhs” among the audience (particularly from the younger generations). But, what Stump really does throughout the film is tell a story. He presents a narrative history of ski films and filmmaking, paying special attention (deservedly) to his own iconic film, “The Blizzard of Aahhhs.” In doing so, he encourages his audience to note the origins of our current extreme-oriented ski culture and the role played by filmmakers like Stump and Miller along the way.

Greg Stump with friend Tim Cyr

For example, we learn how filmmakers like Teton Gravity Research’s Dave Seoane were influenced by “Blizzard” and its skiing stars Schmidt, Glen Plake and Mike Hattrup. We also learn the origins of the term “extreme” and just how that Scot Schmidt with two of many fans word eventually conceptualIn short, Stump’s genius is that he is able to reach ized a culture centered upon risk-taking adventure. across generations of skiers and leave each with a Younger generations leave with a sense of history, deeper sense of where they fit into the paradigm. By while the older crowd gains a larger understanding of telling the story of the relationship between ski films how the films and skiers they grew up with influand ski culture over the past several decades, “Legenced the sport. end” tells us our story.

Big Sky Weekly

entertainment High-octane Rocky Mountain dancegrass Colorado-based Whitewater Ramble at the Zebra, April 12 By katie smith

Big Sky Weekly contributor

BOZEMAN—Whitewater Ramble isn’t just another Colorado-based jam band. Made up of mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, upright bass and drums, the quintet is a high energy, eclectic mix of bluegrass, rock and roll, jazz and funky beats. Diversity is key to the group’s success as a nationally touring band. By combining musical genres, they’ve become appealing to a wide variety of listeners.


They sometimes play “odd or off-beat” cover songs, says mandolin player, Patrick Sites, “and our new music is always taking on a new personality." Whitewater Ramble has been on tour for over a year promoting its first studio album, “All Night Drive,” which was produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth and features a variety of talented artists including Grant Gordy from the David Grisman Quartet, Erik Yates from Hot Buttered Rum, and Josh Clark of Tea Leaf Green.

some restaurants do italian food. some do chinese food.

WE DO BIG SKY FOOD 44 April 6, 2012

The band is familiar with playing in Bozeman, where they recorded a live album, “Live From the Big Sky,” in 2008 at the Zebra. “We’re excited to be coming back to Montana,” Sites said. “It’s a place we truly love. We always have a pretty rowdy good time.” The band has had a positive response from the crowds in Bozeman, and it is looking forward to another great show. As for what concertgoers can expect from this show, Sites says there will be songs for everyone. Don’t be surprised to hear anything from a Michael Jackson cover to an impromptu dubstep dance party courtesy of the synthetic base. “Rest assured you are going to get a high energy performance,” Sites said. For a preview of the concert download “All Night Drive” for free at

we deliver 4069952305 serving breakfast lunch & dinner view menu at:

spotlight on the arts

Big Sky Weekly

Old, long, and esoteric:

How do you connect with classical music? By John Zirkle

warren miller performing arts center

Renowned Russian pianist Pavel Egorov performed in Big Sky on March 29 and played classics from Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin and Alexander Scriabin. Egorov opened with Schumann’s Fantastiestücke, an eight-movement musical exploration of multiple personalities. The piece runs about 25 minutes, and in an era of three to four minute songs, this can be brutal on an audience’s attention span. Next to me were several local kids who had played as an opening act to Mr. Egorov, and about 20 minutes into the program, I couldn’t help notice how fidgety they were. A passionate slamming of the keys wasn’t enough to keep a nine-yearold interested. At one point in the performance, Mr. Egorov shot a couple disapproving looks at one of the young restless listeners sitting next to me. Despite being reprimanded, she still couldn’t stop squirming. There’s nothing worse than pouring your soul into a performance

and having it go unnoticed. In some respect, you can’t blame the child. If she’s not into it, she’s not into it. Yet, shouldn’t great music have the power to effortlessly capture the attention of the audience, even restless children? During the fourth movement, people struggled to stay engaged, myself included. But the piece is fascinating. Schumann interweaves musical representations of his dual personalities Florestan and Eusebius throughout Fantastiestücke. Some movements are languid and contemplative, embodying the personality of Eusebius, while others exemplify the robust and pugnacious character of Florestan. But would you be able to pick it out in the music had someone not told you? With Schumann, the emotional concepts are something that everybody should be able to connect with, like being unsure of life’s purpose, confusing dreams, and a feeling of soaring. But, for some reason we miss this so often in classical music.

Piano students from local instructor Klaudia Kosiak’s class with Russian pianist Pavel Egorav.

I asked someone who was at the Egorov concert what he thought of the program. “Well I’m no connoisseur, but I appreciated it,” he said. Why is it that one has to be an expert to comment on or react to classical music? It’s like fine wine, or James Joyce. There is a certain fear, or timidity, but in the end, it’s not supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be human. Spotlight on the Arts is a reflection

on the world of performing arts in both historic and contemporary contexts. Each entry features an individual or group of performers that use captivating mediums to communicate with their audiences. To hear Pavel Egorov, go to or The Warren Miller Performing Arts Center is scheduled to be completed by December of this year, and will feature many acts that challenge the way we see and think about performance.



his 11,000 +/- sf Locati designed home contains artifacts from around the world and is situated on 40 +/- acres with guest residences, shop, pond and magnificent mountain views. This unique masterpiece is just minutes from Bridger Bowl Ski Area and nearby Bozeman. Offered at $7,800,000.

More Fine Ranch & Recreational Offerings: HARVAT RANCH, LIVINGSTON, $10,500,000 3,633 +/- deeded acres, spectacular elk, deer and antelope hunting, borders public land, forest canopy, aspens, minutes to town PARADISE HILLS RANCH, LIVINGSTON, $2,975,000 100 +/- acres, furnished 7,700 +/- sf home/lodge, indoor pool, guest cabin, caretakers home, greenhouse, shop, 70’ x 144’ arena, airstrip, ponds ROCK CREEK ROAD, EMIGRANT, $2,975,000 130 +/- forested acres, meadows, springs, 1,489 +/- sf cabin, pond, borders public land, year-round access, amazing views

Don Pilotte

Broker, GRI, SFR Resort & Recreation Specialist

(406) 580-0155

April 6, 2012 45

Big Sky Weekly

further fetchins

Smile if you’re breathing

LOT L OT 48 8 | 1488 . 7 7 ACR ES TH E U LT I MATE




Only seconds to 8,000 acres of powder, glades and chutes. L et the memories b egin . Photo by Mike Mannelin

By mike mannelin

Big Sky Weekly columnist

Panoramic View from Lot 488

HAINES, ALASKA—There’s something about moving that keeps life fresh. I’m one of those transient people who can’t sit still for long. Each place I find myself in brings me into a unique culture of individuals, each one different. Whether it’s Minnesota, southwest Montana or somewhere in Alaska, the places I’ve traveled and lived have grabbed hold of me for a portion of my existence, each one changing me a little as I bounce down the road of life. These changes happen without any cognitive recognition, that is, at least, until moments of hindsight years or even decades after they take effect. I’ve seen that when some people move around like this, they imagine they can affect change on the new neighborhoods they visit. But we should instead look at each place as an establishment of characters, setting our own egos aside and taking in a deep breath of local air, respecting the preset atmosphere and looking quietly at how it could change us from the inside out. With another month left at map coordinates near Haines, Alaska, I’m taking that breath and looking around at the people surrounding me. Each individual has his own purpose in the rest of life, but locally, each also has the same mindset: We’re all here to spend time in the mountains with our peers.

46 April 6, 2012

We take this stroke of fortune with all seriousness and respect, knowing that there’s nothing permanent or secure about it. There is no guarantee that we’ll get to go skiing with each other tomorrow, so we embrace the gift of time in the light

of the day. We share the moments in the mountains, then the firm handshakes and the knowing eye contact back on the ground. It’s another “good to see you,” or just a smile. Will it be there tomorrow? The universe only knows the answer. Each different laugh, strange accent or goofy look has every soul tied into life as an irreplaceable friend. Occasionally, time runs out for a friend, and he or she packs up to move to a new existence. So, I look to friends remaining in the present and feel gratitude for the sense of routine in seeing a familiar face day after day. In a month I’ll pack up my life again and head to another place 1,000 miles away. There, I hope to surround myself with again with like-minded souls. We’ll laugh and goof off and sometimes take life for granted. There will be no wondering what ways this will change us, because it won’t matter. It will happen, and when tomorrow becomes today, we’ll recognize the change, and appreciate the time spent for what it was yesterday. Until then, I’m surrounding myself with people I’m lucky to know. We’re all standing on the proverbial highway, staring down the dashed yellow centerline towards the next bend in the road as it disappears out of sight. Mike Mannelin has been skiing Big Sky with friends for 15 winters. He is a guide forAlaska Heliskiing, and spends his summers in a remote cabin with his wife, dog and some friendly brown bears.

Big Sky Weekly

Contact Jessie Neal for more information 993.2112

Noun: wild or rough terrain adjacent to a developed area Origin: shortened form of “back 40 acres”

Big Sky Weekly

For the Big Sky Weekly, the Back 40 is a resource: a place where we can delve into subjects and ask experts to share their knowledge. Topics include regional history, profiles of local artists and musicians, snow and avalanche education, how-to pieces for traditional or outdoor skills, and science.

Gallatin Earth Celebration By Emily baker city of bozeman

Come one, come all – the Gallatin Earth Celebration is happening April 16 to 22. What started as a town-wide cleanup day to coincide with Earth Day in 1989 has exploded into a weeklong series of events focused on service, education and awareness of local environmental issues. With events ranging from Clean Up Day to Bike to the Brewery to lectures conservation and climate change, there’s a good way for everyone to celebrate Earth Day in their favorite way. Events are planned every day of the week, from Monday to Sunday. All are designed to “inspire environmental stewardship and pride of place,” according to the ASMSU Sustainability Center, who hosts the event in an alliance with the city of Bozeman, Mon-

tana State University, high school and university student groups, local businesses and nonprofit organizations. See below for a list of events. For more information visit or find the Gallatin Earth Celebration on facebook.

Monday, April 16 SUB Solar Panels Unveiling MSU Strand Union 2 - 3 p.m. Ribbon cutting ceremony for newly installed solar panels

Tuesday, April 17 Local Food Fair & Symposium Strand Union Ballrooms 12:30 – 7 p.m. Vendor showcase and MT food samples, workshops, activities and keynote speech by Melinda Hemmelgarn, journalist, nutritionist, and “Food Sleuth”.

Discussion on the Effects of Climate Change MSU Strand Union Room 233/235, 7 – 9 p.m. Nick Bentley, local climate activist and co-organizer of the Bozeman Climate Alliance, will speak on the effects of climate change.

Thursday, April 19 Student Research Celebration Strand Union Building Room 235, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Sustainability and the Environment Topical Session Electric Car Showcase Outside on the MSU Mall, 2 – 4 p.m. Check out a showing of electric cars and chat with local vehicle owners. Bike to the Brewery - $10 Departing from the SUB, 5 p.m. Bike from the front of the Strand Union Building to the 406 Brewery for local music and beer. $10 fee covers live music, a beer, and a Bicycle Benefit Sticker ($5 value) that gets you discounts at local businesses.

Friday, April 20 Summit on Sustainability and the Environment MSU Procrastinator Theater, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. A summit for high school and university students on sustainability. Bizarre Bike Parade South entrance of the SUB, 3 p.m. Decorated bike display – all invited! Prizes will be awarded to the best decorated bikes.

48 April 6, 2012

Saturday, April 21 Bozeman Clean Up Day and Sustainability Fair Bogert Park, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Citywide cleanup of parks, trails, neighborhoods, and other public spaces in Bozeman. Free morning coffee and snacks and post clean-up celebration featuring a sustainability fair, food, live music, and raffle prizes. Get Off Your Glass – Glass Recycling Drive Gallatin County Fair Grounds, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Annual glass collection drive sponsored by the Gallatin Zero Waste Coalition E-Waste Collection Gallatin County Fair Grounds, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dispose of your electronic waste (computers, etc.) responsibly; offered by the Gallatin Solid Waste Management District.

Sunday, April 22 iMatter March – Climate Change Rally Gallatin County Courthouse (311 W Main), 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The iMatter March raises awareness through humor. Sarcastic posters like “Who likes skiing anyways?” recommended. The Spirit of Earth Day The Museum of the Rockies, 1 – 5:30 p.m. Discussions on the connection between spirituality and conservation. Keynote speaker Peter Edward Matthews, an evangelical Episcopalian minister, will speak on the moral imperative of conservation in the age of climate change.


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