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Big Sky

Exploring life, land and culture from the heart of the Yellowstone Region

Sept. 21 - Oct. 4, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue No. 19

Drop in, Big Sky

Skatepark now open LPHS sports teams score big wins

Business: strong summer for Big Sky fly fishing

Arts Council season follow up

Classic Cars rally for Montana charities Free Yellowstone entrance Sept. 29 for National Public Lands Day

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Big Sky Weekly

After waiting out the cold September morning Sean Weas wades into the gallatin hoping for a big catch photo by Chris Davis

2011 big sky chamber of commerce

Business of the Year Sept. 21, 2012 Volume 3, Issue no. 19 PUBLISHER Eric Ladd COO & SENIOR EDITOR Megan Paulson CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mike Martins VIDEO director Brian Niles MANAGING EDITOR Emily Stifler

Beehive Basin Photo by Brian Niles

An introduction to the Outlaw lifestyle


I started as a staff writer with the Outlaw Partners in late July, and within a month I had the opportunity to take over as the new distribution director. I began my stint with the last issue of the Big Sky Weekly, which hit newsstands Sept. 7.

videographer Chris Davis Operations director Katie Morrison WEB Developer/Designer Sean Weas distribution director/Staff Writer Tyler Allen editorial assistant Renae Counter CONTRIBUTors

Jamie Balke, Will Brewster, Buscrat, Mike Coil, Maren Dunn, Siri Fossil, Kristin Gardner, Brian Hurlbut, Anne Marie Mistretta, Kaitlin Murphy, Brandon Niles, Megan Obert, Ersin Ozer, Tori Pintar, Adina Smith, Deborah Courson Smith, Pat Straub, Kathy Tatom, Ennion Williams

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:

“I’ve been waiting for that,” said Jerry House, Big Sky School Superintendent, who beamed as I handed him a stack of papers hot off the press. I’ve lived in Bozeman for five years, skiing on Lone Mountain as often as I could. Now, I’m beginning to find out there’s more to this Big Sky place than knee-deep tram laps and hikes to the Headwaters. But as I walk bundled up into the office on these cool September mornings, I’m getting pretty excited about those, too.

Just after 7 p.m., we packed up the rest of our noodles and walked over to the stage at Town Center. Pinky and the Floyd were just starting to stoke the embers in front of a throng of appreciative fans, and the energetic three-hour set that followed was a powerful closure to a successful summer concert series (read Renae Counter’s Arts Council of Big Sky season wrap up story on page 5. )

– Tyler Allen

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CORRECTIONS The Big Sky Weekly runs corrections to errors we’ve printed. Please report them to

2 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

I delivered papers all day, meeting hundreds of people who live and work in this picturesque mountain town.

The afternoon before, I celebrated a friend’s birthday climbing at a little-known crag on the west side of Gallatin Canyon. After one lap on a beautiful and challenging line perched high above the river, I headed down to meet friends at the Lotus Pad in Big Sky. I understand now why it’s impossible to dine there after a day of skiing without a reservation – apparently Big Sky knows what excellent Thai food tastes like.

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The next morning, as I drove the canyon at dawn to retrieve two pallets of the latest Weekly, I saw a large cow moose cooling her feet in the river.

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Table of Contents Community...4 Local News...6 Regional..10 Montana...14 Yellowstone...16 Galllery...17 Sports..19

Health...23 Business...24 Classifieds...27 Chamber News...29 Environment...31 Outdoors...33

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Big Sky Weekly

Come one, come all, to Big Sky’s first Carnival, Sept. 44

photo by kathy tatom

BIG SKY – When was the last time you saw an adult kiss a pig in public? At the first annual Big Sky Carnival, you can vote for your favorite teacher, coach or Mr. House to kiss a pig. You will also be able to send your friends to jail, stick to a Velcro wall, ride a pony, and show school spirit with blue and white face paint. Round up the family and friends, and head on down to the Carnival,

Saturday, Sept. 22 at Lone Peak High School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the Big Horn’s home football game. A fundraising event sponsored by the Big Sky Booster and Activities Club, the Carnival will benefit all Big Sky School District sports and will be fun for all ages. For sponsorship information, contact Kathy Tatom at (214) 533-0901 or email

Developmental screening day offered at Gallatin and Madison county schools Big Sky’s is Thursday, Sept. 27, 12:30 – 4 pm


Skills such as taking first steps, saying those first words and learning early concepts are referred to as milestones of development. Doctors, nurses, early interventionists and educators use developmental screenings to determine whether a child is reaching these developmental markers.

Big Sky will miss you all dearly. Best wishes on your next adventure and don't forget to come join us for a tram lap soon. Thank you for everything you brought to this community over the years.

4 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

Every fall Gallatin and Madison county schools offer a “Developmental Day,” in which parents can bring children under 5 years of age for a free screening. Specialists will be present to discuss typical child development and answer parent questions, as well as provide resources on raising a healthy and happy child. The following areas are included in the screening: •

Gross motor: using large groups of muscles to perform physical activities, such as sitting, standing and walking Fine motor: using hands and fingers to perform physical activities such as drawing, dressing, playing and writing

Language: communicating with and understanding others

Cognitive: Thinking skills such as learning, problem solving, reasoning and memory

Social: Interacting with others, playing and cooperating; understanding and responding to the feelings of others


The screenings are the result of a collaborative effort between the school district, the Gallatin-Madison Special Education Cooperative, Family Outreach Services and the Region IV Hearing Conservation Program. The following 2012 Developmental Days for the Gallatin-Madison Special Education Cooperative member schools are scheduled as follows. Sept. 27: Big Sky Oct. 3: Ennis Oct. 11: Monforton, Anderson, Cottonwood, Gallatin Gateway and Gallatin Gateway Head Start Oct. 30: West Yellowstone Nov. 1: Harrison Nov. 1: Willow Creek Nov. 29: Amsterdam, Pass Creek, Springhill, Malmborg, Lamotte Call Mrs. LaDawn at the Big Sky School District for an appointment (406) 9954281 x 200


Big Sky Weekly

photo by brian hurlbut

Arts Council of Big Sky wraps up successful summer concert series By Renae Counter

big sky weekly editorial assistant

Big Sky – The stage at Town Center Park saw crowds every Thursday night this summer, as the Arts Council of Big Sky put out another impressive lineup of free concerts. About 1,000 people came to each show, said ACBS general manager Brian Hurlbut. Many people have said this was the best summer yet, Hurlbut said. “There was so much energy and excitement about the music.” Donna Thompson, co-president of the ACBS, compared the Thursday evenings to a Norman Rockwell painting, explaining that families, children and everyone from the community came out to enjoy the music. With a lineup that transcended almost every genre, there was sure to be something to please everyone, and some to become new favorites. “This is a great way to expose the community to new music,” Thompson said. Along with the free concerts, ACBS also put on the second annual Classical Music Festival. Spanning three days, it brought in brass, string and a quartet band to Big Sky. The festival saw an increase in crowd numbers over last year and is expected to grow, getting “bigger and better each year,” Thompson said. Next year, ACBS plans to have a better “go-to” in the event of a downpour, which happened on the opening night of the Classical Mu-

sic Festival this year. “We moved it to the Chapel at the last minute,” Thompson said. Even so, approximately 300 people attended. Nearly 1,000 people came to the other two evenings. This was the first year a wine tasting was offered at one of the performances, something that was also well attended. ACBS is putting a lot of energy toward the festival, Thomson said. “I don’t want to give away any secrets, but I can say next year it will include an orchestra.”

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Another key note this summer was the final act, Pinky and the Floyd, which played Thursday, Sept. 6 in the Town Center. Having moved away from holding a ticketed headline concert at summer’s end, ACBS wanted to give the community a bonus free show to top off summer, Hurlbut said. “Pinky and the Floyd was a great way to end the summer without making people pay for it,” he said. The 10-piece band is based in Bozeman and includes some of the area’s great musical talent. The ACBS has been hosting free concerts since 1999, with one every week of the summer starting in 2008, Hurlbut said. Each year the shows’ popularity has grown exponentially. “The Arts Council is really amazed with all the support from not only the people who go to the concert, but also the people who donate to make it possible,” Hurlbut said. “We are already thinking about next year.”

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Big Sky Weekly

local news

Big Sky skatepark ready to go Grand opening set for Sept. 29 By ersin ozer

big sky weekly contributor

BIG SKY – The history of skateboarding in Big Sky is progressive, considering the sport has been around longer than the town itself. “The Beehive-ramp [about 12 years ago] was really the start of what kicked if off,” said Chad Peterson, chairman of the Big Sky Community Corp. skatepark committee. After that ramp’s removal from Beehive Basin, a concrete pad was built at the community park and was home to an assortment of quarter-ramps, boxes and rails; those features were replaced with a wooden skate ramp in 2006. Now, thanks to a collaborative effort from BSCC, Gallatin Valley Skatepark Association, and Dreamland Skateparks, Big Sky now has a world-class concrete park – and it’s ready to skate.

photo by Chris Davis

The park saw its first day of skating on Friday, Sept. 14 – almost a month earlier than anticipated. A grand opening of the park featuring food and prizes is scheduled for Sept. 29. “We’re all starting to get amped on skiing and snowboarding right now, but we’re going to get two solid months of skating on this before the ski season,” Peterson said. “This is going to be big for this community.” The Oregon-based Dreamland Skateparks designed and built the new park. With a reputation for one of the best finishes in the industry and 20-plus years of experience, Dreamland has built seven other parks in Montana including Helena, Butte, St. Ignatius, Polson, Anaconda, Kalispell and Whitefish.

The completed first phase of the Big Sky park is a tribute to Burnside – an iconic skatepark in Portland, Ore. that was one of Dreamland’s first projects. Plans for second and third phase additions, to be built as funds are raised, include a street section and a snake run.

“Our goal is to get the whole state fired up about building three new concrete skateparks in Montana,” Bos said. “[For Big Sky] we want a wide variety of features for all abilities…some big transitions, some vert, a snake run, and more of a street plaza aspect that’s going to be added on.”

The concrete park will be relatively easy to maintain compared to the wooden ramp formerly located in the community park, which incurred annual repair costs.

The skatepark in Big Sky is a great new attraction to an area already full of big mountains to ride and blueribbon streams to fish.

“That’s another reason Dreamland is involved,” said Travis Bos, President of Gallatin Valley Skatepark Association. “They know about building parks in the Northwest and frost-heaves and moisture-levels. They know where to build the cracks.”

“You can’t build those things,” Bos said. “[But] we can build the best skateparks in the world right here. They’re permanent and free to take advantage of.”

In addition to supporting the Big Sky skatepark, the GVSA is also on a mission to build new parks in Belgrade and Bozeman.

Register to vote at the Hungry Moose big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY – Big Sky residents can register to vote or apply for an absentee ballot at the Hungry Moose Market and Deli between now and the Nov. 6 general election. “We have all the forms, and our front register staff will help [people] with filling them out and sending them in,” said Jackie Robin, owner of the Hungry Moose with her husband Mark. “It is also easy to get the information online,” Jackie said, “but [some people] don't have access or just want to get it done in Big Sky.” She also wanted to remind folks living on the mountain that their polling place is in the Madison County. “They’ll want to be on top of absentee ballots, so they don't have to drive to Virginia City or Ennis on voting day.”

“We like to participate as much as we can,” Jackie said. “If you get just a few people that wouldn't have voted, it’s worth it to me.” Stop by the front register at the Hungry Moose during business hours, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week to pick up forms or register. Voter registration forms must be postmarked by Oct. 9. Absentee ballots can be sent in or brought to the county office anytime before noon on Monday, Nov. 5. Montana also has early voting, which allows people to send in absentee ballots or go to the county courthouse to vote (via an absentee ballot) anytime within 30 days of the election. For more information or to download forms yourself, visit

The Robins also did this during the last presidential election four years ago.

6 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

For more information about BSCC and GVSA, and to contribute or volunteer, visit and

Season passes now on sale at area ski resorts Big Sky Resort Representatives from Big Sky will be at the Bozeman REI on Sunday, Sept. 30, for the last day of early Season Pass and Frequent Sky Card deals. Purchase a pass there and get it printed, or buy online at “Continuing with the tradition of dropping our season pass price about 40 percent, we once again listened to our guests and did early season pricing to make it more affordable for all guests, especially locals,” said the resort’s public relations manager Chad Jones. Moonlight Basin Moonlight’s early season prices are also good until Sept. 30. Buy 2012-13 season passes online at, and pick your pass up at the Madison Village Base Area later this fall. Moonlight will not be mailing passes this year. Bridger Bowl Early season rates are good until Oct. 9. Season passes can be purchased at the mountain Oct. 6 and 7 or online at

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Big Sky Weekly

Resort Tax board discusses fire department, performing arts center, town hall meeting By tyler allen

big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY – The Resort Tax Board held its monthly meeting Sept. 12, addressing topics including the Big Sky Fire Department, the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, an upcoming town hall/community meeting, and administrative issues concerning the board. In attendance were board members Les Loble, Mike Schultz, Jamey Kabisch, and administrative officer Whitney Brunner. Board member Ginna Hermann and tax board attorney Mona Jamison participated via conference call and board member Jeff Strickler was absent. The meeting began with a presentation from Big Sky Fire Chief William Farhat, who thanked the board for its support in the form of $437,000 last year. Farhat wanted to discuss what “the best path is going forward,” noting he hopes to expand resources and personnel available to the department. “There are a number of capital improvements coming in the next 15 years,” Farhat said. More immediately, he said, the department is in “critically poor shape” going into winter since two firefighters recently left and a third will be gone in November. “The department will have a very difficult time responding to the multiple calls we get during the winter,” he said. “The closest help we have is the Yel-

8 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

lowstone Club, which is 20 minutes away.” If they’re busy, the next closest help is 40 – 50 minutes away, which he later described as a “devastatingly long time.” The board agreed some of the shortfall should be made up by an increase in the mill levy. “There is a perception that the mill levy serves the native population sufficiently,” said board chairman Loble. “We have to make the case that the increase will serve the [local] population.” “A mill levy increase could prove that [Big Sky] wants to be a world-class community,” Kabisch said. Next, Loren Bough, President of Friends of Big Sky Education, explained that the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center has met its fundraising goal of $1.353 million. The remaining $494,415 in cost will be paid this fall by resort tax, which allocated the money contingent upon WMPAC reaching its fundraising objective. Construction began on Aug. 14 and should be completed in December, Bough said. Hermann raised a concern that nonprofits would be charged $200 per day to use the facility, pointing out that fee structure was a discrepancy with the application presented to the board, which stated a fee of $150. “I’m afraid of a slippery slope here,” Hermann said. “Our goal is to provide entertainment to the community.”

The money would be used to fix broken light bulbs and pay the janitorial staff for general upkeep of the facility, Bough said. None of the other board members present agreed with Hermann’s contention. The board also discussed holding a town hall or community meeting in December or January, because it’s “in everybody’s interest to have a dialogue with the community,” Loble said. In the administrative report, Whitney Brunner noted there had only been $163,000 in resort tax collected (by the Sept. 11 meeting) in July, the lowest for that month since 2005. Loble suggested there may have been more delinquencies than usual. Loble also brought up the Big Sky Institute, which received resort tax funding in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, the board approved $43,000 for architectural drawings —despite the fact the building was never constructed— and in 2009 the board approved $57,000 to fund the first year of the MSU and Big Sky Community Education Partnership. “I find it troubling this stuff happens,” Loble said. “Montana State University has the ground next to the [Ophir] school and won’t relinquish it, even though it was donated.” The next Resort Tax Board meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m.

local news

Big Sky Weekly

Raising the benchmark

School board talks new facility, statewide tests, curriculum updates, bond refinancing Big Sky School District MontCAS II % of Students – Proficient & Advanced

By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – The Big Sky School Board met Sept. 17, breezing over a proposed new K-4 building, Warren Miller Performing Arts Center updates, booster club fundraising, the Ophir School Council, and schoolwide curriculum development. They also discussed statewide testing and an upcoming bond refinance.

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Bi Sky Big Sk S School h l District MontCAS II % of Students Proficient & Adanced

57 Math

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Board member Kristin Ramirez presented news from the facilities planning committee, which is researching the feasibility of a proposed new school facility that could house prekindergarten through fourth grade. “Community members are on board,” Ramirez said. At the earliest, Big Sky voters would decide via mail-in ballot in spring 2013 whether to pass a bond to pay for the facility. In his superintendent’s report, Jerry House noted new adult education programs this year focused on drama and music. “[WMPAC Artistic Director] John Zirkle is going to be a major player for us … helping bring people into the school,” House said. House also reported that the booster club, which raises money for school athletics, had already raised $27,000 this year and was nearing its initial goal of $35,000. In total, it aims to raise $50,000 this year. “We should acknowledge as a board what a fantastic job they've done,” said board chairman Loren Bough, pointing out the upcoming Carnival, which is the first of its kind. Profits from the Sept. 22 event will support the booster club, and Bough wanted to encourage the organizers to make the event sustainable. “We don't want just one great year. We want regular years going forward, because it’s super important for our budget.” The board reviewed a report comparing Ophir and LPHS MontCAS test scores from 2004 – 2012, and also comparing the Big Sky School District to state averages. “You can see the kids have advanced the older they get,” House said. “That [shows] the teaching has improved, the systems have become better, and therefore they test better.” Part of the Elementary Secondary Education Act, the testing is meant to help the school “raise the benchmark each year,” House said. “We’re working very hard on writing this year,

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[and in addition] we’re working very hard on math.” Seeing hard data like this is rare, Bough said, asking, “How do we use [it] to improve and analyze how we’re doing as a teaching staff?” He suggested the board set a target for incremental, achievable change that the teaching staff would agree to.

it’s also looking for sleeping bag donations. This year, the program will take high school students to the Taylor Fork, south of Big Sky. They will camp, cook, and study ecology and the environment, House said after the meeting. Bridget Ekstrom, a financial expert from DA Davidson, explained different options on the upcoming bond

refinance, something that will cost the district up to $12,000, but could ultimately save about $300,000. The board approved the bond refinance, but hasn’t yet ironed out the details. The board also approved several curriculum updates, an ongoing project the teachers have been working on since last April. There will ultimately be more than 100 new units in 21 disciplines. The new curriculum will align the school with the common core standards, which House has called a “huge advantage” for the district. Some of the new curriculum has been implemented already, but “it’s a living, breathing product,” Moline said at the previous school board meeting on Aug. 28. Board members Laura Michel and Matt Jennings were also in attendance, as was business manager Sue Becker and District Clerk Marie Goode. The next Big Sky School Board meeting will be Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction has sent a statewide objective for 94.8 percent in reading and 90 percent in math for the 2012/2013 school year. Board member Ty Moline pointed out that the testing scores didn’t compare that well to other regional schools, like Gallatin Gateway, something that’s not positive when trying to “draw people in.” Still, enrollment at the school has continued growing. There are currently 243 students enrolled in the Big Sky School District – up from 212 last year. That number is projected to grow to 270 within two years. “That’s 30 percent growth in 18 months,” Bough said. “That’s the kind of factor we all need to be aware of. These are almost unheard of student growth rates for the state of Montana.” The Big Sky School District has been Montana’s fastest growing for 10 years. House also told the board about the new elementary intramural program, which this year will include basketball, and about the Sept. 24 LPHS fall expedition. The school has asked the Bozeman REI store to donate tents for the annual outdoor expedition program;

Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 9


Big Sky Weekly

Classic cars rally for Montana charities By tyler allen

munity College, and environmental organizations such as the Clark Fork Coalition.

big sky weekly staff writer

BOZEMAN – A group of vintage Jaguars, MGs and Ferraris rolled into Bozeman Sept. 11, after covering nearly 1,200 miles of Montana and Wyoming highways. Only one car that started with the group of 28 was unable to complete the Going to the Sun Rally that began Sept. 7, also in Bozeman.

The group has also been one of the largest donors to the Montana Highway Patrol Fallen Officers Fund. That fund was established when the original GTTSR organizers wanted to do something for state troopers in Montana and contacted the highway patrol, said Capt. Brad Sangray.

Started in 2005 by Bozeman resident Farnum Alston, the GTTSR has donated more than $380,000 to Montana-based charities. The money is raised annually by membership entry fees ($6,200 per car this year), community donations and a silent auction at the end of the rally. “We try to support Montana-based educational charities,” said GTTSR board member Brian Dolan. “$5,000 goes a long way for a smaller Montana charity [versus a national one].” Recipients of the charitable funds have included Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Park County, the Red Lodge Vocational School, Blackfeet Com-

“We’ve lost four officers in the line of duty since the rally began,” Sangray said. “Because of the money raised by the rally, we’ve been able to send the families [of fallen officers] to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C.” This year the cars drove from Bozeman to Billings the first day and then to Miles City on day two. On day three they backtracked to Billings, and on day four they rallied down to Cody, Wyo. The final day took them through Yellowstone National Park and back to Bozeman for a closing celebration dinner and silent auction.

Alan and Julie Andrea of Lake Forest, Ill. driving their Jaguar XKE 1966 EType Fixed Head Coupe photos:

Drivers traveled from all over the country to participate. Many had attended every year – with the GTTSR course different each year, they rarely get bored. For a few of the drivers, this was their first rally ever. The camaraderie of driving with old and new friends is a draw, as is the Montana scenery. “Montana makes this rally really great,” said Garth Norton of Saratoga, Calif., driver of a 1963 Jaguar Mark Two. This was Norton’s fifth year running attending the GTTSR. “People stop when you break down. In California, 1,000 people go by you before someone would pull over.” Webb Bassick, of Chicago, Ill., drove a 1965 Jaguar XKE. “We had never

been to Montana and we’re definitely coming back,” he said. “We don’t have scenery like that in Chicago.” Phillipp Reynes has driven every one of the eight GTTSR events and it’s the people that keep him coming back. “We all meet here once a year and it’s like re-uniting a family,” he said. Reynes, of Phoenix, Ariz., drove his 1957 AC Bristol this year and has been driving in rallies all over the world for 25 years. The GTTSR always begins and ends in Bozeman, and was named after the route taken the first year that went north to the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

This is bear country

Recent encounter drives home message of bear awareness fish, wildlife and parks

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BOZEMAN – A recent grizzly bear encounter in the Madison Range is a reminder that southwest Montana is bear country. On the morning of Friday Sept. 14, a married couple was archery hunting near Indian Creek Trail in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. At one point, the husband was cow calling about 25 yards from his wife. He heard rustling in the brush 15 yards away and looked up to find a female grizzly staring at him. The bear jumped on him and bit him both on the arm and head, then backed off and ran away. The man suffered no life threatening injuries. In this case, the grizzly was drawn to the hunter because she was also hunting elk. This bear was likely feeding on hunter-provided gut piles in the area as an easy way to put on calories prior to denning. She was with her two young cubs at the time of the encounter, and that added to the likelihood for conflict. Any encounter at close range can precipitate conflict, but especially in cases involving the defensive instinct of a mother bear. These archery hunters were experienced and bear aware individuals. However, archery hunting carries with it the inherent risk of bear encounters – especially when imitating the sounds of prey. And while both hunters were carrying bear spray, it was not accessible given the swiftness and distance between the bear and the hunter at the time of the encounter. So, in addition to simply being aware of their presence on the landscape – recreationists should be prepared to use bear spray – especially when calling for elk. This means having the spray within quick reach (outside of a jacket, in a holster) because in the case of an encounter, there isn’t time to reach into your pack for spray. Also remember to avoid venturing out alone and don’t run when you see a bear. More information about safety in the outdoors and bear awareness is available at


Big Sky Weekly

Jack Creek Preserve Foundation By siri fossil

‘WOW! picture’, having captured a photo of a bird and its chicks in a nest.

jack creek preserve foundation

ENNIS – The Jack Creek Preserve was bustling with an unprecedented five youth camps this summer.

The Montana Outdoor Science School brought 13 middle school children for two nights to the preserve to practice archery and learn about wildlife, habitat and hunting ethics.

They were Jack Creek Youth Camp, the Montana Outdoor Science School from Bozeman, the Good Thymes Camp from Madison Valley, Big Sky Archery Day Camp, and the Gallatin County Big Sky Youth Empowerment Project. The eighth annual Jack Creek Youth Camp hosted 56 kids, ages 12 – 18. Forty percent of the campers came from the Madison and Gallatin counties, but kids also came from Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Oregon, Utah and West Virginia. As usual, archery was a hit. “[My daughter Emmie] liked archery so much that we got her set up with a nice compound bow and enrolled her in a hunter safety course,” said Katie Belleisle. Emmie is planning to hunt with her father this September. This year’s beginning archery first place award went to Ben Manion; the two intermediate archery award winners were Emily Schaufler and Dugan Runkel;

The Good Thymes Camp, now in its second year, brought 40 elementary school students from Madison Valley to the preserve. These campers learned about soils, plants, insects and water.

Jordyn McKay won ‘Best Focal Point’ in the youth photo competition with this image of red berries

the advanced archery award went to Ricky Poppe. New this year at the youth camp, local volunteer George Beimel taught astronomy, showing campers constellations at night. Volunteer Sandy Bourgeois, who teaches outdoor photography, tells her students to try and be “one with nature.” For Bourgeois, a camp highlight

was seeing a student chase a butterfly for 20 minutes. Finally, when the student sat down, the butterfly landed within camera range, and the student got the shot. The photo competition this year had three categories. Jordyn McKay won ‘Best Focal Point’ with an image of red berries, Riley Harwood won ‘Best Composition’, with a photo of a waterfall, and Patrick White won the

The Big Sky Introduction to Archery Day Camp brought 25 students to the preserve. Fourteen of the children were from Big Sky, and the rest were visitors or part-time residents. Some kids came from as far away as Washington D.C., California, and Connecticut. The Big Sky Youth Empowerment Project, a Gallatin County program that provides outdoor-based character development opportunities for local atrisk youth, spent a day at the preserve helping prepare for the Youth Camp. They set up picnic tables, mowed the archery range, cleaned up trails, and learned archery skills.


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National fire crews headed home The Jicarilla 6 Fire Crew, a Type II team from New Mexico, was headed home on Friday, Sept. 14. Here, all 20 of them pose at the Exxon in Gallatin Gateway on their way to the airport. The men, who are Apache, Navajo and Pueblo, had worked on the Millie Fire, 20 miles south of Bozeman, for the previous two weeks. They enjoyed the "beautiful scenery and good people" here.


At press time, on Sept. 19, the Millie Fire was 75 percent contained and 10,425 acres. There were still 110 people working on the fire. The Pine Creek Fire, south of Livingston, was 8,509 acres and 51 percent contained. Approximately 30 people were working on that fire.

First annual Autumn Discovery Photography Contest WEST YELLOWSTONE – The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone is holding a new photo contest this fall for amateur and professional photographers. The nonprofit wildlife and educational facility announced its call for entries for the first annual Autumn Discovery Photography Contest and Exhibition in mid-September. Photographers can submit up to six entries, and awards will be separated into categories for best bear, wolf and raptor at both amateur and professional level. The photographs must be taken between Sept. 1 and Nov. 1 and be animals at the center. The deadline for submission is Nov. 2. The exhibit will be ongoing in both print and digital format. For more information, email jenniferh@

Build your dream and let the memories begin.

Bridger Canyon Sedan Tour visits historic Gallatin County sites GALLATIN COUNTY – The Gallatin County Historic Preservation Board is sponsoring its first ever historic site tour, which will feature the northeast corner of the county. The “Bridger Canyon to Sedan Tour” will be Saturday, Oct. 6, from noon to 4 p.m. Participants will have access to enter and hear stories told by resident experts at eight sites, which have either been restored to capture a moment in history or have been re-purposed. The sites are: the 1896 Superintendent’s house at the National Fish Hatchery; the Lower Bridger School; the Bridger Canyon Non-Denominational Christian Church; the Silver Forest Inn and Flaming Arrow Ranch; the log barn at Bohart

Ranch; Battle Ridge; the Sedan School; and the Sedan Pioneer Church. Participants will need to provide transportation to and from the sites; several of the sites are not ADA accessible. Tickets can be purchased at any of the sites on the day of the tour, or at the Pioneer Museum, Belgrade Chamber of Commerce, or the Gallatin County Courthouse, Room 306. This is the Gallatin County Historic Preservation Board’s first attempt “to expose and reeducate our citizens about the rich history of Gallatin County,” according to a press release. For more information, call (406) 388-2395.


Big Sky Weekly

Following DNC, rumors of Schweitzer's Presidential aspirations continue By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer brought his trademark showmanship to the 2012 DNC in Charlotte, N.C. earlier this month, preaching to the choir at his second DNC in a row. Speaking for nearly nine minutes, the Governor made it clear he’s against having Republican nominee Mitt Romney anywhere near the White House.

upgraded,” Schweitzer said. “Montana is moving in the right direction. So is America.” Schweitzer also championed President Obama’s efforts, pointing out a few details: 4.5 million new private sector jobs and 29 straight months of job growth; a healthier stock market; higher energy production; fewer imports from foreign countries; the return of manufacturing jobs; and tax cuts for the typical middle-class. Although Schweitzer had positive reviews within the Democratic party after his energetic 2008 speech, many of this year’s follow-up stories weren’t quite as flattering.

“Mitt's a good family man and a loyal AmeriMontana Gov. Brian Schweitzer speaking at the DNC. (CC) can,” Schweitzer said. “But – and you knew there was a ‘but’ – he brought the wrong agenda While the term-limited Governor has long denied “The governor of Montana was one of the breakout to Massachusetts. And he is the wrong guy to be plans to run for president in 2016, the rumors abound stars of the 2008 Democratic National Convention president of the United States. Governor Mitt Romin the media. He conducted interviews on several nawith a speech that lit up the Denver hall,” wrote ney saddled Massachusetts taxpayers with an additional news stations prior to the convention including Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza. “But tional $2.6 billion in debt, and left 'em with the most MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and PBS Newshour, and tonight Schweitzer seemed … like he was playing a debt per capita of any state in America…In Montana, at the convention drew attention for meeting with character named ‘Brian Schweitzer’.” that dog don't hunt.” delegates from Iowa and New Hampshire, both key primary states in the national election. Stay tuned. The governor continued with the hunting theme, something that prompted Wall Street Journal writer In his speech Schweitzer slammed Romney for When The Late Show’s David Letterman asked SchAlicia Mundy to call the speech “folksy” in a folraising taxes and fees on college tuition, driver's and weitzer earlier this summer what he plans to do after low up article, and also point out what many in the gun licenses, mental health services and milk in his term ends, the Governor said, “I think I’m going national media have: Massachusetts. Then the Governor bragged about to go fishing in the morning, drink whiskey in the Montana’s $400 million budget surplus, its recent afternoon, and if somebody calls me with a problem, “Montana’s outspoken and popular governor, Brian investments in education, and its increased number I’m going to give them a phone number of somebody Schweitzer, took the stage at the Democratic convenof college educated adults. who cares.” tion Thursday night, offering a speech that could be looking ahead to the 2016 race,” Mundy wrote. “We cut more taxes, for more people, than any govFor all we know, this dog might hunt. ernor in Montana history, and our bond rating was

FWP seeks public comment on statewide fisheries plan Info session slated for Bozeman next week

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BOZEMAN – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking public comment on a draft statewide fisheries management plan. The plan would establish goals and direction for fisheries management, habitat protection and improvement, fishing access and angling opportunities for the next six years. Fisheries Bureau Chief Bruce Rich called the plan a “road map” that will provide guidance to the public and decision makers for each of Montana's river drainages. He added that a key component to a long-term plan is flexibility—enough to allow for adaptive management based on changing circumstances within agreed upon sideboards. Along with meetings around the state, FWP held an information sharing session in Bozeman on Sept. 18. The draft plan was recently presented to the FWP Commission and a final plan, based on public

14 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

comment and an environmental analysis, is planned for release later this year. The "Draft Statewide Fisheries Management Plan" presents information on topics ranging from wild fish management to hatchery fish stocking guidelines, among other programs. It focuses on services proved by FWP as well as the history of Montana's fisheries, management issues and concerns, and long-term goals and objectives for state fisheries programs. Public comment is encouraged and can be submitted through Oct. 12. To review and comment on the draft plan visit FWP's website at and click on "Statewide Fisheries Management Plan". Comments can also be sent by mail to: Statewide Fisheries Management Plan, Montana FWP, 1420 E. 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59620.

Big Sky Weekly

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Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 15


This is how Big Sky gets into hot water.

Grizzly bear research resumes in park Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team will conduct research operations in Yellowstone National Park from Sept. 11 through Oct. 31, as part of the ongoing monitoring of the activities and population of grizzly bears within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Team members will bait, trap and anesthetize bears at several remote sites in the park. They will radio-collar the animals and collect scientific samples for study.

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Big Sky Weekly

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None of the trap sites will be located near established hiking trails or backcountry campsites, and all sites will have posted warnings for the closure perimeter. Potential access points will also be posted with warning signs.

The IGBST is composed of representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribal Fish and Game Department, and the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team was established in 1973 to

Yellowstone entrance fee waived Sept. 29 for National Public Lands Day The National Park Service will waive park entrance fees for the 19th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 29. Yellowstone National Park is using a group of volunteers to help out with a work project for what has become the nation’s largest single hands-on volunteer effort.

NORTHFORK PRESERVE 216+/- acres with apx ¾ mile of both sides of the Northfork. Incredible building site with views of Yellow Mountain. Borders public land, great access to cross country ski trails and the Spanish Peaks.

collaboratively monitor and manage ecosystem bears on an interagency basis. The gathering of data on the bears is part of a long-term research effort required under the Endangered Species Act to help wildlife managers devise and implement programs to support the ongoing recovery of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population. All trapping and handling are done in accordance with the group’s long established protocols.

The project involves trail restoration work along the Purple Mountain Trail in the Madison Junction area. To learn more about all of the volunteer opportunities on public lands throughout the region, visit the National Public Lands Day website at

August visitation third highest on record This year, Yellowstone National Park recorded 780,286 recreational visitors in August, down 3.1 percent compared to last year. Despite the decline, it was still the third highest August visitation recorded.

Offered at $3.5M

The park recorded 2,710,518 recreational visitors from January through August 2012, a 2.1 percent increase over last year. July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed by August, June, September and May.



BROKER Ranch & Recreational Group Prudential Montana Real Estate Cell 406-580-0155

An independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. Prudential is a registered service mark of The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Equal Housing Opportunity. All information contained herein is derived from sources deemed reliable, however, is not guaranteed by Prudential Montana Real Estate, Managing Broker, Agents or Sellers. Offering is subject to error, ommissions, prior sales, price change or withdrawal without notice and approval of purchase by Seller. We urge independent verification of each and every item submitted, to the satisfaction of any prospective purchaser.

16 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

1,000,000 8,00,000 600,000 400,000 200,000


Section 2:

sports, health and business

Big Sky Weekly

Sept. 21 - Oct. 4, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue No. 19


Nationally recognized wildfowl carver displays art at the Creighton Block BIG SKY – Loren Pinski, a nationally known wildfowl artist, has several carvings displayed at Creighton Block Gallery this fall. Pinski’s career began in 1984, when he saw a carved mallard drake in an art gallery in Holland, Mich. Amazed at its beauty and realism, he returned home to Missoula and bought a howto book. With some old carpentry chisels and a Douglas-fir two-byfour, he carved a decoy. One thing became immediately clear: This would be the last time he would carve using construction grade lumber and old chisels. Although primarily self-taught, Pinski has taken classes from world-class carvers such as Ted Smith, Tom Newell, Tom Matus and David Alexander. These men helped Pinski refine his skills, teaching him to make feathers look real, create soft color transitions, and express the unique personality of each bird. This, Pinski says, coupled with knowledge gained from hours observing birds in their natural habitat, enables him to create realistic wildfowl sculptures out of simple pieces of wood. “What is most striking about Pinski’s carvings is their elegance,” said Colin Mathews, owner of Creighton Block Gallery. “Each piece creates its own aura, which raises Pinski’s skill to the level of high art.” Pinski’s carvings have been displayed in galleries and art shows around the West, including the Western Art Week in Great Falls. He has also earned honors at carving competi-

Bald eagle carving by Loren Pinski

tions in Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California. For the past 11 years, Pinski has carved the Mulrooney award for the North American Wholesale Lumber Association. His flying bald eagle is considered the most prestigious award in the forest products industry and is awarded at the NAWLA Traders Market every fall. He also carves the membership awards for the Pacific Logging Congress.

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Fortune 500 companies have purchased Pinki’s carvings as retirement gifts, service awards, and customer appreciation gifts, and he has been featured in corporate journals and national carving magazines.

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Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 17



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18 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

Real Estate Group


Big Sky Weekly

LPHS battles at the net Photos by tori pintar

Triumph for the lady Big Horns The Lone Peak High School girls volleyball team won its first ever game and match this September, and coach Sarah Phelps is very proud.

were on point. I think they realized, ‘Oh, wait, we can hang with this team. We can come from behind and win’.”

“They were spectacular,” Phelps said about the team’s performance during the Sept. 13 and 14 matches in Big Sky. Thursday’s match was against the Bozeman C Team, and Friday was a double header against Sheridan. Against Bozeman, the Big Horns won the match in three games. “It was such a great morale and confidence booster for our team to realize how good they really are,” Phelps said. “Things are starting to click for them. They really started playing hard and playing well.” Lone Peak had a slow start in the first match of Friday’s double header, losing to Sheridan in three games. In game one of the second match, the Big Horns fell behind 22-18. They went back and forth, and ended up winning 30-28. In that second match, “they were on fire,” Phelps said. “Our skills

It was the first time the Big Horns have ever taken another team to a fifth game. Although they lost the fifth game 15-9, the girls walked away with their heads up and renewed energy. “We are the surprise team,” Phelps said. “Teams are going to come in and expect to win.” This is the second year of LPHS volleyball, and the team’s skills have improved significantly from last year. The community came out to support the girls at both matches, with the football team cheering from the stands, and some excited parents even crying after Thursday’s match win. “[The girls] were just so pumped,” Phelps said. “It was a moment for them to realize that we can have a winning tradition at Lone Peak.” The team played Sept. 20 at Gardiner, and has a home game Sept. 22 against Ennis. E.S.

Tanner Burton stretches for extra yards versus Two Eagle Photo by mike coil

Big Horn football rolling with big wins over Two Eagle and St. Regis BIG SKY, ST. REGIS – The Lone Peak Big Horns won back-to-back games in commanding fashion Sept. 8 and 14. Their 94-0 victory over Two Eagle and 49-0 win against St. Regis, demonstrated the Big Horns have it working on both sides of the field at this point in the season. “I don’t really know how many teams have gotten two shutouts in a row in six-man football, but it’s really hard to do,” said LPHS coach Tony Beardsley. “The biggest thing is we finally came together as an entire football team,” he said about the big win over a struggling Two Eagle team Sept. 8. “We gained a lot of confidence and came out playing hard from minute one.”

Brothers Tucker and Cooper Shea combined for nine touchdowns in that contest, and Tucker rushed for 216 yards. The following week they traveled to St. Regis, and the Shea brothers continued their dominance. Tucker had four touchdowns, Cooper rushed for one, and the Big Horns notched a big win on the road. The Big Horns play Alberton at home Sept. 22, which beat Big Sky 65-0 last year. The team travels to play its rivals West Yellowstone on Sept. 29. “We have to step it up a notch,” Beardsley said, “because we’re playing some of the better teams in the conference coming up.” T.A.

MSU Bobcats win 43-35 over Stephen F. Austin University

Got Noxious Weeds?  We can help!  The Gallatin/Big Sky Noxious Weed Committee offers free onsite assistance, including identifying weeds on your property & recommending treatment methods. For assistance, contact Jennifer Mohler at  406‐209‐0905 or,   and visit   

Help protect wildlife habitat, water   resources, & native plants by   controlling noxious weeds!  

Montana State Bobcats Football running back Tray Robinson scores a wide open touchdown. Photo by mike coil

Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 19

s s e l e m ti e uni qu c i r o t s i h

Big Sky Weekly

FLATHEAD LAKE HISTORIC TIMBER was harvested from pristine wildlands surrounding Flathead Lake at


the turn of the 20th Century. Millions of feet of this lumber sank to the bottom of the Flathead, where the cool water preserved and enhanced the beauty of the wood over the last 100 years. Northwest Management Inc. is salvaging the submerged logs with the aid of scuba divers, giving new life to this uniquely beautiful, brilliant colored timber. Every aspect of these “historic timbers” is hand manufactured piece by piece by our well trained staff who sort and select materials designed to meet your specific needs.





Big Sky Weekly

Referees locked out first week of the regular season, water cooler discussions all over the country were centered on various mistakes made during opening day. Regardless of whether one takes the side of the officials or the league, an argument can be made that the league’s recent commitment to safety might be at jeopardy as result of the replacement officials. While this statement may seem to favor the referee’s side of the debate, I can’t help but think players are less safe with replacement officials on the field.

By Brandon Niles

Big sky weekly sports columnist

While the ongoing battle between the NFL and its referee officials is a well known issue in sports, it’s gained only nominal buzz outside the football world – lost, perhaps, among last season’s league strikes and the possible looming NHL lockout. The NFL Referees Association began their lockout in June of this year. Since then, talks have broken down, and the league office has used replacement officials since the beginning of the preseason. The last time this occurred was 11 years ago, when an agreement was made after the first week of the season. So far, no such deal seems to be on the horizon. Many NFL fans have been clamoring for the league and its rule-keepers to strike a deal quickly, because the replacement officials have already been criticized for making vital mistakes early in the season. Undoubtedly, the league office will soon begin feeling the heat from owners, fans and the press. After the

In the meantime, give the replacement refs a break from all the criticism. They’re doing the best they can at a terribly difficult job, and without them, we’d have no football at all. Brandon Niles has done online freelance writing about the NFL 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.

On opening day there were multiple occasions when defensive players made bone-crushing hits, leading with their helmets, but the referees threw very few penalty flags. Some of these players may later earn penalties from the league office, after the NFL reviews the games; however, each illegal hit that goes by without a penalty encourages players to return to the hard-hitting ways of old. This seems to run contrary to the league’s admirable change in emphasis on player safety. Ultimately, I think this will get worked out, and I’m not one argue about the performance of referees. They have difficult, stressful their jobs, and I don’t envy them at all. But I am concerned that yet another lockout in a league that saw a bitter end to the 2011 players’ lockout could cause a further rift between the players and the commissioner. The players already have an “us versus them” mentality, and I find it hard to believe that the league office wants a similar situation with the referees.

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Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 21

Big Sky Weekly


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We have access to opportunities at Yellowstone Club, The Club at Spanish Peaks, Meadow & Mountain Villages, Moonlight Basin and the Canyon Tallie Jamison Ryan Kulesza 406.600.8081 406.539.4666 This information is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, and changes including price or withdrawal without notice. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty is a licensed trademark to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates Inc. An equal opportunity company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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health & wellness

Big Sky Weekly

Ask Dr. Dunn By maren dunn

big sky weekly health writer

What’s the latest recommendation for mammograms? My mother had breast cancer at age 45 and I’m concerned for myself and my children.

er. The controversy now is over when to initiate screening and at what intervals. The American Medical Association and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree that routine yearly screening should begin at age 40.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has endorsed mammography starting at age 40, Great question! Mammography has been a hot with routine screening every one to two years topic in medical literature lately. As a result, the based on risk factors. recommendations have The U.S. Preventive become less precise. If a family member was Service Task Force Nevertheless, there is diagnosed with breast cancer recommends starting more scientific evidence routine screening at in their 40s or younger, have in favor of breast cancer age 50 with individual the mammogram discussion at screening than for any assessment of risks for other cancer. least three years earlier than the women in their 40s.

screening method best for you. If a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer in their 40s or younger, have the mammogram discussion at least three years earlier than the year of your family member’s diagnosis. One fact remains the same: mammograms save lives.

year of your family member’s

For those who don’t diagnosis. know, a mammogram is an x-ray of the breast tissue. It’s used to screen for breast cancer in men and women. During a mammogram, the breast is compressed between plates to even out and condense the tissue while keeping it still for the x-ray. The goal is to detect abnormalities signifying early signs of breast cancer.

A patient’s personal and family medical histories are important when discussing screening between ages 40 – 49. The following are among the indicators of increased risk for breast cancer: You have a first degree relative with breast cancer; you carry the BRCA 1 & 2 gene mutations; you’re over 30 without having been pregnant.

For years the recommendation was annual screening for breast cancer in all women age 40 and old-

See your medical provider when you reach age 40 to discuss your risks and decide on the

Maren Dunn, D.O., is owner of Gallatin Family Medicine, a medical clinic in the Big Sky Meadow Village. Gallatin Family Medical offers reduced cost and free mammogram screening. Have a question? Email her at

Substance use and mental illness By megan obert and adina smith women in aciton

Roughly 21 million American adults have an alcohol or drug addiction. Of these, nearly 50 percent also have mental health issues. The most common mental health issues that occur alongside substance addiction are depression and anxiety. There is a chicken-egg debate about which is present first, the substance use or the mental illness. Some researchers propose substance addiction creates depression and anxiety because of the added work stress due to hangovers, substance use at work, difficulty concentrating, trouble sustaining relationships, increased financial problems, or constant worry about where to get the next fix. Others believe mental illness comes first, and to cope with the depression and/or anxiety some people self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. Regardless, it’s apparent that a large and increasing number of people are suffering from both mental illness and substance abuse. Doctors describe a person with both mental illness and substance addiction as having cooccurring disorders. The illness and addiction feed on each other, and having both often leads to a worsening of both if left untreated. Having these co-occurring disorders is also linked to having higher rates of chronic health problems and a higher mortality rate than the general population. Seeking help for both disorders is more beneficial than just treating one. For example, a person

Seeking help for both disorders is more beneficial than just treating one. For example, a person could stop selfmedicating with alcohol, but he or she might still feel depressed – in which case a relapse with alcohol is likely. could stop self-medicating with alcohol, but he or she might still feel depressed – in which case a relapse with alcohol is likely. In addition, alcohol and some illicit drugs exacerbate both depression and anxiety, decrease the effectiveness of antidepressants, and make therapy less effective. If you’re concerned about your alcohol or drug use, asking yourself the following questions can help determine if you need help:

Have you ever felt the need to cut down on your drinking or drug use?

Do you get annoyed at criticism by others about your drinking or drug use?

Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking or drug use, or about something you did while drinking or using drugs?

Have you ever felt the need for a drink or the use of drugs early in the morning?

One positive answer to any of these questions indicates you may be at risk for developing a problem with drugs and alcohol. Megan Obert is the Big Sky Community Counseling intern. Adina Smith, Ph.D. is a psychologist and an Associate Professor in the MSU Department of Counseling.

Resources for substance addiction and mental illness There are resources available in Big Sky for people suffering from substance addiction and/or mental illness. The MSU Human Development Clinic, in partnership with Women In Action, provides low-cost counseling services on Mondays and Wednesdays. The clinic can help determine the presence of substance addiction and/or mental illness. It can also provide quality counseling for mental illness and when substance abuse treatment is necessary, counseling in conjunction with this treatment. Contact the Human Development Clinic at (406) 570-3907. Another local resource, Alcoholics Anonymous, meets downstairs in the Big Sky Chapel on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. These meetings are open and available to anyone interested in the AA program.

Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 23


Big Sky Weekly

Strong summer for Big Sky fishing Fly shops weigh in By emily stifler

were here… The fishing has been killer.”

BIG SKY – With the addition of Grizzly Outfitters’ new outfitting business this spring, Big Sky now has six fly fishing shops.

Alvin, who’s been guiding here more than 15 years, says he doesn’t see the industry in Big Sky growing exponentially.

“We’re a small town, and we’ve got as many fly shops as Bozeman, more than Ennis,” said Grizzly’s lead outfitter Ennion Williams, who’s been guiding in the area for 15 years.

“The pie’s only so big,” Alvin said. “Overall it has its ups and downs, and it’s all based on the tourist business. If I were to look at my last six or seven years, it all averages out.”

The other five are Gallatin River Guides, East Slope Outdoors, Wild Trout Outfitters, Lone Mountain Ranch and the Yellowstone Club.

But Patrick Straub, who bought Gallatin River Guides this spring, says otherwise.

big sky weekly managing editor

The [fishing] reps call the Bozeman-Big Sky area “fly-landia,” said Grizzly co-owner Andrew Schreiner. “There are so many fishing shops. People come here to fish. It’s a huge business for all of Montana in the summer time.” But can Big Sky really support that many fly shops? Fishing rep Mike Atwell thinks so. “There’s a fly fishing culture in Big Sky that’s been there for a lot of years,” said Atwell, who’s worked in the fishing industry here for 26 years. “It’s a resort town – more so than Ennis or even Bozeman.” He says each of the shops and outfitters in Big Sky serves a different clientele, and that Grizzly is catering to a newer type of customer: multisport. These are folks who might walk into the store looking for hiking or mountain biking equipment and walk out with fishing gear. Many of them aren’t die-hard fly fishermen, Schreiner said. “We have a lot of first timers in here wanting to learn.” Case in point: His top-selling rod this year was a lower-priced kit that included the reel and line.

“If you look at the history of Big Sky, the history of the market, and the history of the shops in Big Sky, it’s pretty clear it's a growing market.” Straub grew up in Bozeman and has worked in the fishing industry in Montana for 16 years. He and Alvin seem to agree on most everything else, particularly the fact that the long established shops like theirs will continue to maintain and grow their loyal client base. While there is certainly competition between the shops and outfitters, they also work together, says Lone Mountain Ranch fishing manager John McKinnie. For Angler Kirk Johnson checks under rocks on the Gallatn to example, the ranch has its own guides, but identify the types of insects that are present. This process uses Straub as an outfitter. allows him to best determine the fly he will use. photo by chris davis

“The guide community is pretty close,” said McKinnie, who moved here a year ago from Colorado. “Everyone knows each other and we share a lot of the same guides.” Others echo that sentiment.

Schreiner is pleased with Grizzly’s first year, and says he thinks it will steamroll. “My goal is to be very busy in three years.”

“The community of shop staff and guides in Big Sky are all great,” Straub said. “That’s what’s going to make it work for everybody.”

Other shops are reporting strong seasons, as well.

“I think it’s all good,” said JD Bingman, owner of Wild Trout Outfitters. “Fly fishermen in general are connoisseurs. Like lovers of fine wine, they’re going to sample different guide services and shops until they find the one they like… There’s plenty to go around.”

“It’s been an awesome summer,” said Dave Alvin, owner of East Slope Outdoors. “If you look at historic averages, we had a summer just like we always do, maybe a little better. This year, runoff came and went. The river was down and fishable when people

Bingman has been guiding in the Big Sky area since 1984 and outfitting here since 1988, and says he’s seen it grow. “We get a good number of new clientele each year and also a good number of return clientele [bringing] new guests,” he said. “Every time you introduce somebody to the sport of fly fishing, you’re growing the sport.” “The big and the small of it,” Bingman said, is “catch and release of wild trout – showing people the resource [and maintaining it], and helping them kick off a lifetime sport.” The more people hooked on fishing, the better it is for everyone.

Madison River Propane installs tank in Gallatin Canyon GALLATIN GATEWAY – Madison River Propane’s new 18,000-gallon storage tank sits beside Gallatin Road just south of Storm Castle. The Belgradebased company installed the tank on the parcel of leased pastureland on Sept. 6. “The demand for fuel in Big Sky requires we make more than one delivery a day up there,” said owner Ken Weskamp. Without the new tank – which was installed by a crane – his driver would have to make two trips from Belgrade daily. Weskamp, who’s been working in the propane industry in southwest Montana for 25 years, opened the company in February. He admits the big white tank is an obvious eyesore and hopes to mitigate that by covering it with a wrap. The wrap will be a

24 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

photograph of the surrounding area “to try to get it to blend in.” “I feel bad I had to put a tank up there in that location, so I’m trying to do everything I can to make it as safe and as appealing as possible,” Weskamp said. In addition to the wrap, this means extra safety features in the form of internal pneumatic valves. “If a fire goes through the area, or a car runs into it, or someone vandalizes it, there’s no way of getting product out of that tank,” Weskamp said. In total, there are five propane companies in the area, Weskamp said, and all of them have storage facilities in Gallatin Canyon or Big Sky. Most, in fact, have 30,000-gallon tanks.

Madison River is full service, meaning it does everything from installing residential appliances and running gas lines to filling propane and fixing gas leaks. The majority of its business happens during the winter, and on a typical day the company delivers 6,000 – 9,000 gallons of propane. The company also is involved with emergency response training for fire departments. Big Sky and Gallatin Gateway make up 30 – 40 percent of his business, Weskamp said. “I saw a need for what I had to bring to the table – a full service propane company. We’ve been very busy.” E.S.




$2,500,000 • #175377 • Call Erin

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142 +/- acres mountain timberlands zoning allows up to 660 units to be built call Erin Mandeville, 570-3583

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9 bd, 8 ba, 3500 +/- sf furnished with over $124,000 furniture next to flowing creek w/outstanding views heated 2 car attached garage

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4.02 +/- acre lot bordering riverfront National forest land direct access to blue ribbon fishing level building site w/ great views


6 bd, 9 bath 6329 +/- sf 20 +/- acres in gated community indoor swimming pool/elevator additional care takers apartment

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$560,000 • #182257 • Call Leah 763-4596

3 bd, 3.5 ba, 4,181 +/- sf custom home ski-in/ski-out, beautiful furnishings great rental history, immaculately maintained includes:


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20 acres Triple Triangle Ranch hiking and ski trails to lot desirable, private enclave contiguous to tract 2 to create 40 acres

$899,000 • #180839 • Call George

4 bd, 4 ba, 3,500 +/- sf furnished with over $124,000 furniture next to flowing creek with outstanding views heated 2 car attached garage





• • • •

$495,000. • #186079 • Call Stacy

3 bd, 3 ba, 2495 +/- sf gourmet kitchen, dwnstrs bonus room $595,000 furnished $495,000 unfurnished

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$475,000 • #183440 • Call Stacy

2 bd, 3 ba, 2403 +/- sf members private clubhouse w/ pool, kitchen adjacent to Big Sky Golf course additional den/bonus rooms sleeping

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20 acres Triple Triangle Ranch extraordinary views and ski trail access desirable, private enclave contiguous to North Fork Tract 8

LOST TRAILS LOT #8 • • • •

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20 +/- acres sunny, south-facing building sites between Mountain and Meadow Villages views of Yellowstone Mtn and Spanish Peaks community water system with fire flow


$425,000 • #185650 • Call Don

14.15 +/- acre lot already installed/approved, 3 bd septic surrounded by other large land parcels rolling terrain allows walk out basement



• • • •

$389,000 • #186044 • Call Don

20.35 +/- acre lot already installed/approved, 3 bd septic surrounded by other large land parcels rolling terrain allows walk out basement

SKYCREST CONDO #1708 • • • •

$325,000 • #184872 • Call Leah 539-7665 2 bd, 2 ba, 1,725 +/- sf, exquisitely furnished stone fireplace, outdoor terrace, sun room views of Lake Levinsky and Lone Mountain ground levelunit, parking garage, storage


$320,000 • Call Don

2 bd, 2 ba, 1604 +/- sf remodeled like new furnished, lower level unit fireplace, indoor hot tub

$250,000 • # 184874 • Call Brooms 580-4290

• • • •

.6 +/- acres, back to the Gallatin River 4 bd septic installed, 25 GPM well drilled between Bozeman and Big Sky off Hwy 191 a rare opportunity, build dream home here


ANTLER RIDGE, LOT 149 • • • •

.35 +/- acre lot, Lone Mtn. views exceptional building site, southern exposure community water system between Mountain and Meadow Villages



$249,000 • #161824 • Call Don

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$190,000 • #183761 • Call Lynn 581-4268 406 +/- sf dry cabin, outhouse 1 +/- acres, picnic area, fire pit 150’ Gallatin river frontage borders USFS, great access

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$149,000 • #183116 • Call Stacy or Eric 2 bd, 2ba 868 +/- sf sold furnished w/ hot tub on deck gas fireplace, lots of storage well cared for unit, view of ski slopes

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$140,000 • #186042 • Call Marc

1.86 Cascade subdivision lot views toward Spanish Peak Mtns. ski Big Sky/Moonlight - short drive great priced lot for Cascade Sub.

Stuart Koch, Sales Associate, 406.581.1225


Big Sky Weekly

Mountain Living features local, regional business By emily stifler

Madison Valley Aquatic Center and the Big Sky entryway monument.

big sky weekly managing editor

DENVER, Colo. – Several businesses were featured in the September/October issue of Mountain Living magazine this year. The Coloradobased magazine included more than a dozen Big Sky and Bozeman firms in its “Top Mountain Architects and Interior Designers,” an annual feature.

A sidebar to Mountain Living’s top interior designers list featured a quote from Locati lead designer, Amanda Heys, on her “favorite building in the West.” Heyes chose the Brown Palace in Denver, saying, “The exterior beckons you, and once you’re inside, you see the detail and beauty of every aspect of the finishes, from the amazing lighting to the onyx walls. It’s classy and tasteful—a must-see in Denver.”

In its introduction, Mountain Living called the feature an “exclusive guide to the most talented and influential architects, design/build professionals and interior designers at work in the West today.”

“They just called me out of the blue,” Heys said. “I’ve had numerous people say, ‘Oh, I read your quote in Mountain Living magazine – from local people, to people all over the West that subscribe to it.”

The Big Sky businesses were Centre Sky Architecture and Carole Sisson Designs. The Bozeman businesses were Locati Architects and Interiors, Bitnar Architects, Comma-Q Architecture, Dan Joseph Architects, Faure Halvorsen Architects, JLF & Associates, Van Bryan Studio Architects, Pearson Design Group, Reid Smith Architects, Design Associates, Envi Design, CTA Architects Engineers and Haven Interior Design. Livingston firm Miller Architects was also included.

the Western vernacular, so it’s really important to us that our list represents that.”

“Some of the West’s best design is happening in Montana,” said Mountain Living Editor in Chief Christine DeOrio. “The concentration of really creative and talented architects and interior designers in relatively small towns like Bozeman, Whitefish and Livingston is pretty remarkable. Montana has a really distinct style, even within

Centre Sky has a spectrum of projects including high-end residential, LEED-certified buildings, additions on smaller residences, and resort and commercial work, said its principal architect Jamie Daugaard. The firm is currently working on several residential projects, and the future

Both Centre Sky and Carole Sisson, which work together regularly, have been on the list for several years running.

“I feel like people are finding that [the] talent in the Bozeman area is amazing – architects, designers and craftsmen,” Heys said. Daugaard said that’s likely in part due to Montana State University’s design school. “A lot of the architects and designers come from there,” he said. “Also, the clients that come here have high expectations. Whatever we’ve done in the past with our portfolios, that work continues to be built upon and progress.”


Fly Fishing · Horses · Skiing


Available for purchase:


Fly Fishing · Horses · Skiing

7-acre estate featuring skiing, fly fishing & horses onsite Contact 406-995-4900 Big Sky, Montana

RIVER RUN SITE 26 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012


isement which will appear in the 2009-2010 edition of the Big Sky Regional Telephone ewide Publishing - Montana under the heading(s) of:

Big Sky Weekly


nformation correct? .......................................................................................... ❑ Yes ❑ No $389,000. Call 406-595-6641 for sale for rent ................................................................................. help wanted ber and address correct? ❑ Yes ❑ No Shuttle to Big Sky & Taxi RENTALS Obsolete Equipment Sale ... ❑Money olors in myRAFTS/TUBES, ad may vary due to differences printer inks &Need paper. YesThis WinSome Extra DRIFT Big Sky Schoolin District is selling ter? Come share your passion for the RV'S, TRAILERS, SKI obsolete equipment. A public cessary BOATS, corrections directly on the ad as neatly as possible. Big Sky area as a Part Time Driver for BOAT, BABY GEAR sale will be held at the school, 406-587-4747

45465 Gallatin Road, on Saturday, October 13 from 10 am – 2 pm. A list of items can be found at All items purchased must be taken at the time of sale.

Daily outdoor service routes. Must have clean driving record and auto insurance. Paid mileage. Some plumbing and electrical knowledge preferred. Headwaters Hot Tub 406.995.7319

Shuttle to Big Sky & Taxi. Must be at least 25 yrs. of age with a clean driving record and able to lift 50 lbs. Prior experience preferred but not required. Must past Drug Test & DOT physical exam. PT positions available. Flexible hours Please submit resume to EOE. Or call our office at 406-995-4895

$10 classifieds Email advertising requests to (406) 995-2055

CAFE & ESPRESSO • 81305 Gallatin Road

• Maintenance AsphaltAsphalt Paving Paving • Maintenance • Seal Coating Seal Coating • Lot Striping Lot Striping • Patchwork Crack Sealing Patchwork • Crack•Sealing

Owner Supervised - 30 years Experience Owner Supervised 30 years Experience

Serving all of Southwest Montana

CREEKSIDE DINING | 406.587.3114 4 blks S. of 4corners on Hwy 191 | Mon-Sat / 8am-3pm

Serving All of Southwest Montana


REMOVING DEAD AND INFESTED TREES Grants Available for Home Fire Suppression Approved RC&D Hazardous Fuels Reduction Contractor

1 PROOF st

Tom Newberry:


ate, and return within five working days for completion of your file.

is greatlyLimited appreciated advertising in returning this proof even if the ad is approved as is.

space now available

......................................... ❑ MOUNTAIN cated changes ............... ❑ AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE




proof will not be sent out to customer.

urned before publication, Statewide Publishing will not be responsible for any inaccuracies in the advertisement.

Designer: LDM


� HEALTH COUNSELING Proofed by: ______ N:_____A:_____P:_____

Victoria Bentley, Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach

Call for appointments in Bozeman or Big Sky

Appointments only [ 406.570.9154 ] Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 27


Moonlight Club Founding Memberships Available


membership joining fee

ANNUAL SKI PASSES for members, spouses, and immediate family

DISCOUNTS on Moonlight Basin owned retail and dining facilities

PREMIER GOLF MEMBERSHIP with advance tee-time reservations

JACK CREEK ROAD ACCESS to and from the Madison Valley

LEGACY PRIVILEGES with membership transfer to family members

EXCLUSIVE MEMBER EVENTS bringing together member families and the Moonlight Community

Inquire at (406) 993-6012 or

APR financing through Toyota Financial Services with approved credit. Tier I+, I only. 0% APR financing for 48 months with $20.83 per $1,000 borrowed. For WA, OR, ID, MT state dealerships, a negotiable documentary service fee in an amount up to $350.00 may be added to vehicle price. Must take retail delivery from dealer stock by 10/1/2012.

APR financing through Toyota Financial Services with approved credit. Tier I+, I, II and III only. 0% APR financing for 60 months with $16.67 per $1,000 borrowed. Cash back from manufacturer. For WA, OR, ID, MT state dealerships, a negotiable documentary service fee in an amount up to $350.00 may be added to vehicle price. Must take retail delivery from dealer stock by 10/1/12.

APR financing through Toyota Financial Services with approved credit. Tier I+, I, II and III only. 0% APR financing for 60 months with $16.67 per $1,000 borrowed. Cash back from manufacturer. For WA, OR, ID, MT state dealerships, a negotiable documentary service fee in an amount up to $350.00 may be added to vehicle price. Must take retail delivery from dealer stock by 10/1/12.

APR financing through Toyota Financial Services with approved credit. Tier I+, I, II and III only. 0% APR financing for 60 months with $16.67 per $1,000 borrowed. Cash back from manufacturer. Subvention cash from manufacturer, not applicable for cash back offers and must qualify for cash through TFS. For WA, OR, ID, MT state dealerships, a negotiable documentary service fee in an amount up to $350.00 may be added to vehicle price. Must take retail delivery from dealer stock by 10/1/12.

Bozeman INSERTToyota DEALERofLOGO AND ADDRESS. 866-623-5535 AD RUNS THROUGH 10/1/2012. 28 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

For WA, OR, ID, MT state dealerships, a negotiable documentary service fee in an amount up to $350.00 may be added to vehicle price. Oregon state dealerships not using an electronic vehicle registration system may only apply fees up to $75 to vehicle price. Does not include taxes, license, title, processing fees, insurance and dealer charges. Offers good in MT, WA, ID, and OR. See your local participating Toyota dealer for details.

chamber news

Big Sky Weekly

Chamber of commerce execs coming to Big Sky By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – A group of 40 executive directors from chambers of commerce around Montana will be in Big Sky Oct. 4 – 5 for a bi-annual conference. Held at Big Sky Resort, the Montana Association of Chamber Executives conference will bring directors and chamber staff from towns including Fort Benton, Shelby, Billings, Kalispell, Sidney, Belgrade, Missoula, Helena and Great Falls. Discussion and presentation topics will include chamber membership, leadership, government relations and tourism, said Webb Brown, Montana Chamber of Commerce President/CEO and treasurer of the MACE group. The keynote speaker, a national expert on electronic presence for chambers, will discuss social media, websites, best practices and blogging, Brown said. There will also be a speaker from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as a panel of Big Sky business people presenting on the value of their chamber membership, something that’s a regular practice at the MACE meetings. This will be a chance to promote awareness of “all the new things

that have happened in our community,” said Big Sky Chamber Executive Director Kitty Clemens, noting the new movie theatre, new restaurants and shops, the performing arts center that’s under construction, the high school improvements, and Big Sky Resort’s Basecamp additions. After the first day’s business meetings, four vans from Yellowstone Luxury Tours will pick up the chamber execs, take them on a “what’s new tour,” and then drop them at Buck’s T-4 for cocktail hour and a dinner function. “We have the opportunity to really showcase that people are making investments in Big Sky,” Clemens said. The tour, also a regular occurrence at the MACE meetings, will last 90 minutes. “In an hour-and-a-half we can pack it so full of good stuff that they’ll leave going, ‘I wish my town was doing that’,” Clemens said. It’s also good networking, Brown said, adding that this will be the first opportunity for many of the other executives to meet Clemens, who moved to Big Sky in August. The MACE meeting last came to Big Sky in fall of 2003 and was hosted at 320 Ranch.


but it’s not uncivilized

Chamber and CVB open house The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau are hosting an open house on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Chamber and Visitor Information Center, located at 55 Lone Mountain Trail on the corner of Highway 191. Come see the new office and visit with staff and board members. Light refreshments will be served.

Chamber, CVB and BSIA hold joint meeting BIG SKY – Three groups integral to community branding for Big Sky are getting together to talk strategic planning on Sept. 26 at Buck’s T-4. The Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Biggest Skiing in America groups will meet for a half day of introductions in what Chamber president David O’Connor said is “overdue,” and hopes will be the start of a series of meetings. “My motivation for wanting to get all this together was a reaction to the situation three years ago where we had literally three different organizations with three different budgets and three different marketing plans," he said at the September Chamber meeting.

Also at that meeting, the Chamber board brainstormed for the joint meeting’s focus. “I think it should be more meet and greet, more 30,000 feet,” said board member Sarah Phelps. “I don't feel like I have a good grasp of what the others do and what their goals are. “If you look back at the past year, we had a clear direction with the resort tax ask, with filling the executive director position,” O’Connor said. We’re getting more [projects to the point] where they’re either completed or well along in the process. It’s an appropriate time to turn the conversation to what’s next.”

Celebrate fall harvest with a relaxing getaway to Rainbow Ranch Lodge. It’s the perfect time to experience all of the great activities without all of the crowds and get rejuvenated at The Outpost Retreat. Toast the evening with a bottle of wine and take a keepsake -RR wine opener home with you. All starting at just $179 per night through October 31!* Visit or call 1.800.937.4132 to book -RR Wine and Mixology Academy: Join us for interactive wine and mixology classes and become an expert so you can wow your friends and family at your next soirée. Mixology: Wednesdays 3:30pm $30 per person Wine Classes: Thursdays 3:30pm $15 per person Call 1.800.937.4132 for reservations *Offer valid for new bookings; subject to availability; blackout dates apply; pre-paid, non-refundable, and non-transferrable. • 1.800.937.4132 Five miles south of Big Sky entrance on Hwy 191

Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 29

Creighton Block

Rob Akey Greg Alexander Jim Barrett Susan Blackwood Diana Brady Lynn Cain Todd Connor Tom Dean

John DeMott Jerral Derr yberr y Flavia Eckholm Edd Enders Thomas English Howard Friedland Mark Gibson Don Grant

Mimi Grant Frank Hagel Ott Jones Harr y Koyama David Lemon Asha MacDonald Mike Patterson Paula Pearl

Jacqueline Rieder Hud Gar y Lynn Rober ts Daniel San Souci Deb Schmit Laurie Stevens Ezra Tucker 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, gouache 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 and selling his paintings in galleries, juried

Jerral Derr yberr y “The Deadwood Stage”



shows and exhibitions.

4 0 6- 9 9 3 - 9 4 0 0


Ar twork also displayed at Lone Mountain Ranch Dining Room


Big Sky Weekly

The 2011 Gallatin River Cleanup Crew

Second annual upper Gallatin River cleanup By kristin gardner blue water task force

BIG SKY – The Blue Water Task Force is hosting a cleanup of the Upper Gallatin River on Saturday, Sept. 29. Gather at the Big Sky Community Park Pavilion at 9:30 a.m. Bring work gloves, bear spray and be dressed to work either in the stream or on the ground. Barbeque and prizes to follow! The event is sponsored by the Big Sky Resort Area District, American Rivers and the Hungry Moose. For more information, contact the BWTF at (406) 993-2519 or

Poll: Westerners like wind and solar on public lands

chamber of commerce

By deborah courson smith big sky connection

HELENA – Party lines practically disappear in a new poll about balancing renewable energy development with protection for public lands. Nearly three out of four voters in Montana and 10 other states favor producing wind and solar power on federal lands. Chase Huntley, clean energy policy director for The Wilderness Society – which commissioned the poll – says there's something more, though: "Overwhelmingly, nearly eight out of 10 believe revenues from development should be returned to local communities and to the land." There are systems in place to funnel some rents or royalties from oil and gas, coal and even mineral development on federal land to local governments – but not solar or wind. Pending legislation to change that has bipartisan support in most states, and support from Montana Sen. Jon Tester. Three bills in Congress (HR 5991, HR 6154, and S 1775) would allow money now going to the feds to be used by counties and states instead, for conservation and recreation. Montana sportsman Bill Schenk says encouraging policies and legislation to balance development with local interests is a wise move. "Here it's not just a way of life, it is truly cultural. Take that away, diminish that, and Montana loses something that is absolutely integral to its identity, its cultural identity, as a state." If money was set aside for conservation, the pollsters also asked how it should be used – for parks and refuges, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, or creating new hunting and fishing areas. Support for those ideas ranged from 72 to 85 percent, and pollster Christine Matthews with Bellweather Research says politics didn't appear to play a role. "There's no daylight whatsoever between Democrats, Independents and Republicans on creating new fishing and hunting areas to replace those impacted. Whatever damage is done, they feel strongly that they want that to be corrected. They want it to be fixed." The poll of almost 2,000 voters was conducted jointly in August by two polling firms – one Republican and one Democratic.


Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 31

Section 3:

Big Sky Weekly

Sept. 21 - Oct. 4, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue No. 19

lifestyle, outdoors and entertainment

outdoors Fall fishing forecast By ennion williams grizzly outfitters

Montana sportsmen have to make tough choices in the fall. The myriad options include chasing large trout with streamers and dry flies, hunting trophy elk in the mountains or setting up duck blinds on one of the region’s many lakes. Every year, I choose fly fishing. Brown trout start their annual spawning routine at summer’s end, and during this time they can be tempted with a stripped streamer or dead drifted crayfish. Hatches of blue winged olive mayflies will cover the river surface and provide excellent dry fly opportunities. This fall’s fishing should be as good as ever. Most of the rivers are running a little below average, but recent cooler temperatures have brought them out of the summer doldrums. August was hot this year, so we saw limited grasshopper activity along the banks of the Madison and Yellowstone. With the cooler weather, the hoppers are now becoming more active and hopefully will improve through September. In the Big Sky area, we focus on the Gallatin River and making the short journey to the Madison River in the park.

Since early September there have been hatches of blue winged olives on cloudy days on the Gallatin; these should increase as the month progresses. On sunny days, attractor patterns and ants, beetles and grasshoppers will catch fish in the canyon and especially up in the meadows inside the park. If you’re looking for larger rainbow and brown trout, you can also toss a large streamer into the deep pockets of the Gallatin, both in the canyon and lower river sections. During September and October, the brown trout will start their spawning run up the Madison River. Large browns out of Hebgen Lake will move into the river, followed by rainbow trout looking for an easy meal. Wait for the fall storm fronts to hit the region, and then get out early to chase these big boys in the river. The Yellowstone River will also fish well through the fall. Hatches of blue winged olives and gray drakes will appear on cloudy days. Otherwise, the best bet for a large fish will be with streamers. Large streamer patterns pulled through the deep runs can provide larger brown and rainbow trout. Ennion Williams has been fishing and guiding Big Sky waters since 1992. He's now lead guide and fishing buyer for Grizzly Outfitters.

Sean Weas fishing the south fork of the west fork of the Gallatin River Photo by chris davis

Changing times, changing tactics By pat straub

gallatin river guides

Fishing guides struggle with the change of summer into fall, our shorts and flip flops dangling from goosebumped legs. “It’ll warm up in a few hours,” we tell folks as our frozen hands grasp warm coffee mugs. Like an early season salmon fly clinging to a streamside willow, guides hang on to summer, despite frost on the pumpkins, ice in the boats, or fish no longer eating hoppers. One day in mid-September I guided a high mountain freestone river. It’s a place so beautiful, I’m lucky to guide it and my clients are even luckier to get to fish it. After vigilantly force feeding trout flies that caught fish three weeks prior, my client finally said what we were both thinking: “Hoppers are done. Let’s try a size 18 Para Adams.” Next cast, a buttery golden Yellowstone cutthroat to net. The following day floating the Yellowstone River with the same angler, we started the morning casting size 8 Fat Frank dry flies, but ended the day stripping streamers, looking for underwater structure. The dry flies produced a few trout, but going deeper with big ugly woolly buggers and bunny-fur stream-

Finley Bishop catches his first fish of the season

Photo by Mike Coil

ers served-up brilliantly colored, wellfed brown trout, more typical of fall then late summer. The shadows grew long as I pulled the boat from the river. The streamer and woolly bugger fishing was so good the clients booked a few more days at the end of the next week. When penning their dates in my book, I said aloud, “Sept. 22, first day of autumn.” The client said, “brown trout eating streamers. Go figure.” Our bittersweet progression into fall fishing is inevitable. It reveals human nature’s grass-is-greener tendencies, but fortunately, this year our fall fishing will be stellar. This resistance to change is perhaps our unwillingness to accept the end of summer and its tourist traffic (and the money it brings). But, in a ski town like Big Sky, that’s OK, because each day of summer in our rearview is a day closer to fresh powder. Pat Straub is the owner of Gallatin River Guides. He is also the author of five books, most recently, The Frugal Fly Fisherman.

Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 33

Gear reviews

The Big Sky Weekly/ staff is a group of outdoor-loving men and women who play hard almost every second we’re not in the office. Some of the gear seen here is brand new, and some of it’s stuff we’ve had for ages—we think it’s worth the ink to tell you about some of the gadgets, gizmos, gear and garb that make our lives even more fun.

DryCase By tyler allen

After walking across Highway 191, scrambling down the talus bank and submerging it in the cold Gallatin River for five minutes, I found that the DryCASE was a keeper—as such, I’m stuck with the clunker, too.

big sky weekly staff writer

I first tested the DryCASE while waiting for my climbing partner to

arrive at the Gallatin Tower. Before trusting my iPod to it—or any other coveted electronic device—I wanted to test the case with my antiquated flip phone, in hopes it would fail and I’d be forced to replace the old clunker.

Employing a handsqueezed pump that sucks out all the air, the DryCASE uses a vacuum seal to keep air and water out. It has a headphone jack, so you can plug in your earbuds or waterproof DryBUDS ($39.99) while your device is in the case. Though I prefer to let the natural sounds prevail while on the river, I’ve used the DryCASE to seal my phone up and stash it in my fly vest. I plan on using it this winter to keep my iPod dry during sweaty hikes on the Ridge at Bridger Bowl or spring days booting the Upper A-Z chutes at Big Sky. $39.99 Available at Sports Cove in Bozeman or at

It ’s n ot to o la te !

cklist Your Summer Fly Fishing Che

Patagonia Men's Rio Gallegos Waders By Sean Weas

big sky weekly staff writer

Patagonia is known for high quality gear, and with the Gallegos Waders they have completely outdone themselves. Designed to marry unmatched toughness with lightweight waterproof magic, these waders are the tops. The key to accomplishing this is the use of Patagonia’s H2NO shell material, which is tough as nails. I’ve tromped through thick brush in the Rio Gallegos without feeling weighed down or worrying about tearing the H2NO. Reinforced padding makes it comfortable to get onto on my knees in rocky river beds.

The strategically beefed up seams are thoughtfully placed in areas that see the most abrasion; a waterproof chest pocket holds valuables; the thinner 3 mm neoprene booties are lined with merino wool for unbeatable comfort; the neoprene knee pads are removable; and the bomber gravel guards have concealed boot hooks to prevent snags. Nothing in the build was overlooked.

Photo by Chris Davis

Where other tough waders add weight and lose breathability, these have kept me comfortable from icy mornings right into sun-burning afternoons. Because they quickly and easily convert from full to waist-height waders, they’re nice for the changing temps of Montana fall.

I would recommend these to any fisherman or woman looking for watertight comfort and streamlined performance. These are top quality waders, and with Patagonia’s Ironclad guarantee, they’re designed to last a lifetime. $449

Beyond that, just like most Patagonia products, it’s the details that shine.

fly C at ch a cu tth roa t on a dr y

Hot Chillys Swirl Long Jacket

of our Ta ke you r kid fis hin g on one d fa mil y tri ps or in our pri va te pon

By emily stifler

Ri ve r Dr ift bo at flo at th e M ad iso n in a St alk a mo ns te r br ow n tro ut se cr et cr ee k Pe rfe ct you r do ub le- ha ul

Since ’84. Fine Purveyors of Fly Fishing Awesome-ness.

GEAR. GUIDES. HONEST INFO. Serving Big Sky, Yellowstone Park, and Southwest Montana • 406-995-2290 Pat Straub; Montana licensed outfitter #7878

34 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

big sky weekly managing editor

Hebgen Lake to Lone Peak, the Hot Chillys Swirl Long Jacket is a cozy layer for Montana fall. Definitely a casual piece, it’s slim and black and has the most appealing ‘swirl’ fleece lining in the front body and hood that snuggles around your neck like faux fur. This fine denier, silky polyester fiber is “dreamy soft and luxurious to the touch,” says Hot Chillys designer Jerris Greenblat. When I zip it up for a chilly morning, I like to imagine what it would be like to pull it on after

a morning surf on the beach near San Luis Obisbo, Calif., where Hot Chillys is based. “We always strive to be a little bit different,” said the company’s marketing director Sarah Perry. With the Swirl Long Jacket, they went with “a little bit of flair.” A sweatshirt/jacket cross, I’ve worn it for après ski and taken it bouldering on a sunny winter day in the Pipestone desert west of Bozeman. I was actually hot for about an hour in the mid-day desert sun. The hand warmer pockets were key for warming the digits after trying a problem. It can attract a bit of lint, so have a tape roller on hand. Available in black, grey heather or surf (white). $90


Book Review By anne marie mistretta big sky weekly contributor

The Last Buffalo Hunt & Other Stories (Adventures in the Great American Outdoors), by J. I. Merritt, Pennington, New Jersey: South River Press, 2012. Distributed by Farcountry Press.

The Last Buffalo Hunt & Other Stories contains short biographical sketches of outdoorsmen and adventurers across the American continent, from the late 1700s “long-hunter,” Daniel Boone, to the early 1900s Custer wolf tracker, Harry Williams. All of Merritt’s men pressed and extended American frontiers— either along the wilderness or along environmental technological landscapes. Initial chapters capture the exploits of men who used hunting for subsistence. Other chapters, such as the one from which the book takes its title, retell the destruction of a species.

The guns are getting oiled, and the dogs are working with the bumper. These are sure signs that my husband and dogs are going hunting. With my recommendation, the Last Buffalo Hunt & Other Stories by J. I. Merritt will also be along during opening weekend. This history of noted hunters and adventurers provides fodder for the existential conversations whispered in the blinds and can be served up as a side dish of reflection at day’s end during the bunkhouse dinner.

The centerpiece chapter recounts the story of Sitting Bull, the Little Big Horn battle victor, who led his Lakota Sioux warriors from Standing Rock reservation confinement to hunt the buffalo, both a nutritional and cultural staple. Certainly, the near extinction of what is today one of our national symbols can be attributed to men like “Yellowstone Vic” Smith, the “champion buffalo hunter,” whose rough apologies in his memoirs recount daily slaughter of thousands of bison in the Dakotas: “When we got through

New book fuels dreams trophy whitetails MISSOULA – Odds of you harvesting a Boone and Crockett-class whitetail buck this year: approximately 1 in 20,000. Odds of keeping your trophy dreams alive while browsing Records of North American Whitetail Deer, a new book from Boone and Crockett Club: exponentially better. The most complete list of trophy records and info on America’s favorite game species, the book will be released in its fifth edition this October from the authority on native North American big game records keeping. The book now contains detailed tabular listings of 12,254 whitetail trophies ranked according to alltime Boone and Crockett scores, and 4,692 entries, including 34 new state and provincial records for whitetails, have been added since the previous edition (2003). Each entry includes location of kill and other details of interest to hunters, wildlife managers and conservationists.

Big Sky Weekly

Also included are photos of standout specimens, plus chapters written by top authorities on new insights into deer breeding behavior; emerging technology and its affects on whitetail conservation; new management strategies; and regional trends in trophy whitetail production. Records of North American Whitetail Deer will be available in stores or directly from the Club at or (888) 840-4868.

the hunt, there wasn’t a hoof left…. wish my aim hadn’t been so good.” However, the bison’s fate was already sealed once the Indians learned—sometimes before even meeting a white man—that the animals’ pelts could bring horses and firearms through the trade route. The Lakota Sioux’s last hunt in 1883 was sadly symbolic, like the bison's image struck on the Indian Head nickel. Other chapters are antidotes to the seeming rapaciousness chronicled here. Merritt dedicates space to the fabled conservationist and naturalist John Muir; the father of modern archery Ishi; pioneer fish culturist Livingston Stone; Teddy Roosevelt, whose obsession with the hunt led to a love of preservation; and to taxidermist Carl Ackely, whose obsession with preservation has educated millions who seek adventure in the halls of New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. Perhaps the best “shots” in the book are those of photographer William Henry Jackson, who while accompanying the U.S. Geological surveys in the 1870s, captured the Wild West without a gun.



Merritt’s attempt to tell of America’s great adventurers sometimes reaches too far. Yet in many instances it’s not inclusive enough. The William Bartram chapter isn't satisfying due to its brevity. Readers will have to go to Andrea Wulf’s The Brother Gardeners to learn more about the Bartrams. Also, Merritt fails to include female adventurers, except for a passing reference to Mary Jobe, who makes an appearance as Carl Akeley’s second wife. Jobe was an explorer and naturalist in her own right before her marriage to Akeley and their subsequent safaris to Africa. While Akeley built dioramas for museum patrons, Jobe in 1916 had built Miss Jobe’s Camp for Girls, a saltwater camp in Mystic, Conn., where young women learned outdoor survival skills. And where is Dora Keen, the first person to climb Alaska’s Mount Blackburn? Ah, you have to read Dorcas Miller’s Adventurous Women, The Inspiring Lives of Nine Early Outdoorswomen to understand women adventurers’ perspectives. Despite some shortcomings, Merritt’s stories chronicle American experiences, capturing the outdoorsmen’s trek across the continent and the formation of our culture of adventure.



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Planning an event? Let us know! Email and we’ll spread the word.

Monday, sept. 24

Saturday, Sept. 22 Big Sky LPHS Football vs. Alberton Big Horn Field, 1-3 p.m. LPHS Volleyball vs, Ennis Bough Dolan Gym 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.


Rocking TJ Ranch Farmers Market Rocking TJ Ranch, 5 p.m.

Upper Gallatin River Clean Up Community Park, 8:30 a.m.

Cello Ensemble Concert MSU Reynolds Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Gypsy Writers Bozeman Public Library, 7 p.m.

Big Sky Skate Park Grand Opening Community Park Skate Park, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Uke Group Wild Joe’s Coffeehouse, 8 p.m.


Young Jay and the Filth & Foul Filling Station, 9 p.m.

Bogert Farmers Market Bogert Park, 5 p.m.

wednesday, sept. 26 Bozeman

International Children’s Fall Festival Bogert Park, 10 a.m.

Uke Group Wild Joe’s Coffeehouse, 8 p.m.

Bobcat Football vs. Northern Colorado Bobcat Stadium 2 p.m.

livingston & paradise valley

Testy Fest & Cord Lund Concert Gallatin County Fairgrounds Events Park, 7 p.m.

Livingston Farmers Market Sacajawea Park, 4:30 p.m.

thursday, sept. 27

Legends of Jazz Ellen Theater, 6:30 p.m.


Cure for the Common Filling Station, 9 p.m.

John Orlock- 35th Hausser Lecture Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, 5:30 p.m.

livingston & paradise valley

IndepenDANCE: Revolutions The Ellen Theatre, 7 p.m.

Gary Small Chico Hot Springs Saloon, 8 p.m.

Random Canyon Growlers Filling Station, 9 p.m.

Virginia City

livingston & Paradise Valley

Virginia City Opera Silent Films Virginia City Opera House, 2 p.m.

Blue Grass Jam Pine Creek Lodge & Café, 7 p.m.

Brewery Follies, closing night H.S Gilbert Brewery, 4 p.m., 8 p.m.

friday, Sept. 28 Big Sky

Sunday, sept. 23 Bozeman Doggie Dash East Gallatin Recreation Area, 10 a.m.

Bozeman Symphony- Matthew Savery Wilson Auditorium, 2:30 p.m. livingston & Paradise Valley Birdies 4 Bruins, Bruins Booster Club Golf Tournament Livingston Country Club, 9 a.m. Someday Miss Pray Chico Hot Springs Saloon, 6 p.m. Backburner Pine Creek Lodge & Café, 9 p.m. west yellowstone Summer Trail Work Day Rendezvous Ski Trials

Alpacas of Montana Alpacas of Montana, 11 a.m.

Archery for Women Big Sky Archery, 6 p.m.

Demolition Derby Gallatin County Fairgrounds Events Park, 11 a.m.


Belgrade Fall Festival Parade Main Street, Belgrade, 10 a.m. Beatles Tribute Weekend Filling Station, 6 p.m. Bozeman Alpaca Traders Open House Bozeman Alpaca Trades, 6 p.m. “8” by Dustin Lance Black Bozeman Public Library, 6:30 p.m. livingston & Paradise Valley 3 Fiddles Farm Produce Stand Livingston Depot Park, 9 a.m. Hazelwood Pine Creek Lodge & Café, 7 p.m. Little Jane and the Pistol Whips Chico Hot Springs Saloon, 9 p.m. Diamond Sacajawea Bar, 9 p.m. west yellowstone


Pine Needle Stampede- Foot Race Rendezvous Trails

Beatles Tribute Weekend Filling Station, 6 p.m. Ukulele Cabaret Wild Joe’s Coffeehouse, 7 p.m. Brahms’ Violin Concerto with MSU Symphony MSU Reynolds Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. livingston & Paradise Valley Harvest Celebration fundraiser Chico Hot Springs Resort, 6 p.m. Livingston Art Walk Downtown Livingston, 5:30 p.m. Someday Pine Creek Lodge & Café, 7 p.m. Blue Grass Night Wilsall Dance Hall, Livingston, 8 p.m. Little Jane and the Pistol Whips Chico Hot Springs Saloon, 9 p.m.

36 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

big sky

Free Entry to Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park

O’ktoberfest 8K Downtown Bozeman, 5:30 p.m.

thursday, oct. 4

Hawks vs. Butte - Football Bozeman High School, 11 a.m.

The Driftwood Grinners Choppers, 9 p.m.

American Indian Heritage Day MSU Centennial Mall, 11 a.m.-2p.m.

Parade of Sheds Downtown Bozeman, 10 a.m.

wednesday, oct. 3

big sky


Gallatin County Farmers Market Gallatin County Fairgrounds Events Park, 9 a.m.

saturday, sept. 29


tuesday, sept. 25


Big Sky Weekly

LPHS vs. West Yellowstone - Football 1-3 p.m.

Cobweb Concert MSU Reynolds Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

friday, oct. 5 bozeman Hawks vs. Skyview - football Bozeman High School, 7 p.m. Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake The Bowl, 4 p.m. Beer, Brats and Brewery Follies Rockin TJ Ranch, 6 p.m.-midnight Bridger Raptor Festival, Keynote address by Jack Horner Museum of the Rockies, 7 p.m. Panther Car, Electric Medicine Cloud Wild Joe’s Coffeehouse, 7 p.m. Brantley Gilbert Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 7:30 p.m. Bozeman Symphony Piano Series Reynolds Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. Casey Donahew Band Filling Station, 9 p.m. livingston & paradise valley 10 Foot Fall & 80 Proof Chico Hot Springs Saloon, 9 p.m.

saturday, oct. 6 Bozeman

sunday, sept. 30 Bozeman

Go Pink! Fundraiser for Cancer Support Gallatin Valley Mall, 1 p.m.

National Alpaca Day Alpacas of Montana, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Muzik Lives Here DJ Dance Party Filling Station, 9 p.m.

Bozeman Alpaca Traders Open House Bozeman Alpaca Trades, 6 p.m.

livingston & Paradise Valley

west yellowstone FallGall EP Member Trail Ride Bighorn Trail Pass, 10:30 a.m.

tuesday, oct. 2 Bozeman Hawks vs. Helena Capital - football Bozeman High School, 4 p.m. Unveiling of the Banned Book Sculpture Bozeman Public Library, 5:30 p.m.

Boozehounds Sacajawea Bar, 9 p.m. Oktoberfest “Cross Country format” Livingston Golf Course 10 Foot Tall and 80 Proof Chico Hot Springs Saloon, 9 p.m.


Big Sky Weekly

Cory Birkenbuel at Big Sky Resort on New Year's Day. Day 1 of Montana's Sweet 16.

Montana’s Sweet 16 film to premier at Maverick Mountain POLARIS – The world premiere of Cory Birkenbuel and Kevin Hilton’s film, Montana’s Sweet 16, is slated to premier at Maverick Mountain, Sept. 29.

ing will be outside, on the side of the mountain, on a large blow-up screen. Afterward, Birkenbuel and Hilton will conduct a question and answer session with the audience.

As part of his internship through the University of Montana Western business program in Dillon, Birkenbuel skied all of Montana’s 16 ski areas in 16 days last winter, documenting the adventure on film. He began on Jan. 1 at Big Sky Resort and ended the trip on Jan. 16 at Maverick Mountain, in the Grasshopper Valley outside of Polaris.

All proceeds will go to the Cory Birkenbuel Scholarship at UMW. Since the trip was a not-for-profit, Birkenbuel decided to give all money raised back to the community.

Hilton, a film major at Montana State University, helped Birkenbuel edit the footage into a feature length film. “Kevin and I are really excited about the film,” Birkenbuel said. “This film is about Montana skiing, showcasing the people we connected with, and proving that anybody can ski Montana.” Both Birkenbuel and Hilton learned to ski on the slopes of Maverick Mountain, and Birkenbuel decided to host the film’s premier there because “it’s our home,” he said. “It’s where our passion for skiing started.” The doors will open at 4 p.m., with a barbeque dinner starting at 5 p.m. and the film set to start at dark. The show-

“It’s so cool to help the Dillon community,” Birkenbuel said about the scholarship fund. “I’ll be able to help two Dillon kids with their dreams. My goal is to give back to the community that’s supported me.” Birkenbuel also expressed his gratitude to the entire state of Montana, Randy Schilling, owner of Maverick Mountain for allowing him to host the film premier, and all 16 ski resorts that supported him. “Montana has the best skiing in America,” Birkenbuel said. There will be another showing of Montana’s Sweet 16 at the Beier Auditorium at UMW in Dillon on Oct. 5, as well as at the Cold Smoke Awards in Bozeman in February.

Pitch in at Regional Park on National Public Lands Day 2012 BOZEMAN – National Public Lands Day, Sept. 29, is the largest hands-on volunteer effort in America to improve and enhance public lands. Looking to help out? Join the Montana Conservation Corps, REI, Gallatin County, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, and Friends of Regional Parks (FORParks) for a day of community service at the Gallatin Regional Park at Oak and Davis. The park is home to two climbing boulders, trails, a pond, the Dinosaur Playground and a new bicycle pump track.

MCC staff will lead crews of all ages and abilities in projects including landscaping around the pump track and climbing boulders, construction and installation of picnic tables, installation of signs and kiosks, and planting trees. Work will start at 9 a.m. at the Oak Street entrance. Bring work gloves, a refillable water bottle, sunscreen and clothing appropriate for variable weather. Complimentary lunch at 1 p.m. For more information or to register, call the Montana Conservation Corps at (406) 586-0151 or visit

Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 37


Big Sky Weekly

Buscrat's Fables Thank Heaven, I’ve got troubles There, the woman's husband was sitting in an overstuffed chair, talking with others who were also seeking help. Old photo albums were piled up on the end tables and coffee table. The visitors each discussed their troubles, and then the old couple would open a different photo album as they responded.

A middle-aged feller lost his job when the company where he worked for many years had to make cuts. Down on his luck, he figured he’d talk to a wealthy couple he knew of who helped people in despair. He traveled three days to get to their beautiful house on 1,000 acres of land. Anxiously, the man knocked on the door. An elderly woman greeted him with a cheerful smile, and he told her of his troubles. She took him by the arm, gently ushering him to the living room.

The middle-aged man listened as a man in his late 20s explained his situation. He was in a wheelchair and told how he had been hit by a drunk driver and was now paraplegic. He was bitter that his good health was taken by a negligent driver and pitied himself. Then the old man reached down and took off his prosthetic leg. "Used to be I worked in the mine and made a good living,” he said. “Then there was an explosion, and my leg got blowed off." He laughed and showed a picture of himself in his 20s, waterskiing behind a boat. His wife turned the page to a picture of

him in the intensive care unit just after the explosion. The middle-aged man noticed how the group didn't pay much attention to the photo of the old man having fun in his younger years waterskiing, but they stared in awe at the gruesome scene of him in the hospital. The visitor leaned against the doorframe of the living room and continued watching. "I read the fable Buscrat’s Magic Treasure and learned something that eventually changed my entire situation, physically and financially,” the old man said. His wife chimed in. "If he hadn't had his leg blown off, he'd probably still be working in that mine, wouldn’t have read the fable, and wouldn’t have ever gone into business for himself. Our life is better now." Another woman spoke next, talking about her wayward child who was getting caught up with drugs. She pitied herself for the grief she had to endure. The old woman sat next to her and patted her hand while the old man reached for another photo album. They showed photos of their children when they were young, then pointed out one in particular, noting how she had gotten in trouble as a teenager with boys and the law. They showed their house at the time and then told how they sold it and moved far away so they could get their daughter away from the wrong influence of friends. “I had a good business going at the time but decided the sacrifice to start over would be worth saving our daughter,” the old man said. “We also learned the promise from Buscrat’s Magic Treasure, and our daughter began to understand what the acronym SILT meant in that fable.” “He had to start all over with a new business”, the old woman said. She turned the pages to current photos of their daughter, who was living a happy life with her husband and family. “It was well worth the sacrifice.” A middle-aged woman spoke up. "My husband and I fight, and we're going to get divorced,” she said. “You seem happy together. I wish I had a marriage like yours. What kept your marriage strong and happy?" “You can either blame each other, or support each other during your troubles,” the old woman said. “The outcome will be very different,

38 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

depending on which you choose.” She opened up other photo albums, showing pictures of the troubles they had been through together. The more disastrous the photo, the more the group seemed to marvel, and the more the old couple laughed. Then they showed photos of the special things they had done that brought magic to their lives, from the promise written on the outside of the coin of Buscrat’s Magic Treasure. Their marriage has had rocky moments, but they never blamed one another, because everyone's got shortcomings. It was important, they said, to complement each other when things are good, support each other when things are bad, and to follow the promise written on the coin. They talked about how challenging life was while they were raising their family and struggling with finances. They could’ve made seemingly easier decisions by abandoning their commitments to each other, to their family and to their God. “Now that the dust has settled, our finances are taken care of, and our children are all raising their own children, life is good,” the old man said. "Looking back on life, there’s not much of anything that makes you more content than having the person at your side who shared all those troubles and experiences with you," the old woman added. Then the old couple gave a coin from Buscrat’s Magic Treasure to each person in the room and encouraged them to read the fable and follow the promise. The middle-aged man left with a smile. Although he was still temporarily out of a job, he compared his life to the troubles the other people were having. Anxious for the coin to bring magic to his life, he thought along his way, “Thank Heaven, I’ve got troubles!” A few years later, that middle-aged man had become a supervisor at his new job and one of the most respected people in his neighborhood. People often came to him for advice. They could be seen entering his house with a glum look on their faces, and then later coming out refreshed, curiously examining a special coin in their hands. Buscrat's fables are simple stories that teach a moral. Buscrat welcomes you to visit and post your comments regarding the fable.

wanderer at rest

Big Sky Weekly

Keeper of the bison By Jamie balke

to another visitor, she had gotten a few feet closer to the animal and I had to ask her to step back.

My brother and I recently took a quick overnight trip to Yellowstone to visit some old friends. It was wonderful to spend time together in a place that holds a very special spot in my heart.

Another woman asked me if the bison was a statue or mechanical. She and her husband had been having a debate, and she wanted me to settle the matter. Imagine her surprise when I advised her that it was neither.

big sky weekly columnist

We stayed at Old Faithful with the ranger who supervised me when I was an intern with the Student Conservation Association, during college. This internship was the most fun that I’ve ever had working, and my visit brought up all sorts of old memories. was the keeper of the bison. At first I thought they were kidding, but they persisted, inquiring how I had arranged to have the bison close to the hotel for public viewing. I honestly believe they thought I had walked him over on a leash.

In particular, it made me think of the entertaining day that a more senior ranger asked me to "babysit" a bison. Said bison was an older bull that opted to stay near the Old Faithful Inn rather than head over to the Hayden Valley for the rut. A stately gentleman, he had decided to spend some time grazing next to an entrance of the historic hotel.

The morning passed without further incident, and after a while, it started raining. At the urging of another ranger, I went to get my jacket, believing the bison to be in a safe location. By the time I made it back with my rain gear, he had hightailed it over to a busy intersection. The babysitting had become a two-person job. My backup and I worked hard, intercepting, wildly gesturing and pleading to keep people at a safe distance.

I, in all of my intern-in-a-volunteer-shirt-witha-radio-glory, was asked to go keep an eye on the situation and make sure park visitors maintained a safe distance from the powerful animal. I walked over, not entirely sure what to do. After ensuring the employees of the hotel knew there was a bison right outside the building, I posted myself in a good position to make sure both the public and the bison could steer clear of each other.

As the bison mostly stood in place, occasionally munching on grass, I was approached by a young woman who desperately wanted to pet the animal. Again, I thought she was joking. However, it seemed every time I turned my back on her to talk

This was when the fun began. The first group of people to approach me asked in all earnestness if I

Another visitor asked what my plan was if the bison charged. Joking, I responded that my plan was to run. Not finding me funny, she asked me what she should do. In another futile attempt at humor, I said she should probably keep up. The questions continued in this manner until the bison eventually moved on. Although some of the situations surprised me, I was happy people felt comfortable trusting me with their questions. Exploring Yellowstone and talking about the park are two of my favorite pastimes, and I felt lucky that observing a bison and having the opportunity to share that experience with equally excited visitors was how I spent the day. Passing a lone bison in a field on the drive back to Bozeman this fall, I felt a little sad that now it’s unlikely someone will ask me if I am the keeper of the bison. Jamie Balke moved to Bozeman in the fall of 2009. She can generally be found behind the cover of a book, meandering down a trail or desperately trying not to kill houseplants.

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Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012 39

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.

All too soon, it was time to leave. This time we drove Gallatin Canyon in daylight, and I watched fly fishermen cast between walls of mountain rock that doled sunshine in moving mazes on the river. There is something silent about stone that moves from mountains into the passing heart. It pushes past the soft surfaces of skin and thought, furrowing into the places where noise tangles us up inside. The stars and trees carry it too. I thought of a line from Rainer Maria Rilke: “One moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.” In the mountains of Big Sky, both happen at once. And I knew it would not stay. This kind of silence needs repeating. It’s a silence that bears conversation and activity, and it’s enough to make people pick up and move somewhere nobody understands until they see it themselves. At the thought of leaving it behind, tears are not childish, sentimental or even remarkable.

Leaving Big Sky Morning coffee nook on a Big Sky porch

story and photos By kaitlin murphy

the big dramatic way of a high school break-up, it will send fissures across it in little cracks, spreading like the sudden work of spring on river ice.

big sky weekly contributor

My friend warned me. We were driving through Gallatin Canyon in the middle of the night, on the way from the airport to her family’s new home in Big Sky. Recently when they’d hosted friends here, it wasn’t just the kids who cried at the airport the day they left. “I know it’s too dark to see anything right now, but just wait ‘til daylight,” she said. You’ll see why.” Ok, I thought, that’s a little dramatic. I’m an adult. I get that vacations end. I’d been fortunate to travel to many places with natural beauty so sudden it could bring even the most cynical souls to their grateful knees. I had hiked the red-orange clay of Utah’s Bryce Canyon, driven along the cliffs of Route 1 to Carmel, Calif., and eaten breakfast on a ranch with the snow-peaked Grand Tetons as a backdrop. I had stopped on the cool dirt trails of New Hampshire’s White Mountains in fall, astonished at the capabilities of mere puddles to capture whole forests of red and yellow in their surfaces. In fact, I had just moved to a vacation destination in Tampa, Fla. So, while I was looking forward to spending time with my friend and her family in a beautiful place, I was confident I could handle it. You can see where I’m going with this. You don’t “handle” Big Sky. As a writer I should be able to describe what would disrupt the calm in my chest on the day I left a week later—a calm that had eased its way in on the crisp morning I awoke in my friend’s guest room at 7,000 feet, “Bear Poop” chocolates from the Hungry Moose on my bedside welcome tray, an elk eating grass outside my window, and far from the Florida heat. If I fail at description, at least I know I am not alone— because if leaving Big Sky doesn’t break your heart in

40 Sept. 21-Oct. 4, 2012

It didn’t take a week of meditating on nature for this to happen to me. My friends are the most adventurous people I know—whether chasing them on a hike, running hills, or wakesurfing across Hebgen Lake, this was not the calm of a leisurely beach vacation or an easy mountain retreat.

If my words are inadequate, pass through the canyon in daylight. Eat potato skin pizza while happy children run around you, then go home and follow the stars on a cool summer night. The next morning, drink your coffee before trees that stand still in the mountain air. Then, try to write it. Maybe it can keep our silence going. Kaitlin Murphy is a writer, editorial consultant and writing coach. She teaches college writing in Tampa, Florida. She can be reached at

They also introduced me to many of the warm people they’d met since moving there—at a wedding reception and concert to which the entire town was invited, and over dinner at the Blue Moon Bakery, where I had my first potato skin pizza while our small picnic table dinner grew into a cloud of children covering the lawn, and the owner, then neighbor after neighbor, stopped by for a beer and a chat. “This happens every time,” my friend said. “It turns into a party.” One night we pulled into the driveway, looked up at the town’s namesake, and couldn’t stop looking. We grabbed our jackets and moved to the back porch, straining to remember what we’d learned in school about the constellations that now sent clear stories across the sky. I remembered the dippers, which are visible in the ambient light of home, but here the stories were novels, bookshelves full of them in a sky moving with falling stars and awash in Milky Way dust.

The author's friend wakesurfing at Hebgen Lake.


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