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Big Sky

Exploring life and land from the heart of the Yellowstone Region

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 Volume 4 // Issue #2

Photo by Emily Stifler

Big Sky Weekly

Town hall meeting wrap up Next meeting is Feb. 11

Lone Mountain Ranch trail system Search and Rescue recovers body from Beehive Basin

Skijoring at 320 Ranch 7th annual Big Sky Big Grass Fest Feb. 8-10 big sky resort's middleton featured in the wall street journal

Photos: Volcom's Peanut Butter and Rail Jam at Moonlight Basin

Big Sky's Locally owned and published newspaper

Publisher of the big sky weekly



On the cover: Big Sky Weekly editorial assistant Maria Wyllie (L) takes a lesson with Lone Mountain Ranch instructor Martha Crocker (R). See story and trail map on p. 33 Photo by Emily Stifler

2011 big sky chamber of commerce

Business of the Year Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 Volume 4, Issue no. 2 PUBLISHER Eric Ladd

editorial MANAGING EDITOR Emily Stifler EDITOR Joseph T. O'Connor staff writer/distribution director Tyler Allen Editorial assistant Maria Wyllie

creative CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mike Martins VIDEO director Brian Niles GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kelsey Dzintars videographer/photographer Chris Davis WEB Developer/Designer Sean Weas Design Intern Taylor-Ann Smith

SALES and operations COO & SENIOR EDITOR Megan Paulson

Show support for small town companies One of the many rewards of owning a creative media agency is the opportunity to meet business owners. The story behind every business is always worth listening to and sharing. In this publication we work hard to feature businesses big and small, and help share their stories with readers. It’s always exciting to see business ideas get born and in turn, succeed. In our region the stories about Café Madriz in West Yellowstone, the Lone Peak Cinema in Big Sky and Mystery Ranch in Bozeman all make amazing businesses and stories. Get to know them. We have the opportunity to test gear on a regular basis and it’s nice to see such quality product being born in small towns. Companies like Wagner Skis in Telluride, Colo., Flylow clothing in Jackson, Wyo., Wizbang hats in Bozeman – quality products hatched in small town USA. As consumers, our actions matter. Take time to think about your purchases and when possible, support those companies that are born, operate and live in the communities we call home and vacation in. From one small business owner to the others – Thank you for all you do in making our communities great. Let’s make 2013 the best one yet! - Eric Ladd Big Sky local Corbett Baker sends it at Baldface Lodge in Nelson, B.C., during a Flylow gear test Photo by Chris Davis

Operations director Katie Morrison


Jamie Balke, Jacob Baynham, Mike Coil, Deborah Courson Smith, Audrae Coury, Bob Foster, John Haas, Jerry House, Niles Jeran, Darius Larsen, Brandon Niles, Kristen Pope, Barbara Rowley, Amy R. Sisk, Bryan Warga, George Wuerthner

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.

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ADVERTISING DEADLINE For next issue, Feb. 8 Feb. 1, 2013 CORRECTIONS


• 35,000 readers/edition across the Yellowstone region • Online at • 3,000 + rental properties • 2,500 + Big Sky taxi rides • Hotels and resorts throughout Southwest Montana • Subscriptions distributed to 39 states




Three Forks Wisdom

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:


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The Big Sky Weekly runs corrections to errors we’ve printed. Please report them to © 2013 The Big Sky Weekly Unauthorized reproduction prohibited

Table of Contents Community...4 Local News...6 Regional..10 Montana...11 Sports...17 Health...22 Arts...23 Business...25 Classifieds...29

Environment...31 Outdoors...33 Word from the Resorts...39 Events...40 Entertainment...42 Fun...45 Column...46 Back 40...48


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Big Sky Weekly

Letter: Trophy hunting for predators is not the solution

Big Sky’s got talent

By george wuerthner

by barbara rowley

In a recent editoral (Big Sky Weekly, Dec. 28 – Jan. 10), Scott Talbott of the Wyoming Game and Fish and Harv Forsgren of the U.S. Forest Service wrote that trophy hunting of grizzly bears was another step toward the animal’s recovery. The rationales used by Talbott and Forsgren to justify trophy bear hunting are based on out of date and unscientific management paradigms, not to mention ethically bankrupt ideas about how we should treat wildlife. Talbott and Forsgren assert state agencies use "best available science” in managing grizzlies and other predators. Yet the best available science suggests many predators including bears, wolves, mountain lions and coyotes, have intricate social interactions that are disrupted or damaged by indiscriminate killing by hunters and trappers.

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It’s well documented that dominant bears (i.e. “trophy bears”) occupy the best habitat and prevent other bears from inhabiting that territory. If a bear has lived long enough to become a dominant animal, it’s not one that causes trouble for humans. Occupation of habitat by dominant bears precludes its use by younger, often less experienced bears that are more prone to attack livestock or otherwise cause issues for humans.

Indeed, one study of black bears in the eastern U.S. found as states increased the killing of bears to "reduce conflicts,” the number of bear-human conflicts increased. Similar studies of mountain lions and coyotes have reached the same conclusions – indiscriminate killing exacerbates rather than reduces humanwildlife conflicts. A major flaw in their assertion is that hunting and most trapping doesn’t specifically target any particular animals causing conflicts – such as a bear that might be killing livestock. Rather, the majority of bears (or wolves, mountain lions or coyotes) killed by hunters and trappers are innocent bystanders who happen to be caught in the crosshairs of predator persecution.

Second annual fundraiser presented on new Warren Miller stage big sky broadway

BIG SKY – Big Sky Broadway, Big Sky’s first and only musical theater company, invites local talent to once again showcase their skills in a community-wide talent show, Big Sky’s Got Talent, on Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m. in the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center. Last year’s talent show featured local adults and children in dance acts, groups and solos, all with material drawn from Broadway shows. This year’s event will likewise star local talents, and the search is on now. “We can only have so many acts in an evening” says BSB Director John Zirkle. “We will be booking entries on a first-come, first-in basis.” He encourages people of all ages to enter. “I don’t think many people will soon forget John Dobson singing Old Man River [last year] or Sarah Phelps’ fantastic song and dance from Chicago.”

State agencies therefore practice a self-reinforcing cycle of needless killing, whereby predators are indiscriminately killed, disrupting their social organization. This leads to greater human conflict, and thus more demands for predator control.

Last year’s event, held at Lone Peak Cinema, was a critical and financial success. With twice as many seats, the event is sure to grow this year.

George Wuerthner is an ecologist living in Helena, and is a former Montana hunting guide who studied wildlife biology at the University of Montana.

Performers need to provide their own accompanist or music. To reserve your spot, contact Barbara Rowley at or call her at (406) 539-4749.

The title of this year’s Big Sky Broadway musical will be announced at the show.

Martin Luther King Volunteer Fair Seven Big Sky nonprofits introduced ways for students to volunteer at Ophir's school first annual Martin Luther King Volunteer Fair. Here, seventh grader Anna Alvin signs up for her second summer volunteering at the Big Sky Community Corporation’s Junior Leadership Program. Photo by Maria Wyllie

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County Gala is Feb. 23 BOZEMAN – The public is invited to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County annual Gala fundraiser, Feb. 23 at the MSU SUB Ballroom. This year’s “Big Mardi Gras” Gala will feature live and silent auctions, Cajun cooking and entertainment by local zydeco and swing band, Bebe LeBoeuf. Morningstar Learning Center has already raised more than $16,000 since Dec. 1, in a yearlong capital campaign that aims to match $100,000 in donated funds contingent on it reaching that goal.

4 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

All proceeds stay in Gallatin County and go toward helping match children facing adversity with positive adult role models and mentors. There are about 140 matches in Gallatin County, several of which are in the Big Sky program, according to BBBS Marketing and Outreach Coordinator Angela Van Slyke. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call Big Brothers Big Sisters at (406) 587-1216.


School House News January 2013

Big Sky Weekly

pick your pearls.

In School House News, Superintendent Jerry House shares his view on education and on the Big Sky School District, which is his favorite place for teaching and learning. News is selected from all three schools – Ophir Elementary, Ophir Middle School and Lone Peak High School.

A look at BSSD’s technology The Big Sky School District is going wireless. And thanks to a committee of K-12 staff members, the district has approved its new Technology Plan for 2013-2016. Our first goal is to have students and staff trained in tablets like iPads or Chromebooks, and for each student to have access to one. This means training in a variety of apps is a must for all staff, as well as students. We plan to have students and staff develop a policy and procedures to set the standard for accountability and security for wireless use. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) will be allowed if that device fits into the new policy and procedures. Another objective of our Technology Plan is to have students knowledgeable in the use of platforms, preparing them for college and the global workforce. Fantastic! That is the first word that comes to my mind about the new classroom and class offerings allowed by the Technology Plan. Students now have choices never before offered. Offerings include Alternative Energy, Robotics, 3-D Modeling and Animation, Web Casting, Technical Drawing, and Introduction to Engineering and Electronics. With the

expertise of our technology teacher, Mr. Matt Bakken, current and future students will have choices that affect their lives after high school. The rigorous curriculum will not be a standalone class, as the skills will be integrated into all areas of learning regardless of the subject. For me, this is a prime example of a district program that raises the bar and produces students with great technical skills. Technology programs are constantly a work in progress. I’m pleased to report that the district is now setting standards that will serve as a platform allowing for continued change and will truly meet the needs of our community’s children, for now and into the future.

The Big Sky School District, in accordance with district policy, supports the use of the Internet and other technologies in the district’s instructional program as a way to facilitate learning and teaching through interpersonal communications, access to information, research and collaboration. This use of technology must be consistent with and enhance the district’s curriculum and consider the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities and developmental levels of students.


Skyline survey released big sky weekly editors

BIG SKY – The Big Sky Transportation District is offering a community survey to gather input and information about services and funding for Skyline, the bus that travels around Big Sky, to Bozeman and also to West Yellowstone. BSTD hopes this survey will quell disagreements about whether Skyline funding should come from resort tax or from property taxes.

Unique, handmade jewelry Extensive selection of South Sea & Tahitian pearls Exotic stones, raw diamonds, fine silver and 18-22 karat gold

For questions, please call (406) 995-6287. To fill out the survey, visit B I G S K Y, M T | P A C I F I C P A L I S A D E S , C A

Correction In a story on the Muir String Quartet featured in the Jan. 11 – 24 issue of the Weekly, Lura Turner was incorrectly referred to as Laura Turner. In her show, at Buck’s T-4 Lodge on Friday Feb. 15, Chris Nemec on piano will accompany soprano vocalist Lura Turner, who is headlining the show.

Private appointments and trunk shows available.

local news

Big Sky Weekly

Snowshoer's body found at Beehive Basin, identified By JOSEPH T. O'CONNOR

about five hours to complete, according to SAR member Ryan Kulesza.

big sky weekly editor

BIG SKY - A man's body recovered in Beehive Basin Sunday morning, Jan. 20 has been identified. Madison County Sheriff David Schenk identified the victim as 47-year-old Chris Andrew Karantinos of Jefferson, S.D. An autopsy revealed Karantinos' death was a suicide. "There are unanswered questions we have [about the case]," Schenk said. "We determined there was no foul play as we see it, but Gallatin County Big Sky Deputy Ted Quillen is investigating further into the details of the incident.” Madison and Gallatin County sheriffs' offices identified the victim after determining a pickup truck at the Beehive Basin trailhead was registered in Karantinos' name, according to Schenk. A group of skiers discovered the body around 9 a.m. Sunday and reported it to the Madison County Sheriff's Office, which called Big Sky Search and Rescue to extricate the body. SAR members recovered the victim and skied him out to a helicopter, which transported the body to the state crime lab in Missoula for autopsy. The extrication took the rescue team

Shenk found no identification on the victim and thought initially the body might be another person of the same age reported missing last Thursday. Karantinos’ body was turned over to Dokken Nelson Funeral Home in Bozeman and arrangements are being made to return his remains to South Dakota, according to a Madison County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office press release received by the Weekly on Jan. 22. Big Sky SAR is made up of 24 medically trained volunteers available to help with emergency situations, such as the scenario in Beehive Basin. “Having to deal with an incident like this is tough,” Kulesza said. But SAR work can be demanding and require long hours, and that’s what they sign up for. “Our goal is to help community members and visitors with backcountry safety.” Big Sky Search and Rescue is funded by Gallatin County, Big Sky resort tax and private donations. For more information on SAR, visit A helicopter long lines into Beehive Basin for recovery.

Big Sky XC becomes Amateur National Off-Road Championship big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY – The American Motorcyclist Association is elevating the annual Big Sky Cross Country offroad amateur dirt bike race to national championship status. Held Aug. 24-25, 2013 at Big Sky Resort and now called the AMA Kenda Big Sky Amateur National Off-Road Championship, presented by KLIM, the event will crown amateur national off-road racing champions. Classes will be run across a range of skill-, age- and motorcycle-based categories, and “riders will come from a range of backgrounds – enduro, hare scrambles, EnduroCross, cross country and desert racing – to battle for bragging rights on the national stage," said AMA Off-Road Racing Manager Chuck Weir. 

 Since its inception in 2009, the Big Sky race has become one of the most popular on the amateur circuit, according to event promoter Joe Miller. The 2012 event had the largest pro turnout of any off-road dirt bike event that year, outside of the X Games. Combined, more than 350 racers competed.

6 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

The professional race, which is part of the AMA Hare Scrambles Series and has a $10,000 purse, has become an unofficial east-meets-west shootout for top national and international pros, Miller said. The top five racers from both the East and the West competed in 2012, something that hasn’t happened since the AMA eliminated its national championship in 2008. And Big Sky’s course has a reputation: Two Red Bull-sponsored pros that ride the notorious Erzberg race in Austria, known to be the world’s hardest, said last year Big Sky was even tougher, Miller said. For the 2013 race, the first-place finishers in every class will receive an AMA national No. 1 plate, and the top three will be invited to the annual AMA Championship Banquet. To qualify for the Amateur National Off-Road Championship, riders must finish in the top 10 at one of 12 regional Climb to Big Sky qualifiers this season, or be a top overall racer in 2012 or 2013. There will be a limited number of open positions, available starting on July 15. Details are available at 

local news

Big Sky GM featured in Wall Street Journal By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – When Big Sky Resort General Manager Taylor Middleton was featured in the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 15, his email and phone were blowing up all day, with friends from around the country calling to give him a hard time. The Jan. 15 article titled “The Push for Weekend ‘Epics’ on the mountain” detailed the 55-yearold Middleton’s athletic pursuits, which include kite skiing, unicycling and massive mountain bike rides accomplished with a group of “adventure buddies,” as well as his mostly vegetarian diet and his penchant for espresso. In 2010, Middleton skied every day – alpine or nordic – for the months of January through March. Sometimes that meant putting on a headlamp and going out skate skiing at night. How does one manage a ski resort, a family and still make time to go skiing? “Easily,” Middleton says. "I get paid to ski, which I love.” His wife, Barbara Rowley, says that while they don’t always have a family dinner, a day rarely goes by when they don't have a family walk – these may be photo expeditions or monitoring bluebird boxes, fossil hunting or berry picking. Unicycling was something they all learned together, and kite surfing, Rowley says, is the next family sport. “Taylor looks for ways to be outdoors and moving with us all year, really.” The couple’s weekly ski dates have morphed into family ski days, Rowley says, “So that's been a way he can work/play and be with family all at the same time.”

The plant-based diet Middleton credits to his wife and two daughters, strict vegetarians. For the weekend ‘epics’, Middleton thanks his friends. “When I’m skiing or biking with my group of buddies, male and female, they’re gracious enough to allow me to bring up the end of their pack. There are so many strong people that do this stuff every day.” And Middleton’s adventure buddies say the article’s author, Jen Murphy, nailed it. “He’s always the motivator,” says 37-year-old Victor DeLeo, a senior sales manager who has worked at Big Sky Resort for 13 years and describes Middleton as a personal and professional mentor. DeLeo says there’s a running joke among the adventure group: “If Taylor Middleton asks you to go on a bike ride, be sure to take a headlamp. On so many of his bike rides he pushes the limit.”

Middleton keeps busy on-slope and off. Photo by Ryan Turner

Middleton, who describes himself as publicity-shy, says the lifestyle described in the piece might be exceptional to someone living in “most of America, but here in Big Sky and in many Rocky Mountain towns there are hundreds of people that live the same kind of lifestyle.” Either way, it speaks volumes when employees can’t wait to spend the weekend bludgeoning themselves with their boss on a 50-mile mountain bike ride. For Big Sky Marketing Director Lindsey Owens, “going on an ‘epic’ with Taylor is the highlight to my summer.” Rowley says Middleton makes it work, because “he truly loves every part of his life. He loves his job, he loves being outdoors and exercising, he loves hanging with [family].”

“He truly loves every part of his life. He loves his job, he loves being outdoors and exercising, he loves hanging with [family].”

Town Hall MEETings Talking about Big Sky’s Future The Resort Tax Board would like to engage the community in a second town hall meeting to have some two way conversations about achieving the best results for our community. Big Sky is blessed with exceptional volunteerism and dedication. With the Resort Tax to help fund programs and services, together we can continue to build a world class community if we continue to manage the funds thoughtfully as Big Sky grows. Your help and ideas are needed.

Join us February 11th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Montana Room at Buck’s T-4 For more detailed information go to

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 7

local news

Big Sky Weekly

Resort Tax Board to community: ‘Think of us as partners’ Second town hall meeting is Feb. 11 By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – A critical care hospital, a new fire truck, a swimming pool, an entryway monument and incorporation. These potential projects came up at the Jan. 14 Big Sky Resort Tax Board town hall meeting as proposals the tax board may see funding requests for on the horizon. The first of two such meetings, the RTB used it to present its recent strategic planning and encouraged the community to get involved. “This evening is us talking to you and giving you information, which we hope you will then digest and come back to us at our next meeting,” RTB chairman Les Loble said to open the meeting. He and the other four board members – Ginna Hermann, Jamey Kabisch, Jeff Strickler and Mike Scholz – told the 55 attendees the board is working to be more proactive, communicate with the Big Sky community, and plan for the future. They asked the audience to look forward and think big.

Operational guidelines Part of the board’s strategic planning included developing operational ‘musts’ and ‘wants’, which should help this and future boards when considering applicants for resort tax dollars. According to this list, an eligible project will be within the BSRAD and should benefit the community at large. Public services and tourism development are highest on the list. Among other things, being a “game changer in the community” was on the list of ‘wants’ or guidelines. Feb. 11 Town Hall Meeting The next town hall meeting will be held on Feb. 11, at Buck’s T-4 in the Montana Room from 6 – 9 p.m. There, the board will present a compilation of the organizational survey, and also hear brief presentations from each applicant. This, Brunner said, should give a clear financial picture of applicants’ needs over the next three years. The audience will have a chance to vote anonymously on each, using clickers; to get up and speak; and to ask questions of the board members. “We want to hear from everyone who has an agenda,” Brunner said. “It’s essentially an open forum.”

8 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

Les Loble addresses the gathering. Photo by Emily Stifler

“We want to envision what’s going to happen in the community down the road,” said RTB member Mike Scholz. “We don't want to look back and say, ‘We could have done something different with the money that would have made a substantial difference.’” Board member Ginna Hermann spoke specifically about the 30 or 40 applications the board receives annually, many of which fund key services for the unincorporated community. “Ask for what you really need and prove how you’re going to make it work,” Hermann said. “How can we do more with less? That’s our objective.” The pool of resort tax money will grow for 2013, Scholz said. With the water and sewer bonds fully paid and funding for the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center complete, “there might be another $1 million this year.” “The board wants to be looking for what will take us to the next level as world class resort community,” board member Jamey Kabisch said. “We’re not just a ski community, not just a fly fishing community.” He pointed out snowmobile grooming on Buck Ridge, which receives resort tax funding, as an example of a service that makes Big Sky a “world class resort community.” Scholz piggybacked on that sentiment. “It’s not about just being a world class resort, it’s about being a world class community. We want to be proud we give services to our residents that are as good if not better than any city of any size in Montana and even beyond the borders of Montana.” He pointed to the nonprofit mental health organization, Women in Action, which does not

serve the entire community, but the board has chosen to support as a valuable community resource. “We have resort tax, but more than that, we have all of you – all the experience and skills you bring to the table,” Scholz said. “This community is exceptional. We want to make sure this is a great place to live and a place people can afford to live.”

Strategic issues Resort tax cash flow, applicant planning, and the RTB’s own need to plan for the future, were high on the list of strategic issues presented at the meeting. The board presented two ways to fund a large project with a single year's appropriation: •

Setting money aside each year in a sinking fund to accumulate cash for anticipated capital expenditures Asking the state legislature to grant similar bonding authority to Resort Tax Districts (such as Big Sky) that Resort Tax Communities (such as West Yellowstone) have.

A sinking fund, which wouldn’t require any legislation, would be a solution for funding projects like a gateway monument or buying a new fire truck. With this type of fund, the RTB would periodically set aside money off the top of its allocations fund, like a savings account, to pay for big projects. The sinking fund would be different than the $100,000 RTB Emergency Fund, which requires a unanimous vote of the board and could be tapped during a true emergency.

Bonding would make even larger projects available – think millions of dollars versus thousands – but because it would essentially mean the community taking out a loan, “It would put the community in a riskier position than it has been before,” said Resort Tax Administrator Whitney Brunner after the meeting. Issuing bonds would mean the Big Sky Resort Tax District would be pledged to pay them off in the future before looking at allocation requests on a year by year basis. The board has differing opinions as to whether it should have bonding authority: one side believes a 4-1 majority vote should allow the board that authority, while others think the RTB should be required to float a bond issue before the voters, as do the Big Sky school and fire districts. A bill before the 2013 state legislature will decide the outcome. The major result from this year’s strategic planning sessions was the idea that the RTB would become more active in decision-making, Hermann said. “We want to be more active in the process. Town hall tonight was the first step. Hopefully by the next session in February, we’ll start to have big ideas surface. I think resort tax dollars need to be thought of as partners with everything that's going on in the community.” “The goal of the resort tax board is to help everyone be the most effective organization possible,” Hermann said. “To that end, we want you to come to us, we want to educate you. We’ve revised the process, and we want you to understand it… We want you to keep us informed.”

local news Organizational survey A survey that asks applicants to lay out their financial needs over the next three years is also part of the board’s long-term strategic planning. “It’s about trying to see what’s coming down the road,” said Scholz, who came up with the idea for the survey. The process also forces applicants to look at their organizations carefully, Hermann added. The idea, Brunner explained later, is to get a snapshot of the community’s financial needs. “All these quasi-governmental [groups] that provide services – we want to essentially be the middle point.”

Big projects Near the meeting’s end, former hospital administrator and Big Sky resident Jack Eakman spoke about the possibility of building a critical access hospital in Big Sky.

with them and other interested parties on a solution to the problems BSFD has with a lack of resources and time-consuming and often unnecessary ambulance runs to Bozeman. “We didn’t start out thinking about a critical access hospital,” Eakman said. “We thought we needed an expanded urgent care or a 24-7 [emergency room] with observation beds. But lo and behold, after running some numbers we are pretty confident that either an expanded urgent care or a critical access hospital would make it financially here in Big Sky. We’re talking quality health care.” Both the Yellowstone Club and West Yellowstone’s ambulance services have expressed interest, Eakman said. Now, he’d like to apply for resort tax to fund a feasibility study. Eakman’s presentation was an example of what the RTB is looking for from other groups and organizations in its Feb. 11 town hall meeting: big ideas.

Eakman is a consultant for the Big Sky Fire Dept and has been working


/hōm/ (noun) A dwelling place where something flourishes 26 Obsidian in Yellowstone Club


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Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 9

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Big Sky Weekly


Development trends to take center stage at Community Builders Summit Jan. 30, 31 big sky weekly staff writer

mutes, proximity to amenities and greater housing choices.

BOZEMAN – There’s good business in building strong communities, according to Randy Carpenter of the nonprofit Sonoran Institute. And as the housing market recovers, new evidence suggests homeowners are seeking a new set of choices when deciding where to live.

Carpenter points to the retirement of the Baby Boomers – which typically means moving to a smaller home, closer to shopping and health care services – plus the entrance of the Generation Y into the housing market, as two big reasons for this trend.

According to new research compiled by the Sonoran Institute, which has offices in Bozeman, Glenwood Springs, Colo. and Tuscon, Ariz., developers and homeowners in the Mountain West appear to be shifting their priorities away from suburban subdivisions, turning increasingly toward revitalized town centers with a strong sense of community, shortened com-

“It portends a lot of change,” he said. Analysts from around the country will be joined by local builders to discuss these changing trends, and what they mean for communities, governments and businesses around the Rocky Mountain West at the Community Builders Summit in Bozeman, Jan. 30-31.


Somewhat and Very Important

Very Important

“Paul and Greg’s projects both exemplify the type of product that buyers are moving toward,” Carpenter said. “And to witness the success these projects have had in the middle of a recession is remarkable.”


80% 70%






Joined by Adam Ducker, from RCLCO, a national real estate advisory firm, and Andy Knudtsen, of Economic and Planning Systems, the conference’s speakers will share practical tools that communities can use to align their economic development and community development efforts to capture these emerging markets.


40% 30%











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Source: Economic & Planning Systems

Importance of Location National Association of Realtors (2011)



Sonoran Institute (Overall)



Source: Economic & Planning Systems; RRC Associates

Size of House



Mountain Outlaw magazine and the Big Sky Weekly shipped to your door. $75 for 1 year Contact 406-995-2055 or

10 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

Joe Minicozzi of Urban 3, a real estate analysis and development firm based in Asheville, N.C., will present findings from several recent studies from Idaho, Wyoming and Montana comparing the financial performance of different types of development. This study spotlights the financial success that downtowns and mixed-use centers in the northern Rockies have experienced in generating tax revenues. Local speakers include MSU professor of architecture Ralph Johnson, Greg McCall from Billings, and Paul Del Rossi from Sheridan, Wyo.

Importance of Neighborhood Quality 90%

“This event takes a close look at the trends that are driving new markets,” said Carpenter of the Sonoran Institute, which is hosting the event. “Every realtor, policy-maker, lender or developer in the region will benefit from the information our speakers will be presenting at the Summit.”

By providing data- and experienced-backed information, Carpenter hopes the conference will “kick start a conversation about the future of our built environment in the Northern Rockies and in Western Colorado.” Even communities that weren’t part of the study can learn from it, he said – “how to assess and analyze their own community, the sort of demographic changes we’re looking at and what sort of income trends we’re looking at… We think communities that position themselves as places where people want to be, and that are building the right sort of product for that market – they’re going to be successful.” More information is available at: communitybuilderssummit. Continuing education credits will be offered for AICP planners and Montana real estate agents.


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montana State graduation rate continues trending upward $150,000 in grants available for Graduation Matters Initiatives Montana Office of Public Instruction

HELENA – Montana's graduation rate is continuing to climb, and its dropout rate is declining, according to the 2012 Graduation and Dropout Report released on Jan. 16 by the Office of Public Instruction. In the 2011-2012 school year, the number of dropouts decreased by more than 130 students, and the graduation rate increased by 1.7 percent to 83.9 percent. The newly re-elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau has made dropout prevention her priority – and thus a statewide priority – during her tenure, something she says is paying off for Montana students and communities. "Every student we are able to keep from dropping out of school or who is inspired to continue their education after high school benefits not only that individual, but the entire state," Juneau said in a press release.

2012 Graduation and Dropout Report, OPI made available $150,000 in grants from the Graduation Matters Challenge Fund to support new and existing Graduation Matters initiatives. Each grantee will be awarded up to $10,000 to replicate successful dropout prevention strategies. Last year, the Office of Public Instruction was awarded $450,000 from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to support a statewide network of locally designed, community-driven efforts to increase the number of Montana students who graduate from high school ready for college and careers in the Montana workforce. During the first year of funding from the foundation, the Graduation Matters Initiative grew from 11 to 28 communities. They include: Anaconda, Belgrade, Billings, Box Elder, Bozeman, Browning, Butte, Corvallis, Great Falls, Hamilton, Hardin, Havre, Heart Butte, Helena, Kalispell, Lame Deer, Laurel, Lewistown, Libby, Livingston, Miles City, Missoula, Polson, St. Ignatius, Stevensville, Thompson Falls, Townsend and Wolf Point.

Since Juneau first took office in 2009, the dropout More than 65 percent of the state’s high school rate has declined from 5.1 percent to 4.1 percent, students now attend a school with an initiative. and the graduation rate has increased Trend Data for Graduation and Dropout Rates from 80.7 percent to 83.9 percent. Dropouts H.S. Dropout Rate Graduation Rate Completion Rate To coincide with the release of the











Real Estate Brokerage, Consulting & Development R YA N K U L E S Z A • 4 0 6 - 5 3 9 - 4 6 6 6 L K R E A L E S TAT E . C O M

Nominations requested for Montana's Tourism Awards Deadline is Feb. 8 HELENA – The Governor's Tourism Advisory Council is accepting nominations for the 2013 Montana Tourism Awards. Categories include: Tourism Person of the Year, Tourism Community of the Year, Tourism Event of the Year and Tourism Partnership of the Year. The awards highlight the people, partnerships, communities and events that contribute to Montana's vibrant tourism industry. "Montana is a truly remarkable place to promote, but much of the industry's success can be credited to our tourism partners and the creative teamwork displayed by extremely dedicated individuals," said Meg O'Leary, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce, previous Director of Sales and Marketing at Big Sky Resort and the 2012 Tourism Person of the Year. In addition to O’Leary, the 2012 award winners include: Tourism Event of the Year - 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Beartooth Highway All-American Road; Tourism Community of the Year - Big Sky; and Tourism Partnerships of the Year - Kids 'N' Snow Program in West Yellowstone and the Great Falls Museum Consortium. Nomination forms are available from the Department of Commerce - Montana Office of Tourism at (406) 841-2873 or or online at The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. on Feb. 8. The award winners will be announced at the 39th Annual Governor's Conference on Tourism and Recreation, March 24-26 in Helena.



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All information given is considered 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. Equal Housing Opportunity. ©2013 LK REAL ESTATE, llc.


Big Sky Weekly

The ripple effect

Decreasing rural populations signal larger legislative districts again, he said it’s the constituents who lose the most because they live hundreds of miles away from their elected officials.

by amy R. Sisk

community news service Um school of journalism

HELENA – With Google Earth on their computer screens and cups of coffee on the table, a five-person commission spent five August days in the Capitol discussing, drafting and redrawing lines that would determine the makeup of Montana’s legislative districts for the next decade. The committee’s proposal now awaits legislators’ input. It reflects a state population that increased by 10 percent between 2000 and 2010. But not every part of Montana experienced the boom. Many rural counties’ populations declined, forcing commissioners to redraw already large districts, making them even bigger to encompass the same number of people as smaller urban districts. “With these population shifts and the requirement that we draw districts that essentially have the same number of people, you inevitably end up with districts in eastern Montana which are very large,” said Jim Regnier, the non-partisan chair of the Districting and Apportionment Commission. “There’s really nothing we can do about that.” Legislators have until Feb. 7 to send recommendations to the commission, which will meet one final time later that month to finalize the map and submit it to the Montana Secretary of State’s office, where it becomes law.

A smaller rural voice The implications of larger and fewer rural districts have far-reaching consequences for the people who live there, say area lawmakers. “Sure, it meets the one person, one vote standard,” Sen. Greg Jergeson, D-Chinook, said of the proposed map. “But a good share of a legislator’s responsibilities in my opinion, and in the experience of most legislators, is doing work for and meeting with your constituents between sessions.” His new district would span 300 miles across the HiLine, and he could not run for reelection in two years because the new boundaries put his home in the same district as another senator whose term does not end until 2016. Although Jergeson has already urged the commission to reconsider the lines around his district so he can run

He explained the issues affecting people in one part of the district might not have much in common with those of constituents 300 miles away. For example, people in the western part reside in natural gas country, whereas those in the eastern oil-producing areas have more in common with their neighbors to the south in Sidney, he said. Rep. Lee Randall, R-Broadus, represents a district of 1,200 square miles in southeastern Montana. Already the largest district, it would grow even larger under the new plan. He cannot afford the same luxuries as candidates in urban areas who walk door-to-door holding conversations with constituents, and instead he uses mail and modern technology. He also attends local functions and community fairs, often his only opportunities to discuss issues with the people he represents. In the northern part of the state, Rep. Mike Lang, R-Malta, faces similar challenges. Moreover, he said, voicing agricultural views and concerns in the Legislature will become even more important. “We have to remind people that agriculture is the number one industry in Montana, and we feed the world with agriculture.”

Mapping process reflects migration trends Following the release of census data every 10 years, a five-person commission made up of an independent, two Republicans and two Democrats redraws the state’s legislative boundaries. Montana’s population at the time of the 2010 census had increased during the previous decade to 989,400. The commission used that number to calculate the populations of the state’s 100 House districts, determining each must contain as close to 9,894 people as possible. The commission traveled the state during 2012 to hear from the public. People in rural areas wanted to remain in districts with others in their counties who share common lifestyles and interests, Regnier said. While the commission tried to accommodate those requests, sometimes keeping a county intact could make it nearly impossible to also keep surrounding areas together in one district.

Urban areas, particularly the Flathead and Gallatin counties, saw the greatest gain with more than 15,000 new residents each. Counties in rural areas saw significant drops, with Sheridan, Daniels, McCone and Carter counties losing upwards of 17 percent of their populations. Montana’s urbanization is nothing new and stems from several trends common to frontier states, according to the state’s Census and Economic Information Center. For one, an aging population has led to an increase in the number of elderly people moving from rural areas into retirement homes in urban cities, CEIC Bureau Chief Mary Craigle said. Furthermore, increases in agricultural productivity due to recent technological advances also play a role. “It’s partly because it takes fewer folks to do the same job, and there are fewer jobs available,” she said. When people from rural areas find job opportunities in cities and leave behind their hometowns, Montana’s cities grow; alongside that, the demand for services – and therefore more jobs – also increases, Craigle explained.

Can the past predict the future? Democratic appointee Joe Lamson, who served on the previous commission 10 years ago, said he and his colleagues then faced a similar dilemma in drawing rural districts, because populations in those areas have declined for decades. Ten years ago, commissioners voted 3-2 on party lines to send the proposed map to the Legislature for input. This time, the commission voted unanimously to move forward. “I think that’s an indication of both sides feeling they weren’t totally wronged or totally won,” Lamson said. As mandated by the Montana Constitution, the redistricting process will begin again in 2020. Craigle said it’s too hard to predict what the 2020 census data will reveal because a variety of factors can affect population trends, and there’s no telling what could happen in places like China and affect industries at home. Lang knows that when the time comes again for state officials to fulfill their Constitutional duties, he hopes his constituents do one thing: “I encourage everyone to fill out their census.”

Montana State Parks Annual visitation up 7 percent for 2012: 2 Million Visitors Montana state parks

HELENA – Montana State Parks announced Friday, Jan. 11 that annual visitation for 2012 was up 7 percent from 2011, with more than 2 million visitors, making it the second busiest year in history. MSP annual visitation was up 10 percent over the fiveyear trend and up 25 percent over the 10-year trend. Over the past five years, there has been a 12 percent increase in the number of residents visiting state parks and a 34 percent increase in those visiting from outside the state. 77 percent of visitors in 2012 were residents and 23 percent were non-residents.

12 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

Of all state parks, Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls had the highest visitation for the year, with nearly 293,000 visitors, followed by Lake Elmo State Park with 215,041 visitors and Cooney State Park with 134,556 visitors, both near Billings. Billings-area state parks saw the highest combined visitation for 2012 with more than 456,000 visitors, followed by Kalispell-area state parks with more than 442,000 visitors combined. Spring Meadow Lake State Park, on the western edge of Helena, had the highest visitation numbers and the largest increase in visitors amongst parks in southwest

Montana. The park saw a 31 percent increase in visitors, with more than 102,000 people visiting in 2012. Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, on Highway 2 between Whitehall and Three Forks, saw a 10 percent increase in visitation over 2011 with more than 64,000 visitors, and Bannack State Park in Beaverhead County saw a 5 percent increase with nearly 33,000 visitors. Missouri Headwaters State Park in Three Forks visitation numbers increased 15 percent since 2011, with more than 25,000 visitors reported. Montana State Parks is a division of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.


Big Sky Weekly

Fledgling freshmen: Montana GOP sees wave of young lawmakers by amy R. Sisk

community news service Um school of journalism

HELENA – A smile radiated from Sarah Laszloffy’s face as she recited the oath of office on the floor of the Montana House of Representatives. At age 21, she is now the youngest member of Montana’s 63rd Legislature. “It was surreal,” said the new Republican lawmaker from Laurel. “It’s really humbling, and I can’t believe that it’s actually happening.” Three other freshman representatives are also in their 20s, and all sit on the Republican side of the aisle. Their presence here stems from a fresh wave of enthusiasm for conservative principles. In particular, the House’s four youngest newcomers this session bring economic priorities to the table.

Fiscal problems as catalyst The country’s current economic status has a number of young conservatives worried about their generation’s future, including 28-year-old Rep. Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale. “A lot of us were going to college at that time and saw the career fairs just disappear,” Galt said. “No one was hiring anymore, and a lot of [graduates] came out struggling for jobs.” As a result, he said, young people realized the GOP could do more for job growth. He believes smaller government and fewer taxes will let private industry do what it does best: employ people. Party leaders also recognize the role fiscal concerns played in mobilizing their younger colleagues during the 2012 election cycle. “They feel differently about the national debt because it will impact them more than the older generation,” said Rep. Christy Clark, R-Choteau. Clark sees young conservatives increasingly involved in crafting the party’s future, as demonstrated by their interest in the state’s upcoming GOP convention in June. For the first time, young Republicans have asked Clark, who serves as vice-chair of the Montana Republican Party, to organize workshops geared toward people their age to cover topics like grassroots organizing and media outreach.

28-year-old Rep. Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale answers questions during his first week in the Montana House of Representatives

Rep. Sarah Laszloffy, R-Laurel, takes the oath of office on her first day of the Montana Legislature. At 21, Laszloffy is the youngest member of Montana's 63rd Legislature. Photos by Jacob Baynham/Community News Service, UM School of Journalism.

Opportunity for party collaboration

A steep learning curve

The Legislature’s youngest Democrat, Rep. Bryce Bennett of Missoula, 28, said he appreciates the new abundance of young lawmakers across the aisle, but that doesn’t mean young people have abandoned the Democratic Party.

The youngest members of the House have lofty goals for the session, yet they recognize they must make educated decisions about unfamiliar topics.

“I think that there’s one party that’s really investing in the things that matter to young people,” Bennett said, referring to his own. “We want to have opportunities for jobs – good paying jobs – and we want affordable education so we’re not taking on a bunch of debt when we leave college.” He hopes some of the attention his young, conservative colleagues place on those issues will spread to the rest of the GOP. He sees opportunity to partner on proposals that would benefit youth around the state and is already building relationships to start that dialogue. The young Republicans have found willing partners among Democrats – two are already working with members of the other party to draft bills to implement stricter child sex trafficking laws and to protect personal information online.

Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer, R-Superior, 24, listens during his first week as a Montana Legislator.

While veterans on the committee better understand the intricacies of the tax structure, 24-yearold Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer, R-Superior, said he has noticed the freshmen – whether they’re 20 or 60 – are asking the same questions to get up to speed. “There’s a point where we’re all on the same playing field regardless of age,” he said. So far, veteran lawmakers have welcomed and helped train newcomers, said Laszloffy, whose father, Jeff, served in the statehouse and is now President of the Montana Family Foundation. “It’s great because I’m gaining their wisdom and exchanging ideas,” she said. “And having our faces on the floor helps remind the legislative body that there’s more than just their generation to think about.”

Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, 25, during his first week at the Montana Legislature. He says the economic downturn has pushed young people toward fiscal conservatism.

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 13


Big Sky Weekly

Montana's 63rd Legislature Photo by Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism.

Legislative roundup

Bills addressed during the first two weeks of 2013 Legislature By AMY R. SISK

later met to clarify priorities and encourage cooperation through the remainder of the session.

HELENA – Montana’s 63rd Legislature opened its doors Jan. 7, welcoming a new governor, 150 lawmakers and even more staffers and members of the public.

The third week promises another round of hotbutton issues, including bills to change the amount of oil and gas tax revenue school districts can retain, allow people to cross a geographic point to access new land, permit hound hunting for black bears, and increase the salaries of state employees.


That week the House voted 99-1 to pass a $9.2 million “feed bill” to fund the current session and the start of the 2015 Legislature. Committees prepped for hearings on the budget, and lawmakers listened to public testimony regarding suicides in jails and new wolf hunting regulations. Legislators introduced a flood of new bills the second week. Proposals included repealing the legislative internship and D.A.R.E. drug education programs, allowing addictions counselors to treat gambling, criminalizing abortion and reducing the number of state legislators. That Monday morning people crowded a House State Administration Committee hearing, with some of the public sitting in the hall where they could better-observe the proceedings on closed-circuit TV. That hearing focused on a bill to eliminate same-day voter registration and drew 20 opponents. Another measure later in the week limiting the forms of acceptable voter IDs resulted in a similar outcry. Also that week, talk in the Capitol resolved a rift between factions of the Senate GOP. A Jan. 16 Great Falls Tribune article exposed leaked emails revealing a plan among conservatives to oust moderate Republicans from leadership positions. Senate Republicans

14 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

Here’s a look at the big issues of the session’s first two weeks:

Party leaders want cooperation Republicans and Democrats often stood at odds during the previous legislative session, but party leaders made it clear during the opening week of the 63rd Legislature they wanted to work with the other side. “Let’s make this session more about work, less about politics,” House Speaker Mark Blasdel, R-Somers, said during the first meeting of the House.

Suicide prevention Proponents of two bills aimed at preventing suicide in jails addressed the House Judiciary Committee the first week, urging lawmakers to consider all the victims of a suicide, including the inmate, his or her family and jail staff. One bill would create a screening program for detention centers to evaluate inmates’ behavioral risks and a 24-hour hotline for detention center employees to contact a mental health professional when concerned about an inmate’s behavior. The other would direct the law enforcement academy to develop inmate suicide prevention training for detention center personnel. Montana’s inmate suicide rate ranks among the highest in the nation, with 16 people committing suicide in jail between 2009 and 2012, said Niki Zupanic, public policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana.

Wolf hunting

House Minority Leader Chuck Hunter, D-Helena, echoed that sentiment, saying both parties need a willing partner in each other. “Let’s show Montanans what we can do and not what we can’t,” he said.

The House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee heard testimony on two bills regulating wolf hunting the first week.

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch also encouraged cooperation, and she instructed representatives to walk across the aisle and introduce themselves to three people from the other party. Laughter filled the chamber as lawmakers smiled, shook hands and hugged in the middle of the floor.

The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks backed House Bill 73, which would bring the price of a wolf tag down from $350 to $50 for non-residents, increase the number of tags hunters can purchase, permit the use of electronic wolf-call devices, and allow hunters to opt out of wearing an orange vest outside of deer and elk season.

montana New Apple, Android app increases access to legislators Smartphone and tablet users can now contact lawmakers directly from their Android or Apple devices with a new app designed for the 2013 Montana Legislature. The Montana 2013 Legislative Directory app features phone numbers, email addresses, social media sites, committee appointments, addresses and biographical information for members of the House and Senate. Users can simply tap the email, phone or social media icons listed for each lawmaker to contact them. The Montana Electric Cooperatives Association, Montana Telecommunications Cooperatives and Montana Independent Telecommunications Systems worked together to develop the program, based off a similar app created for the Tennessee Legislature. In the past, constituents had to go to the Montana Legislature website or pick up a copy of the legislative guide to find out how to reach state politicians. Rep. Pat Noonan, D-Butte, said he appreciates any innovation that makes it easier for constituents to contact their elected officials. “It gives the public the same kind of access that we have standing up here,” he said. The app can be downloaded for $1.99 from Google Play and the Apple App Store by searching for ‘Montana Legislature.’

A second bill limiting Montana’s wolf population to 250 drew criticism from FWP over concerns that it would be difficult to maintain a set number and trying to do so could prompt scrutiny from the federal government.

The budget Lawmakers are working with Gov. Steve Bullock's two-year budget proposal. Here's a glance at what the governor's budget entails: •

A $400-tax rebate for property owners.

The elimination of a business equipment tax for companies with less than $100,000 in equipment.

A 5 percent increase in base pay raises for state employees over each of the next two years.

A number of construction projects across the state, many of which will fund new buildings and renovations at colleges and universities.

Adding more than 50,000 Montanans to Medicaid by accepting federal money under the Affordable Care Act. A $15 million grant through the Department of Commerce to help oil- and gas-impacted communities in eastern Montana maintain or improve utilities and transportation systems. A $300 budget surplus at the end of the biennium.

Six appropriations subcommittees met on Friday of the first week to begin discussions on House Bill 2, the state budget. Going forward, subcommittees will hear from government agencies and the public on their fiscal priorities, and many have scheduled hearings well into February.

Bullock begins as governor Steve Bullock smiled as he took his oath of office Monday Jan. 7, becoming Montana’s 24th governor. In front of a crowd of several hundred people bundled in warm clothes on the Capitol steps, the Democrat thanked those who helped him reach the state’s highest office and acknowledged the thousands he met during the campaign who exhibit his enthusiasm for Montana. Bullock, who grew up five blocks east of the Capitol, called it “extremely humbling” to stand before Montana’s citizens as governor. He said he wanted to improve schools, expand opportunities for Montana businesses, foster 21st century industries and create jobs that didn’t exist when he was a kid. He and his staff spent the first week of the session laying out groundwork for the new governor’s legislative agenda. Bullock’s budget director, Dan Villa, told a joint session of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Claims committees that Montana remains one of the nation’s strongest states, fiscally. He stressed the importance of addressing long-term liabilities and funding essential services before discussing new programs.

Same-day voter registration

Big Sky Weekly

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, told the committee about a 2009 car crash in Flathead Valley in which a pregnant woman and her 13-year-old son died. The man who hit her car was charged with only two counts of homicide. Regier and proponents cited 36 states with similar laws and said courts have upheld the constitutionality of such measures. Opponents said they worry the bill does not contain adequate legal protection for pregnant women, who could be required to prove their innocence in the loss of their unborn child. Lynsey Bourke, director of development outreach and communication at Missoula’s Blue Mountain Clinic, called the bill unconstitutional and a “huge infringement on women’s privacy in this state.”

Marijuana driving limit Rep. David “Doc” Moore, R-Missoula, introduced HB 168, which would set the maximum amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a person can have in their blood and still legally drive to 5 ng/mL. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis. Moore told the committee the measure would save innocent lives, describing a 2009 incident where the wife of Missoula’s current sheriff died after being hit by a driver with alcohol and marijuana in his system.

During the second week of the 2013 Legislative session, lawmakers considered HB 30, a bill that would end same-day voter registration in Montana.

While Montana does have drugged driving laws, proponents of the bill said they’re hard to enforce because the state doesn’t have a designated limit as it does for alcohol.

The House State Administration Committee heard the first testimony, which would designate the Friday before the election as the last day to register. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ted Washburn, R-Bozeman, said registering voters while conducting polling challenges the integrity of Election Day.

Opponents argued setting a THC limit prevents medical marijuana users from legally driving, and that drugged driving laws don’t significantly impact the number of car crash fatalities.

Twenty people spoke out against the bill, including Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, who disputed claims from Washburn and two members of the public who testified in support of the measure. McCulloch said about 28,000 Montanans have registered and voted on Election Day since 2006, the first year Montana allowed same-day registration. She added that half of the late voters during the 2012 general election had previously voted in Montana, but moved and had yet to update their addresses. Furthermore, she said, eliminating same-day registration strips the ultimate failsafe for administrative errors, ensuring people who thought they had registered can vote at the polls. Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed a similar measure during the previous legislative session.

Criminalizing death to an unborn child The Legislature is again considering a bill that would criminalize the death of an unborn child after Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed a similar measure two years ago. Under HB 104, an assault on a woman resulting in the death of her unborn child would be considered a homicide. The House Judiciary Committee passed the measure during week one with a 12-8 vote along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor. The bill goes next to the House floor for a vote.

Lottery revenue for scholarships Montana’s lottery revenue currently sits in the state treasury, but a new proposal could use it as a college scholarship fund. The House Education Committee heard testimony during week two on HB 166, a measure that would redirect the nearly $15 million annual profit in lottery ticket sales to the university system during the next fiscal year for use as scholarship money. The Board of Regents, which governs Montana’s public institutions of higher education, would determine how to disburse that money to students. Students from three Montana campuses spoke in favor of the bill, which is authored by Rep. Amanda Curtis, D-Butte.

Increasing hail insurance maximum Farmers could soon receive double the insurance money if hail destroys their crops. The House Agriculture Committee passed HB 189, a measure increasing the amount farmers can claim from the state’s Hail Insurance Program to $100 on nonirrigated land and $152 on irrigated land. The bill goes next to the House for a vote. Reporter Amy Sisk can be reached at (425) 466-6633 or Follow @amyrsisk on Twitter for the latest from the Capitol.

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 15







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Section 2:

Big Sky Weekly

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 Volume 4 // Issue No. 2

business, health and environment

Volcom's Peanut Butter & Rail Jam at Moonlight Basin Jan. 19 Photos by Maria Wyllie Receiving an honorable mention for most improved rider, six-year-old Will Gannon kills it in the 15 and under division.

Volcom’s Peanut Butter and Rail Jam, a free, amateur snowboarding contest, stopped at Moonlight Basin on Saturday, Jan. 19, giving top riders a chance to show off their skills. The top five contestants in each of the four divisions (15-andunder, 16-and-over, ladies, and men’s open) won rad gear and an invitation to the championships at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on April 20. PB & Rail Jam commentator Brandon Janssen said the event helps create a sense of community among snowboarders while also giving winners the recognition needed to move up in the ranks. “It’s fairly judged, and the Moonlight team always gets really creative with it,” said 26-year-old Dan Weiserbach who competed in the men’s open division. “Little kids can have fun and slide the rail, and there’s still room to throw down and go big.” Top five girls in the ladies division looking stoked to win some rad gear and a trip to the championships.

Moonlight’s terrain park crew worked hard to keep things fresh with three newly designed features that set Moonlight apart from the tour’s previous stops. The up-down rail, lightning bolt, and battleship box features were built alongside one another (Volcom’s only requirement), which heightened the energy and fun nature of the event as competitors greased the rails and hiked back to the top as a group. With no scheduled runs, competitors had 20 minutes to hit each rail and were judged on tricks pulled in each of the three zones.

Terrain Park staff members Brent Mach (left) and Cale Arnold (right) keep the take-off in prime condition.

This little ripper brings in extra points for steeze.

Fueling up on some PB & J before finals!

#1 in the ladies division, Sarris McComb shows us how it’s done.

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 17


Big Sky Weekly

BSSEF & BSF at Bridger Bowl by mike coil

On Saturday, BSSEF and BSF women held the top six spots, and 14 of the top 17 spots. On Sunday the women captured the top five spots.

big sky weekly contributor

Younger racers who made the top five during the course of the weekend included Max Romney, Cameron Ueland, Rhett Warga, Henyon Walker, Nolan Robbins, Caleb Unger, Boone Trafton, Inga Trebesch, Chloe Unger, Octavia Fisher, Gracie Carish, Franci St. Cyr, Laken Trebesch, Reece Bell, Violet Newhouse, Riley Becker, Annika Severn-Eriksson and Kodi Boersma. Medal winner Rhett Warga

Skylar Manka, 7, of BSSEF not only took the top spot on the podium in her age group on Sunday, but also beat racers three and four years older.

photo by Bryan Warga

BRIDGER BOWL – Despite below zero temperatures and howling winds, the Big Sky Ski Education Foundation and Bridger Ski Foundation ski teams rocked the podium at the Youth Ski League races on Saturday Jan. 12-13 at Bridger Bowl.

Telemark skiers also took to the slopes that weekend, for the first of three events in the Community Race Series. These racers could not take place without help from the local volunteers who braced the cold weather for hours each day.

BSF took advantage of the home snow in the two giant slalom races, with several podium finishes for both girls and boys.

Maci St Cyr Photo by Mike Coil

Saturday Women

Sunday Women

1 Petitt, Megan BSF/99 1:33.93 2 Petitt, Erin BSF/99 1:34.32 3 Coyle, Alexa BSSEF/99 135.08 4 Matelich, Julia BSF/99 1:35.48 5 Holder, Kuka BSSEF/00 1:39.42 6 Bell, Reece BSSEF/01 1:39.73 9 St Cyr, Maci BSSEF/00 1:42.81 10 Saarel, Larissa BSF/99 1:42.91 11 Smith, Natalie BSF/00 1:43.10 12 Winters, Madison BSSEF/00 1:43.36 13 Wills, Heidi BSSEF/99 1:43.73 15 Hetherington, Valerie BSSEF/99 1:44.37 16 Linkenbach, Annika BSSEF/00 1:45.66 17 Becker, Riley Belle BSSEF/01 1:45.84 23 Severn-Eriksson, Annika BSSEF/02 1:49.03

1 Petitt, Megan BSF/99 1:35.51 2 Petitt, Erin BSF/99 1:36.63 3 Matelich, Julia BSF/99 52 1:37.59 4 Coyle, Alexa BSSEF/99 1:39.29 6 O'Donnell, Libby BSF/00 1:41.74 7 Holder, Kuka BSSEF/00 1:41.92 9 St Cyr, Maci BSSEF/00 1:44.10 11 Newhouse, Violet BSF/01 1:45.04 14 Saarel, Larissa BSF/99 1:46.35 15 Hetherington, Valerie BSSEF/99 1:46.54 20 Becker, Riley Belle BSSEF/01 1:49.77 22 Boersma, Kodi BSSEF/01 1:51.62 23 Luckay, Meredith BSF/01 1:51.68 24 Severn-Eriksson, Annika BSSEF/02 1:52.79

Saturday Men

1 Drake, Jacob BSF/99 1:41.93 6 Robbins, Wesley BSSEF/99 44 1:46.42 7 Trafton, Boone BSF/02 1:48.27 8 Henyon, Walker BSF/04 1:48.74 13 Unger, Caleb BSSEF/03 1:52.93 19 Olson, Joe BSSEF/00 1:55.84 22 Johnson, Sam BSSEF/00 1:58.55

1 Drake, Jacob BSF/99 1:36.80 10 Trafton, Boone BSF/02 1:45.84 12 Saarel, Sam BSF/99 1:46.05 19 Rogers, Samuel BSF/00 1:53.58 22 Johnson, Sam BSSEF/00 1:58.37 23 Spring, Bode BSSEF/02 1:58.59 24 Trebesch, Beck BSSEF/00 1:59.98

Sunday Men


LIVINGSTON • $2,100,000 640 +/- acres (4 parcels), spectacular elk, deer and antelope hunting, borders USFS land, Yellowstone River access, minutes to town

More Fine Ranch & Recreational Offerings: ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROAD • BELGRADE • $4,300,000 719 +/- acres, 3,622 +/- sf home, primitive cabin, borders USFS land, Mill Creek runs through, water rights, productive hay ground ROCK CREEK SECTION • GARDINER • $2,700,000 640 +/- acres, log cabin, meadows, creeks, springs, trees, borders USFS land for 3.5 +/- miles, excellent recreational property T BAR Z ROAD • WHITEHALL • $1,450,000 237 +/- acres, 6,048 +/- sf home was lodge for the historic T Bar Z Ski Area, Locati designed addition, trees, alpine meadow

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18 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013


Big Sky Weekly

Close-scoring games help Big Horns prepare for strong finish story and photo By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

Both the Lone Peak High School girls and boys basketball teams are playing hard, as indicated by close scoring games on Jan. 17 and Jan. 19. The girls’ team had their first win of the season on Thursday, Jan. 17, against the Sheridan Panthers' JV team (38-36). Winning by just two points, the girls fought hard to pull off a “w,” bringing all they’ve learned this season to the court. This impressive win will give the girls the needed confidence to move forward and compete at the next level. Although they are playing a JV schedule, they have a number of upcoming varsity level games. Olson says the team is

LPHS Basketball Schedule 2012-13 Two games played per date: Game No. 1 – LPHS Girls’ Game No. 2 – LPHS Boys’ Jan. 25


@ Gardiner

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Jan. 29


vs Lima

4 p.m./5:30 p.m.

Jan. 26


vs Shields Valley

2 p.m./3:30 p.m.

Feb. 1


@ White Sulphur Springs

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Feb. 2


vs Manhattan Christian

4 p.m./5:30 p.m.

Feb. 7


vs West Yellowstone

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Feb. 9



5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Basketball District Tournament MAC Center, Butte, MT, Feb. 13-16, 2013 Basketball Divisional Tournament, Hamilton, MT, Feb. 20-23, 2013 Basketball State Tournament Girls’ –Belgrade, MT, Feb. 28-March 2, 2013 Basketball State Tournament Boys’ – MSU-Bozeman, MT, March 7-9, 2013 Basketball Awards Banquet – week of March 11-15 – day & time TBD

Coach Al Malinowski goes over plays with the team at practice.

really coming together. "We are stepping it up and seeing if we can get a win on the varsity level." The boys’ varsity team suffered a tough 1-point loss against Harrison/Willow Creek on Saturday, Jan. 19 (31-32). Coach Al Malinowski is reflecting on his decisions, rethinking what he could have done differently to help the team win. “While we don’t ever like losing, we will learn more about ourselves from that loss than had we won,” Malinowski said. The team will use practice time to correct their mistakes and improve as they prepare for upcoming games.

Lady Cats in first place story and photos by mike coil

big sky weekly contributor

BOZEMAN – The MSU Lady Bobcats continued their winning ways on

Thursday, Jan. 10, with a win over Northern Colorado 65-58. The win put the Lady Bobcats (11-4, 5-1) in a tie for first place in the Big Sky conference with Montana (11-4, 5-1). It was the first conference loss for Northern Colorado (3-1, 6-7). MSU started fast pushing the score to 11-0 before Northern Colorado scored and never looked back. Rachel Semansky had the hot hand for the Lady Cats shooting 60 percent from the field and hitting five out six free throws for a total of 17 points. On Saturday, Jan. 12, the Lady Cats notched another victory, beating North Dakota (7-8, 2-4) 64-49 at Worthington Arena in Bozeman. Semansky again led the Lady Cats with 15 points while sophomore guard Kalli Durham added 14 and senior guard Latisha Adams added 12.

Alexa Dawkins puts up a running hook shot

On Jan. 17, the Lady Cats started a four-game road trip playing Southern Utah (3-2, 9-6), Montana, Weber State (0-6, 0-15), and Idaho State (33, 8-7). Their next home game is against Eastern Washington (3-3, 7-8) on Jan. 31.

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Big Sky Weekly

NBA Rookie of the Year coming out of a small school (Weber State) after four years in college. Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the draft, has the Blazers in playoff contention in a conference full of competitive teams, despite most pre-season projections putting them near last in the conference. Not only has Lillard put up numbers, he’s proven himself to be a leader and a difference maker in the win/loss column.

By Brandon Niles

Big sky weekly sports columnist

Each year, as the All-Star game gets closer and the trade deadline approaches, NBA buzz turns away from early season discussions of new acquisitions and playoff prognostications. Instead, media personalities begin to speculate on All-Star rosters and potential award winners. From league MVP, to Most Improved Player to Rookie of the Year, the discussion often draws tremendous debate, both in the media and privately among sports fans. This is true in other sports and while the awards and AllStar selection processes differ, the controversy is seemingly always present. This year however, the NBA has a clear front-runner in the Rookie of the Year race. Point Guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers has had an impressive start to his professional career, averaging 18.1 points and 6.5 assists per

game, leading all rookies and ranked 18th and tied for 13th, respectively, in the entire NBA. These are numbers that might be worthy of All-Star consideration, if not for a stacked Western Conference full of elite guards. Still, Lillard has an outside chance of becoming the first guard since Michael Jordan to make the All-Star game as a rookie.

Lillard has been fun to watch this season. He leads the team with a kind of swagger reminiscent of other guards who grew up in Oakland – Gary Payton comes to mind. Meanwhile, he facilitates the game like a third or fourth year player, setting up his teammates and finding balance between passing the ball and shooting. He’s 42 percent from the field, second among rookie guards. Lillard also hits the big shots when the team needs him to and already has a game-winning three pointer against New Orleans.

Even beyond the statistics, Lillard is light years ahead of his rookie class. While Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andre Drummond, and other rookies are having good seasons, Lillard looks like a veteran and has far exceeded expectations

Lillard isn’t without his faults. His defense has been terrible most of the year – though he’s looked better recently – and still has some rookie games where his shot selection is off or he commits too many turnovers. However, far more often Lillard makes great decisions and

Damian Lillard photographed with fans in July 2012 (CC)

Video production Real Estate Business Promotional Aerial Commercials Events Documentary

20 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

has been one of the biggest reasons for the Blazers’ success. Lillard may not make the All-Star game, competing with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Chris Paul for a spot on the roster. But he is undoubtedly the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year and could be the second Portland star taking that honor in the past decade (after Brandon Roy, 2006-2007). He also provides a much needed spark to a team that’s dealt with so much heartache over the past several years, including potential career-ending injuries to key players Roy and Greg Oden. Lillard provides a ray of hope for Blazers fans, and might be just what Portland needs to combine with All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and youngster Nicolas Batum (also having a breakout season) to be a top team in the West for many seasons to come. Brandon Niles has done online freelance writing about the NFL since 2007. His articles range from NFL news to teamspecific 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. 406.995.4060 55 Lone Peak Drive | Big Sky Town Center

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Big Sky Weekly

health & wellness Report: 25 percent of rural Montanans without health insurance By deborah courson smith big sky connection

GREAT FALLS – Health insurance coverage is tied to geography in Montana. A new report from the Center for Rural Affairs finds that people in the most rural counties are least likely to have coverage. In 28 of the state's 46 rural counties, one in four residents don't have a policy. Steph Larsen, Montana assistant director of the Center for Rural Affairs, says it's clear that rural residents face more barriers to coverage - mainly due to lower incomes since the businesses are often smaller or the people are self-employed. "It's not a fair thing to say that because of the way that you are employed, because of your occupation, you don't have access to affordable health care." The report says it makes economic sense for Montana to sign on to the

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act – something the legislature will decide. Larsen says if the state participates, the number of uninsured Montanans will be cut in half. She says the expansion won't cost the state anything in the first few years, and then will cost the state up to 10 percent of the total. Larsen adds that the pay-off for getting more Montanans covered reaches beyond family pocketbooks. "It's great for the economy. It's great for rural hospitals. Because the more people who are insured in rural communities, the stronger that health infrastructure is going to be when you need it." There are concerns that the Medicaid expansion will become too expensive for Montana, and there are arguments against the program from those opposed to the Affordable Care Act.

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Big Sky Weekly

Arts Council of Big Sky awarded $7,500 for 2013 Classical Music Festival By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

BIG SKY – The Montana Office of Tourism’s Special Events Grant Program has awarded the Arts Council of Big Sky $7,500 to go towards marketing and promotion of the third annual Classical Music Festival, taking place in summer 2013. Arts Council General Manager Brian Hurlbut sees the Classic Fest as an event that will become a staple for Big Sky and help put the community on the map in the future. “Our goal has been to get 1,000 people a night for the festival for three nights,” Hurlbut said.

“One of the reasons we are excited about getting it this year is that we are bringing in [Peter Bay] a very well known conductor who is assembling an orchestra just for the festival,” Hurlbut said. “We want to make sure there’s enough marketing and PR to get that out there.”

2012 marked music director and conductor While the grant money will help promote Big Sky, Peter Bay’s 20th and it will also allow the Arts Council to market visitfinal year with the Britt ing musicians. Festival OrMembers of the Enso String Quartet perform at the 2012 Big Sky Classichestra in Orcal Music Festival. Photo by Darius Larsen. egon, where Communities receiving 2013 SEGP awards tion outside a 100-mile radius of the event. he helped the Big Sky: Big Sky Classical Music Festival - $7,500 Chinook: Sugarbeet Festival- $8,820 orchestra reach new levels of artistic Ekalaka: The Ekalaka Shindig- $8,325 This year a total of $200,000 in SEGP grant funds achievement.He now lives and works in Glasgow: Montana Governor's Cup Walleye Tournament- $10,000 went toward 17 state events in Big Sky, Chinook, Great Falls: The Russell- $30,000 Austin, Texas, directing and conducting Great Falls: Montana State Fair & Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup- $10,618 Ekalaka, Glasgow, Great Falls, Hamilton, Hardin, the Austin Symphony. Hamilton: Big Sky Classic - $9,452 Helena, Kalispell, Missoula, Polson and Virginia Hardin: Will James Roundup - $10,000 Helena: Running Amok for Scholarship Bucks - $5,000 City. The SEGP was developed in 2002 to Kalispell: Montana Dragon Boat Festival - $29,300 Kalispell: Pond Hockey Border Showdown - $31,000 Kalispell: Glacier Jazz Stampede - $5,000 Missoula: International Choral Festival - $10,885 Missoula: Celtic Festival - $7,800 Polson: Flathead Cherry Festival - $6,900 Virginia City: Madison Duathlon, Marathon & Triathlon - $6,000 Virginia City: "A Step Back in Time" Grand Ball - $3,400

assist communities with economic development through the creation and/ or enhancement of annual, on-going events. Recipients are required to use funds for event marketing and promo-

The Arts Council has applied for the grant every year since 2011, the festival’s inaugural year, in which it was awarded $6,000.

Fehlig is next "Treasured" Montana artist ing in plein air, a technique which uses natural light. A Montana native, her pieces have been featured in art shows nation-wide, and many have won top awards including "Best in Show" at the Appalachian Pastel Society in "Critter Trails--Spring Meadow Lake" pastel on Wallis sanded paper 14" x 17.5" By Kathryn Fehlig Ashville, N.C. She also spent OFFICE OF MONTANA SECRETARY eight years OF STATE as a graphic designer for the Montana Historical Society helping to produce HELENA – Helena landscape painter its quarterly magazine and popular Kathryn Fehlig is the "Treasured" Mon"Western Rendezvous of Art" catalogs. tana Artist for early 2013. "[Fehlig’s] art takes you on a journey throughout Montana, with illustrations ranging from an afternoon stroll along Spring Meadow Lake to a captivating sunset over the Buffalo Jump outside of Ulm," said Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, who announced the appointment on Jan. 15. Fehlig's exhibit features pastel illustrations in which she captures the colors and spirit of the environment by paint-

"Montana is the perfect marriage of artist and environment," Fehlig said. "I'll never run out of the things to paint. The pieces I've chosen to share are a representation of the diversity and splendor of the place we proudly call home."

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*customize gift card with your Valentine’s favorite treatments, pricing will vary

Fehlig's exhibit will be on display January through April 2013 in the front lobby of the Secretary of State's Office, in the State Capitol Building in Helena.

Phone orders welcome (406) 995-7700

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 23




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24 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013


Big Sky Weekly

BZN sets new passenger record for 2012 BOZEMAN – Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) recorded its third consecutive all-time record, with 867,117 passengers flying in and out in 2012. This represents an increase of 71,007 passengers or 8.9 percent more than the previous record set in 2011. Totals represent an increase of 183,840 passengers or 26.9 percent over the 683,277 handled in 2009. The Air Traffic Control Tower handled 81,482 aircraft operations during the year, up 10.5 percent over 2011. General aviation accounts for 76 percent of Gallatin Field’s aircraft operations. Scheduled passenger and cargo airline service accounts for approximately 18 percent and corporate jet operations account for the remaining 6 percent of all aircraft operations. During 2012, new seasonal service was added to Newark/New York on United, making Bozeman the first airport in Montana to have non-stop service Coast to Coast. In addition, seasonal non-stop service was also added to Portland, Oregon on Alaska Airlines and Oakland, Calif. on Allegiant Air.

On July 1, the airport, which is operated by the Gallatin Airport Authority, opened a new Customs and Border Patrol facility that permits international arriving general aviation aircraft. Over 50 international arrivals have occurred in the first six months of operation. The project was funded in cooperation with Signature Flight Support and the Yellowstone Club. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is served by five airline brands with non-stop service to Atlanta*, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles*, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark/New York*, Oakland*, Phoenix-Mesa, Portland*, Salt Lake City, San Francisco* and Seattle/Tacoma. Over 500 people are employed by the 28 entities with offices at the airport. * Denotes seasonal service Passenger totals in and out by airline brand in 2012 were: • Delta Air Lines – 332,074 • United Airlines – 261,991 • Frontier Airlines – 98,636 • Alaska Airlines – 93,623 • Allegiant Air – 77,271 • Chartered Airline Flights – 3,522

BZN - Airline Market Share 9%






Frontier Alaska Allegiant


Total Revenue Passengers 2012


% Change























































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ti meles s uni que hist oric 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.






business Thousands of Montanans could be eligible for property tax relief

Big Sky Weekly

Get your Montana income tax refund faster when you e-file

HELENA – The Montana Department of Revenue estimates that thousands of Montanans could be eligible for property tax relief, but don't submit the annual applications required.

In addition, eligible Montanans can apply for the Disabled American Veteran and the Elderly Homeowner/Renter Tax Credit, if applicable. All have an application deadline of April 15.

The Property Tax Assistance Program provides property tax relief to anyone who meets the qualifications, and there is no age restriction. In order to qualify, taxpayers must own and occupy their home as their primary residence for at least seven months during the preceding calendar year and meet the income requirements, which range from $0 to $20,809 for a single person and $0 to $27,745 for households with more than one owner occupant. Currently the department receives about 18,000 PTAP applications annually, but has identified up to 47,000 additional property owners who may be eligible for the program.

DAV provides property tax assistance to qualifying disabled veterans and their surviving spouses, and similar to PTAP, taxpayers must own and occupy their home as their primary residence and meet income requirements, which range from $0 to $47,865 for a single person, $0 to $55,229 for a married couple, or $0 to $41,729 for a surviving spouse.

While Jan. 22 is the start date for e-filing Montana taxes, the IRS has announced Jan. 30 as the date that federal tax returns can be e-filed.

The 2EC is a refundable income tax credit of up to $1,000 available to taxpayers based on household income and is for anyone age 62 or older as of Dec. 31, 2012. To qualify, applicants must reside in Montana for nine months or more of the period, occupy one or more dwellings in Montana as an owner, renter or lessee for six months or more, and household income must be less than $45,000.

Taxpayer assistance is available year-round through the department's call center, which is prepared to answer individual income tax questions as well as most questions about Montana's tax system.

Depending upon qualifying income, taxpayers may be entitled to a 30-80 percent property tax reduction on their primary residence. The benefit would apply to the first $100,000 of taxable market value of the residential property, which may include land up to five acres. In some cases, that reduction amounts to hundreds of dollars.

To apply, contact your local Department of Revenue office. For more information visit or call (866) 859-2254.

Montana department of Revenue

HELENA – The Montana Department of Revenue is reminding taxpayers that they can receive tax refunds sooner if they file returns electronically by using the department's free e-file service at

Those using paper forms to file returns can print the 2012 Montana tax forms online or pick them up at libraries, post offices, county offices and some banks. The department won't begin processing those forms until Feb. 5 at the earliest. Regardless of how early tax returns are filed via paper, those who e-file will receive refunds earlier due to the extended time required to process paper.

The department's call center can be reached at (866) 859-2254 or (406) 444-6900. Regular call center hours are from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Watch for extended hours during the last week of tax season. In addition, the department has walk-in assistance at the Helena and Missoula offices. There are also more than 100 volunteer tax preparation sites around the state through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and AARP TaxAide Montana. To find out if you qualify and to see a comprehensive listing of locations, visit

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Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 27

business profile

Big Sky Weekly

This rendering and the model below depict the Great Northern Lodge, which is currently under construction near Whitefish. Designed by Centre Sky Architecture, inspiration for the home came from the historic Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park. Images courtesy of Centre Sky Architecture.

Centre Sky Architecture By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

Currently under construction outside of Whitefish, the Great Northern Lodge will be reminiscent of the Sperry Chalet, a 1913 stone building in Glacier National Park. Designed by Big Sky-based Centre Sky Architecture, the 12,400-square-foot, two-story single

The lodge will be centered around a cobbled auto courtyard with one side built into a hillside. In Daugaard’s models, rooflines disappear into undulating roofs covered in 4-5 feet of soil, planted with native plants, and strewn with logs and boulders. “It will be like the mountainside is still coming down,” Daugaard said. The aerated cement walls make sure the lodge cannot burn or mold and boost the R-value. Pulling a certain book in the library will give access to a secret staircase. Although Centre Sky is known for its creative, sustainability-minded, high-end design work, it has never done anything like this before – perhaps not many have, Daugaard says.

family Parkitecture style home with be built with large, native stones from a nearby quarry. It will have bronze window trim, hand-hewn timbers and a flagstone roof, according to architect Jamie Daugaard. “The beautiful thing about it is the simplicity and the indigenous purple, red and green stone,” said Daugaard, owner of Centre Sky.

28 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

This, and a slew of other new design projects in the last eight months, indicates an uptick in business for Centre Sky, which also has an office in Denver, Colo. Two new hires, architects Kelsey Ward and Sten Witmer, will be working alongside Daugaard and Ben Emanuel, who has been with Centre Sky seven years. The two offices work mainly in the Rocky Mountain West, but recent inquiries may have them designing homes in Texas and West Virginia. And

while some projects – like the Great Northern Lodge – embrace a rustic Western style, Daugaard says he likes a more modern “clean rustic” style best. As business picks up, he’s seen a move toward smaller, more efficient homes. “People are really concentrated on keeping square footages down and are more interested in sustainable applications.” Daugaard likes to design ‘energy factories’ – buildings that capture energy from the sun and Earth through photovoltaics, solar hot water, geothermal heating and cooling, or air-to-air solar panels. In addition to high-end homes, Centre Sky designs commercial structures – most recently the Madison Valley Aquatic Center and preliminary plans for the Big Sky entryway monument. The firm has done remodels on existing residences in varying income brackets, and is planning a new, modern, universal design condominium complex in the Meadow Village. Daugaard always tries to keep clients involved with the design process. “The relationships I create with the people I’m working with are very important to me,” he says. “I think [architecture is] a positive element to society. I love the creativity of it. You’re creating a new structure. How is it going to stand the test of time?” Recent press in architectural magazines including Mountain Living, Ralph Kylloe’s Rustic Living, Timber Home Living and Log Home Living have helped validate Centre Sky’s work, he says, and occasionally helped drive business.

Classifieds/business directory help wanted

for rent

Office manager/Executive Assistant position available with local Real Estate company. Must have great organizational and communication skills, high proficiency in database management and excel. Pay DOE, please send resume and cover letter to

RENTALS ATV'S, Polaris RZR side by sides, RV's, Driftboats & SNOWMOBILES when the snow flies!

Phonebook delivery. Experience preferred, Bozeman area. Contact with inquiries

2011 Gnu Carbon Credit Snowboard 150, banana tech,magne-traction. In great condition $180 Call Tyler (406) 249-8252

Resort Property Mgmt at Big Sky needs P/T help- light maintenance, shoveling, trash, guest services - Sun, Mon, Tues -8am-4pm. Start at $13/hr. Apply in person at the River Rock Lodge, 88 Big Pine Dr. Or, email resume to dave@

for sale

FOR SALE one of a kind antique

Peninsular 414


NOW ONLY $3900 Attn:Bailey Paving CONTACT: This is a copy of your advertisement which will appear Tim in the 2009-2010 edition of the Big S 580-0624 or 580-5051 Directory published by Statewide Publishing - Montana under the heading(s) of:

Paving Contractors

• short or long term luxury rental in Big sky •

1. Is spelling and ad information correct? ................................................................................... 2. Is your phone number and address correct? .......................................................................... 3. I understand that colors in my ad may vary due to differences in printer inks & pape Email classifieds and/or 4. Please mark the necessary corrections directly on the ad as neatly as possible.

advertising requests to or call (406)995-2055

4 bedroom, 4.5 bath in Spanish Peaks Call 406-995-2174 or visit for more details

• 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 Serving All of Southwest Montana

� PILATES � YOGA � MASSAGE � PERSONAL TRAINING � HEALTH COUNSELING Victoria Bentley, Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach

Call for appointments in Bozeman or Big Sky

Appointments only [ 406.570.9154 ]

PLEASE sign, date, and return within five working days for complet


CERTIFIED! We have received the exclusive designation by Subaru of America as an

Eco Friendly Certified Dealership for our energy consumption, sustainable recycling, community involvement and water management.



C O N S E R V E (406) 586-1771


Text 579-9966 for Service 31910 Frontage Road Same Day Service for Most Repairs SALES Mon-Fri 9-6 • Sat 9-5 SERVICE Mon-Fri 7:30-6 • Sat 9-5


Big Sky Weekly

infographic by Taylor-Ann Smith

HEATIN’ UP THE 406 Montana Sets New Highs for Extreme Weather Events in 2012

In 2012, at least 92 record-breaking extreme weather records were set in Montana. Nationwide, 3,527 monthly weather records for extreme weather events hit communities throughout the US, according to an updated weather mapping tool and year-end review released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. 2012 tallies reveal more monthly weather records set than the 3,251 records smashed in 2011.



For more information about 2012’s record-breaking weather events, see: • NRDC’s 2012 Extreme Weather Mapping Tool • NRDC’s What Climate Change Looks Like

2012’s NOTABLE DISASTERS Summer: worst drought in 50 years with over 1,300 US counties in 29 states declared drought disaster areas

record-breaking extreme weather records

Wildfires burned over 9.2 million acres. The average size fires set an all-time record of 165 acres per fire, exceeding the prior average of approximately 90 acres per fire. Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge height, 13.88 feet, broke the record in New York Harbor. The cost of Sandy reached an estimated $79 billion with at least 131 deaths

Record-breaking heat in 31 counties with a total of 59 new heat records

Record-breaking rainfall in 12 counties with a total of 17 new rainfall records

Record-breaking snow in 10 counties with a total of 16 new snow records

128 massive wildfires

Bobcat spotted in Big Sky By JOSEPH T. O'CONNOR big sky weekly editor

BIG SKY – Bobcats are not necessarily rare in Montana – or in the greater United States, for that matter. But in winter they tend to move to lower elevations, according to Brian Giddings, Montana state furbearer coordinator with the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Parks.

tic house cat, but is the smallest of the state’s three “big cats” (Canada lynx and mountain lion). They have short tails and black tufts of fur on top of their ears and feed mostly on cottontail rabbits and snowshoe hares.

“They don’t have big enough feet [to handle] deep snow in winter,” Giddings said. So when John Haas spotted a John Haas spotted this bobcat outside of his home in bobcat walking Spanish Peaks North on Jan. 16. Photo by John Haas up his driveway in Spanish Peaks In Montana, hunters and trappers can North on Jan. 15, it caught him off guard. kill bobcats (five per season) from Dec. He went for his camera, but it was out of 1 – Feb. 15, but a quota is set at 250 batteries. The next morning, the bobcat bobcats. This season, the quota was strolled up the looped driveway about the reached by Christmas. same time, Haas said. But this time, Haas had camera equipment at the ready. “They are so stealthy,” Haas said. “He walked right near my dog and the dog had no idea.” Classified as one of 10 furbearer species in Montana, the bobcat or “Felis rufus,” is generally twice the size of a domes-

“There’s quite a demand for bobcats,” Giddings said. “Their fur is selling at a high price.” Bobcat pelts sold for $68 - $380 at last June’s North American Fur Auctions in Toronto, Canada, according to NAFA’s website.

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 31

2013 SKI JORING RACES February 2 &3, 2013 Feb 2nd - Registration starts at 10 am, races start at noon. $50.00 per team entry fee.

Door donations at the show are accepted to benefit the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.

Feb 3rd - Races start at 11 am. Registration for Sunday only riders begins at 10 am.

Steakhouse will be open on Saturday night with a 5:30pm Sleigh Ride available FREE COLD HARD CASH SHOW AT 8PM SATURDAY

FREE for Spectators Concessions will be available on site

Discounted lodging rates are available: use promo code ‘JORING’ to book online.

Picture life here

Representing distinguished properties and buyers in Big Sky, backed by an international network of sales & marketing professionals.

32 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013


Associate 406.600.8081

Section 3:

Big Sky Weekly

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 Volume 4 // Issue No. 2

life, land and culture


Lone Mountain Ranch trails By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

Two cross country skiers kick and glide up Ridge Run, winding between spruce and fir and pine, catching glimpses of Yellow Mountain through the trees. The afternoon sun throws their moving shadows long across the snowy meadows. The only sounds are the chatter of a songbird and the swish of their skis. With 85 kilometers of groomed trails, Lone Mountain Ranch has one of the most extensive nordic systems in the country. The uncrowded trails are known for their immaculate grooming and magnificent views of Lone Mountain. Spread out from the Meadow to the Big Sky Resort base area over 2,200 vertical feet, the trails wend through many different environments including sagebrush, creek bottoms, and sub-alpine forests and meadows. Built on a system of old logging roads, access is now maintained through a number of easements on private property. While new snow always helps keep the trails fresh, it’s not necessary, says LMR Nordic and Trails Director Denise Wade. That’s because the groomers till the trails, churning up and then resetting the track and skating surface every night. As well, the ranch’s new PistenBully 100 groomer, which widens the track a few inches on either side,

makes a firmer poling platform and more room on the trails, Wade said. “You can’t beat it,” said Big Sky local and former LMR nordic ski instructor, Katie Smith. “You can do any kind of skiing you want – go blast up a hill, relax with an easy skate ski on the golf course.” Smith particularly loves taking her Airedale-mix Andy out on the dog loop. “It’s also a perfect place to take family and friends. You can go skiing for the morning and then go have lunch. It just has it all.” The ranch also has 30 kilometers of snowshoe trails, and weekly trailside lunches.

Finding your way Each trail intersection is marked with a corresponding number on the trail map, as well as a variety of trail signs, and an arrow indicating the shortest way back to the Outdoor Shop at the ranch.

Beginners tip from Denise Wade, LMR Trails Director If any hill looks too steep, up or down, it’s OK to take off your skis and walk it.

Snowshoe trails Marked with blue plastic diamonds The ranch has 30 kilometers of snowshoe trails, which are narrower than the ski trails, and ungroomed. “It’s a quieter way to go,” says nordic staffer Martha Crocker. “Some people don't like to be as active as skiing might require, so snowshoeing is perfect. They feel really balanced on their snowshoes, you get that great outdoor solitude feeling, and you’re cruising in the woods so it’s really pretty.” Keep your eyes peeled for animal tracks in the deep snow beside the trails.

Katie Smith skis on the LMR trails Photo by Emily Stifler

Recommended trails Golf Course Loop

Length: 1-12 k Difficulty: Beginner Head out on a sunny day mid-winter and soak up the warmth, practice your skills on the small hills, or take an evening cruise on your skate skis after work. Don’t forget to look up at the view of Lone Mountain.

Dog Loop

Length: 1-15 k Difficulty: Beginner Ski with your four-legged friend!

Ranch Loop

Length: 6.5 k Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate Starting and ending at the ranch, this loop has a little bit of everything (views, trees, meadows, small hills, winding sections) and is a perfect place to find your ski legs.

Local’s pick: Middle Fork

Length: 13.5 k Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate Also known as the Poop Chute, the lower part of the Middle Fork Trail winds along a creek, up and down a few easy hills. “It’s really pretty along the creek bottom, and the trail has a really nice grade there,” Wade says. “It’s also a likely place to see moose, and sometimes elk are down in through there, too. You’re in the middle of Big Sky, but it feels like you’re not, at all. To bump up the difficulty, take a detour on Beaver Slide, and advanced .5k spur trail.

Walkin’ Jim’s Way

Length: 10 k Difficulty: Intermediate Named for the late Walkin’ Jim Stolz, a musician, environmentalist and long-time Lone Mountain Ranch employee, this trail wanders through lovely meadows and treed corridors below Yellow Mountain. The North Fork portion is steep, so bring snacks and water. Keep an eye out for moose tracks.

Mongolia/Siberia Loop

Length: 18 k Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced One of Wade’s favorites, this is a long loop with moderate difficulty. Never too steep, it has views around every corner. Bring a picnic and relax on the bench at the top.

Summit View

Length: 20 k Difficulty: Advanced This all day trek will challenge you physically, the culminating view of Lone Mountain at the top is a fine reward. Check out the views, then zoom all the way home.

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 33


Big Sky Weekly

LMR cross-country skiing lesson By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

Denis Wade (R) and Martha Crocker pick out trails on the LMR map. Photo by Emily Stifler

As a first time cross-country skier, I was a tad nervous before my lesson at Lone Mountain Ranch, but mostly I was excited. I’d heard mixed reviews regarding what to expect. One friend said it was harder than it looked, pulling out her iPhone and showing me pictures of fallen nordic soldiers. A fit backcountry skier told me to prepare for some heavy breathing, while another friend told me there wasn’t much to it – “if you can walk, you can cross-country ski,” he said.

graceful pace, I found myself “cheating” with my poles to move along, a bad habit my instructor, Martha Crocker, had forewarned me of.

I will affirm that if you can walk, you should be able to get around on cross-country skis fairly easily. However, mastering the glide takes time and patience. Frustrated by my inability to instantly pick up a fluid,

Waxless skis with a fish scale pattern in the kick zone gripped the snow, slowing down my glide, but making the trek uphill far easier than I anticipated. Ascending the trail quickly brought my heart rate up and was

Instructor Martha Crocker and author feel the rhythm before clicking in. Photo by Emily Stifler

much more pleasant than the Stairmaster. Although I will continue to spend most of my free time downhill skiing, nordic is no longer a mystery, and I don’t intend to abandon it. It beats going to the gym any day and is a good way to get out with the dogs and enjoy some fresh air and the peaceful, beautiful trails at Lone Mountain Ranch.


Aer ial of Estate 311


Live on the ski mountain. Enjoy the exper ience of a ranc h.

34 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013



Call 406-995-4900

Post Office Box 161097

Big Sky, Montana 59716 USA

“B e ar S c hool” by D anie l Park e r




Celebrating N a th an A n d e r s o n D a n A r m s t r on g J ud y an d B ob B e n n e t t M itc h B i l l i s Pa u l a B l e n d Ka th r y n B r ow n Ka th y B u r k e M a ry A n n C h e r r y

M O N TA N A A R T I STS ! Ar i ane C ol mane Ji m D i ck E l l i ot E at on Fr ances Gent r y Mar i na Kes s l er Peggy Kohl er Rei d Mor t h D ani el Par k er

Ritv a Porter Peggy Ring C. Dav id Swanson Jess Tode Robert Tom pkins Am anda Wilner Jill Zeidler and m any m ore...

Big Sky Weekly

Creighton Block

Partial List of Artists Represented

Rob Akey Greg Alexander Jim Barrett Susan Blackwood Diana Brady Dot Brandt Lynn Cain Todd Connor

Tom Dean John DeMott Jerral Derr yberr y Flavia Eckholm Edd Enders Thomas English Howard Friedland

R. Tom Gilleon Don Grant Mimi Grant Frank Hagel Ott Jones Harr y Koyama Dick Lauritzen

David Lemon Asha MacDonald Mike Patterson Paula Pearl Jacqueline Rieder Hud Gar y Lynn Rober ts Daniel San Souci

Deb Schmit Kevin Red Star Laurie Stevens Ezra Tucker Jack Waller Shirle Wempner Greg Woodard


W I N E TA S T I N G S E V E RY T H U R S DAY AT 4 : 3 0 P M

prov ide d by

R. Tom Gilleon “Mother Moon” Acr ylic on Canvas 50 x 50



Spirits & Gifts

Ar twork also displayed at Outlaw Par tners and Lone Mountain Ranch Dining Room 36 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013


outdoors Two new Bridger lifts approved for 2013-14 season

Big Sky Weekly


Offering Full Service Property Management and Home Owners Association Management in Big Sky

Bridger bowl ski area - The Bridger Bowl Board of Directors has approved a $4.1 million dollar multi-lift construction project to be completed in time for the 2013-14 season. The current Alpine chairlift, a 1967 Riblet double chair, will be replaced by two Skytrac triple chair lifts with ChairKid loading carpets, both of which will originate just north of the current Alpine Chair. The New Alpine Lift No. 1 will terminate below the north end of the North Bowl and serve intermediate terrain such as Powder Park Run, Powder Puff, Powder Hog and Baby Bear. The New Alpine Lift No. 2 will terminate at the top of Montagne's Meadow, providing easy access to some of Bridger’s best beginner, lower intermediate and intermediate terrain including Montagne's Meadow, Porcupine Run, Limestone and Bobcat.

Increased lift capacity, reliability and comfort to some of Bridger's best intermediate, lower intermediate and beginner terrain is the primary goal, according to a press release from the ski area. One of the major reasons for the positioning of these two lifts is to move the lifts, as well as beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders, away from the avalanche paths found at and around the top terminal of the current Alpine lift. Lift lines have already been cut for both two new lifts. New names for the chair lifts will be announced this spring. Work on the two new lifts will commence as soon as conditions permit this spring and will be planned for opening this fall of 2013.

Avalanche center and Grizzly offer free companion rescue clinic Feb. 8 – 9 By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – The Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, in partnership with Grizzly Outfitters, are offering a free Companion Rescue Clinic in Big Sky Feb. 8 and 9. This is a new course offering this year, and instructor Jay Pape has already taught two – one in Bozeman and Hyalite, and another geared toward snowmobilers in Cooke City. The idea: getting good with your avalanche beacon and rescue gear. “Everybody thinks they know how to use this stuff,” Pape says. “Often times you buy a probe and shovel and you never touch them again until you need them, at which point you [might] realize the mechanisms don't really work. You want to know how to use that gear when it really counts.”

Even professionals need to practice. Pape pointed toward new research by Big Sky patrollers, presented at the 2012 International Snow Science Workshop. The study found the biggest waste of time in a rescue scenario occurs before the search, when rescuers lose precious seconds getting beacons out of jackets and assembling shovels and probes. The six-hour course includes two hours of lecture the first night – a quick overview of how to execute a rescue, discussion about the gear and making sure people know how to work it – and a four-hour field session with rescue scenarios in the Big Sky backcountry the second day. The course is limited to 20 people, and registration is required. Register at, on the ‘Education’ page.

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 37

word from the resorts

Big Sky Weekly

Big Sky Resort By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

Expect the unexpected this season. With temperatures changing from below zero to 40 degrees within a week’s time, it seems like we’ve seen it all, and it’s only January. Neither a La Niña nor an El Niño year, weather officials are calling this season’s neutral phase No Niño, meaning that precipitation patterns are far less predictable. Luckily, when precipitation is lacking, Big Sky has enough acreage that there’s always more terrain to explore to keep things interesting. Skiing or riding down variable conditions only makes you a better skier or snowboarder, so use less than ideal conditions to your advantage – don’t take the easy way down. And enjoy those sunny days. If there’s no pow to put a smile on your face, it might as well be bluebird and sunny.

A silhouette of the tram against bluebird skies at Big Sky Resort Photo by Maria Wyllie

With one of the worst flu seasons in recent years, staying healthy this winter is key. On Monday, Jan. 28, Big Sky’s Boyne University is host-

ing “On Target Living,” a seminar presenting a guide for living a healthy, well-balanced life by nationally recognized health and fitness expert Chris

Johnson. A fitness session will be offered following the event at 1 p.m. The event is open to the public, and individuals must register in advance.

"Weather officials are calling this season’s neutral phase No Niño, meaning that precipitation patterns are far less predictable."

Lease a New 2012 RAV4 (gas) for $239 a month for 36 months with $1,000 Subvention Cash, $1,610 down and $1,499 due at signing. Due at signing costs include first month’s payment, $650 acquisition fee and $1,610 down payment. Example based on model #4432. Base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price $24,050. Monthly payments of $239 total $8,604. Net capitalized cost of $22,980 based on down payment and dealer participation, which may vary by dealer. Lease-end purchase option is $14,389.50. • Lease a New 2013 Tundra Double Cab 4.6L V8 for $309 a month for 36 months with $1,000 Subvention Cash, $2,040 down and $1,999 due at signing. Due at signing costs include first month’s payment, $650 acquisition fee and $2,040 down payment. Example based on model #8339. Base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price $30,760. Monthly payments of $309 total $11,124. Net capitalized cost of $29,738 based on down payment and dealer participation, which may vary by dealer. Lease-end purchase option is $18,631. • Lease a New 2013 Highlander SE V6 4x4 (gas) for $389 a month for 36 months with $1,650 down and $2,689 due at signing. Due at signing costs include first month’s payment, $650 acquisition fee and $1,650 down payment. Example based on model #6953. Base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price $35,860. Monthly payments of $389 total $14,004. Net capitalized cost of $34,341 based on down payment and dealer participation, which may vary by dealer. Lease-end purchase option is $22,591.80. • Lease a New 2013 Venza LE AWD V6 for $319 a month for 36 months plus $1500 Subvention Cash, $830 down and $1,799 due at signing. Due at signing costs include first month’s payment, $650 acquisition fee and $830 down payment. Example based on model #2822. Base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price $30,970. Monthly payments of $319 total $11,484. Net capitalized cost of $30,483 based on down payment and dealer participation, which may vary by dealer. Lease-end purchase option is $19,016.70. • Lease a New 2013 Sienna LE for $299 a month for 36 months plus $500 Subvention Cash, $1,650 down and $2,599 due at signing. Due at signing costs include first month’s payment, $650 acquisition fee and $1,650 down payment. Example based on model #5338. Base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price $29,985. Monthly payments of $299 total $10,764. Net capitalized cost of $28,439 based on down payment and dealer participation, which may vary by dealer. Lease-end purchase option is $17,691.15. • Payment may vary depending on final transaction price. 2012 RAV4 (gas), 2013 Tundra Double Cab, 2013 Venza LE AWD V6 and 2013 Sienna LE lease subvention cash from manufacturer, not applicable for cash back offers and must qualify for cash through Toyota Financial Services (TFS), does not include College or Military Rebates. Offers cannot be combined with any other offers, vary by region and are subject to availability. Security deposit waived. Does not include taxes, license, title, processing fees, insurance and dealer charges. Closed-end lease. $350 disposition fee due at lease end unless customer purchases vehicle or decides to re-finance through TFS. Customer responsible for maintenance, excess wear and tear and $0.15 per mile over 12,000 miles per year. To qualified Tier I+ customers through TFS. Offers good in MT, WA, ID, and OR. For WA, OR, ID, MT state dealerships, a negotiable documentary service fee in an amount up to $350 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. See your local participating Toyota dealer for details. Must take retail delivery from dealer stock by 2/4/2013.

Insert dealer logo and address. Toyota of Bozeman 866-623-5535 ad runs through 2/4/2013. NWT011713 AWD-Lease 10X7.6-4C.indd 1

1/21/13 3:40 PM

word from the resorts Moonlight Basin

Lone Mountain Ranch

By Niles Jeran

By Bob Foster

MLB snow reporter

Moonlight’s Zero Gravity Terrain Park has been steadily adding new features, including an elbow rail and a new kicker that will jumpstart your early season jib progression. The team has been working to have something for everybody, and the Peanut Butter and Rail Jam (see story on p. 17), showcased that hard work. Not into 40 ft. slides? Stop by Pony Park for some beginner fun and a chance to hone your skills.

Big Sky Weekly

lmr general manager

Moonlight has been cruising since the holiday season and is ready for mid-season wildness. A few storm cells are brewing and expected to land in a week’s time. Until then, get pow hunting off Lookout Ridge or take a hike up the Headwaters or into Horseshoe Bowl. Now is the time to get adventurous – no crowds, great snow and epic fun. Come make Moonlight your mountain this winter!

Oh, what a difference a week makes. With freezing one week to frying pan temperatures the next, the cross country skiing is still incredible. Women’s clinics have started and are offered Wednesdays, One of the new, lighter sleighs Photo courtesy of Lone from 10 a.m. Mountain Ranch to noon. Whether North Fork Cabin. They are more mayou’re a classic nordic skier or a skate neuverable and almost a third lighter, skier, beginner or advanced, you’ll and our horses like the natural wood learn how to improve and have a great color. It doesn’t clash with their time meeting friends. manes like the green ones did. Our first ice fishing trip to Hebgen Lake was a success. We didn’t catch them all, so call our outdoor shop and ask for John if you’re interested in going.

Rider at the Peanut Butter and Rail Jam Photo by Patrick Larson, coutesy of

During our fall break, head groomer Patrick McVey designed and built two new sleighs for our dinners at the

Moonlight Basin

Tip of the week: Try skiing or snowshoeing to work for at least three days this week. It’s not only good for the planet, but it also does wonders for your body. And remember, “skiing only downhill is like leaving a job half finished.”




Live Music Schedule Saturday Jan. 26

Tom Marino - 5-7 p.m.

Thursday Jan. 31

Driftwood Grinners - 9 p.m.

Saturday Feb. 2

Michael Harring - 5-7 p.m.

Saturday Feb. 9

Jeremy Morton - 5-7 p.m.

Thursday Feb. 14 Wednesday Feb. 20

The Tyler James Brigade - 9 p.m. The Whammy Band* - 9 p.m. ($15 cover)

*Featuring Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats



big sky, montana 406-995-3830


Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 39

EVENTS Wilderness and … Yellowstone Ablaze – The Great Fires of 1988 “Wilderness and … Yellowstone Ablaze – The Great Fires of 1988” will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Emerson Center’s Weaver room in Bozeman. Bob Barbee, Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park in 1988, will be the featured speaker at this program sponsored by the Madison-Gallatin Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association.

Big Sky Weekly

Skijoring at 320 Ranch The 320 Ranch will host skijoring, races featuring skiers pulled behind horses, on Feb. 2 and 3, with Cold Hard Cash playing a free show Saturday night, Feb. 2 in the Banquet Hall. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center. Races begin at noon on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. Visit for details or questions.

Nearly 25 years ago, historic 1988 Yellowstone fires redefined wildfire management on our public lands and advanced the concept that natural wildfire is an ecological process like sunshine or rain. Mr. Barbee, who was Yellowstone's Superintendent that year, will describe his summer of media onslaught and scapegoating, balanced with genuine understanding and empathy. “Wilderness and…” is a series of lectures designed for area newcomers, families, outdoor enthusiasts and anyone with a passion for wild places and protecting Montana’s wildlands. The program is free and open to the public.

Big Sky Outreach planning International Evening By audrae coury

big sky chamber of commerce

All Saints in Big Sky Outreach Community is planning an International Evening at Big Sky Chapel at 7:00 p.m. on February 4, involving country presentations and cultural sharing by workers and students from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. Community members and all winter workers are invited to meet the workers and share international experiences.

As the owner’s representative, I act as the client’s interpreter and guide, a trusted liaison, to manage the details and represent their interests throughout the construction process.

40 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

Bob Allen maintains his balance after losing a ski in last year's skijoring competition at 320 Ranch. Photo by Taylor Anderson

AUSTIN RECTOR, president Montana • 406-579-4914 Wyoming • 307-622-1533 /stoamanagement

EVENTS friday, jan. 25

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

sunday, jan. 27

thursday, jan. 31

Livingston & paradise valley

big sky

big sky

big sky

Big Sky Band Whiskey Jack’s, 9:30 p.m.

Tumbledown House Carabiner, 4 p.m.

The Driftwood Grinners Choppers, 9 p.m.



Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast Highgate Senior Living, 8 a.m.

Community Builders Summit MSU-SUB, 9 a.m.


Writing & Illustrating Books for Children Emerson Cultural Center, 9 a.m. (must register in advance)

MSU Lady Cats vs. E. Washington Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 7 p.m.

Irish Music Sing Pub 317, 7 p.m.

Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival Emerson Cultural Center, 8 p.m.

big sky

Bozeman Bobcat Indoor Track Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 4:30 p.m. West Coast Swing Dancing Mt. Movement Art Center, 7 p.m. Tanya Gabrielian Reynolds Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. Comedy Revue Equinox Theatre, 8 p.m. (and Sat.)

Telemark Community Race Series Bridger Bowl, Registration 8:30 a.m.

monday, jan. 28

Aceyalone Zebra, 9 p.m.

big sky

Dave Walker Band The Legion, 9 p.m. (and Sat.)

On Target Living w/ Chris Johnson Big Sky Resort, 9 a.m.

livingston & paradise valley

Brian Stumpf Whiskey Jack’s, 3:30 p.m.

Dig It Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.


DownTime Chico Hot Springs, 9 p.m. (and Sat.)

Local Foods Commerce Day Hilton Garden Inn, 9 a.m.

Flatt Cheddar Murray Bar, 9 p.m. west yellowstone Milton Menasco & The Big Fiasco Wild West Pizzeria, 8 p.m.

saturday, jan. 26 big sky Keep it Deep Festival Moonlight Basin Resort, 3 p.m. Tom Marino Choppers, 5 p.m. Rotary Club Gold Raffle Auction & Dinner Buck’s T-4, 6 p.m. Powderwhore’s “Adventures Chosen” Lone Peak Cinema, 8:30 p.m. MT Roadhouse Band Whiskey Jack’s, 9:30 p.m. Bozeman MSU Cats vs. Idaho St. Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 7 p.m. Cold Smoke Awards Tour Cat’s Paw, 8 p.m. Alpine Community Race Series Bridger Bowl, Registration 8:30 a.m. ‘Bout Damn Time Filling Station, 9 p.m. Livingston & paradise valley Prairie Wind Jammers Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m. The Dirty Shame Murray Bar, 9 p.m. west yellowstone Winter Trail Day Rendezvous Ski Trails, All Day Free Skiing & Rentals Kennedy & The Assassins Wild West Pizzeria, 8 p.m.

Big Sky Weekly

Tuesday, Jan. 29 big sky Kevin Fabozzi Carabiner, 4 p.m.

Jameson & the Sordid Seeds Filling Station, 9 p.m.

Groovesession Murray Bar, 9 p.m.

sunday, feb. 3

monday, feb. 4 John Derado Carabiner, 8:30 p.m.

tuesday, feb. 5

R.A. the Rugged Man Zebra, 9 p.m.

big sky

livingston & paradise valley

Pub Trivia Whiskey Jack’s, 9:30 p.m.

Bluegrass Jam Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.


StrangeWays Murray Bar, 9 p.m.

friday, feb. 1 big sky Little Jane & the Pistol Whips Whiskey Jack’s, 9:30 p.m.

Mardi Gras Celebration Downtown, Thru Feb. 12 Bluegrass Jam Pub 317, 7:30 p.m. Little Jane & the Pistol Whips Bacchus Pub, 8 p.m.

wednesday, feb. 6


Pub Trivia Whiskey Jack’s, 9:30 p.m.

Fly Fishing Film Tour Emerson Cultural Center, 7 p.m.


The Saddle Tramps Eagles, 9 p.m. (and Sat.)

Open Bluegrass Jam Pub 317, 7 p.m.

Jawbone Railroad Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

livingston & paradise valley

big sky “Winter in Yellowstone” presentation Buck’s T-4, 6 p.m. Shuffleboard Wednesday Lone Peak Brewery, 8 p.m. Mike Haring Carabiner, 8:30 p.m.

Lang Termes Bacchus Pub, 8 p.m.

907 Britt Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

Tom Cook Band Filling Station, 8 p.m.

Russ Nassett & The Revelators Chico Hot Springs, 9 p.m. (and Sat.)


The Big Mo Murray Bar, 9 p.m.

GNFAC Basic Avalanche Awareness for Women REI, 6:30 p.m.

wednesday, Jan. 30 big sky The Bad Larry’s Big Sky Resort, 8 p.m. Shuffleboard Wednesday Lone Peak Brewery, 8 p.m. Bozeman Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout talk REI, 6:30 Jawbone Railroad Starky’s, 6:30 p.m. Portland Cello Project Reynolds Recital Hall, 7 p.m. Rat Pack Show Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 7:30 p.m. Livingston & paradise valley Writer’s Night Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m. Jameson & the Sordid Seeds Murray Bar, 9 p.m.

west yellowstone Jameson & the Sordid Seeds Wild West Pizzeria, 8 p.m. (and Sat.)

saturday, feb. 2 big sky Skijoring Races (See p. 40) 320 Guest Ranch, noon (and Sat.)

Dan Moore Reynolds Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. UKE Group Wild Joe’s, 7:30 p.m. Rappin 4 Tay Filling Station, 9 p.m. livingston & paradise valley

Dos Mayos Whiskey Jack’s, 3:30 p.m.

Margot Kidder Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

Lone Mountain Trio Carabiner, 8:30 p.m.


Bozeman Skin to Win Randonee Rally Bridger Bowl, 8:30 a.m. Register by Wed., Jan. 30

thursday, feb. 7 Men’s Night Downtown, 5 p.m.

Have a Heart Art Auction Emerson Cultural Center, 6:30 p.m. Tsunami Funk The Legion, 9 p.m.

NORRIS HOT SPRINGS Music starts at 7 p.m. every Fri., Sat., Sun. For listings check

Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 41

some restaurants do italian food. some do chinese food.

entertainment SheJumps is sending video contest winner to Tailgate Alaska


By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

SALT LAKE CITY – SheJumps, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting women’s participation in outdoor sports, is inviting female skiers and snowboarders to submit videos demonstrating their best mountain moves for a chance to win two free tickets and transportation to the sixth annual Flow Tailgate Alaska, the world’s largest backcountry gathering. Taking place in Valdez, Alaska, from March 29 – April 7, Flow Tailgate Alaska offers participants direct access to some of the world’s best backcountry terrain. Aside from skiing and riding, the festival also hosts snow science and survival education, sled-riding and sledmaintenance clinics, event giveaways, music, vendors and parties.

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Big Sky Weekly

Entrants do not have to be professional skiers or snowboarders, but they are expected to be able to use their gear and have basic backcoun-

serving breakfast lunch & dinner

try knowledge. This year’s event is capped at 150 and is designed to be a learning experience for all participants, with a large emphasis on backcountry safety and education. Recognizing the underwhelming number of female leaders in bigmountain skiing and riding, SheJumps and Tailgate Alaska hope the contest will encourage more women to make the journey to Alaska while also providing exposure for new talent. Video footage must be one to five minutes in length, shot in winter 2011/12 or 2012/13, and demonstrate an athlete’s backcountry/ skiing and riding abilities, smartdecision making in the mountains, and creativity. A panel of experts will select the winner. Submit videos through the SheJumps Facebook page by 1 a.m. MST on Feb. 28, 2013. Visit for contest details and for event details.

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Big Sky, Montana 42 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013



Big Sky Weekly

Big Sky Big Grass Music Festival adds regional band showcase and music camp Sam Bush, Del McCoury to headline event By maria wyllie

the festival and a Monday morning presentation at Ophir School.

big sky weekly editorial assistant

BIG SKY – The seventh annual Big Sky Big Grass Music Festival, billed as the largest winter bluegrass festival in the Northern Rockies, will be Feb. 8-10 at Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Village.

Dedicated to spreading bluegrass, the band is flying to LA for the Grammys on Sunday morning and returning to Big Sky Monday morning to conduct their Traditional American Music Program for 5-12 graders at the school.

Bluegrass giants, the Sam Bush Band and the Del McCoury Band, will headline the event on Friday and Saturday nights. The three-day festival also includes performances by the Emmitt-Nershi Band, Travelling McCourys, Special Consensus, the Pete Kartsounes Band and more. The event has sold out the past two years, so this year festival organizer Steve Merlino, who also works as food and beverage manager at the Summit Hotel, faces the challenge of finding other ways to grow it since space is limited. New this year are a regional band showcase, a music camp, and a small-scaled brew fest. The regional bluegrass band showcase will be Friday evening from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Missouri Ballroom and will feature five bands, each playing a 30-minute set, from Big Sky, Bozeman, Billings and Missoula. Introducing lesser-known Montana bluegrass bands to the festival, Merlino’s vision is to create a dialogue between young artists and critically acclaimed musicians like Sam Bush who can answer questions about their music and suggest ways to improve. Pete Barrett, guitarist and vocalist for Missoula-based Lil Smokies said they are excited to share their music with a new audience while also learning from other musicians and getting feedback from big-name artists like Sam Bush and Bill Nershi. “We play some pretty out there instrumentals – it’s pretty far from traditional bluegrass,” Barrett said, referring to the band’s newer material. “But when the Travelling McCourys play together, who knows what’s going to happen. I’d like to hear from those guys about what we’re doing.” It wasn’t until after the bands were selected that Merlino realized they would serve as a good advertising mechanism for the festival, draw-

Music education will also be spread to the younger students. World-renowned auto harpist Bryan Bowers, also playing at the festival, will perform a 30-minute set for classrooms in grades k-4. Although the festival is outgrowing its venue, Merlino is making lemonade by building the educational component, making it a learning experience for musicians as well as the local community.

Ron McCoury, Drew Emmitt and Sam Bush get down at Big Sky Big Grass 2012.

ing people from across the state and spreading the word about Big Sky Big Grass to bluegrass fans. The “Big Sky Libation Station,” a smaller-scaled brew-fest sponsored by New Belgium Brewery and George’s Wine, will also take place Friday night. All proceeds will go to the newly created Big Grass Music Camp, a workshop to be held Feb. 7 and 8, where artists will lead guitar, mandolin, bass and banjo workshops, as well as seminars on songwriting and performing live. Rather than involving the resort, Merlino plans to use the festival as a kickoff for the camp, which he hopes can eventually become a part of the community and the summer songwriting festival already in place. “It’s not about making money. It’s about getting [the program] established and moving it forward,” Merlino added. “I firmly believe any of these types of things need an educational component. ” Local artists, members of the Grammy-nominated Special Consensus, and other awardwinning bluegrass musicians are offering their time to the camp, free of charge. Ten spots have been allotted for each instrument, and, depending on interest, Merlino is considering offering a free class for local kids who play string instruments.

Prior to receiving the nomination, Special Consensus was booked for a Saturday night performance at


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Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 43

44 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

Big Sky Weekly


Big Sky Weekly

Find out what tunes we’re bumping! In “Powder Playlist,” Big Sky Weekly staff and guests suggest a soundtrack for a day on the mountain, and guests have a chance to share what they listen to when they shred. Keep in mind, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings while skiing, and listening to music too loudly can be dangerous.

Guest picks

Staff picks

Metal head Ryan Dorn, who works as a tax accountant in Chicago, has been visiting Big Sky for the past eight years. Rather than listening to a variety of artists when skiing, Dorn listens to an entire album before moving on. After filing taxes all day, it’s no wonder he needs to blow off some steam with some raging metal tracks. “Nothing gets me psyched up for a good run like metal,” Dorn says. Listed below are tracks from a few albums he’s been listening to.

By Maria Wyllie BIG SKY WEEKLY EIDITORIAL ASSISTANT There are good songs to cruise to, good songs to ride lifts to, and good songs to shred hard to. The songs listed below are good sunny day tunes – ideal for mellow runs when om you just want to soak up some rays while jamming ck.c out and basking in the beauty of Lone Sto n Mountain. e p rO cto .Ve w w At their core, they are pure and wtruthful, just like the mountains. Depicting painful experi-

ences, struggles and the search for self-discovery, they allow me to escape from those riding by me, and help me connect solely with the grandeur of the mountain beneath my skis and with the skies extending far beyond me.

Dark Tranquility, "Damage Done" 1. "Final Resistance" 2. "Hours Passed in Exile"

1. "Here and Heaven," The Goat Rodeo Sessions

3. "Monochromatic Stains"

2. "Stage Fright," The Band 3. "Stay," Alison Krauss & Union Station

Disarmoni Mundi, "Mind Tricks"

4. "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," Pink Floyd

1. "Resurrection Code"

5. "Wild Horses," The Rolling Stones

2. "Mindtricks"

6. "Seven Story Mountain," Railroad Earth

3. "Celestial Furnace"

7. "Can’t Find My Way Home," Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton 8. "Bound for Glory," Tedeschi Trucks Band

Deftones, "Koi No Yokan"

9. "Old Man," Neil Young

1. "Swerve City"

10. "Sliding Down," Edgar Meyer with Béla Fleck and Mike Marshall

2. "Romantic Dreams" 3. "Leathers"

Ryan Dorn Photo by Maria Wyllie

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Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013 45


Big Sky Weekly

Winded and angry By jamie balke

big sky weekly columnist

There was a time when I didn’t hate running. Growing up in the Midwest, I participated in my share of sports teams, but my favorite for many years was basketball. I’m tall, so it made sense. My freshman year of high school, the basketball team required me to participate in a fall sport. For reasons I can’t remember or currently fathom, I chose cross-country. I had never run for the sole purpose of running. Rather, I was always running to get in shape for another sport. The cross-country coach was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. His kindness permeated the team, and it was a rare bastion of acceptance and encouragement in an otherwise ruthless school. We had all sorts of weird and fun traditions, and I ended up staying with the team all four years, even though I left basketball after sophomore year. I kept running during college, and after graduating, pursued a job with very specific fitness tests. When I moved onto a different type of work, I experienced a dramatic moment of immaturity and decided since it was no longer a requirement, I’d quit running.

sending a lame excuse keeps me honest. As well, I hope writing about it in this column will keep me on task.

This moment lasted for several years during which other than outdoor ventures, exercise involved sporadic elliptical machine use, and only ended last week.

My wonderful, ambitious friend proposed the Run to the Pub in March, believing it to be a 5k. It is in fact a 10k or a halfmarathon, and in a horrifying twist, the plan to participate has not changed.

Last week, I met a friend at the gym, mentally prepared to rock out on an elliptical. Instead, I found her walking on a treadmill. Hopping onto the adjacent machine, I walked for a bit, and then began jogging on a whim. She followed suit, and before long we had approximately the following conversation: Friend: You know, I’ve never passed the three-mile mark. Me: Really? I think you could do it. (At this point I should have stopped talking. Instead, the following words spewed forth from my face). In fact, I’ll work on it with you.

To the author's chagrin, Bozeman's annual Run to the Pub is a 10k and Half Marathon, taking place this year on March 16.

Friend: We should do a 5k. Me: Yeah, totally. Since that time, I’ve mostly been winded and angry. My days have been

filled with a disconcerting amount of unsightly sweat. My friend and I have set a goal to run together weekly, and are messaging each other with times and distances when we go it alone. This has been an effective strategy so far. If left to my own devices I would rationalize a reason to skip a day, or possibly the majority of days. Instead, the shame of

From what I understand, there will be Saint Patrick’s Dayrelated costumes and beer at the end, which helps soften the blow. My friend has promised that we will wear green tutus, but even this has not completely stifled my urge to flee (at a walking pace).

So, should you run past a winded and angry woman in a green tutu cursing the sky during the Run to the Pub, that will probably be me. Cheers! Jamie Balke moved to Bozeman in the fall of 2009. She could do without all of this running nonsense.

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ADVANTAGES OF OWNERSHIP: • Mortgage Interest Deduction • Depreciation Deduction

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Suite A

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Square Footage

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Purchase Price

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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.

How to be an eco-friendly skier: Part 2 By Kristen Pope

big sky weekly contributor

Being an eco-friendly skier or snowboarder can be challenging, especially when selecting gear, there are organizations that certify products to meet certain sustainability standards. It would take eons to wade through the environmental and sustainability practices, policies and philosophies from the manufacturers of all possible products. It's also difficult to discern truly ecologically sensitive practices from the “greenwashing” marketing some companies use in order to make consumers think they are greener than they are. How can a responsible consumer know which companies truly act

Völkl's NAWARO Skis are made from 74 percent renewable resources including wood cores, recycled steel, linen and flax fibers.

with the environment in mind? The short answer is that it’s quite difficult. When looking for an eco-friendly product, some factors to consider are the materials used, the production process, and the post-production factors including shipping and packaging. Check if the materials used are recycled, sustainably harvested, or from an eco-friendly source. Avoid production processes

that use harmful chemicals and non-renewable energy. Finally, consider how the gear is shipped, including the distance shipped, transportation method and packaging materials used.

mont-based Green Mountain Ski Furniture transforms old skis and gear into chairs, benches, coat racks, bottle openers and birdhouses. People can even have personalized items made from their old gear.

Looking at the main materials used in production is a good place to start when researching a purchase. Sustainable bamboo is becoming more popular in skis (such as Salomon's Geisha and Shogun skis).

Snowsports Industries America runs the Snow Sports Recycling Program, which has collected over 350 tons of used skis, snowboards, ski boots, snowboard boots, poles and helmets and transformed them into materials for construction, landscaping, fixtures and furniture, keeping worn out gear from ending up in landfills.

Rossignol uses renewable wood in 90 percent of their skis and snowboards. Völkl's NAWARO Skis are made from 74 percent renewable resources including wood cores, recycled steel, linen and flax fibers. Oakley even has a pair of recycled sunglasses accented with sustainable organic bamboo. However, some manufacturers insist on using non-renewable resources, believing them to be superior to other materials. Arc'teryx, for example, states on its website, “We have not yet found acceptable renewable alternatives that don't substantially affect our product's performance or durability.” According to the site, a durable product is more environmentally responsible than an inferior product that requires frequent replacement. It’s hard to compare manufacturers' assertions and weigh their relative environmental impact. Is sustainably harvested bamboo from halfway around the world a better choice than a locally made product using virgin wood from a company that donates to environmental causes? The possible comparisons are endless. Repurposing and recycling used gear is more straightforward. Worn out gear can be transformed into a completely different product. Ver-

48 Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2013

“We saw a lot of materials going to the landfill, and we wanted to be able to stem that,” SSRP Manager Greg Schneider said. “These materials are made to last who knows how long.” Currently, most SSRP collection centers are located in Colorado, but SIA hopes to expand the program to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho in the near future. Check for current drop off locations. By keeping the environment in mind when making purchasing decisions, buyers encourage manufacturers to use eco-friendly materials and practices. While there is not one correct eco-friendly choice, every little bit helps protect the mountains where we live and play.

Kristen Pope is a writer and environmental educator who lives in Jackson, Wyo.