STEVENSVILLE - Montana hunter education class for Stevensville will start with registration at 7 p.m. Aug. 8, at the Lee Metcalf Refuge Office Complex. A parent or guardian and the student must attend registration. Bring a pen to registration. Students need to be registered before they can attend classes.

The classes will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31; and Sept. 5 and 7, with a field course Sept. 9. The students must attend all classes and bring a pencil or pen. All persons born after Jan. 1, 1985, are required to provide proof of completion of a hunter safety and education course.

The course is open to adults as well as youths 11 or older (you must be 12 to hunt). The course is taught by volunteer instructors and is free. For more information on the Hamilton class call Missoula FWP at 542-5500 or Doreen Meisner at 777-3442. For dates on other classes please check out the Web site at fwp.state.mt.us.

Comment sought on use

of FWP-managed sites

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission is seeking public comment on proposed new rules that would require a permit and a fee to use FWP-managed sites for commercial purposes. Commercial uses would include guided angling and rafting, guided walks and tours, guided trail rides, and commercial filming. The proposed commercial use rules include guidelines for evaluating whether a request is compatible with public expectations and with the management objectives for that FWP site.

FWP also is seeking public comment on two alternatives for commercial use on wildlife management areas. One would prohibit commercial use on these sites and the other would allow some types of approved commercial use. Public comments will be taken until Sept. 12, and during eight public meetings to be held in August from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the following locations: Aug. 21, in Butte at the Red Lion Hotel; Aug. 22, in Bozeman at the FWP Region 3 Headquarters; Aug. 23, in Billings at the FWP Region 5 Headquarters; Aug. 24, in Miles City at the FWP Region 7 Headquarters; Aug. 28, in Missoula at the Holiday Inn Parkside; Aug. 29, in Kalispell at the West Coast Outlaw Hotel; Aug. 30, in Great Falls at the FWP Region 4 Headquarters; Aug. 31, in Glasgow at the FWP Region 6 Headquarters.

The full text of the proposed rules is available on the FWP Web site at www.fwp.mt.gov under Public Notices. Please e-mail comments by Sept. 12, to csperry@mt.gov; or mail them to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Attn. Commercial Use Rules, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

Roads open in Seeley Lake for firewood gathering

SEELEY LAKE - The following roads on the Swan Lake District of the Flathead National Forest will be open through Sept. 15 for firewood gathering: Forest roads No. 2960, No. 2823 and No. 2999 in the Patrick Creek drainage; forest road No. 2898 in the Stoner Creek area (slash piles from recent logging); forest roads No. 9514, No. 9507, No. 9501 and No. 9508 in the Swan Lake area.

Firewood cutting is allowed for personal use, and a valid permit must be in the possession of anyone cutting wood. Permits are available from any U.S. Forest Service office for $5 per cord, minimum two cords, or from several commercial vendors throughout the area.

All Forest Service property open for firewood cutting requires vehicles to remain on existing roads and skid trails. For more information, call the Swan Lake Ranger District at (406) 837-7500.

Next interpretive program at Salmon Lake is Aug. 12

SALMON LAKE - Due to a previously scheduled wedding at Salmon Lake State Park, there will be no interpretive program on Saturday, Aug. 5. Join us on Aug. 12, for &#8220Beyond Spirit Tailings" as historian Ellen Baumler returns with more proof that Montana is alive with things that go bump in the Big Sky night.

Ghostly encounters in Montana's heritage places and historical mysteries are the focus of this program. The monster said to lurk in the deep waters of Flathead Lake, a ghost train that rumbles through the Bitterroot Valley, and the spirit of a hitchhiking priest are just a few of the tales that will leave you looking over your shoulder, sleeping with the lights on and craving more.

Naturalist to lead wildflower walk

WHITEHALL - On Thursday, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park naturalist Tom Forwood will lead the final wildflower walk of the season. This walk will focus on the liatris flowers. On Thursday, Aug. 10, Tom will be leading a riverside walk along the Jefferson. This walk will feature the park's riparian area and includes plants animals and good birding opportunities. On the final three Thursdays of the month Tom will be giving slideshows on wildflowers. On Thursday, Aug. 17, the show will be on wildflowers of Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. Aug. 24 and Aug. 31 will focus on wildflowers from other parts of Montana, taken on Tom's many travels, hikes and climbs.

Both walks and the slideshows will meet at 7 p.m. at the campground's main parking area. Also, throughout August every Friday at 8 p.m., the park will feature various speakers for our campfire series, and every Saturday night through August at 7:30 there will be interpretive programs. All programs are free to Montana residents and registered campers. All Friday and Saturday talks will meet at the park amphitheater located on the north side of the campground. For more information or inclement weather plans, please call Forwood at the caverns at (406) 287-3541.

Elk bugling contest slated for Aug. 26 in Lincoln

LINCOLN - The &#8220Ragin' in the Rockies" elk bugling contest will be held at the Wilderness Bar in Lincoln on Saturday, Aug. 26. Registration begins at 1 p.m. and the contest begins at 2 p.m. For more information call 362-9200.

Missoulian

Free program focuses on Northern Plains Indians

WHITEHALL - Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park will host Montana Committee for the Humanities Speakers Bureau program, &#8220Dog Days to Horse Culture," with Karyn Follis Cheatham on Friday, Aug. 4. The presentation will be at the campground amphitheater at 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Cheatham's talk focuses on the Northern Plains Indians, who are most often described as part of the American Indian Horse Culture. This program is a way to develop an appreciation of the rich culture of the Northern Plains, which began centuries before the arrival of the modern horse. Cheatham is a historian, speaker and published author from Helena, who writes about minorities in the West. For additional information, call Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park at (406) 287-3541.

Rattlesnakes focus of lecture at Bannack Park

BANNACK - Rattlesnakes are fascinating, misunderstood and dangerous creatures. Join rattlesnake expert, Roger Siemens, at 2 p.m. Saturday at the group-use area at Bannack State Park, to separate the myths from realities. You can safely get up close and personal with live rattlesnakes during the program. This summer Bannack State Park has a variety of educational programs and entertainment. Lecture and demonstration programs begin at 2 p.m. and entertainment programs at 7 p.m. on alternate Saturdays. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call Bannack State Park at (406) 834-3413.

Float and weed pull planned on Bitterroot

HAMILTON - Join in the Bitterroot float and weed pull at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Float from Angler's Roost to Riverside Park in Hamilton, pull weeds and learn about the different weeds along the river. Following the float there will be a barbecue, prize giveaways and music. Registration is required. If you do not have your own boat and need floating accommodations, the registration deadline is Aug. 3. If you do have your own boat, please RSVP anyway. Call 777-5842 for details.

Hunter education class scheduled in Frenchtown

FRENCHTOWN - Orientation for the Frenchtown hunter education course will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Frenchtown Fire Administration Building. One parent or guardian must attend with the student. This course will consist of home study; a pre-test, 6-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, to check for understanding of the material; hands-on classroom session on Saturday, Aug. 26; and a field course from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Deer Creek Rifle Range.

Anyone wanting to hunt, born after Jan. 1, 1985, must take a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. The student must be 12 years old by Dec. 31, 2006. The class will be limited to 30 students. Please call and pre-register. For more information, call Neil Maier at 626-4730.

Weed management focus of discussion in Lolo

LOLO - Join Alan Knudsen, weed management coordinator for the Missoula County Weed District, as he explains our local weed problems and some of the current chemical and biological efforts used as controls. This program will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at Travelers' Rest State Park, located 1/2 mile west of Lolo on U.S. Highway 12. Please bring your own chair. For more information, please call the Travelers' Rest Preservation and Heritage Association at 273-4253.

Missoulian

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