The Char-Koosta News publishes a rebuttal by Thompson Smith to arguments against tribal efforts to take over management of the National Bison Range. Smith's piece also recounts a long history of buffalo-raising on the Flathead Reservation and controversial land use decisions there.
Also in the Char-Koosta, more than 200 people turned out for an annual bitterroot harvest at Camas Prairie last Friday. The roots were prepared in traditional fashion to go with a big dinner at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius.
Hamilton's Rocky Mountain Laboratories is growing, and Missoula Independent reporter Jed Gottlieb writes that the city government "has done its best to "zip the lip of public discussion" on the changes. The story looks into how the lab will affect Hamilton's ailing sewer system and what residents think about plans to bring in some of the world's most deadly organisms for study.
Libby's new Port Authority is looking hard at winning a donation of property from the Stimson Lumber Co., which closed its plywood mill there last year, the Western News Online reports this week. While the group has pursued ideas of reopening the mill, there are now thoughts of finding some other use for the land. Turning it into a timber brokerage site is one idea. Others are considering finding a business like a call center that would want to relocate to Libby.
Whitefish residents were skeptical about plans to get more revenue from state school trust lands around town, the Whitefish Pilot reports. Department of Natural Resources officials spoke at two public hearings about the potential to "sell developmental rights, recreational, logging, mineral, commercial, industrial or agricultural rights," in ways that might bring in the highest and best use. Residents were concerned that the process could be a windfall for developers at the expense of the community.