Community briefs for Nov. 21

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Haskill Basin

The next meeting of the Haskill Basin Watershed Council has been scheduled on Nov. 27, 2018 in the Riverside Plaza second floor conference room, 100 Second St. East, Whitefish, at 6 p.m. Enter from back of building on the second floor. For more information, contact Flathead Conservation District at 752-4220 or see the agenda posted on the website, www.flatheadcd.org.

Hike

Whitefish Legacy Partners is teaming up with REI Kalispell to host an OptOutside guided hike on the Whitefish Trail during Black Friday, Nov. 23. Burn off that turkey dinner and join WLP Executive Director, Heidi Van Everen, for a guided hike to the newly completed boardwalk and viewing platform in Haskill Basin. The hike will start at 11 a.m. from the Big Mountain Trailhead on Big Mountain Road. Come prepared for the day’s weather and snow conditions — mostly likely boots will be fine with yaktrax or trekking poles if needed. The hike is easy to moderate and approximately 3 miles round-trip. This event is free, open to the public, and is appropriate for all ages.

For more information about the photo program or other scheduled outings, visit www.whitefishlegacy.org or call 406-862-3880 or email info@whitefishlegacy.org.

FEC scholarships

Flathead Electric Cooperative is accepting applications now for two scholarship opportunities for the 2019 academic year. Basin Electric Power Cooperative awards one $1,000 scholarship each year to a Flathead Electric member’s child, and the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association awards one $500 scholarship to a regional electric cooperative member’s child.

To be eligible, the applicant or their parent/guardian must be a member of Flathead Electric Cooperative, and they must be graduating from high school or currently attending an undergraduate college. By completing one online application, students will be considered for both scholarships. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2019. Awards will be announced in March 2019. For more information or to apply, visit www.flatheadelectric.com/scholarships.

Montana Wilderness Association is pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 Picture Wild Montana Photo Contest. Running through Dec. 16, the contest aims to gather photos highlighting Montana’s wild and public lands and showcase the work of professional and amateur photographers across Montana.

In 2017, the contest received over 1,000 submissions from photographers across the country who had been captivated by Montana’s wild places. Entries for the 2018 contest may be submitted at www.wildmontana.org/photocontest through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. Prizes include a gift certificate to Montana outdoor shop The Base Camp, a free pair of boots from Bozeman-based Oboz Footwear, packages from Red Lodge-based Crazy Creek, bear spray from Kalispell-based Counter Assault, and more.

Finalists will be judged by Luke Duran, art director at Montana Outdoors magazine. Judging criteria include artistic value, content, composition, originality, and technical expertise. Photos can be shot on smartphones or cameras and can showcase natural landscapes, wildlife, or outdoor activities that are particularly beautiful or meaningful to the photographer. All submissions must be taken on public lands in Montana.

For more details and full contest rules, visit www.wildmontana.org/photocontest.

A public information meeting on the conservation and management of mountain lion populations in Montana is scheduled for Nov. 29 in Kalispell.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 1 headquarters, 490 N. Meridian, Kalispell, MT. FWP Biologist Jay Kolbe will present information from the new draft Montana Mountain Lion Monitoring and Management Strategy, which is open for public comment until Jan. 11, 2019. Kolbe and other FWP staff will be available to answer questions, but the meeting is informational-only and not a public hearing that will formally accept public comment.

Mountain lions are a native carnivore that are thriving in northwest Montana ecosystems. They are also a highly prized game animal. FWP is committed to maintaining sustainable lion populations in all suitable habitats of the state. Over the last 25 years, FWP has made significant investments in field research that helps inform lion management. With this and research done in other states and provinces, FWP is proposing to use the latest science and state-of-the-art methods and tools to monitor Montana’s lion populations.

The draft strategy does not lay out any population objectives or harvest recommendations but only speaks to guidelines as to how FWP will manage and monitor lions.

To read the draft strategy, visit http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2018/mtnLionMgmtStrategy.html.

Members of the public can submit comments at fwp.mt.gov/hunting, by mailing to Wildlife Division, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701, or by emailing fwpwld@mt.gov.

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