Makoshika State Park is experiencing increased visitation, according to the Montana State Park Midyear Visitation Report. According to the visitation report, Makoshika had a total of 72,650 visitors by the end of the second quarter of the year, an increase of about 24% over the same period in 2020. This is the first year the park has had a functioning water line for visitors to use.
The Women’s Business Center at Prospera Network and the Women’s Entrepreneurship & Leadership Lab received $240,000 and $125,000 respectively from Wells Fargo Bank. MoFi, a nonprofit lender, received a grant of $2.1 million earlier in the year. Wells Fargo has gifted almost $5 million in grant money to nonprofits in Montana over the past three years. The money given to the Women’s Business Center is will be used for the creation of a mentoring program. The Women’s Entrepreneurship & Leadership Lab funds will help address issues women face when starting a business. MoFi’s grant money has been put toward lending for businesses affected by the pandemic.
Ceres Bakery, owned by Hannah Bjornson and her husband Rick Grimm expanded in June by creating an indoor seating area. Ceres opened 15 years ago at 318 Main St, Kalispell. They plan to expand the menu to match the square feet expansion.
Last Call Modern Mexican, at 19 S. Willson Avenue, Bozeman, opened in July with an Baja- Style menu. Luis Valdovinos, the chef and owner has moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The grand opening is planned for September. The recipes reflect food he grew up eating and dishes he makes for himself at home.
The Kalispell City Council recently approved two development projects. The first was a recommendation to build a boutique hotel at the Third Street West and Main Street. The second was a conditional-use permit to build above the historic grain silos located at 505 W. Center St. These are two steps toward the current council’s goal of revitalizing downtown Kalispell.
The Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority held an in-person conference in Lewistown recently where discussions were held about what needs to be done to rebuild and maintain a passenger rail route through the southern tier of Montana.
The Bureau of Land Management has announced it will begin a process that will allow cancelled lease sales to be posted late this year. The framework outlined by the Bureau of Land Management includes a 30-day scoping period that will take into account comments received, ending on Oct. 1. After that, BLM will do an environmental review of the parcels for potential leasing and provide another opportunity for public comment. Following the environmental review, available parcels will be identified, along with applicable stipulations, for yet more public comment. The release states that the BLM Montana/Dakotas State Office anticipates publishing a Notice of Competitive Lease Sale later this year. The slow-walk outlined by the BLM is intended to comply with a Louisiana District Court order that said the Biden administration could not simply cancel quarterly lease sales
A Japanese delegation is touring oilfield sites in Dickinson and visiting Medora today as part of a discussion of future investment opportunities in the state’s carbon capture and utilization goals. The delegation is interested in the continued growth and potential for carbon capture, storage and utilization in North Dakota, as well as enhanced oil recovery, use of carbon in agriculture, and the state’s hydrogen hub. Included in the discussions were several Japanese companies focused on energy.
The U.S. Forest Service is poised to begin a massive forestry project that aims to improve habitat and reduce fuels for communities in the Swan Valley. The Mid-Swan Landscape Restoration and Wildland Urban Interface Project would cover more than 174,000 acres of the Flathead National Forest around Condon and Swan Lake. The project could last up to 15 years. The Project area is home to grizzly bears, bull trout and Canada lynx, all of which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Madisen and Kyle Duty, owners of Huck’s Place at 217 Central Ave in Whitefish. Huck’s is billed as a ginger brew and juice bar. The Duty’s make their own beverages using plant-based ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and kale. Ginger brew is a combination of ginger, lemon, vanilla, cane sugar and water.
Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle & Guest Ranch is the 2021 recipient of the Montana Leopold Conservation Award. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes farmers, ranchers and forestland owners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management. Sand County Foundation and American Farmland Trust present the award in Montana with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Rangeland Resources Committee. Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle & Guest Ranch, located near Townsend, is owned by the Flynn family. The late Kelly Flynn, who served in the Montana Legislature from 2010 to 2018, passed away earlier this year. The ranch is operated by his wife Jill Flynn and the families of their daughters, Shannon and Siobhan. The family receives $10,000 and a crystal award. Last year’s award recipient was C Lazy J Livestock, owned by Craig and Conni French of Malta in Phillips County. Bill and Dana Milton of Roundup in Musselshell County were the first recipients in 2019.
The Montana Department of Transportation announced a proposal to gravel overlay about 11.5 miles of Secondary Highway 381, southwest of Roundup in Musselshell County. Proposed work includes applying a new gravel overlay and updating signage. The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2022.
The Carroll Companies announced the addition of Will Peete to their Land Acquisitions Team. Peete is a JD/MBA with over 15 years of local, national, & international experience in real property, natural resources, community building, land management, and energy sectors. He grew up in North Carolina, but spent most of his career in the Rocky Mountains. He studied at Montana State University, North Carolina State University, and Wake Forest University. Peete has over 10 years of experience with real estate due diligence, property acquisition, and management. Founded and headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, more than 30 years ago, The Carroll Companies has since grown strategically and diversified into a real estate conglomerate specializing in land development, construction, ownership, hospitality, management and publication with a total estimated valuation of over $3 billion.
California officials have agreed to pay $800,000 in prevailing-party attorneys’ fees to a popular Christian megachurch in Los Angeles after state and federal courts in California issued permanent injunctions barring government officials there from ever again imposing discriminatory restrictions on houses of worship.
This is the first year Gallatin Ice is setting up for a year-round ice rink. The first seasonal ice rink in Bozeman was founded over 40 years ago and due to the Bozeman ice community and youth programs expanding Gallatin Ice needed to campaign for a year-long ice rink, which had previously only be operational for six months a year. Gallatin Ice started a campaign where the non-profit was able to achieve half of their necessary funds to build a year-round rink. The Bozeman ice rink offers recreational hockey, live hockey, ice skating, figure skating, curling and clinics, and more.