Seeley Swan High School Discovery Days

Learning about beaver ecosystems with Jennifer Schoonen

Story and photo by Jean Pocha, Pathfinder staff.  OVANDO – With the sound of wolves yipping and woodpeckers hammering away, the SSHS Discovery Days began in Mollett Park on the Blackfoot Challenge Community Conservation Area (BCCA) May 25. Students arrived by school bus to the open grassland area with wetlands and forest skirting the sides. […]

Pesticides and Pollinators

bee pollinating a flower

By Karen Laitala, Vegetation Coordinator Though we live dramatically different lifestyles, my oldest sister who resides in a subdivision in a north Texas city and I, the Montana “country living” member of our family, share a love of bees and an appreciation for pollinators. I think this mutual admiration may have originated with our love […]

On Horseback in Bear Country

Interview with Jack Rich of Rich’s Montana Guest Ranch Interview by Seth Wilson The following is excerpted from Carnivore Damage Prevention News, Issue 24. The complete edition is available online at How did you start running backcountry trips? Our family started in the guiding business beginning in 1946 and we were originally based near […]

Bears visiting the classroom

Story and photo by Jean Pocha, Pathfinder staff.  OVANDO – “There’s three kinds of bears in Montana, black, brown and very, very brown,” chimed a young student at the Ovando School when asked how many bears live in Montana during a “Bear Necessities” presentation.  Students in both the Little Room, kindergarten through third grade, and […]

Bears and Ghost Towns: Coming together to deliver place-based education

Earlier this fall, the Blackfoot Challenge worked with a host of partners to bring Blackfoot elementary students outdoors to learn about the world around them. On a sunny fall day in late September, the Challenge hosted a Bear Education Day for the Ovando and Helmville schools at the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s H2-O Waterfowl […]

Riding the Fences

Riding the Fences: Listening and learning as a means to safely live with grizzly bears Written by Jessianne Castle of the Grizzly Bear Collective. This is an excerpt from the full blog post originally published at … David Mannix, who is also a member of the Blackfoot Challenge Board, agrees with Stone. He and […]

Trumpeter Swans and Montana’s Common Loon

By Elaine Caton, Swan Restoration Coordinator Written for the Montana Loon Society‘s 2021 Newsletter In 2005, the Blackfoot Challenge in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service began an effort to restore Trumpeter Swans to the Blackfoot watershed. Since, we have released over 200 young captive-raised trumpeters in the Ovando-Helmville area, and have established […]