MTPR

Nicky Ouellet

Flathead Valley Reporter

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter. Nicky returns to the Flathead Valley after wrapping up her graduate studies at the University of Montana's environmental science journalism program.

603-568-6155 or 406-730-2264

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When the Blackfeet Tribe learned its tribal members were about to start receiving payouts from a massive federal court settlement, the tribe wanted to get ahead of some of the problems that can arise when a lot of money floods a cash-based society.

"There was about 150 some million dollars that was injected into this economy here," says Mark Magee, the Blackfeet Tribe’s land department director.

Hole-in-the-Wall Backcountry Campground, August 2005.
David Restivo-NPS (PD)

Glacier National Park has stopped issuing backcountry camping permits due to an expected increase in fire activity this weekend.

This weekend’s incoming cold front will likely usher in gusty winds and dry thunderstorms, which fire officials say could grow existing fires and start new ones across western Montana.

Flathead Cross Country Meet Canceled Due To Wildire Smoke
Montana DEQ

A popular high school cross country meet in the Flathead has been canceled due to wildfire smoke. It’s not the only high school sport facing adverse impacts from poor air quality.

Avalanche Gorge along the Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park

Fire officials on the Sprague Fire burning in Glacier National Park had good news and bad news at a public fire meeting at Park Headquarters Wednesday night. The good news, they told a standing room only crowd of more than 150 people, is that the smoke choking the Flathead Valley has also been dampening fire activity, holding the Sprague Fire at roughly 13,000 acres.

About 300 people attended Monday's meeting on the Caribou and Gibralter Ridge Fires at the Lincoln County High School in Eureka Sept. 4, 2017. The fires have forced multiple evacuation orders and burned at least 10 homes.
Nicky Ouellet

In the first public meeting since learning that homes had been lost to the Caribou fire, a crowd of 300 vented their frustrations with fire managers over their handling of the Caribou and Gibralter Ridge Fires Monday night in the auditorium at the high school in Eureka.

Crowd member: Would you mind answering the question? The question was, are we a test bed for not suppressing fires in their infancy?

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