Building a Better Community Since 2007

Friday, Oct. 12th, 2018

Montana Matriarch Forms Women’s Giving Circle in Park County

Montana Matriarch, in partnership with the Park County Community Foundation, is excited to announce the launch of a women’s giving circle based in Livingston, Montana.

A giving circle is formed when individuals come together to learn about the community, pool their dollars into a shared fund, and together decide where to give their money and resources. Women- driven giving circles are rapidly increasing in popularity, and studies show that giving circles have granted $1.29 billion since their inception.

Montana Matriarch was founded by area residents, Rachel Anderson and Shannon Stober, with a mission of manifesting women’s civic engagement by magnifying local needs and motivating though unity. Based upon conversations and feedback from community members, they determined that a women’s giving circle was the best way to bring women of all walks of life together and meet these objectives.

Montana Matriarch members will make financial contributions to a shared fund which will be used to support a community grant program beginning in 2019, with an initial goal of raising $10,000. All members will have an opportunity to participate in the grant making process and determine how their collective resources and energy will be used to strengthen Park Country communities. In addition to financial contributions, members will gather monthly to learn about other ways they can be involved in the community and build relationships with women who share their values.

Montana Matriarch has already established several exciting partnerships with local businesses, including Uncorked Wine Bar, Kay Potter Fine Art, Pura Vida Salon, and the Tap into Montana Brewfest. Business owners interested in donating to the Montana Matriarch fund are encouraged to reach out to explore the various opportunities that are available.

All those who identify as women are invited to attend the kick-off event on Tuesday, October 16 at 6:00pm at Uncorked Wine Bar. Attendees will have the opportunity to become a member at the event or anytime in the future. By joining Montana Matriarch, you will be a part of a network of women who are committed to improving the community through philanthropy.

Add a Comment »

Thursday, Oct. 11th, 2018

MSU ag mechanics students learn lifelong skills, build homecoming float

The skills can’t be gleaned online or from a phone. Some of the classes don’t have a textbook. Students may get a little dirty in the lab, which happens to be a shop in one of Montana State University’s equipment facilities. The final grade depends on lessons learned by way of one’s hands.
For the MSU students who enroll in Dustin Perry’s classes, and for a modern economy desperate for a skilled labor workforce, honing agricultural mechanics talents are old, albeit, new skills for MSU’s next-generation agricultural educators and agriculturists.
Perry, assistant professor in the Division of Agricultural Education, housed in MSU’s College of Agriculture, joined MSU in 2014. Since then, he has revamped the university’s agricultural mechanics classes to promote what he calls “experiential learning” so that students can garner “skills required not just for a job, but for life.” Those skills involve learning to frame, build sub-floors, correctly wire a switchboard and safely use power tools.

“To be sure, there’s a generational decrease in the hard skills of even basic tool operations and safety,” Perry said. “The previous generation would have some kind of inherent knowledge. But in today’s classrooms, it’s a mix between students who know how to operate basic tools and equipment and those who haven’t been exposed to any of it.”

About half of Perry’s construction students are required to take his courses for an agricultural education degree. The other half, according to Perry, are students from all majors who are putting their names on wait lists for classes like electrical power and systems operations, small engines, construction and lab management.

“I think people are hungry to take these kinds of classes because they’re different and outside of what students are traditionally used to,” he said. 
In one of his classes, construction technology, students spend the semester planning and executing a small-scale construction project. Students take on projects from organizations and the public, who are responsible for purchasing the project’s materials. Students present a formal design and budget for the project.  Under Perry’s supervision, they’re responsible for procuring the materials and its entire construction.

Former projects include a storage shed at the MSU Child Development Center preschool, an informational kiosk for the Gallatin Valley chapter of Pheasants’ Forever located at MSU’s Lutz Farm, multiple greenhouses and a chicken coop.
Last fall, his students built a homecoming float for the College of Agriculture that included the college’s original 1907 seal in honor of MSU’s 125th anniversary year. The float features a center pivot irrigation system powered by 250 gallons of water, which cooled crowds during Bozeman’s Sweet Pea Festival in August. Students constructed hexagonal wooden planters for holding wheat varieties grown on MSU’s Horticulture Farm, as well as the frame for the collegiate seal.

Perry, who has a doctorate in agricultural education, grew up in Texas “following his dad around fixing things.” He helps build decks for a local construction company in the summer - what he calls professional development -- so that he doesn’t become disconnected from the industry.
Focused on agricultural education recruitment and retention at MSU, he works closely with FFA chapters across the state and is a board member of the Montana FFA. Perry was presented a Teaching Award of Merit by the North American Colleges of Teachers of Agriculture in 2016. Last year at the Western Region Agricultural Education Conference he was awarded a first runner up for distinguished impact in research involving the career decisions of agricultural education teaching graduates. 

Jondie Rianda, a graduate student in agricultural education from Kalispell, is a former student of Perry’s and now is a graduate assistant for the construction technology class. Rianda said she enjoys observing students navigate the community aspect of planning and building.
“I think what’s so valuable about Dr. Perry’s classes is that he gives his students free rein to really figure things out independently,” she said. “For big projects, that’s a lot of responsibility for students who haven’t been given that learning opportunity. That’s especially true in classes where the level of hard skills really varies.”

Rianda said from a teaching perspective, that kind of hands-on learning allows some students to follow a natural tendency to lead.
“When it comes to teacher training in agriculture, a lot of rural school districts expect a higher competency in mechancis,” she said. “It’s fun to see the progression of some students take on leadership roles, which is based on the small-group nature of the class.”
Austin Standley, an MSU alumnus and current agricultural mechanics teacher at Sweet Grass County High School in Big Timber, said he’s modeling his own classrooms after Perry’s instruction.
“It’s almost identical to how I format my electricity class, especially in terms of how much I encourage students to use their hands,” Standley said. “You can go over and over what the electrical principles are in connecting a switchboard, but until you actually do it yourself, you won’t get that ‘ah-ha’ moment. Dr. Perry completely understands the learn-by-doing, which is the nature of ag ed.”

Standley said Perry’s classes “were absolutely instrumental” in his ability to teach and connect with students and for an appreciation “of the concepts of how and why most things work.”
“It’s a really exciting time to be in ag ed,” Standley said. “There’s a lot of things changing. The most important, I think, is more attention being paid to its value.”

Add a Comment »

Tuesday, Oct. 9th, 2018

2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle, Freeski World Championships Breaking Boundaries Youth Film Contest Winner is From Bozeman

“Pushing the Boundaries" by Jack Price was named the winner of the 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest.

PARK CITY, Utah – Jack Price (Bozeman, Mont.) was named the winner of the 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest with his short film titled “Pushing the Boundaries.”

The film contest was open to young filmmakers ages 21 and younger to tell their own stories about breaking boundaries. The concept of “breaking boundaries” is one that is very familiar to athletes in the world of competitive snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing as it to relates to a core goal of each discipline, progression. Aubrie Walker (Park City, UT), was named runner-up, communicating a powerful story she called “Despondent.” Each young filmmaker had a unique take on the contest, inspiring those who watch their films in very different ways.

“Winning this contest means a lot to me because it was my first documentary-style film contest I have ever entered,” said contest winner Jack Price. “I really felt like AK and my story could be told in an interesting way. I am going to Film school at Montana State next year so this gives me a lot of confidence in my ability to succeed there. My message for this film was to highlight how two people can come from different backgrounds and be so similar in their ambitions. I am very proud of the video as a whole and it got me excited to make more videos like this in the future.”

The 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest were hosted in partnership with The Park City Summit County Arts Council, the Park City Film Series, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Winners were selected by a panel of judges including the partners mentioned above, local freestyle/freeski athletes and other leaders in the arts and film community local to Park City. Jack will receive a cash prize of $2,500 as well as an exclusive experience embedded with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s content department for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships. He will have the chance to work with both the in-house content team as well as the host broadcaster feature team capturing behind the scenes stories of the World Championships in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s hometown of Park City, Utah. Walker will receive a $500 cash prize and two VIP tickets for up to four events of the championships.

“This has been a fantastic project for the Organizing Committee for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships,” noted Calum Clark, U.S. Ski & Snowboard chief of systems and operations. “Our hope was to connect with a different aspect of our community and celebrate the diversity and creativity of young filmmakers to blend arts with sports. Our community partners of the Park City Summit County Arts Council and the Park City Film Series were amazing to work with coming up with this competition and motivating young filmmakers to submit films.  We were so impressed by the number of responses that were submitted and amazed at the quality of the films that were produced.”

Winner: Pushing the Boundaries by Jack Price, available to view online:

Runner-Up: Despondent by Aubrie Walker, available to view online:

About Park City Film Series

The Park City Film Series is Summit County’s only non-profit Art House Cinema. Since 1995, they have been presenting a curated selection of independent, foreign and documentary films on the weekends, using film as a medium to entertain, inspire and educate patrons. The organization’s mission is to create community through film.

About Park City Summit County Arts Council

Founded in 1986, the Park City Summit County Arts Council is one of the oldest arts and culture organizations in Park City. In the past three decades, the Park City Summit County Arts Council has advocated for and secured significant funding for arts and culture, as well as incubating numerous arts and culture organizations. The organization has built audiences for established and emerging artists and helped promote Park City as a world-class cultural tourist destination. Most importantly, the Park City Summit County Arts Council has helped make art part of the Park City community.

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is an Olympic sports organization providing leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders and elite athletes competing at the highest level worldwide, encouraging and supporting all its athletes in achieving excellence wherever they train and compete. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. Established in 1905, U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund athletic programs that directly assist athletes in reaching their dreams. The organization is based in Park City, Utah.

For original rules and regulations visit

Add a Comment »

MSU announces $12 million gift for American Indian Hall

Montana State University will receive a major portion of funding to build a state-of-the-art American Indian Hall thanks to a $12 million pledge from a private grant-making foundation with a long history of supporting conservation and community led projects in Montana, MSU President Waded Cruzado announced today.

The Kendeda Fund has committed $12 million as the lead gift for the $20 million project that will be built on the eastern edge of MSU’s Malone Centennial Mall. Cruzado made the surprise announcement before a large and emotional crowd gathered for the university’s annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration on Monday.

“We deeply thank the Kendeda Fund for this generous gift that assures that a promise made to our American Indian people will be kept and a dream fulfilled,” Cruzado told the crowd before a ceremonial round dance. “This very land on which we stand today is aboriginal land, once a cherished home to several American Indian tribes. This building will honor our American Indian people and their descendants, welcoming them back to their home with a building that reflects their culture with beauty, honor and grace.”

“This is an investment in our state’s future Native leaders and they deserve a place like this where they can not only learn but thrive,” added Tim Stevens, Montana adviser for the Kendeda Fund.

The Kendeda Fund  is a private grantmaking foundation that invests in transformative leaders and ideas, empowering communities across the U.S. and around the globe to enhance equity, vibrancy, resourcefulness and resilience. The Kendeda Fund helps underrepresented but trusted voices build social and community capital by supporting experienced, and emerging, leaders who have the vision to see problems differently and the courage to challenge conventional thinking. It has lent support to capital construction projects on a number of university campuses across the U.S. over its 25 year history.

“Place is extremely important to American Indians,” said Walter Fleming, chairman of MSU’sDepartment of Native American Studies in the College of Letters and Science. “We appreciate that the Kendeda Fund understands that this isn’t necessarily just a building that we would like to build, but a spiritual facility that signifies a commitment to American Indians and a permanence in our campus’ history.”

Cruzado said that in addition to the Kendeda pledge, more than 60 generous donors have contributed an additional $4 million since 2005 when the project was first proposed.

Last week, the Associated Students of Montana State University Senate committed $2 million in student building fees to support the project.

“This project is not only a tribute to American Indians, it also provides opportunities for student success and collaboration in a space filled with culture. This student center will allow my peers and me to honor and learn from our fellow American Indian Bobcats, and I'm so happy ASMSU could help bring it closer to reality,” said Lizzy Thompson, vice president of the Associated Students of MSU.  

“The potential benefits to all students of this project is really exciting. This building will provide a space for students to celebrate and explore American Indian culture and heritage while also providing support to all Bobcats,” said Taylor Blossom, president of the Associated Students of MSU.

The MSU Alumni Foundation is working to secure the final $2 million from donors by the end of December, which will bring the project to $20 million, Cruzado said. The university plans to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the building, which Cruzado envisions as “much more than a building, a place of teaching learning and sharing where our next generation of leaders will prepare for the challenges of the future,” the last week of March with an intending opening in fall of 2021.

Cruzado said the building’s structure will be based on a feather design created by MSU architecture graduate Dennis Sun Rhodes in 2005. That is when Sun Rhodes, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe from Ethete, Wyoming, and his friend, well-known artist Jim Dolan, first proposed their vision for a freestanding MSU American Indian student building to former MSU President Geoff Gamble. MSU dedicated the land next to Hannon Hall for the building shortly after and a Dolan tepee sculpture has stood on the spot as a reminder of that promise as the university worked to find funds for the project. Cruzado said Sun Rhodes and his Great Horse Group of St. Paul, Minnesota, will serve as a consultant on the project, working with ThinkOne architects of Bozeman and TSP architects in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Fleming said that the planned building is sorely needed. Currently the American Indian Student Center is located in a heavily used 1,100 sq. ft. room in the basement of Wilson Hall, the same place since it’s been since Wilson Hall opened in 1974 and there were fewer than 25 students who identified as American Indian. This fall, 776 American Indian students are enrolled at MSU.

The new facility will house the offices of the MSU Department of Native American Studies, which are currently in Wilson Hall. The building will hold numerous classrooms for use by all students, as well as an auditorium for lectures. Also planned are rooms for tutoring, counseling and advising.

The American Indian Hall will also include culturally relevant elements, including a room that can be used for ceremonies and as a dance studio. While focused on the needs of MSU’s growing American Indian community, which includes students from all 12 of Montana’s tribes as well as 41 additional tribal nations from 15 states, Fleming said it would be also a place welcoming to all students and a bridge between cultures.

“We are envisioning this building will be a place that students can teach and learn about their culture,” Fleming said.  “It will also be a place designed to help our MSU Indian students succeed. A building that is culturally appropriate and is designed to help them feel at home will go a long way to increasing enrollment, retention and ultimately graduation. More than ever before, our students are pursuing degrees in nursing, education, agriculture, science, engineering, art and architecture, and are eager to return to their communities as leaders.”

Fleming said members of MSU’s American Indian community always held faith that generous donors would come forward to support the project, even when American Indian student numbers increased nearly three-fold since the building was first proposed 13 years ago while at the same time dramatically rising construction costs in Bozeman pushed up the cost of the project from its original $8 million.    

Fleming said the American Indian community redoubled its efforts in recent years. In 2016 members of MSU’s President’s Council of Elders and delegates of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders held a sunrise ceremony to spiritually refocus efforts to find funding and the next year MSU students conducted a prayer ceremony at the site to revitalize efforts.

“It was a promise that had been made to the American Indian community,” Fleming said. “It was a solemn, sacred promise that this building would exist. We are grateful to those who stepped forward to make this promise a reality.”

Fleming said the building’s existence will enrich and elevate all of MSU’s students and the community at large.

“This building is not just for American Indian students but for the whole community,” Fleming said. “It will be a place of gathering. There will be academic and cultural activities and space for classroom instruction for all MSU students. We think of it as a gift to the state of Montana.”

Add a Comment »

MSU alumna’s nonprofit supports breast cancer patients across Montana

What started out as a way for high school student-athletes to show their support for their coach has, over the course of more than a decade, grown into an organization that has donated more than $350,000 to breast cancer patients across Montana. This fall, Montana State University Bobcat fans will have the opportunity to support the effort during Bobcat football’s Nov. 3 home game against Cal Poly.

The effort started informally in 2003, when Vicki Heebner Carle – who had been a standout basketball player for Montana State in the 1980s and who was inducted into the Bobcat Hall of Fame in 1996 – was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was only 41.  

Carle was – and still is – a physical education teacher and volleyball coach at Billings Skyview. After her diagnosis the student-athletes on the team decided to start wearing pink ribbons on their shoes during their games as a way of honoring and supporting Carle and others facing breast cancer, she said.

The team eventually decided to raise money for the Susan G. Komen organization as part of their efforts. The mother-in-law of one of Carle’s coaches made a quilt to raffle off at a special Breast Cancer Awareness Month game, and Carle also ordered 100 pink shirts, with the hope that each athlete would purchase one of those shirts for herself and a second one for her mother.

That was in 2007. This year, the group – which became a formal nonprofit called Pack the Place in Pink in 2013 – ordered more than 9,000 shirts for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month volleyball game at Billings’ Skyview alone.

The growth is a result of students and communities that care, Carle said. She added that Pack the Place in Pink has hosted T-shirt fundraisers at other events, as well. Those include at an MSU women’s basketball game in Bozeman annually, and at an annual golf tournament, hockey game and fashion show in Billings. In addition, each year about 12 to 20 other high schools around the state host Pack the Place in Pink volleyball games and send their proceeds to the nonprofit.

As Pack the Place in Pink has grown, so has its ability to make donations to breast cancer patients. The first year, all proceeds went directly to Susan G. Komen, Carle said. But during the fourth year, things changed. The organization learned of a woman in Three Forks who was battling breast cancer, and it opted to give $1,000 directly to her. Since then, funds the organization raises go directly to breast cancer patients in Montana, Carle said.

Carle said she’s proud that 95 cents of every dollar raised through Pack the Place in Pink is given to a breast cancer patient in the state (the remaining 5 cents of every dollar covers the organization’s overhead costs, such as accounting fees). A volunteer board runs the nonprofit.

Carle is also proud that the organization honors breast cancer survivors. One of those survivors is her aunt Ruth Heebner Sheller, also a Montana State alumna, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 86. Now 97, Sheller is one of Carle’s inspirations, Carle said.

“She has always been vital and full of life,” Carle said.

As for Carle’s own battle with breast cancer, which reoccurred in 2008, Carle said it is now in remission.

“Both times surgery removed it,” she said. “I almost feel like I cheated it compared to many women.”

She added that, as a coach, she views her experience with cancer and cancer treatment as a teaching opportunity.

“I take my health very seriously and try to teach these girls to take care of their health and be ahead of the game,” she said.

To participate in the first annual Pack the Place in Pink promotion at Bobcat Stadium, individuals are invited to purchase a limited edition shirt and wear it to the Nov. 3 game versus Cal Poly. Three shirt styles are available: a pink short-sleeve shirt, a navy long-sleeve performance shirt and a navy hoodie. The shirts retail for $15, $20 and $30. Shirts are now on sale and are available at the MSU Bookstore (both its SUB and Bobcat Stadium locations) and online at and at Universal Athletic locations in Bozeman, Billings, Butte, Helena, Great Falls and Kalispell and online at

In addition, local businesses are encouraged to decorate their windows in pink the week leading up to the football game to show support and help raise breast cancer awareness.

“Montana State University and Bobcat Athletics are proud to partner with Pack the Place in Pink to help raise awareness about breast cancer and show support to breast cancer survivors,” said MSU Athletics Director Leon Costello. “Vicki is an inspiration to all, and we encourage all of our fans attending the Nov. 3 game to participate in a great cause that supports Montanans.”

Costello noted that in addition to the Nov. 3 football game, Bobcat Athletics will host Pack the Place in Pink promotions at a number of other sporting events this fall, including at the Nov. 3 volleyball game. Pack the Place in Pink promotions will also take place at a track meet, women’s basketball game and men’s basketball game this year. The dates of those events will be announced.

More information about Pack the Place in Pink is available at the nonprofit’s website: To learn more about participating in the Nov. 3 promotion at the Bobcat game, visit

Add a Comment »

Monday, Oct. 8th, 2018

City of Bozeman launches inaugural podcast celebrating business

The City of Bozeman is launching its first ever podcast “micromegas” on October 9, 2018. The podcast highlights the stories of business in Bozeman’s quickly growing small community. In partnership with the Montana Campus Compact, the Bozeman Public Library and City of Bozeman Department of Economic Development have brought Eli Bowe, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, to help create the podcast in Bozeman.

Brit Fontenot, Economic Development director says that the podcast is. “An outreach tool and another platform for telling our story. It is the starting point for talking to entrepreneurs around the area, so they can broaden their understanding of Bozeman. Like the title indicates, the podcast is all about big things in little packages which is what small business entrepreneurs are all about.”

Those interested in the podcast can listen for free on the Apple Podcast app, on Spotify, or other common podcast platforms. Episodes will also air on local radio station KGVM 95.9. In addition, the City of Bozeman is looking for local entrepreneurs who think they would be a good candidate for the podcast. Anyone interested or any members of the public who have questions can contact Eli at

Add a Comment »

Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018

MSU invites feedback about final draft of new strategic plan

Montana State University invites feedback about the draft of its new strategic plan prior to a vote later this fall on its adoption.

The draft of the plan will be presented at a meeting of MSU’s University Council on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The council is then expected to vote on the plan at a later meeting. If approved, the university would begin using the plan in January 2019.

The new plan describes the strategic direction of the university. It includes statements about the university’s vision, mission and values. It also lists several areas of intentional focus and goals, as well as metrics to help measure progress toward those goals and specific actions to take to help reach them. The 10-member Strategic Planning Committee prepared the draft based on the input of hundreds of faculty, staff, students and community members. Feedback was solicited throughout the process and is still encouraged.

“The Strategic Planning Committee has participated in hundreds of conversations this year – in person, over email, sticky notes and coffee, in department meetings and one-on-one, throughout our MSU community, in the Gallatin Valley and across Montana,” said Chris Fastnow, chair of MSU’s Planning Council. “We’ve been listening for the inspired ideas that yield consensus about the university’s future. Strategic plans must be disciplined to be effective, and the hardest job for the committee was to make choices between good ideas that would focus us on the work we need to do as Montana’s land-grant university to integrate education, the creation of knowledge and art, and service to our communities.”

MSU’s current strategic plan, “Mountains and Minds: Learners and Leaders,” has guided the university’s efforts since 2012. Because that plan concludes in 2019, MSU has been developing the next strategic plan over the past year in order to provide continuity of direction and purpose with no gaps between plans, Fastnow said.

The draft of the new plan may be read at the strategic plan’s website. Feedback may be made online or to any member of the Strategic Planning Committee.

“While the fundamental direction described in the plan draft has been vetted for many months, there is still the opportunity to make the plan more effective,” Fastnow said. “The Strategic Planning Committee really values all stakeholders’ participation and insight throughout this process.”

Add a Comment »

National Trails System Celebrates 50th Anniversary

On October 2, 2018, America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. With the passage of the National Trails System Act in 1968, America was given a gift – the creation and protection of some of America’s most iconic places. Today there are 19 National Historic Trails, 11 National Scenic Trails, more than 1,200 National Recreation Trails, and more than 2,000 rail-trails. The National Trails System touches all 50 states and Puerto Rico, crossing rural, suburban, and urban communities. Millions of people enjoy the trails for recreation, physical activity, historical studies, and active transportation each year.

One of the most famous trails in the National Trails System, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) runs 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada. As it winds its way along the spine of the Rocky Mountains through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, the CDT passes through alpine meadows, desert canyons, quaking aspen forests, and imposing mountain ranges, making for a truly beautiful journey through some of America’s most dramatic and rugged terrain. Designated by Congress in 1978, the CDT is the highest, most challenging and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails.

This year, the non-profit Continental Divide Trail Coalition partnered with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, youth conservation corps, and volunteers from across the country to mark the entire length of the CDT for the first time in its history – making the Trail easier to find and follow. “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this important anniversary than by bringing people together to make the CDT more accessible to the American public,” said Brenda Yankoviak, U.S. Forest Service Administrator for the CDT.

For five decades, the National Trails System Act has preserved and protected the trails that lead people into new worlds on foot, by bike, and on horseback. The trails showcase routes as ancient as the Ice Age and as recent as the Selma to Montgomery March. Trails can take you into the deep backcountry or through the center of Washington, D.C. Anniversary celebration events are taking place across the country; visit to find an event near you.

About the Continental Divide Trail
The CDT is one of the world’s premiere long-distance trails, stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year. While 95% of the CDT is located on public land, approximately 150 miles are still in need of protection.

About the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
The CDTC was founded in 2012 by volunteers and recreationists hoping to provide a unified voice for the Trail. Working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies, the CDTC is a non-profit partner supporting stewardship of the CDT. The mission of the CDTC is to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a world-class national resource. For more information, please visit

Add a Comment »

MSU extends relationship with Harrington Pepsi

Montana State University announced this week that it has extended its relationship with longtime beverage partner Harrington Pepsi through 2023.

The new deal, which was the result of a competitive solicitation process, grants Harrington the exclusive right to market and sell its soft drinks on campus at all retail operations, dining halls, concession stands, catering, the food truck and 75 percent of vending machines. The initial deal is for five years, with an option to extend for another two. MSU has had a pour-rights deal with the company since 1983.

“Extending this longstanding relationship with Harrington Pepsi allows Auxiliary Services to continue to deliver great products and exceptional service to our students, staff and guests, whether in the dining halls, the Strand Union Building or in the concessions at the fieldhouse  and Bobcat Stadium,” said Duane Morris, senior director of MSU Auxiliary Services.

“Our fantastic relationship with the Bobcats goes back nearly 40 years,” said Chris Reed, general manager of Harrington Pepsi Bozeman. “We are truly proud and honored to have maintained exclusive soft drink beverage pour rights for another multi-year agreement.”

As part of the deal, MSU will receive new flat-screen menu boards and televisions for the Bobcat Stadium concession areas so that football fans can follow the game live when away from their seats.

Also included in the deal is a $100,000 signing bonus from Harrington Pepsi  to be used to enhance MSU’s campus life and facilities. Morris said the money will pay for new furniture for the Bobcat Athletics Academic Center and Refueling Station; new condiment tables and high-top tables at the stadium and fieldhouse ; equipment upgrades for Bobcat Rodeo; and a new Indigenous Foods Program launched by MSU Culinary Services.

Richard Huffman, director of Culinary Services, said the program will help the university create stable demand and new infrastructure for indigenous products, which can sometimes be difficult to source.

“This funding is invaluable and will help not only MSU but also our indigenous partners,” Huffman said.

Leon Costello, MSU athletics director, said Bobcat Athletics was thrilled to continue the relationship with Harrington.

“Their investment in our student-athletes and coaches continue to have a lasting impact,” he said. “We appreciate their support and look forward to many more productive years with Harrington Pepsi.”

Add a Comment »

Ramcharger 8 Tower Installation at Big Sky Resort

On Monday, October 1, crews from Doppelmayr and Big Sky Resort will install lift towers on the new Ramcharger 8, the most technologically-advanced chairlift in the world. Lift tower installation will be executed via Blackhawk helicopter and ground operations teams.

At the base of Big Sky Resort’s Andesite Mountain, Ramcharger 8, the new 8-seat, high-speed D-line chairlift will be the first of its kind in the world. Featuring ergonomically-shaped, extra-wide heated seats and a weather-proof bubble, Ramcharger 8 is the most technologically-advanced chairlift ever built. Big Sky Resort is committed to delivering a world-class mountain experience to its guests by offering unrivaled comfort, safety and aesthetics on the way up the hill. 3,200 skiers per hour can ride up Andesite Mountain on Ramcharger 8. Ramcharger’s debut in December 2018 means less time on chairlifts, and more time skiing and riding Big Sky’s 5,800+ acres of terrain.

Add a Comment »