Something seemed weird. The Western Meadowlark perched atop a small aspen outside the window for a long time, looking around and clucking. Most Meadowlarks are skittish, keeping their distance from people and dogs. This one wasn’t. And the clucking noise sounded odd.
The haze of wildfire smoke has officially descended upon Madison County. While a number of blazes are to blame for the smokey smog, the largest contributor could be the Goose Fire. It’s burning in the Hidden, Cliff and Wade Lakes area in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, 32 miles south-southeast of Ennis near Hoodoo Pass.
The sign posted on the Gravel Bar door says it all: “Closed Mondays until further notice. We hate to do it but until we get more help we have no option. Anybody want a job?”
While the major wildfires in Montana are now under control, drought remains high on the minds of government officials. Following the June 30 release of the Summer 2021 Drought Forecast Report, Governor Greg Gianforte on July 1 declared a statewide drought emergency, calling on the USDA to declare Montana a drought disaster area.
Whether you’re a large contractor with job sites throughout Madison County or a homeowner who’s trying to build a house for your young family while staying within budget, it’s the same frustration: building costs have soared, supply has dwindled and it’s hard to plan for the future.
Commuters take note: road improvement work is coming soon to the three-mile stretch of Jack Creek Road managed by Madison County.
Lightning strikes courtesy of a storm that blew in Wednesday evening in the Madison Valley started three small fires in the Madison and Gravelly Ranges.
Trout fisheries are below 20-year averages in the upper reaches of the Madison River and at Hebgen Reservoir. While Hebgen and Madison dams work in part to mitigate temperatures and maintain flows, an already hot summer heightens concern for the forests and the fish.
We’re not one to toot our own horn, but here at The Madisonian we know when to make an exception. We and our sister paper, the Lone Peak Lookout, recently stood out from the crowd at the annual Montana Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest, taking home a combined 17 awards for our 2020 stories, ads and design.
Full fishing closures lifted on May 25 were reinstated on June 16 for the Ruby River from its confluence with the Beaverhead River near Twin Bridges to Duncan District Road crossing outside of Sheridan.