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  • MIke McGrew

New Season, New Website


Seeley Lake Nordic Club's charge d'affairs. This woman gets things done.

Welcome to the new Seeley Lake Nordic Club website. This is my first DIY post so it's all about practice, not about polish. You may ask yourself, who is the woman pictured above? Or, if you're an old Talking Heads fan you may ask yourself, "my god! how did I get here?" Both excellent questions, but we're only interested in the answer to the first question, who is that woman? Some of you news junkies immediately know the answer and the first five commenters to post the correct answer will be rewarded with a hearty handclasp and kiss on the lips from our very own Master of Grooming and Curmudgeon Extraordinaire, Mr. Lynn Carey.


You may also ask yourself, why the new website? The short answer is that the old website was hosted by Dave Plante, a friend of ours who for a long time lived in Seeley. Dave builds and administers websites for a living and for years now has been generous enough to keep our site on his server as well as make the additions and changes that we asked for, plus post my blog whenever I muster the ambition to throw something together.


Life happens, though, and Dave made the decision to move back to New England to be closer to his family. It became apparent to all of us that it was time for the Nordic club to step up and create our own website that we can administer without outside assistance. After some discussion Katrina Stout was recruited to build a site on Wix that would allow us to make our own posts as well as edit content. So, here we are, and here I am, composing my first post on the new site which I will publish all by myself. What a big boy! I feel all grown up and responsible now. Sort of.


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I'm sure that by now everyone knows about the big user fee debate. The response to the Forest Service has been overwhelmingly in opposition to charging fees for skiing in both Seeley Lake and Missoula. The Seeley Lake club's feeling is that the proposed fees are unnecessary, insulting and a slap in the face to the club. Without going into a lot of detail, the proposal was put together using bogus and grossly inflated numbers without any consultation with the club, which has been responsible for the vast majority of the work and funding that has gone into the trails. Under a partnership agreement with the local district, we have provided quality skiing and the vision to maintain and improve that skiing for over 25 years with little assistance from the Forest Service other than to approve our proposals. One of our goals has always been to keep skiing free at Seeley and there is absolutely no justification for altering that arrangement at this point. Thanks to everyone who has commented and supported our position. Right now I feel pretty confident that the fee proposal will go down in flames, but you never know. I thought Weber State would beat the Grizzlies. I also thought Donald Trump was unelectable. Stay tuned.


On the positive side, status quo has never been good enough for the Nordic club and we undertook a massive trail improvement project this summer to make grooming easier, extend the season and make skiing more enjoyable. The improvements are woven throughout the entire system and include leveling off-camber sections, widening corners, smoothing out rough spots, and removing boulders and a few trees. We had an arsenal of heavy equipment at our disposal including a loader, excavator and grader, so over the course of about five days we made some radical improvements. A lot of it won't be immediately apparent to the average skier once the snow fills everything in, but to those of us who groom and ski here regularly the changes will be obvious. Additionally, we smoothed out a teaching loop to the east of the yurt allowing us to get our clinics out of the main flow of traffic and unplug the trail. To the point of my tirade in the preceding paragraph, the entire project was funded and managed by the club with the only USFS involvement being to approve our proposal.


OK, now I'm feeling the need for a little balance or I'll walk away from this post feeling guilty. The user fee proposal came out of Lolo Forest headquarters in Missoula. To be fair, the local ranger district had no input into the structure of the proposal other than to comment after the fact. Our relationship with the local district, aside from a few small bumps in the road, has always been friendly and productive. For the most part the local forest service folks have been extremely supportive and appreciative of our efforts and ability to get work done on the ground, for which the club is grateful.


Enough diplomacy. Katrina promises me that she can make it easy for you unwashed skiing masses to post on this blog as well as the grooming page. Now is your chance to win a warm embrace from our very own Obi Lynn Carey, so tell us who that charming lady in the photo is and get in line for some good lovin' from Lynn.




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