McNeil, Hoiland recognized

| December 16, 2020 12:25 AM

Back in October I intentionally failed to report the most significant action taken by the Landowners Association. That action was the unanimous vote by the membership to award life memberships to Cecily McNeil and Naomi Hoiland. In my view this was way overdue and should have been done while their husbands were alive and could have been included.

Both of these couples were active in what was then called the North Fork Improvement Association. I would have to ask Lois Walker how many years each of them served. I bet all together they served in every board position with total years at least forty and maybe more. Moreover, they served during some of the most contentious years of North Fork history, land use planning, grizzly bear studies, road controversy all took place during the years that McNeils and Hoilands were involved. They were never the problem, they were always part of the solution. Largely due to these two couples, our community has learned to disagree without being disagreeable. We have also discovered that we all have more in common than we realized.

Matt and Mata Brill, Frank and Ellen Wurtz and especially Harry and Lena Holcomb were among the homesteaders that created North Fork social life (I’m sure there were others, these are the ones I know about). The McNeils and Hoilands, and again others, have spent decades loving the North Fork and all of us old-timers hope the new generation of landowners will build on the past, protect our beautiful area, and work to create common goals so that the North Fork remains a special place for future generations.

As far as I can tell the recently concluded hunting season was about average. Most of my close neighbors and my son were able to bag a deer. I’m sure a few elk were taken but I am also sure the elk are increasing in number. The old Ladenburg hay meadow (not open to public hunting) was a great place to see forty or more elk at a time. One North Forker estimated he saw a herd of sixty there with at least five bulls among them.

We also had multiple sightings of elk north of Ford Station. This herd, or herds, had five to eight cows and calves but no bulls that anyone saw.

I was told of one legal moose taken and we had multiple reports of dogs chasing deer in the Trail Creek area. I did see one loose dog on Trail Creek Road but he ran when I stopped and since he was not chasing anything we just notified neighbors. I did hear that the deer-chasing dog had been identified and the game warden notified. If this results in an arrest and conviction, the reporting party may qualify for a reward.

There will be a white Christmas on the North Fork but I am not so sure about Columbia Falls.

What do you think?

Larry Wilson's North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.