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 By Jack H. Smith    Opinion    December 6, 2023 

Our View: The importance of shopping local

With three weeks until Christmas, there are many people with plenty still left on their holiday shopping lists. With the holiday nearing and many gifts still to be purchased, it is essential to remember the significance of shopping locally. For many... Full story


Gallatin County Commission's Statement on Montana Supreme Court's Decision on 95 Mills

The Gallatin County Commission is disappointed in the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling last week that will force us to collect over $12.3 million in additional taxes to the state. Earlier this fall, Gallatin County joined 48 other Montana counties in... Full story

 By Jack H. Smith    Opinion    December 6, 2023 

Column: TV station Santa was much better

When I was a kid, the lead up to Christmas was excruciating. I could not wait until Christmas Eve to go and spend time at several different family gatherings and open a single present when we got back home. One year, I think my mom and stepdad might... Full story


Guest Column: Data-Driven, Public Safety Progress in the County Attorney's Office

As your Gallatin County Attorney and elected public servant, I believe in on-going transparency and accountability to the community. In that respect, I’d like to update you with regard to the 113 unprosecuted sexual assault cases (52 involving... Full story


Column: Did we just leave the turkey brine outside all night?

As much as I would have liked to visit my mom for Thanksgiving last week, it was too difficult to deliver the paper in Three Forks on Wednesday and prepare to publish the December edition of the Lewis and Clark Journal. Since traveling can be tricky... Full story


Coaches Corner Wings of Words: Soaring into New Heights

As this year draws to a close, I find myself pausing to reflect on the past year's journey. Considering how writing brought a sense of hope and inspiration to the community, I have come to a threshold of letting go of what has filled my heart to... Full story


Guest Opinion: Southern Border is a National Security Risk

Montana is a northern border state with a southern border crisis. After visiting the southern border this fall, my third trip in five years, I can say with certainty that the catastrophe at our southern border is now a serious threat to our national... Full story


Coaches Corner by Ellie West: Rejuvenation for a Fulfilling Life

As the season of giving thanks unfolds, I find myself in reflection-a time for rest and rejuvenation that surpasses basic relaxation. It encompasses the nurturing of our mind, body, and soul. This article extends a warm embrace to those standing at...


Guest Opinion: A productive legislative session for hunters and landowners

By Montana State Senators Steve Hinebauch, Bob Brown, and Mike Lang Hunting season has arrived! As hunters flock to the hills in pursuit of Montana’s treasured big game species, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the good work that was done... Full story


Coaches Corner: Decluttering Beyond the Closets

While decluttering is commonly associated with organizing physical spaces, closets, drawers, and storage areas, its significance extends far beyond the tangible aspects of our lives. It be-comes a journey into the depths of our hearts and minds,...


Writers on the Range: The West has too many visiting hunters

Hunting may be losing popularity nationally, but in the West the number of hunters is climbing. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2022 there were 10% fewer hunters across the country than there were when hunting peaked in the... Full story


Column: I am not going to miss this game

When Melissa and I started the Three Forks Voice in October 2018, one of the first road trips we made was to cover the Wolves football team playoff game at Missoula Loyola High School. While Three Forks could not pick up the victory on that unseasona... Full story


Coaches Corner by Ellie West: A Thanksgiving Journey

Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart. It’s my favorite Holiday. When asked why, my response is simple: “There is no pressure. It’s the one day of the year when families come together, uniting around a table overflowing with an... Full story

 By LLEW JONES    Opinion    November 1, 2023

Guest Op Ed: Talking Actual Property Tax Numbers

Montana collects $2.1 billion in property tax, with allocations as follows: 56% to schools, 28% to counties, 11% to cities/towns, and 5% to special districts. The 6 statewide university mills stay at the state, while the 95 statewide school mills... Full story


Column: Short term rentals

Over the past several weeks, I’ve read a couple of stories about short-term rentals in Bozeman, and there have been a lot of passionate opinions on the issue. I know quite a few people who have sworn off hotels and will only stay at short-term...


Coaches Corner by Ellie West: Failed Friendships

Even the closest friendships have moments of hurt - distance, misunderstandings, and disagreements. Losing a friendship can shake your world, weaken your confidence, and challenge your identity. The pain from these experiences can linger for years....


Guest Opinion: Water (and waste) run downhill – and our rivers pay the price

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know water - and rivers - run downhill. That would be just fine if all we still got from our majestic snow-capped mountains was some of the cleanest water on the planet. But that's not the case because water... Full story

 By Ellie West    Opinion    October 25, 2023

Coaches Corner: A Simple Act of Kindness

Have you ever witnessed a simple act of kindness that left a lasting impression? How we treat others matters, and kindness is a courageous gesture that holds significance not only in our daily lives but also in the eyes of our Creator. As Galatians...


Column: I should have locked the car

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about how I was getting nervous about finding a new home and the process of moving. After a few weeks of searching, we found a place and have already started packing things to be ready to move by the end of the... Full story


Our View: Celebrating five years

Last week’s edition of the Three Forks Voice marked the fifth anniversary of the weekly newspaper. It was an exciting milestone for the publication, and we wanted to take some time in this edition to thank all those who advertised,purchased the... Full story


Column: Why does my mind wander?

It doesn’t matter the time of day. If I’m sitting in my recliner, I could grab a blanket and take a nap. Often, I don’t even need to be tired. The moment I sit in that chair, I’m ready for bed. There are plenty of afternoons when I’m waitin... Full story


Coaches Corner by Ellie West: Life…Happens

Life…it happens. Situations arise, and it’s a series of ups and downs, and sometimes, those downs hit really close to home. You may find yourself wrestling with sadness or disappointment stemming from your family or friends, as we all encounter... Full story


Guest Editorial: It's time for state management of Grizzly Bears

The recent spate of headlines about grizzly bear attacks and human-bear conflicts highlights the need for the federal government to return management of grizzlies to the State of Montana. Grizzly bears are still listed under the federal Engendered... Full story


Column: I'm hoping she doesn't eat the plate

A couple of years ago, we stopped at Stageline Pizza to get dinner before attending a Three Forks High School Football game. This was the first time we ordered the "Moose" pizza, and I'm thrilled we made that decision; it has been our go-to order sin... Full story

 By Ellie West    Opinion    October 11, 2023

Coaches Corner: A Journey to Inner Peace

In 1888, Alfred Nobel picked up his morning newspaper on a cold January in Switzerland. At the time, Alfred was known globally as the inventor of dynamite and one of the world’s leading weaponry manufacturers. He read the headline: “Today, Alfred... Full story


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