It now marks two years since the residents of West Valley have been forgotten. West Valley is the largest neighborhood in the Flathead Valley with over 40,000 acres and over 700 houses, according to government statistics.
Those of us who live out here in the hinterlands of the Flathead have one primary north and south access road, called Farm to Market Road. Other than the Swan highway coming into Bigfork, it is probably the most dangerous road in the Flathead for deer incursions and accidents involving deer.
It has now been officially over two years since we had the four- to five-foot-tall grass cut on both sides of the road by the Flathead County noxious weed control department. From Two Mile Drive all the way up to the Whitefish line.
Last spring I called the county weed department and asked if Farm to Market Road was ever going to be mowed? Since it felt like every day all 2,500-plus residents were driving the deer gauntlet wondering who was next on the deer agenda.
Figuring that I was next, I called and was told some time soon. Summer came, the grass grew taller and nothing? Fall came and I called four more times and nothing but a nice voice at the other end saying, “soon” and please call back. Winter came and still nothing was done about the gauntlet.
Spring came this year, the grass kept growing and still nothing. If 750 houses who pay $65 a year in weed land taxes stopped paying the government we could buy a $50,000 tractor and still have enough left over to hire someone capable to mow the main road — but wouldn’t drive by our two elected government officials’ homes on the side roads as it is mowed.
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