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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Makoshika lake naming contest begins (slideshow 2)

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

A once in a lifetime opportunity has opened up for Montana residents to help decide a new place name on the map.

In conjunction with Montana State Parks, the Ranger-Review is pleased to announce the opening of a contest to name the new lake which formed in Makoshika State Park.

Beginning this Thursday, March 9, and running through March 31, the Ranger-Review will be accepting submissions of suggestions for names for the new lake in Makoshika. The contest is open to all Montana residents. Submission forms can be found in print in the Ranger-Review or online at www.rangerreview.com.

The new lake formed a couple of years ago in a deep ravine along the upper course of Graveyard Coulee, about one mile east of the park road on a line running roughly southeast from the group use shelter. 

Using satellite imagery, Sam Johnson, a dam safety inspector with the Montana Department of Natural Resource and Conservation’s Dam Safety Program, determined in late 2015 that the lake formed sometime between September 2013 and June 2014. The lake was created by a landslide which closed off the mouth of the ravine, creating a natural dam. 

Johnson’s measurements determined the lake to be a little over 5 feet deep at its deepest point. The lake is approximately 200 yards long and about 28 yards wide at its widest point. Johnson also determined that the natural dam is extremely solid, and that the lake is therefore likely to be part of the Makoshika landscape for years to come.

With the new lake apparently ensconced as a permanent geographical feature in Makoshika, what it needs now is a name to put on park maps. So the Ranger-Review has joined with Montana State Parks to run a public naming contest for the lake.

As noted, suggestions for the lake name will be accepted through March 31. Besides the submission forms available in the paper and online, the Ranger-Review will develop a form which will soon be available to all local schools so teachers can have their classroom students participate if they wish. 

After the submission period ends, the Ranger-Review will turn over all the submitted names to Montana State Parks, where a committee of State Parks officials will whittle the suggested names down to three to five finalists. The Ranger-Review will then take the selected finalists and run a poll for Montanans to vote for their favorite, with the one getting the most votes winning. 

The winning name will be announced at this year’s Buzzard Day in Makoshika on June 10. The person who submits the winning entry will receive a State Parks prize package which will contain a pair of custom State Parks socks, a State Parks koozie, a State Parks travel guide book, a State Parks custom Osprey daypack, a State Parks ceramic coffee mug and more, not to mention bragging rights.

The only qualification to participate is you must currently reside in Montana. Submissions can be made through the Ranger-Review website or by clipping out the form in the paper and returning it to our office at 119 West Bell Street in Glendive.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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