The Story Behind the "M"

The "M" is 620 feet above the Missoula Valley floor. It is 125' feet long and 100' feet wide. University of Montana forestry students cut the switchbacks into the side of the hill in the early 1900's. The first "M" was assembled out of whitewashed rocks in 1909, and given a fresh coat of paint by freshmen every year, until 1968, when all those rocks were cemented together with concrete.

Photo by Nelson Kenter, kenterphotography.com

The Pulse

Pulse content

Sheep Return to City Open Space, Pet Owners Required to Leash Dogs Near Herd

By BECKY GOODRICH - Visitors to City open space are reminded: leash you... more

Montana Homestead Declaration – Why it’s Important for Homeowners

By ALLISA WINBERG - The state of Montana has a wonderful Homestead Exem... more

What’s Your Growth Plan?

By MARK RIFFEY - Are you a doer or an operator? Your growth path depend... more

Getting Started, Part Two

By MARK RIFFEY - Last week, we started talking about a young man asking for advice getting started in his handyman business.... more

Learning Lessons from Missoula’s Philanthropists

Missoula has a solid history of charitable giving.... more

“Bears of Durango” Triumphs at International Wildlife Film Festival

“Bears of Durango” received dual awards during a ceremony at the 41st annual International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF) on Saturday, April 21st.... more

Boat Carrying Zebra Mussels Stopped at Anaconda Inspection Station

By JOLEEN TADEJ - The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Anaconda watercraft inspection station intercepted a boat carrying zebra mussels Friday. ... more

Getting Started, Part One

By MARK RIFFEY - How do you get started in a handyman business? Part one of a two part series.... more

Make Montana Home

By LIZ MARCHI - I Made Montana Home and it’s made my life enormously rich in the things that are meaningful.  Find your meaning in Montana.... more

Too Much Water?

By BRUCE AUCHLY - This year when winter ends, and yes someday it will, talk will turn from snowfall and ice depth to snowmelt, runoff and flooding.... more

Unmet Needs

By MARK RIFFEY - Is there anything that we aren’t doing for you that you wish we would take care of?... more

Mount Jumbo South Zone Opens Friday, March 30

By BECKY GOODRICH - Mount Jumbo’s South Zone will reopen to public use on Friday, March 30, bringing the area’s annual winter wildlife closure to a close.... more

Death Over Dinner

By LIZ MARCHI - Death over dinner is a nonprofit with a goal of getting us to have the most important conversation we are not having, how we want to die.... more

Grizzly Bears Reported Out on Rocky Mountain Front

Just in time for the beginning of spring, grizzly bears have been reported out on the Rocky Mountain Front.... more

Always Done It That Way?

By MARK RIFFEY - A review of systems that fails to review readiness for the next three to five years of operation isn't doing you any favors.... more

Ask Questions While The Answers Still Matter, Part 1

By MARK RIFFEY - Timely questions can save a client relationship and pay years of dividends to your business.... more

What Would They Do To Put You Out Of Business?

By MARK RIFFEY - How would they price, market, sell, deliver, service, and communicate?... more

Dickenson to be inducted into College Football Hall of Fame

By ERIC TABER - On Monday, the National Football Foundation announced that Dickenson will be immortalized as one of the greatest college football players of all time.... more

Legendary Missoula Organizations Support Skilled Workers

Western Montana Lighting and The Silver Foundation come together to support non-traditional students seeking education in the trade industries.... more

Liz Marchi: 2018

By LIZ MARCHI - The best laugh I got from New Year’s greeting yesterday was Happy 2018, may you look 20 and feel 18.... more

Parks and Recreation Sponsors Christmas Ever-Green Tree Recycling Program

By BECKY GOODRICH - Missoula Parks & Rec encourages Missoulians to conserve area landfills by recycling Christmas trees. ... more

Planning 2018 Got You Wrapped Around The Axle?

By MARK RIFFEY - How to find two hours a day of quiet time to get your 2018 planning finished.... more

Plan a Sober Ride This Holiday Season

By TRAVIS WELSH-Remember to play it safe this holiday season and always plan your sober ride before the festivities begin.... more

Liz Marchi: The Times of Our Lives

By LIZ MARCHI - My kids get very annoyed at the time I spend on Facebook but I love being visually reminded of what I was doing 8 years ago because I DON’T REMEMBER.... more

What’s Freedom Mean To Your Business?

By MARK RIFFEY - When you ask business owners why they started their company, you frequently hear these words: Freedom and opportunity.... more

Hauck’s Coaching Contract Has Incentives for Wins, Grades

Montana football coach Bobby Hauck’s contract has a base salary of $185,000, with incentives for student-athlete grades, graduation rates and wins.... more

Headspace, Creativity and Cartooning

By MARK RIFFEY - The blank slate is a challenge. But why?... more

Hauck Returns as Grizzly Mentor

By ERIC TABER - Director of Athletics Kent Haslam has named former Grizzly head coach Bobby Hauck as the 37th head football coach at the University of Montana.... more

Be Safe, Be Seen: Bike Light Campaign Underway

Missoula is renewing its efforts to keep people safe when riding bikes at night.... more

I Went To The Gym Once. Didn’t Work.

By MARK RIFFEY - Going to the gym once doesn’t produce ideal results. Neither does inconsistent execution. Consistency breeds trust, unless you're consistently bad.... more

Fuel The Rise Of Two Pizza Teams

By MARK RIFFEY - How can Montana communities fuel the formation of two pizza teams?... more

Bird Hunter Shoots, Kills Charging Grizzly Near Front

By BRUCE AUCHLY - A pheasant hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear Nov. 4 near Pendroy along the Rocky Mountain Front that charged him.... more

Using Comfortable Tools

By MARK RIFFEY - Is there a balance between complacency and thrashing from tool to tool?... more

Selling Someone Else’s Products

By MARK RIFFEY - When you consider selling someone else’s products, it’s critical to assess whether the product is germane to what you do.... more

The Ingredients Of Effective Criticism

By MARK RIFFEY - Today we’re going to use a common political event (and some football) to discuss the effective delivery of criticism.... more

Why Your Growing Company Needs To Work Slower

By MARK RIFFEY - When you work slower, you create time and space to help eliminate the bumps and potholes in your processes. “Slow is smooth” takes shape. ... more

The Premium Price Lesson Taught By Craft Beer

By MARK RIFFEY - Testing new product / service / price tiers could result in a new way of doing business.... more

Is It Better To Keep A Customer, Or Replace Them?

By MARK RIFFEY - Well cared for clients tend to buy more, buy more often, & for a longer period of time.... more

Training: Improves Sales, Improves Ops

By MARK RIFFEY - Do your people know your products & understand your prospects' problems?... more

Accepting Change – How Can You Help?

By MARK RIFFEY - Your challenge: Determine what’s necessary to reduce resistance to the point that your prospects will consider making a change. ... more

Missoula Parks and Rec Glow Fest: Call for Art

By BECKY GOODRICH - Missoula Parks and Recreation is looking for visual artists to showcase their work for Glow Fest at the Fort.... more

Finding Big Opportunities in Big Sky Country

Why you should "Make it Montana" when it comes to doing business.... more

Where’s The Friction?

By MARK RIFFEY - What do you repeatedly force your clients to do that they simply shouldn't have to do?... more

Work, Caring, And Filtering Employers

By MARK RIFFEY - Are you looking for a solid, well-run company to grow with? This will help.... more

Be Aware of Fire Restrictions on FWP Lands

By JOLEEN TADEJ - fire restrictions are going into effect on many Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks properties.... more

“Sink Or Swim” Isn’t Training

By MARK RIFFEY - I'll go back because that guy made a routine purchase memorable.... more

Listen to Clients. They Say The Darndest Things

By MARK RIFFEY - When you listen to clients openly and without an agenda, the value of what you learn can be huge.... more

Snake Season

By BRUCE AUCHLY - Not a hunting season, but a season to admire Montana’s snakes for what they are: a vital cog in the natural world.... more

No Fireworks on FWP Property Including Fishing Access Sites

By JOLEEN TADEJ - Visiting a Montana fishing access site on the July 4th is a great idea – just leave the fireworks at home.... more

Leads: Like a Friend Who Needs Advice

By MARK RIFFEY - A good list treats leads like a friend who needs advice.... more

U.S. Fish Wildlife Service Delists Grizzlies in the Yellowstone Ecosystem

By GREG LEMON - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday that grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will be removed from the Endangered Species List.... more

Montana’s Wolf Population Still Strong

By GREG LEMON - Wolf numbers in Montana remained healthy in 2016 and more than three times the federally-mandated minimums.... more

Downtown Missoula’s Out to Lunch Launches June 7

The 32nd annual Out to Lunch Summer Series in Caras Park kicks off its 13-week schedule on Wednesday, June 7. ... more

Being Prepared For Employee Turnover

By MARK RIFFEY - One of the most expensive activities your business can experience is employee turnover. When employees leave, a piece of the company leaves with them.... more

Registration Open for Griz Basketball Summer Camps

Montana head basketball coach Travis DeCuire has announced the Grizzlies lineup of 2017 boys summer camps. Sign-up now!... more

Enjoy Memorial Day on the Water, But be Safe, Know the Rules and Clean Drain Dry

By JOLEEN TADEJ - Enjoy Memorial Day on the water, but keep in mind the new rules aimed at limiting and preventing aquatic invasive species. ... more

Client Care and Feeding – A Strategic Responsibility

By MARK RIFFEY - The custody, guardianship and defense of your clients is a strategic responsibility.... more

Official Beer List Released for 25th Annual Garden City BrewFest

The 25th annual Garden City BrewFest will take place Saturday, May 6, 2017 in Caras Park from noon to 8 pm featuting over 70 draft beers.... more

Try A Dashboard To Share Your Metrics

By MARK RIFFEY - When your team can easily wrap their heads around the numbers critical to their department, it'll change their behavior.... more

Encourage Them To Climb The Ladder

By MARK RIFFEY - Every business should seek ways to provide an ascension ladder for their clientele - and create the desire to climb it.... more

Glacier Park Plows Make Quick Progress Past The Loop

By DILLON TABISH - Barely two weeks into their winter-clearing work, the road crew on the west side of Glacier National Park has already plowed a large portion of Going-to-the-Sun Road.... more

Is There Truth In Your Advertising?

By MARK RIFFEY - It takes one time for people to lose trust in your advertising. ONE TIME.... more

What Halftime Advice Do You Give Your Staff?

By MARK RIFFEY - Halftime provides a natural break in the action to reflect, assess, adjust and re-engage. For a company, use them like a timeout.... more

Mount Jumbo South Zone closure Extended to March 31

By BECKY GOODRICH - The Mount Jumbo winter wildlife closure has been extended to protect wintering elk. The area traditionally opens March 15.... more

Protecting Traditional Assets Isn’t Enough

By MARK RIFFEY - Are all of your most valuable assets being protected, or only those your insurance & bank care about?... more

Consistent Experience

By MARK RIFFEY - How does your sidewalk reflect on your ability to credit a payment or deliver a meal?... more

When Hiring, Choose Commitment Over Ego

By MARK RIFFEY - The difference between a strong business leader and a weak one is easily detected: Who do they surround themselves with – and why?... more

Chaos, Panic And Other Delights

By MARK RIFFEY - How your team handles recovery from a mistake is often more important than the mistake.... more

Liz Marchi: Birthdays, Vacation and Tornadoes

By LIZ MARCHI -I will be looking for the fog to lift and the sun to warm my little Polson, Montana. May we all have that experience as our year unfolds.... more

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

By MARK RIFFEY - After every election, it's painfully easy to lose focus. Don't.... more

Warming Up Your Cold Email

By MARK RIFFEY - With double digit below zero weather arriving in Montana this week, the last thing any of us need is a cold email.... more

Liz Marchi: Riding it Over the Top

By LIZ MARCHI -Riding it Over the Top for me, well this photo says it all! Happy Monday snow day in Montana!... more

Liz Marchi: 2017–It’s Here!

By LIZ MARCHI - In gratitude, I begin a New Year so thankful for the journey traveled and the road ahead. May your 2017 be rich in friends, family, health and happiness.... more

Brainstorming A 2017 Business Roadmap

By MARK RIFFEY - Ready to start working through the first task on the detailed 2017 business roadmap that you painstakingly carved out over the last month? ... more

Preparing to Sell Your Business…Or Not

By MARK RIFFEY - As you get a little older, one of the natural things you start to think about is “What am I going to do with this business?”... more

Liz Marchi: Home

By LIZ MARCHI - I don’t know if it’s the holidays, winter or age, but of late “there is no place like home.”... more

Liz Marchi: Getting Over It

By LIZ MARCHI - Aging lesson number 789, getting over it takes longer. Give yourself some space.... more

The Smell (or Aroma) Of Sales

By MARK RIFFEY - Sales is tough work. One of the things that makes it challenging is starting a conversation with someone you don’t know.... more

Focus Isn’t Enough

By MARK RIFFEY - When it comes to your business, what drives your decision to let something slide a little, be it a day, a week or "forever"?... more

Don’t Forget the Ice

By MARK RIFFEY - Does your merchandising save your customers a trip? It should.... more

Liz Marchi: Family, Seasons and Change

By LIZ MARCHI - My husband, turned 70 a few weeks ago, at what may have been one of my top 10 parties ever.... more

Griz Football: Fall Camp Enters Home Stretch

By ERIC TABER - Fresh off a day's rest, the Montana Grizzlies returned to the field inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Monday morning for the 14th practice of fall camp.... more

Expect Labor Day DUI Patrols in Missoula

As part of the national Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown, law enforcement will deploy extra patrols to prevent impaired driving during the 2 weeks.... more

Petrino Joins Lady Griz Staff

By JOEL CARLSON - New Lady Griz coach Shannon Schweyen may have gone outside the program's lineage to find her new assistant, but she still brought in someone with strong ties to the state of Montana.... more

Experience and Versatility Key to Success of a Strong D-line

By ERIC TABER - The 2016 Grizzlies will once again boast one of the nation's best D-lineman in second-year starter, and second-year heir to the #37 throne, Caleb Kidder. ... more

11th Annual Roots Fest Opens Friday, August 26

The 11th Annual River City Roots Festival opens on Friday, August 26 featuring Missoula’s own Lil’ Smokies as the headliner Friday night and multi-Grammy Award winning Rodney Crowell Sat. night. ... more

Griz Show All-Around Strength in First Scrimmage

By ERIC TABER - Montana opens the 2016 campaign on Sept. 3 against Saint Francis, under the lights at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. ... more

Hunting Elk in August

By BRUCE AUCHLY - Elk shoulder seasons this year will allow hunters in some hunting districts to go after antlerless elk starting Aug. 15.... more

Are you Using Your Marketing Data Effectively?

By MARK RIFFEY - Presumably you have a budget and as a part of it, income / revenue goals. How certain are you that you’ll hit them this month?... more

Get Your Football Tickets Early at First-Ever Ticket Pickup Party

By ERIC TABER: Season Ticket Holders: Jump on the fall season at the first-ever Griz football ticket pickup party, from 3-6 p.m. on Aug. 10 at the Adams Center ticket office.... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of July 25

Featured Jobs: A maintenance Lead, Bookkeeper, Overnight Baker, Cook and RV Camp Host, Bartender, Medicaid applicaitons Coordinator, Custodian and more!... more

Huckleberries Bounce Back

By MOLLY PRIDDY - This summer’s berry crop expected to be earlier and better than last year, but researchers still stumped about optimal growing conditions.... more

The Ups and Downs of Complexity

By MARK RIFFEY - Business people (myself included) seem to have a habit of making projects more complex than they should be.... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of July 18

Featured Jobs: Government Affairs Director, Lawn Maintenance and Ladscape Worker,Manager, Maintenance Lead, Administrative Assistant and more!... more

It’s Time To Sell Something

By MARK RIFFEY - Selling the right product to the right person so they can do what they need to do (or get what they want) is honorable work.... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of July 11

Featured Jobs: A Respite Provider, Concrete-Pump Operator, Sales Associate, Assistant Manager, Shuttle Drivers, Reservation Agents and more!... more

Liz Marchi: Adolescence and Aging

By LIZ MARCHI - This I believe: we must keep our minds, bodies and our social connections growing even when it’s hard. That’s foundational to a life in full.... more

How to Bear Proof Your Home, Cabin

By BRUCE AUCHLY-It’s summer; time for many folks to head to the mountains for vacation. That’s fine, just remember Montana’s mountains are home to black and grizzly bears.... more

No Fireworks on FWP Property Including Fishing Access Sites

By JOLEEN TADEJ - Visiting a Montana fishing access site on the July 4th weekend is a great idea – just leave the fireworks at home.... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of June 27

Featured Jobs: An HVAC/Refrigeration Tech, Warehouse Laborers, Production Tech, Custodian, Early Childhood Teacher, Customer Service Manger, Administrative Assistant and more!... more

Liz Marchi: Comb Over

By LIZ MARCHI - I have spent the last 10 days doing something I don’t do much of, revisiting a place in time. The occasion: my 40th College Reunion.... more

What Are You Afraid Of?

By MARK RIFFEY - Is your business clinging to fear-driven artificial barriers? Limiting thoughts had my software company stuck on a sales plateau.... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of June 20

Featured Jobs: A Human Resources Manager, Laborer, Finance Manager, Yard Worker/Car Dismantler, Fleet/Facilities Superintendent, Emergency Services Dispatcher, and more!... more

New Project Idea? Do This First

By MARK RIFFEY - Wouldn't it be nice to know if a project was going to fail after two weeks rather than two years?... more

Parks and Rec and Missoula Youth Rugby Celebrate Free Olympic Day Event

By BECKY GOODRICH -Kids and families are invited to a free Olympic Day celebration on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Playfair Park.... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of June 13

Featured Jobs: A Bicycle Sales Associate, Residential Housekeepers, Concrete Batch Plant Operator, Truck Dispatcher, Truck Drivers, Mechanic and more!... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of June 6

Featured Jobs: An Applications Engineer, Production Workers, Sharpeners, a Registered Nurse, Attorney, Housekeepers, Roofer/Shingler, Customer Service Rep and more!... more

The Danger Of Presumption

By MARK RIFFEY - There are many ways that assumptions can endanger your projects. The key is to have a process that does as much as possible to eliminate them.... more

Splash Montana Water Park Opens This Weekend, Opens Daily June 11

By BECKY GOODRICH - Splash Montana opens on Sat., June 4. The facility will be open Sat. and Sun., June 4 and 5 from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., and will begin daily operation on Sat., June 11.... more

The One Sentence That Can Make Or Break You

By MARK RIFFEY - How are you spending your downtime? You may not have any influence over your team’s downtime, but you can still set an example.... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of May 30

Featured Jobs: A full-time HVAC Sales Position, Route Driver, Office Assistant, Hardlines and Firearms Department Manager, Mow Crews, Deli Worker, Bakery Worker, Meat Cutter and more!... more

New Griz Vision Set for Washington-Grizzly Stadium

By ERIC TABER - The University of Montana released the design of the new video display system which will transform the game day experience at Washington-Grizzly Stadium with HD-quality video.... more

Parklets and Pianos! Friday June 3

Friday, June 3rd, is First Friday, and the best way to start your summer off right. several local businesses have partnered to bring you Parklets and Pianos.... more

They’re Sure Cute, But Please Leave Baby Animals Alone

By Joleen Tadej - Each spring, FWP receives several calls from people who have picked up deer fawns or other wildlife. ... more

Missoula Job Service Featured Jobs | Week of May 23

Featured Jobs: Wildland Firefighters, Engine Bosses, Fuel Truck Driver, Water Tender Truck Operator, Junior Recreation Facilitator, Machine Maintenance Worker and more!... more

Building a Career: Students Can Learn a Trade AND Get Paid

By CHERY SAYBOL-Missoula high school students who are poised to finish their junior year have a chance to work this summer and lay a foundation for a job after graduation.... more

Griz Top FCS in Attendance for Second-Straight Season

By ERIC TABER - For the second-straight season the Montana has packed in more fans than any other program in FCS football, and in 2015 dew more fans than 44 FBS programs as well.... more

Christians, Lions and Wives of New Jersey

By MARK RIFFEY - How are you spending your downtime? You may not have any influence over your team’s downtime, but you can still set an example.... more