Students in three counties weigh in on wilderness.

Read the winning essays by clicking on the highlighted names.

Each year, in two events sponsored by Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, elementary and high school students from Sanders and Lincoln Counties, Montana, and Bonner County, Idaho, exercise their writing skills. Each fall, students at Plains, Thompson Falls, Trout Creek and Noxon weigh in on wilderness at the request of FSPW volunteer and Sanders County teacher Ernie Sherzer. In the spring, graduating seniors at Plains, Thompson Falls, Noxon, Libby and Troy, Montana, and at Clark Fork and Sandpoint, Idaho are invited to write essays during the FSPW scholarship competition.

In the fall 2010 essay contest, Jessica Read, a senior at Plains high School, won the overall honors, submitting the best answer to Scherzer’s question, “Does wilderness have value?” She was awarded a $100 U.S. Savings bond. Abby Arlint, a Thompson Falls fifth grader, received a FSPW sweatshirt and hat for her essay. Logan Naegeli of Thompson Falls, Loryn Merrill of Plains and Phylan Fickas of Noxon all received FSPW hats.

In the 2011 scholarship essay competition, FSPW awarded scholarships to Shawn Sacchi of Thompson Falls, Tyrell Wilkinson of Noxon, Lucas Jones of Troy, David Brooks of Libby, Susan Williams from Sandpoint High, Torin Ozman from Lake Pend Orielle Alternative High, and Jessica Cope of Clark Fork. The question they were asked to answer, from FSPW program coordinator Sandy Compton, was, “What does wilderness have to teach the civilized world?”

“We got a number of great entries in both of the essay events this year,” said Compton. “I find it heartening that the young people from Montana and Idaho demonstrate that wilderness has an important place in their lives by their writing.”

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness presented each of the seniors who submitted best essays for their schools $250. Jessica Cope, whose essay was judged best for 2011, received an additional $250.

We have posted the essays to our blog. To read the winning essays, click on the writer’s highlighted name.

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