Is the Flathead ready for the Battle for the Paddle? On May 5 Flathead Land Trust kicked off the Battle for Paddle, a roughly six-week fundraising effort that culminates on June 21 with FLT’s Summer Solstice Party. Battle for the Paddle features an online bidding opportunity in which eight beautiful hand-painted canoe paddles will be auctioned during the bidding period. Funds are earmarked for FLT’s Flathead River Conservation Project. From the FLT website: The Battle for a Paddle online auction includes 8 one-of-a-kind hand painted wood canoe paddles by well-known Flathead Valley artists. Participating artists who have generously donated painted paddles for the auction include Nancy Cawdrey, Colt Idol, Nick Oberling, James Corwin, Kenneth Yarus, Susan Guthrie, Lonnie Collinsworth and Joe Bottomly. Each paddle is unique and beautiful, depicting scenes of our amazing Flathead River system as well as fish and wildlife of northwest Montana. We can’t thank the artists enough for showing their support for conservation along the Flathead River, and we look forward to offering everyone the chance to win one of these exceptional pieces of local art. To view the paddles and access the online bidding site, go to www.auctria.com/auction/battleforapaddle. Bidders will then need to register on the site before bidding on the paddles.