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Tom Bansak, research scientist and development coordinator, UM Flathead Lake Biological Station, 406-982-3301 ext. 229, tom.bansak@umontana.edu .

Flathead Realtor Turns Commissions into Donations for UM Biological Station

Dec. 10, 2013

MISSOULA – A real estate agent whose success depends upon the beauty and health of Flathead Lake is contributing to continuous lake monitoring. Dusty Dziza, owner of Flathead Lake Land & Home in Kalispell, puts aside a percentage of her commissions from Flathead Lake property sales for the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station. She donated more than $1,000 this fall. Dziza stepped up to support the cause after hearing FLBS Director Jack Stanford discuss the station’s important work at the annual Flathead Lakers meeting in July.

“What makes Flathead Lake such a valuable and treasured resource is the size of the lake, combined with the extraordinary water quality,” said Dziza. “There is no question that the water quality has a direct and significant impact on real estate values. The only hope we have in protecting the water quality we all enjoy is to ensure the continuation of the great work done by the Flathead Lake Biological Station.”

She intends to continue making this contribution into the future.

Dziza’s donation supports monitoring of Flathead Lake water quality and ecology, adding to a data record that began in the 1890s. Monitoring of water quality helps to ensure that Flathead Lake remains one of the cleanest large freshwater lakes in the world. At stake is the ecological health of the Flathead Basin, as well as quality of life for all those who enjoy or live on the waterfront.

“It is great to have community support for Flathead Lake and our monitoring program,” said Stanford.

The donation will be matched by an anonymous donor as part of a Lake Monitoring Challenge Grant announced in December 2011. For each dollar raised up to $1 million, the donor will contribute an equal amount. The challenge grant continues through December 2014.

Established in 1899, UM’s Flathead Lake Biological Station is one of the oldest active biological field research stations in the United States. It is internationally renowned as a freshwater mecca for ecology and limnology researchers and students.

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