Learning About Our Community


Merle Ansley, Residential Lender

Mountain West Bank


Greg Johnson Presenting a Rotary Pen to Speaker Merle Ansley


On October 2, Merle Ansley, Residential Lender with Mountain West Bank, Bonners Ferry spoke to Rotary about one of his favorite subjects, residential lending.

Merle was born and raised in Bonners Ferry. His father is from the hot or cold and windy Texas Panhandle, his mother from California. He and his 3 brothers were raised on a farm and for the last 15 years, he has worked and owned a business in the area with his father and older brother.  Community involvement is important to Merle. His wife, Jenny, was also born and raised in Bonners Ferry and is a teacher at a local school. Merle and Jenny have three children, ages 11, 9, and 6. Both Merle and Jenny are committed to the area’s positive growth.

He addressed conventional and governmental loans for the purchase of property, home mortgages, cash outs, and customized portfolios. Conventional fixed 30 and 15-year loans are at their all-time lows. He cited rates, inclusive of a 1% origination fee, of 3.25% and 2.5% respectively and discussed loan fees determined by credit scores in gradients between 500-580 (borderline) and over 740 (the best).  He mentioned that appraisals are still depressed in our market.

For further information, you can access Merle’s website here.






Chris Peterson, Recorder

Boundary County Clerk’s Office


Speaker Chris Peterson with Rotary President


Glenda Poston, Rotarian and Boundary County Clerk, introduced Chris Peterson, BC Recorder, an employee of the department for 11 years. Chris has served this community in many other capacities including that as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). She also serves on the Idaho State Voter System. 

Chris discussed a myriad of facts about the upcoming election on November 6th and described a litany of dates and deadlines associated with the position that she holds. She offered assistance concerning information about the precincts in North Idaho and the statewide referendums regarding the schools and constitutional amendments.

Further information about registering and voting in Boundary County can be found at http://www.boundarycountyid.org/clerk/voting.htm






Mond Warren, Regional Director

Ducks Unlimited


Mond Warren, Greg Johnson


Mond Warren is the Regional Director for Idaho Ducks Unlimited (DU) and is based in Nampa, Idaho.  His talk to Rotary included a slide presentation about the work of DU in Idaho and Boundary County. The 774,000-member national organization is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee and is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

DU is the world leader in wetlands conservation. And conservation is about habitat, water, and wildlife.  As of the end of 2011, the work of DU in Idaho has been extensive:

ü       $12,023,573 spent on Idaho projects


ü       $282,336 raised in Idaho in 2011


ü       27,557 total acres conserved in Idaho (1,300-2,850 acres in Boundary County)


ü       36 fundraising events in 2011


ü       6,027 members in Idaho


Since the defining moment that it defined its mission, “habitat conservation”, DU has abided by that single mission to become the world’s largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. Annually, DU allocates over 80% of its revenues to its conservation mission; 16% is devoted to fundraising, 3% to administration.

More information about Idaho Ducks Unlimited can be found here.   





Adam McLain, CEO

Bruce Wilson, Administration

David Hampton, Academic Director

Northwest Academy, Boulder Creek Academy


President Greg Johnson, Adam McLain, Bruce Wilson, David Hampton


What most of us have known as Rocky Mountain Academy, Northwest Academy and Boulder Creek Academy are located about 7 miles east of Bonners Ferry.  Rocky Mountain Academy was sold to the Brown Schools in the 90’s and later declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Universal Health Services, a private multi-billion health company located in Pennsylvania bought the schools in 2005.Image

Qualified students are admitted any time during the year. It strongly recommended that all applicants have completed ASCENT or another credible therapeutic wilderness program prior to enrollment. NWA feels that attending a wilderness program creates the emotional foundation the student will need to be successful at Northwest Academy.  NWA is programmed to admit 16-17 year olds who are generally socially savvy, while Boulder Creek admits 13-18 year olds who may have learning problems.  Total enrollment of approximately 50 kids, is supported by 150 staff members and an all-inclusive tuition of $6,500-$7,500 per month.

The essence of the school’s curriculum is the integrated application of both cognitive (thinking) and emotional (feeling) learning processes. 

Informaiotn about the school, its students and academic programs, please refer to their website at: http://nwacademy.net/index.html






Stephanie Sims, Executive Director

The International Selkirk Loop


Stephanie Sims, PP Wilma DeVore



Stephanie Sims, the mother of 2 daughters and the wife of Rotarian, David Sims, assumed the position of Executive Director of the International Selkirk Loop on August 1, 2012 when Carol Graham announced her retirement from the position.  The office is based on Kootenai Street in Bonners Ferry.

Stephanie discussed the funding of the scenic roadway including gateway and partnership grants.  She also referenced extensive survey materials regarding aspects of the loop such as spending patterns, businesses visited, sidetrips, vacation days spent enroute and the availability of mobile apps. 

The 2013 WaCanId Bike Ride along the Selkirk Loop has been scheduled for September 16 through September 21. Changes from 2012 include a $100 increase in the registration fee to $495; exploration of a different avenue for digital registration; improvement in the day off for the riders while in Nelson, BC; consistency between stops allowing the participant to know what to expect at each stop; and map improvements.Image

For an updated preview of what to expect on this spectacular 350-mile trip, please go to their website