Ashley and Zach Favor noticed there was no group for road conditions in the area like in other parts of the state. So, they created one. PHOTO COURTESY OF ASHLEY FAVOR

Leaving the area a little safer

Gallatin Canyon Road Conditions founders seek additional admins

Two years ago Ashley and Zach Favor had an idea – they could turn worry into information. The Facebook group Gallatin Canyon Road Conditions was created. As they pack and prepare to move away, they can take pride in knowing they left this area better than how they found it.

“Thank you for doing this,” Dan Noyes posted on the group page. He worked the canyon on the state road crew since 1996, started running it in 2004 and has since retired. “I feel about this group as I did my crew. There is no way of knowing how many lives you saved.”

LPL: What prompted you to start the group?

Ashley: My husband, Zach, drove the canyon 5 days a week a few years ago when he was working at the Bozeman Health Big Sky Urgent Care. I was always so worried about him driving that because we never knew exactly how the conditions were. We knew that places like the Bozeman/Livingston pass had a group for road conditions but the canyon did not! There is so much traffic going up and down the canyon that he thought it was a great idea to build a community that could help people have an idea of what they were getting into.

LPL: What have been some unique challenges?

A: With any larger group of people there comes the challenges of lots of opinions. As the group grew we started having a hard time figuring out what was considered "current" road conditions and what wasn't. This is hard because there's a difference in general road conditions and current road conditions. So that can be difficult to navigate and not have people upset when their post gets deleted because it wasn’t appropriate for our specific group. Of course with our almost 3,300 members, people fight. Learning when to use the options of turning off comments, deleting a post or deleting a member has been hard. I like to think we've made a good place where people know that there won't be drama but just help with road conditions.

LPL: How are you selecting your successors?

A: My husband and I are moving to Virginia in April so we have started the process of looking to add to our admin team. We want to have people who drive the canyon on a semi-regular basis and people who will "keep the peace" in the group. When I reached out to our members I asked the interested people a few questions. We were looking for people who would handle situations fairly but also keep to the standard that we've worked hard to set within the group. We want our admins to utilize the features that Facebook offers us when it comes to moderating conversations and posts. We also wanted an open line of communication between the entire admin team (including myself and Zach because we intend to keep ourselves as admins) to get opinions on how situations can be handled. It's not always black and white and we value the opinions of everyone we've chosen.

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