__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

FRE E

EEXXPPLLOORRIINNGG LLIIFFEE, , LLAANNDD AANNDD CCUULT LTUURREE FFRO ROM M TTHHEE HHEEAART RT OOFF TTHHEE YYEELLLLOW OWSSTO TONNEE RREEGGIIOONN

MOUNTAIN

SUMMER 2018

FUEL, OXYGEN AND HEAT GENDER DIVERSITY ON THE FIRE LINE

FLY FISHING ARGENTINA

The soul of

SMALL TOWNS • GALLERY: OUR LIVING HISTORY • KIDS WITH GRIT • WISDOM OF THE RURAL WEST

WOMEN WHO ROCK BIG SKY | BOZEMAN | JACKSON

SUMMER MUSIC IN THE GREATER YELLOWSTONE


406.580.5891

EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES. RANCH & SPORTING | SKI-IN / SKI-OUT | WATERFRONT | GOLF

MARTHA JOHNSON All information contained herein is derived from sources deemed reliable; however, the content contained herein is not guaranteed by Lone Mountain Land Company LLC or its affiliated or parent companies, subsidiaries, officers, managers, employees, agents, brokers or salespersons and none of the foregoing make any representations regarding the accuracy of such information. Any floor plans, square footage, photos, illustrations/renderings, maps and features and amenities described herein are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Offerings are subject to error, omissions, prior sales, price changes or withdrawal without notice. Prospective purchasers are urged to independently investigate the property. No governmental agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This material shall not constitute an offer to sell in any state or other jurisdiction where prior registration is required and shall not constitute a solicitation if you are working with another real estate agent. Š 2016 The Big Sky Real Estate Co.. All rights in and to the content are owned or controlled by The Big Sky Real Estate Co.. Any unauthorized reproduction is expressly prohibited.

FOUNDING BROKER | VP OF SALES MARTHA@BIGSKY.COM |406.580.5891


P H O T O : D AV I D M A R L O W

www.mi l l er-rood el l . c om 4 0 6 . 5 5 1 . 6 9 5 0


Big Sky MT

Bozeman MT Denver CO centresky.com 406.995.7572


YOU DREAM, WE BUILD. BIG SKY | JACKSON V isit tetonher itagebuilders.com to star t building your dream.


FEATURES SECTION: SUBHEAD

34

8

THE SCENERY ECONOMY CRUCIBLE By Eric Dietrich While many small towns teeter on the edge of decline, Gardiner, Montana, seems to be an exception. Located at the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Gardiner, and other tourism-driven communities like it, faces a unique set of economic challenges. In “The Scenery Economy Crucible,” Eric Dietrich explores the delicate balance between safeguarding the future of its residents and catering to the industry that sustains them.

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

58

FUEL, OXYGEN AND HEAT By Emily Stifler Wolfe In the male-dominated world of wildland fire in America, the Bureau of Land Management is working toward diversifying its ranks to better fight intensifying wildfires, and address the gender discrimination, harassment and assault that have been endemic to the culture for over a century. For fire to occur, you need “Fuel, Oxygen and Heat,” and Emily Stifler Wolfe finds that while diversity in the firefighting ranks won’t change that, it can change how we approach wildfire.


132

THE WAY IT USED TO BE By Eric Ladd Argentina’s Patagonia region is reminiscent of the American West 100 years ago, and Eric Ladd discovers that through a trip to its rivers and estancias in “The Way it Used to Be.” A guided fly-fishing adventure will take you along through a vast, enchanting landscape where the beauty is only rivaled by the grace, humanity and good nature of its people.

142

FEATURED OUTLAW: JESS LOCKWOOD By Doug Hare At 20 years old, Jess Lockwood is the youngest world champion in Professional Bull Riding history. Doug Hare tells the story of a Montana ranch kid who receives more media attention in one night than most of us do in a lifetime. But Lockwood’s hometown roots keep the athlete humble and determined, even during his reign over “the toughest sport on dirt.”

This aerial shot was taken with a DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone, just after an evening thunderstorm rolled through Bozeman in May 2017. The spring foliage hides the flurry of activity in downtown Bozeman, while the Bridger Range looms in the background, giving the growing city a sense of scale. PHOTO BY STEFAN MITROVICH

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

9


DEPARTMENTS TRAILHEAD

20 Events: The bulls will be rowdy and the cowboys just as fierce at the first-ever Jackson Hole PBR; Bozeman’s inaugural Wildlands Festival, a celebration of open spaces featuring Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real and Robert Earl Keen; and the Big Sky Biggie, a brand new mountain bike race 21 Recommendations: A compilation of careerspanning short stories by Thomas McGuane, and The Ballad of Lefty Brown, a Western shot in historic Montana towns 22 Cause: Prison Paws pairs female inmates with dogs in need of training 23 Visit: Cody, a Wyoming town proud of its history and the diverse experiences it offers

GALLERY 26 Our Living History: Lifetimes spent in the West

NOW

34 The Scenery Economy Crucible 45 Kids with Grit: Growing up in rural Montana 50 An adventure begins with the toss of a dart 58 Fuel, Oxygen and Heat 66 Lee Metcalf’s legacy as Montana’s progressive pioneer

REPORTS

72 Barbershops carry on a long tradition, change with the times 74 The Price of Poaching: Pushing a species toward extinction

GREATER YELLOWSTONE

79 A running traverse puts the spotlight on public lands 85 Humor: Where the lost can be found 88 The role of fine art in Yellowstone’s past and present

GEAR

92 Make your Yellowstone visit—and campsite—one to remember

LAND

98 Libby, Montana, looks to the outdoors to secure its future 104 The exploits of Rocky and Bullwinkle and the animals they were drawn from

CULTURE

107 The women who will rock the region this summer 112 How the local food movement is returning Montana to its roots 116 Foraging the Rocky Mountains for wild eats 123 Quench your thirst with regional summertime spirits

ADVENTURE

132 The Way it Used to Be

OUTLAW

142 Jess Lockwood


SECTION: SUBHEAD

There is something undeniably special about early summer mornings spent paddleboarding on Montana’s Earthquake Lake. When golden sunlight filters through the dead trees of a submerged forest, the reflections are so perfect that it becomes difficult to discern upside down from right-side up. In moments like these, I can’t help but wonder whether I’m actually awake, or if this is merely a beautiful dream. PHOTO BY COLTON STIFFLER

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

11


406.586.5593 | info@savinc.net | savinc.net

ŠWhitney Kamman Photography

SAV Digital Environments designs, manages, and installs innovative home and business automation solutions: Audio-Video Systems, Home Theater & Entertainment, Lighting Control, Automated Shades & Blinds, Security & Surveillance, Life Safety, Networking & IT, Climate Control & Energy Management, and more, all backed by 24/7 reliable customer service.

Audio-Video Systems Home Theater & Entertainment

Climate Control

Lighting Control Automated Shades & Blinds

Surveillance, Security & Life Safety Networking & IT Wireless Systems & Support

ELITE PRO DEALER


P hoto grap her : Mat thew M il l man

Inspi r ed by Pl ace

Architecture jackson,wy

Interior Design

bozeman,mt

clbarchitects.com


WE CREATE CONNECTIONS THROUGH SHARED STORIES, AND EVENT EXPERIENCES. WE INSPIRE ACTION THROUGH CUSTOM MARKETING AND PUBLICATIONS.

MOUNTAIN Owned and published in Big Sky, Montana. PUBLISHER Eric Ladd

EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR Tyler Allen

SALES AND OPERATIONS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Megan Paulson

SENIOR EDITOR Sarah Gianelli

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SALES AND MARKETING E.J. Daws EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Alexis Deaton MEDIA AND EVENTS DIRECTOR Ersin Ozer MARKETING MANAGER Blythe Beaubien

STAFF WRITER/ DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR Doug Hare CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Kelsey Dzintars LEAD DESIGNER Carie Birkmeier GRAPHIC DESIGNER Marisa Specht SENIOR VIDEO EDITOR Ryan Weaver LEAD VIDEOGRAPHER Jennings Barmore

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Zachariah Bryan, Eric Dietrich, Claire Cella, Ed Kemmick, Jennifer Ladd, Anthony Pavkovich, Corinne Richardson, Jessica Rounds, Bay Stephens, Ednor Therriault, Emily Stifler Wolfe, Jessianne Wright CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS David Allen, Joel Alves, Alex Badyaev, John BlMatt Breneman, Daniel Bullock, Darren Carroll, Mike Chilcoat, Jake Clifford, Chris D’Ardenne, Emma Fernandez, Jacob W. Frank, Jackie Heinert, Louise Johns, Monica Kawski, Seth Langbauer, David McClister, Stefan Mitrovich, Jake Murie, Isaias Miciu Nicolaevici, Parker Seibold, Mark Seliger, Annamae Siegfried-Derrick, Bay Stephens, Jonathan Stewart, Colton Stiffler, Meredith Traux, Andy Watson, Katie Wheeler Subscribe now at mtoutlaw.com/subscriptions.

Mountain Outlaw magazine is distributed to subscribers in all 50 states, including contracted placement in resorts across the West, and core distribution in the Northern Rockies including Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana, as well as Jackson, Wyoming, and the four corners of Yellowstone National Park. To advertise, contact E.J. Daws at ej@outlaw.partners or Ersin Ozer at ersin@outlaw.partners. OUTLAW PARTNERS & MOUNTAIN OUTLAW P.O. Box 160250, Big Sky, MT 59716 (406) 995-2055 • media@outlaw.partners © 2018 Mountain Outlaw Unauthorized reproduction prohibited

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER OUTLAW PUBLICATIONS:

explorebigsky.com

LET US HELP YOUR BUSINESS CONNECT, CREATE, AND GROW T H E O U T L AW PA R T N E R S . C O M

On the cover: Don Anacleto drinking yerba mate, a strong, traditional tea enjoyed throughout South America. Anacleto is 72 years old and has spent his whole life working with cattle in Argentina’s Patagonia region, where strong winds and storms dominate the weather year-round. PHOTO BY ISAIAS MICIU NICOLAEVICI


bigskybuild.com | 406.995.3670 | Big Sky, MT USA


C O N T E N T B Y L O C AT I O N OPHEIM p. 46

BROWNING p. 32

LIBBY p. 98

MISSOULA p. 67, 109, 115 PHILIPSBURG p. 50

M O N TA N A

BILLINGS p. 22 HARRISON p. 29 BIG SKY p. 21, 38, 107, 124, 143

BOZEMAN p. 8, 20, 30, 36, 73, 80, 114 GARDINER p. 34, 85 CODY p. 23 YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

IDAHO

VOLBORG p. 142

p. 79, 85, 88, 92

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

WYOMING JACKSON p. 20, 38, 81, 109, 125

SOUTH AFRICA p. 74

ARGENTINA p. 132

CORINNE RICHARDSON grew up on an island in Maine where she always felt her world was a little too small. She ventured west to earn a master’s in English and nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa and subsequently landed in Bozeman, Montana. When not writing or teaching, you can find her exploring the outdoors, or the world—most recently, teaching in Italy, China and Nepal. (“Our Living History,” p. 26)

16

MOUNTAIN

A Missoula-based journalist, ERIC DIETRICH’S work focuses on the future of Montana communities like Gardiner (“The Scenery Economy Crucible,” p. 34). He was educated as a civil engineer at Montana State University in Bozeman, and learned the craft of reporting at the Great Falls Tribune and Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspapers. In his spare time, he hikes, programs websites and looks for excuses to visit small towns.

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

ZACHARIAH BRYAN is finishing up his master’s in environmental journalism at the University of Montana in Missoula. He previously spent time reporting in Seattle and Alaska, diligently covering drunken bar brawls and high school plays. These days, he spends considerable hours on long lonely drives to far-flung Montana towns, like Libby, where he reported on residents trying to turn their economic luck around in “Can the Outdoors Save Libby?” (p. 98).


Managing Editor Tyler Allen prepares to hustle the neighbors into buying popcorn to support his Cub Scout troop in 1987.

F RO M T H E E D I T O R Following the thread

PHOTO BY DAVID ALLEN

Raised in a small New England town, where there are more dairy cows than people and still only one stoplight, I grew up relying on the adults around me. I’d have to ask, or plead, my parents for rides to spend time with friends who lived miles away—at least until we had our learner’s permits and my buddies would quietly roll their parents’ cars out of the driveway late at night to go joyriding. Jessianne Wright found that youngsters in Montana still joyride in “Kids With Grit” (p. 45), but they do it on horses or four wheelers, and with their parents’ permission. My small town was just 20 minutes from a city, but these kids and the communities that raise them, are far more remote. Because of the isolation, childcare can be a fulltime job and bus rides are long, but these children also have plenty of room to roam, and are given responsibilities that forge enduring skills and self-sufficiency. In the last decade, the population of rural America began shrinking for the first time on record. Young adults are migrating to cities at unprecedented rates and rural residents are aging. The cultural divide between small towns and cities has never been greater, and while social media is able to connect us all, it doesn’t bring us closer. Senior Editor Sarah Gianelli discovered in “Finding the Soul of a Place with the Toss of a Dart” (p. 50), that visiting a small town and talking to the locals can open a dialog impossible to unlock with a hashtag. Her blindfolded dart toss resulted in the discovery of a man nicknamed “Wild Meat,” who laments the mining industry’s decline as Philipsburg, Montana, transitions to a tourism-based economy. In Gardiner, Montana, Eric Dietrich learned that “The Scenery Economy Crucible” (p. 34) can strain a community as vacation rentals

make it irresistible for some locals to become short-term landlords. And in “Can the Outdoors Save Libby?” (p. 98), Zachariah Bryan reports on how fostering a scenery economy could be the savior of a small Montana town still trying to shake its stigma as the site of environmental disaster. Whether they thrive or languish, small towns are immortalized by the people at the heart of them. Corinne Richardson interviewed five longtime denizens of the Northern Rockies (“Our Living History,” p. 26) and revealed how important it is to record their stories, and why they’re worth saving. From small towns in the Greater Yellowstone to the great expanses of the Argentina pampas (“The Way it Used to Be,” p. 132), the fabric of this world is rich and we encourage you to look between the seams. Following the thinnest thread to an open space on the map can lead to powerful discoveries, some of which you’ll find etched in these pages.

Tyler Allen, tyler@outlaw.partners

F E AT U R E D C O N T R I B U T O R S

A veterinarian with a primary interest in wildlife conservation, JENNIFER LADD’S writing is inspired by her many adventures abroad, from rehabilitating chimpanzees in Zambia and studying parasites in elephant seals, to dehorning rhinos is South Africa. Most comfortable as a nomad, she’s planted roots in Big Sky, where she and her daughter Riley are planning their next adventures. (“The Price of Poaching,” p. 74, “Of Moose and Flying Squirrels, p. 104)

Born in California, raised in Colorado and now living in Montana, JESSICA ROUNDS believes that home is wherever you make it, and that the best evenings include campfires, storytelling and a lively crew. She spent most of her 20s freelance writing for publications including Ladygunn and Deluxe Swiss Made Magazine, but eventually traded freelancing for her role as vice president of production at Richter Media, a creative agency that focuses on animation. She still writes regularly, on subjects including “Women Who Rock” (p. 107). 

ISAIAS MICIU NICOLAEVICI was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and spent his early years in the mountains near Cordoba, Argentina, until his family moved to San Martin de los Andes. There, in Argentina’s northern Patagonia region, he discovered the passion for fly fishing, the outdoors and photography that he so vividly expresses in “The Way it Used to Be” (p. 132). Nicolaevici’s photographic skills have taken him to exotic destinations in Brazil, Russia, Africa and the United States; and earned him assignments with brands like Beretta, Eddie Bauer and Jeep, as well as many outfitters around the world.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

17


ALLATIN IMBERWRIGHTS

Dedicated and experienced team of craftsmen with an emphasis on form and function gallatintimberwrights.com | 406.219.4053


UNITY AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITIES 1 BEDROOM CONDOS FOR SALE OR LEASE

2 COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACES AVAILABLE

2 BEDROOM CONDOS FOR SALE OR LEASE

RESTAURANT SPACE AVAILABLE

2 & 3 BEDROOM TOWNHOUSES FOR SALE

3% COMMISSION FOR BUYERS AGENTS

www.haasbuilders.com | 406.995.4552 | BIG SKY, MONTANA


CAUSE / P. 22

VISIT / P. 23

WILDL ANDS FESTIVAL

Bozeman, Montana / August 10

JACKSON HOLE PBR

Jackson, Wyoming / July 17

For one exclusive night in Jackson Hole, bucking bulls and professional cowboys will race the clock beneath the towering peaks of the Tetons. On July 17, some of the world’s top professional bull riders will vie for eight seconds of glory atop notoriously rough and rowdy bulls during the first-ever Jackson PBR. The Wyoming stop is a part of the Touring Pro Division in the 25th PBR: Unleash the Beast series. The evening will also include a vendor village, mutton bustin’ for kids 6 and under, and a live music after-party at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. “The tradition of bull riding and Western entertainment runs deep in Jackson Hole and we’re excited to see a new community event that celebrates this tradition,” said Morgan Albertson Jaouen, executive director of the museum. PBR is one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the country, and sell-out events are held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden and in Las Vegas. However, the Jackson stop is a rare opportunity to experience PBR action up close and personal in a small, intimate arena. – Jessianne Wright

EVENTS

20

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

A celebration of the rugged and wild Montana landscape, the inaugural Wildlands Festival on August 10 in Bozeman will feature the country-rock ballads of Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, and legendary Texas songwriter Robert Earl Keen. Held in the Romney Oval on Montana State University’s campus, this will be a concert for all ages, a nod to the natural wonder that is Bozeman’s backyard, and will also raise funds for land conservation groups that include Yellowstone Forever, Gallatin Valley Land Trust and the Montana Land Reliance. Event producer Outlaw Partners (publisher of this magazine), expects that Wildlands will become an annual celebration of the outdoors and open lands. “We’ve been working for several years on this concept and it’s fulfilling to see it come to fruition,” said Duane Morris, MSU’s senior director of auxiliary services. “We believe it will be a special night of music.” – J.W.

PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: OUTLAW PARTNERS, DARREN CAROLL, COURTESY OF LUKAS NELSON AND POTR

TRAILHEAD


CLOUDBURSTS

BIG SKY BIGGIE

Big Sky, Montana / August 25-26

Explore the rapidly expanding trail network around Big Sky, Montana, during the inaugural Big Sky Biggie mountain bike race on August 25. With a 50-mile course gaining a total of 9,000 vertical feet, the Biggie is sure to attract some top long-distance riders. The event also features a 30-mile race, and both courses begin and end in Big Sky Town Center, the community’s hub of activity. Event organizer Natalie Osborne said she’s planned the weekend to showcase the best of Big Sky. “I really want this event to have a community feel,” she said. “What I love about the course is it travels through every neighborhood we have. If you’re from out of town, it allows you to see everything Big Sky has to offer.” While the course does travel through the area’s many neighborhoods, neither race is a simple pedal through the park. The routes consist of rugged U.S. Forest Service trails and newly built single-track—many miles of which are normally closed to the public. The weekend will also feature a kids race and a short-track event, both held August 26 in Big Sky Town Center. – J.W.

McGuane, who lives near the West Boulder River in the tucked-away town of McLeod, Montana, is one of the West’s preeminent writers. In this career-spanning collection, he illustrates two opposing corners of the country, Northern California and Key West, as well as prominently featuring Big Sky Country. His fiction, often inspired by the character of small-town Montana and the state’s vast and varied landscape, explores the intersection of tradition and a modern way of life. Vivid writing gives us an intimate look into the complex lives of McGuane’s characters, and inquisitive descriptions and wonder keep the pages turning. – J.W.

One part storytelling and two parts human exploration, Thomas READ McGuane’s newest collection of short stories is a captivating read, juxtaposing vulnerability and isolation with humor and the American dream. Cloudbursts: Collected and New Stories was released in March and features eight uncollected tales, as well as selections from the author’s first book of short stories, To Skin a Cat (1986). The volume also includes the 27 stories originally published in Gallatin Canyon (2006) and Crow Fair (2015).

THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN Lefty Brown is the stereotypical sidekick. Timid, REEL bumbling and inattentive, Lefty isn’t exactly the kind of guy you’d expect to take center stage. He certainly never wanted to be the hero. Nonetheless, director Jared Moshe spins a gripping tale of friendship, loyalty and revenge in The Ballad of Lefty Brown, a fictional tale that tracks the folksy character of Lefty (Bill Pullman) as he sets out on a quest to avenge the murder of his closest friend, Montana’s first elected senator Eddie Johnson, played by Peter Fonda. Set on the plains of Montana circa 1889, Moshe’s decision to film in the Treasure State lends crucial authenticity to the Western. Footage was captured over the span of just 20 days in September 2016, in the neoWestern cities and historic boomtowns of Harrison, Nevada City, Virginia

City and Bannack State Park. While the cliché hard-luck, drunken cowboys appear, Moshe forgoes traditional Western characters in favor of personality types often overlooked: unresolved men, and strong and capable women—such as Eddy’s wife, Laura, played by an impressive Kathy Baker—all depicted as real human beings with strengths and flaws of their own. The Ballad of Lefty Brown is arguably one of the premier Western films of our time. – J.W.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

21


PRISON PAWS

Changing inmates’ lives while they change yours Prison is not often thought of as a place where you go to find your passion. Yet for many inmates at the Montana CAUSE Women’s Prison in Billings, the Prison Paws program has given them hope for a new life upon re-entry into society. The four-week intensive training program, which is open to the public by providing a pet “profile” to determine if the program fits the dog’s needs, pairs an inmate with a four-legged student for oneon-one training. The dogs are with the women 24/7; they live in their cells and attend training sessions, participate in prison yard playtime, and occasionally accompany them to their other jobs in the facility. While there are similar programs at prisons across the country, Prison Paws is unique because it charges a minimal fee for the services rather than depend on funding from the state. Inmate Grossman, who has been involved in the initiative for nearly four years, and also works as the lead accountant for the prison, says that the most difficult part of Prison Paws is saying goodbye to her training dogs. “I’ve dedicated so much time to their training, health and well-being and then it’s tough to see them leave,” she said. “I love it when the dogs return to Prison Paws for boarding or grooming—it’s always a joy to see them again.” The most rewarding aspect for inmate Eaton is to see the growth in fellow inmates who have never worked before. “This program builds self-esteem and confidence—it also fosters a sense of teamwork,” she said. “We need to work together to keep consistency in the training for the dogs. Some dogs enter the program and know nothing, and we transform them in a matter of weeks.” Prison Paws Program Supervisor Jen Severud explains that once accepted, inmates can participate until they’re released, if they maintain good conduct, follow all prison rules, and have no major write-ups. One participant has been involved since October 2014 and it’s the longest she’s held a job in her life. The prison also offers a savings plan as an incentive to stay involved and dedicated. 22

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Above: Montana Women’s Prison inmates Grossman (at left) and Eaton train students in the Prison Paws program. Below: Eaton and Grossman take a break during playtime with one their trainees. PHOTOS BY ANNAMAE SIEGFRIED-DERRICK

The women learn to work in a team environment in close quarters, living together in a dormitory-like wing of the prison. The dogs sleep in crates next to their trainer’s bed, and the close quarters require the women to maintain respect for their peers by keeping their area tidy. If a dog needs to go out during the night, they’re required to take them out on leash to a fenced-in area of the prison yard and promptly return. “My favorite part about working as their supervisor is watching their confidence grow, and celebrating with them when they succeed if they have a difficult dog and are able to break through the challenges,” Severud said. “I also enjoy seeing them ask for help and learning new life skills including working with other people in a team environment.” So, if you have a dog that needs training or a little rehabilitation, consider Prison Paws—not only will you have a more obedient dog, which will improve your quality of life, but you’ll also improve the life of an inmate while they build an enduring skill set. – Blythe Beaubien


TRAILHEAD

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE PARK COUNTY TRAVEL COUNCIL

CODY, WYOMING For a prime taste of the Western experience, look no further than Cody, Wyoming. The thriving town of 9,000 is home to the Cody Nite Rodeo that runs daily VISIT all summer long, is located near the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, and has many authentic guest ranches where you can ride horses and rope cattle. Cody was founded in 1895 by renowned showman William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody, producer of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, which featured sharp-shooting, fancy riding and a romantic depiction of the Western frontier. The town is proud of its history. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is comprised of five museums that immortalize its namesake, Western art, the Plains Indians and the frontier. Several smaller museums commemorate the construction of the 325-foot tall Buffalo Bill Dam and America’s involvement in World War II. Whether you choose to be a dude at a ranch, step back in time at the museums, or simply take in the sprawling views, a visit to Cody is a memorable Western experience. – J.W.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

23


Where do you find your place in Montana? RANCH LIFE

LUXURY EXPERIENCE

SxS Ranch | Bozeman, MT | $7.5M 483.78 ACRES The best Montana offers in one location, uniquely situated near Bozeman

Lakeside Lodge C104 | Yellowstone Club | $8.995M 3,981 SQ FT | 4 bedrooms | 5.5 bathrooms Spacious, elegant condo with incredible location in the base area of Yellowstone Club

Real Estate - Development - Consulting


Let us be your guide. LAKES & RIVERS

Osprey Cove Lakehouse | Hebgen Lake, MT | $1.495M 1.03 ACRES | 4,628 SQ FT Recently remodeled home at Hebgen Lake within minutes of Yellowstone Park.

WILD PLACES

64 Lodgepole | Big Sky, MT | $3.895M 19.86 ACRES | 6,007 SQ FT Modern design combined with mountain aesthetics surrounded by spectacular views

YEAR-ROUND RECREATION

30 Beehive Basin Rd | Big Sky, MT | $2.95M 20 ACRES | 6,203 SQ FT Spacious home with commanding views in a beautiful mountain setting

LKRealEstate.com 406.995.2404

All information given is considered reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and should not be relied upon as such.These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, and changes including price or withdrawal without notice. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity. If you currently have a listing agreement or buyer broker agreement with another agent, this is not a solicitation to change. Š2016 LK REAL ESTATE, llc. lkrealestate.com


Watch interviews with Bill Jackson and Nora Lukin at mtoutlaw.com/ourlivinghistory

Our Living History

O U R L I V I N G H I S TO RY INTRO BY TYLER ALLEN | STORIES BY CORINNE RICHARDSON PHOTOS BY JENNINGS BARMORE AND DANIEL BULLOCK

26

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


OUTBOUND

G A L L E RY grew up on an island in Holeb Pond, outside of Jackman, Maine, a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. Her father would take her and her brother to the mainland in a canoe each morning, where they would walk the train tracks over a mile to school. Once the pond froze solid, they would walk across the ice; in the fall and springtime, when winter’s grip began to thaw, her father would drag the canoe along in case the ice failed. Tales like these are liable to vanish when we lose the storytellers. In an effort to preserve such narratives and the history that lives within them, Mountain Outlaw gathered the memories of some exceptional residents of the Northern Rockies. In the process, we learned an important lesson about seizing the moment. One of our intended subjects, 95-year-old Irwin Allen of Ryegate, Montana, passed away on April 6 before we could conduct his interview. Irwin was born in Rothiemay, Montana, in 1923 and grew up on his family’s homestead there. Irwin worked hard on his Ryegate ranch, but he also carved out time for his many hobbies, including restoring antique cars and tractors, flying his Piper Super Cub airplane, and hunting big game. Irwin C. Allen, 1923-2018 Irwin was also an avid photographer, and took a camera with him nearly everywhere he went, including frequent trips to Alaska. In the following pages, you’ll find stories captured and chronicled by Bozeman writer Corinne Richardson. Her search for rich anecdotes took her around the region, from Browning, Montana, near the border of Glacier National Park, to Hoback Canyon south of Jackson Hole. What she found, coupled with the loss of Irwin, made us realize that there is no time to waste if these tales are to outlast their source. We encourage you to sit down with the older people in your lives and tease out the histories that are sitting there in plain sight—you may be astonished at what you find. >>

MY GRANDMOTHER, ELAINE ROSS,

PHOTO BY DANIEL BULLOCK PHOTOS BY JENNINGS BARMORE

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

27


“Most people think restaurant work is a small job, but mention that you work for Betty, and they radiate.”

Betty Nason

B E T T Y

N A S O N

A G E 8 2 • F O U R C O R N E R S , M O N TA N A TO AN OUTSIDER, FOUR CORNERS may look less like a community and more like the intersection of four highways leading to more prominent places. But for locals, its nucleus can be found at Kountry Korner Café with owner and Montana native Betty Nason. Like the sitcom Cheers, with its flawed but endearing characters, Betty’s restaurant isn’t about the place itself, but about family and community. Since opening in 1976, she’s had three generations of key holders—a group of local guys who arrive at 6 a.m., make coffee and converse in the dark until she arrives—the same men who brought their tractors and trucks to help move her business across the highway in 1980. There are the hires off the street—people whose trucks broke down or had injuries and needed jobs—and other employees who were so loyal they ended up staying for 40 years. “Most people think restaurant work is a small job, but mention that you work for Betty, and they radiate,” says her son Kurtis.

28

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Building up her own business after a divorce required tenacity. “In 1980s Montana, no bank would lend money to a single woman,” Betty says. But a friend, who happened to be the president of First Security Bank, took a chance on her. She thrived, her love for people propagating like seeds. For decades, Betty has catered to wildfire hotshot crews, leaving for remote parts of Montana at 4 a.m. and sleeping in her van. She devotes her spare time to volunteering her time and catering services to an adaptive sports program called Eagle Mount, and a nonprofit that supports kids with cancer. “The kids steal my heart,” she said. Once you meet Betty, you understand why so many want to be wrapped in her warm-hearted embrace. A throwback in an age when connections happen largely online, Betty worries when she sees customers texting instead of talking. But for now, most come in hungry for food and conversation, both of which the Kountry Korner Café serves by the plateful.


OUTBOUND

G A L L E RY

Bill Jackson

B I L L

J A C K S O N

A G E 9 3 • H A R R I S O N , M O N TA N A

IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOBACCO ROOT MOUNTAINS, where the long western sky stretches

over miles of undeveloped sage hills and grasslands, the Montana light flushes the valley in rose and gold. Deep in this beautiful landscape lies the Jackson family compound, an Angus-Hereford cattle and Morgan horse breeding ranch homesteaded in 1873. Head of this fifth-generation ranch clan is 93-yearold Bill “Chief” Jackson, a traditional cowboy undaunted by the physically demanding work required of him from sunup to sundown: cattle drives, feeding in blizzards, calving, branding, and fixing irrigation and fences. Bill began ranching when he was old enough to carry an egg from the hen house to the ranch home without it breaking. He knew it was his calling and returned to ranch life after serving in the army and then graduating from Montana State University. He still works the ranch daily, now riding a four wheeler, but occasionally he saddles up his cow horse, Mortana Mitzi, using a mounting step and electric pulley system he designed to hoist the saddle. Bill is reticent about his near-century on the ranch, and deflects conversation that draws attention to him. He won’t tell you that he won a Madison County award for stewardship, or that he was in the 7th Cavalry Regiment during the Allied occupation of Japan. He won’t back-fence talk about legendary local characters like bank robber Whitey Jackson (no relation), or dwell on the dangers of ranching that have taken the lives of loved ones. You have to hear from others about the time he broke his finger in the backcountry and fashioned a splint out of a snip of barbed wire in order to keep working. “Being a rancher means accepting the way life comes,” Bill says. “One day at a time.” Bill will tell you that ranching is a lifestyle, not a job. “If you don’t like it, don’t do it. You won’t get wealthy.” He hopes the lessons he learned from his father about surviving the Great Depression and droughts, and his efforts to stay current with changes in the industry and issues of sustainability, will help the next generation. “Saying we’ve always done it that way is the worst excuse,” he argues. “We change with it or get plowed under.”

“Being a rancher means accepting the way life comes ... one day at a time.”

PHOTOS BY JENNINGS BARMORE


SECTION: SUBHEAD “...listening to her recount stories of the happy

partnership she created with her husband, Fred, it’s as if she summoned something sacred from the spinning wheel of life.”

Lillian Kessler

L I L L I A N

K E S S L E R

A G E 9 5 • B O Z E M A N , M O N TA N A

FOR 95-YEAR-OLD LILLIAN KESSLER, family goes beyond basic love and biology. It’s a deliberately woven fabric comprised of three generations of extended family that include orphanage matrons and guardians, lost brothers and sisters found again, and faith. For Lillian, the essence of family encompasses faint childhood memories of her father playing the violin in “sweet, mellow” tones, and her mother’s tender voice cautioning care while peeling a potato. Lillian was 6 when her 23-year-old mother died of pneumonia in 1929. Her father, a traveling violinist, unable to care for four children, sent Lillian and her three siblings to the Montana State Orphanage in Twin Bridges. Her baby sister joined a new family first, then Lillian. She remembers, at age 13, the day she was summoned to the office and chosen to go home with a Bozeman woman, Anna Seifert, to help out at their boarding house on Main Street. In Seifert’s loving and caring home, she helped care

30

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

for Anna’s elderly mother and prepared meals for college students and farmhands working the fields south of town. Her memories of the orphanage are not unhappy, and she recalls listening to Bing Crosby and top 10 songs on a radio for the first time, which seemed like magic. “I had three meals a day, didn’t have to wear a uniform, and did backbends across the yard,” she says. But losing contact with her siblings was painful. For children raised in an orphanage, lacking a sense of belonging can remain a painful ache, but not for Lillian. She’s now surrounded by a large, loving family that includes 11 grandchildren. Listening to her recount stories of the happy partnership she created with her husband, Fred, it’s as if she summoned something sacred from the spinning wheel of life. How did she attain this? Simple, she says. “Having the right mate, doing things together as a family, and having faith.”


OUTBOUND

Gap Pucci

G A P

G A L L E RY

P U C C I

AGE 83 • HOBACK CANYON, WYOMING YOU CAN TELL A LOT ABOUT A COWBOY BY HIS HAT.

And guns. Gap Pucci’s hat is worn soft and thin, and banded with sweat. He sleeps with a .357 Magnum and 9mm Glock, and the pocket-sized pistol he carries has worn a visible hole in his jeans. This cowboy has 45,000 miles on his saddle and a temperament that carried him through Wyoming’s Gros Ventre Wilderness for 50 years, guiding sportsmen for his business, Crystal Creek Outfitting. Gap is one of the last traditional cowboys, a breed that lived through the Dust Bowl, rode 25 miles a day, and hired outlaws as hands. He let horses drink from his hat, and lived for nine months at a time in wilderness camps without running water and electricity. It was a time when wranglers knew how to throw a diamond hitch, a bedroll was a piece of canvas, and cowboys stayed in the backcountry until weather drove them out. Standing beside the spurs he finally hung up over a decade ago, he confesses that retirement was rough.

When his doctor told him to give up cowboying because a fall might kill him, he removed the rifle from his saddle scabbard, replaced it with a cane, and rode in the wilderness for two more years. Now, from his cabin in Hoback Canyon, Gap spends his time caring for his Morgan horses—some bred by his old friend Bill Jackson, and “the best Morgans you’ll find,” Gap claims—and writing, to keep his wilderness stories alive. Occasionally, you’ll get a good town story—like the time he went to Jackson for a haircut and withdrew his entire savings when the bank refused his wrangler use of the rest room. Animals always appear in his tales, as they are part of the fuller mosaic of his life. He’s immortalizing these stories because most of the cowboys of his era are gone, and soon, there will be no one left to remember them. “In the wilderness, it’s all about life and death,” Gap says, as a pair of red-tailed hawks lift from a pine and circle his house. “In between is where the stories live.”

“In the wilderness, it’s all about life and death. In between is where the stories live.”

31 M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN PHOTOS BY DANIEL BULLOCK


SECTION: SUBHEAD

OUTBOUND

“You survived because

G A L L E RY

you had to. We went barefoot to save our shoes, and when the soles wore out, we inserted cardboard. Our toys were sunbleached bones.”

N O RNora A Lukin L U K I N A G E 9 8 • B ROW N I N G , M O N TA N A

PERHAPS THE MOST ARRESTING MEMORY of Nora Lukin’s childhood was the moment Charles Lindberg circled low over the railroad station in Browning, giving her a wing wave with the Spirit of St. Louis. It was September 1927. Ninety years later, Nora shares stories from an era when the toilet was outdoors, refrigeration an icehouse, and bread was 17 cents a loaf. “To get groceries, we had to flag down the train,” Nora says. To get to school, she and her siblings rode 3 miles on horseback, then were picked up by a car and driven 4 more miles to the schoolhouse. Medical care was limited then. “While roping, my Uncle Vic lost an index finger at the knuckle and wrapped it in bacon rind until he could get to the doctor,” she says. Born in Browning in 1919, Nora is the oldest living member of the Blackfeet Nation. Her grandmother, Jennie Nearly Died, was a full-blood Blackfeet who married an Irish New Yorker. She was given the Blackfeet name Otssko Aapini, for her blue eyes. The year Nora was born, a harsh

32

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

winter wiped out cattle ranches and her family’s home burned down. Times were hard. “You survived because you had to,” she says. “We went barefoot to save our shoes, and when the soles wore out, we inserted cardboard. Our toys were sun-bleached bones.” Nora also describes a dark past of growing up when tribal land was divided into allotments—an assimilation policy that removed land from Indians, transferring it to settlers—and kids were punished if they spoke their native language in school. Despite hard times, Nora remained hopeful. While raising a family, she ran the Blackfeet Trading Post and Teepee Café, and continues to oversee farm operations on her allotted land. In 1959, 32 years after seeing Lindberg in flight, she took her first plane ride from Great Falls to Billings. Since then, she’s been around the world twice, has ridden camels and elephants, and was in China for the historic handover of Hong Kong. One of her favorite trips was to Ireland, where she learned about her “blue-eyed” ancestors.

PHOTO BY JENNINGS BARMORE


M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

33


SECTION: SUBHEAD

The

S C E N E RY E C O N O M Y C RU C I B L E For Greater Yellowstone towns in a changing world, tourism becomes an economic savior and a housing struggle BY ERIC DIETRICH

PHOTO BY LOUISE JOHNS


KIDS / P. 45

DART TOSS / P. 50

FUEL, OXYGEN AND HEAT / P. 58

LEE METCALF / P. 66

N OW I N G A R D I N E R , M O N TA N A ,

a few hundred yards from the stone-faced Roosevelt Arch that’s welcomed tourists into Yellowstone National Park for generations, there sits a long, slant-roof building that serves locals instead of visitors: Gardiner Public School. It’s is a point of pride in this 900-person town, where people live so close to wildlife that they have to shovel bison dung off the school’s sports field every spring. Almost three-quarters of its 78 students take Advanced Placement courses, and 95 percent of them graduate. The school has a gold medal ranking from U.S. News & World Report, which calls it the best high school in the state. It’s also in trouble. Places like Gardiner are as much a part of the Western landscape as bison herds and pristine vistas, as much a part our national character as John Wayne movies. When the gun-toting cowboy vanquishes the outlaw posse on a dusty main street and rides off into the sunset, it’s the townspeople—and their town—that he’s saved. In the mythology of the American West, these small towns are places where life can be lived free from the grind of the urban rat race, places where neighborliness remains tradition in an ever-lonelier world. They’re places where kids can roam and hardy locals can thrive by working hard and taking care of their own. But as the global economy pulls more jobs and more people into cities, rural living is a lifestyle in decline. The nation’s non-metro counties lost a combined 200,000 residents between 2010 and 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While urban America saw a net gain of 3.6 million jobs between 2007 and 2015, rural America lost 400,000. >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

35


GARDINER, LIKE MANY

towns across the Greater Yellowstone region, is an exception. Tourism, its economic lifeblood, is pumping stronger than ever. The park’s north entrance tallied more than 360,000 vehicles last year—up 50 percent from a decade ago. Collections from Gardiner’s June-to-September resort tax indicate that businesses brought in almost $18 million during the 2016 tourism season—nearly $20,000 per resident. It’s a full-fledged scenery economy, and a booming one. While gold mining was a major employer in the area as recently as the mid-1990s, when 130 workers making good money lost their livelihoods with the closure of the Jardine Mine, these days Gardiner’s job opportunities revolve around landscape. After a pair of companies announced plans for new gold mines in the area in recent years, residents and tourismreliant business owners persuaded both Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte to introduce anti-mining legislation.

L O N G G O N E I S T H E E R A W H E N M O N TA N A’ S

economy and politics were dominated by Butte copper barons and their corporate heir, the Anaconda Company. Two of the state’s three current federal delegates, Gianforte and fellow Republican Sen. Steve Daines, have built their political careers instead on the success of their Bozeman software company, RightNow Technologies— which, back in the early 2000s, famously recruited employees by putting up a billboard along the highway between Bozeman and Yellowstone. Even so, it’s an open question whether the modern scenery boom can support the sort of close-knit communities that once grew up in the Northern Rockies around agriculture, timber and mining operations that lasted long enough for worker camps to mature into bona fide towns. Gardiner, a tourism town since it was founded in the late 1800s by an ousted Yellowstone concessionaire, is a case study in why. For as much wealth as the scenery brings in—because of it, in fact—Gardiner is an increasingly hard place to

36

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

raise a family, residents say. The school is great and there are plenty of jobs, but even with the area’s 1,600-plus beds of commercial lodging, the rise of Airbnb-style vacation rentals puts would-be renters and homebuyers in direct competition with tourists. In a town that’s hemmed in by its scenery, surrounded by the nation’s first national park on one side and Gallatin National Forest on the other, housing has become a community crucible. In early March, Gardiner school board member George Bumann took to a community Facebook group to share a chart showing the school’s enrollment. Apart from a bump in 2008, when the district absorbed pupils from the closure of Mammoth School inside Yellowstone, the trend since the mid-90s mine closure was clearly heading down, dipping below 200 students for the first time in memory the past three years. “This is some serious food for thought,” Bumann wrote. “What does this say about the town’s accessibility to families, our housing and school funding options?”


Full-time Gardiner residents are struggling to find affordable housing as the tourism economy booms.

NOW: SCENERY ECONOMY

PHOTO BY LOUISE JOHNS

A S T H E Y H AV E I N D E S T I N AT I O N T OW N S

Is this going to be a town of locals or not?

Yellowstone National Park saw more than 4 million visitors last year, with more than 360,000 vehicles passing through the North Entrance at Gardiner. PHOTO BY JACOB W. FRANK/NPS

across the West, Airbnb and their “live like a local” marketing has eroded what was once a clearer distinction between residential and tourist housing. When Gardiner property owners face the choice between renting a house to a full-time resident for $1,000 a month or offering it to tourists for upwards of $250 a night, it’s tough to leave the difference on the table—particularly when wouldbe-landlords are trying to scrape together a living themselves. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that between 50 and 150 of Gardiner’s 600 housing units are vacant, an indicator they’re used for tourist housing. Airbnb’s website alone listed 25 full-home rentals in the town proper, pre-tourism season in April, their nightly rates averaging $278. “You can make more in a week than you can in a month,” said Don Knight, a Gardiner businessman who operates Cowboy’s Lodge and a number of vacation rentals. Like most of the town’s business owners, Knight and his wife, Gina, say they have to provide housing to attract employees. In addition to vacation rentals, they also point at rising property taxes—partly a product of higher property values—as something that’s making the town less affordable even for residents who own their own home. About half of the Gardiner homes advertised for sale on real estate websites in April were priced above $600,000. One of them, a boxy-looking, 2,760-square-foot house on Park Street, was listed as pending sale at $749,000. In comparison, annual wages across Park County average $43,000 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The average hotel and food service worker is paid $23,000. “Prices don’t reflect local wages at all,” said Bill Berg, a Park County commissioner who’s lived in the Gardiner area for 30 years. “It almost feels like we’re becoming a little bit of a theme park,” he said. “Is this going to be a town of locals or not?”>>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

37


THE SENTIMENT ECHOES UP A N D D OW N T H E RO C K I E S .

In nearby Bozeman, tourism, a growing technology sector and booming enrollment at Montana State University have pushed detached home prices to a $398,000 median and spurred a wave of ritzy downtown development. As nontech wages fall behind the means brought in by out-of-state transplants, residents worry over Friday afternoon microbrews that their quaint mountain town is becoming a playground for the rich. Up Gallatin Canyon in housingcrunched Big Sky, the Census Bureau estimates 1,600 workers commute in to do their jobs—nearly five times the number who both live and work in town. South of the park in Jackson, Wyoming, the median home price is more than eight times the median income, eclipsing the three-times-income threshold its town government considers a benchmark for housing affordability. Even so, for the stretches of the Northern Rockies where a scenery economy hasn’t fully taken root, local leaders often see boosting tourism as the best way to give their communities a future. In timber towns dogged by mill closures, and farm towns where populations have waned with mechanized agriculture, enticing more visitors to come through and spend money often seems like the last, best economic hope. Sen. Tester, a farmer from Big Sandy in north-central Montana, points out that tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry statewide. He said in an interview that there’s opportunity to boost visitation in more places across the state, such as along the upper Missouri River. The key, Tester said, is making sure tourism has the right infrastructure around it—workforce housing included. He pointed to a federal program that uses tax credits to subsidize affordable housing projects, and touted a banking regulation relief bill he’s supported as a way to make it easier for Montana banks to offer loans to builders and home buyers. “If there’s no place for people to live,

38

MOUNTAIN

Pre-tourism season in April, Airbnb’s website listed

25 full-home rentals in Gardiner, averaging

$278/night

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


NOW: SCENERY ECONOMY

Above: The Yellowstone River flows right through the town of Gardiner, attracting whitewater enthusiasts in addition to park visitors. PHOTO BY LOUISE JOHNS

Below: Driving through Roosevelt Arch is a unique experience for visitors entering Yellowstone through the North Entrance. PHOTO BY JACOB W. FRANK/NPS

you can’t develop the infrastructure,” Tester said. Worried about their housing stock, Greater Yellowstone municipalities like Jackson and Bozeman have taken action to regulate vacation rentals, using their zoning powers in an effort to limit them to particular neighborhoods. But Gardiner, like Big Sky, isn’t formally incorporated, meaning it doesn’t have a governing body or planning department with the power to enact land use regulations. And, in any case, turning to government fiat to solve problems doesn’t really square with the Old West do-what-you-will-with-your-property ethos many residents hold dear. And a Jackson-style approach to resort community management is nothing if not hands on when it comes to government planning. The 10,000-resident town and its county government have staffed joint long-range planning and housing departments and adopted a 400-page community plan that calls for more subsidized housing. Each year, Jackson’s planners compile an “indicator report” tracking progress toward specific goals like having 65 percent of its workers living locally. “We want to be a community first, a resort second,” said April Norton, Jackson’s housing director. “I feel really proud that our community is willing to have those conversations.” Gardiner residents did vote to enact their 3-percent seasonal resort tax in 2014, creating a locally administered pool of funding that can be used on projects like school repairs. Last fall, they

also started a nonprofit to raise money for supporting the school, the North Yellowstone Education Foundation. Additionally, the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce has focused its efforts on marketing the town as a wildlife watching destination for shoulder seasons and winter, when things are slow enough that many of its businesses shut down, said chamber director Loren Barrett. Getting the town’s economy to the point where visitation sees less of a seasonal swing, she and others said, could make it easier to make ends meet. As Gardiner School gets emptier, though, it’s facing a budget crisis—the product of both its enrollment decline and shifts in how Montana, Wyoming and the National Park Service allocate funding to a district that also serves families in Yellowstone. Bumann, the school board member, worries the district could be forced to part ways with some of the programs and people that have earned it a gold-medal ranking. “When you think of a functioning town that is sustainable into the future, there are basic services and amenities that are required for that to be possible,” he said. “After we lose those pieces, it’s hard to get them back.” It’s tough to avoid the conclusion that for rural America, economics is destiny. If small towns are going to remain viable communities that deserve their spot in the national consciousness—if they’re going to offer visitors the experience to live like locals—they have to give their residents the opportunity to make a decent living. While tourism can provide prosperity without the environmental consequences that often accompany natural resource industries like logging or mining, Gardiner and its vacation-rental headache show that the scenery economy comes with its own set of tradeoffs. And those are challenges that take more than a guntoting cowboy to tackle.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

39


INTO

Located just minutes from the East Gate to Yellowstone National Park

OPEN DAILY | JUNE 15 – SEPT. 15

NE O T S W YELLO

zipline

www.ZipSG.com | 307–587–3125 348 North Fork Highway, Cody, WY


2018 · Auction

& Quick Draw

SEPTEMBER 21 & 22 CODY, WYOMING Featuring 0ver 100 Outstanding Western Artists

c

The experience, accreditation, industry-wide recognition and integrity that Southwest Montana deserves.

Our Expertise Comprehensive investment planning and wealth management Personalized investment portfolios Retirement income planning Retirement and benefit plan approaches for small businesses Private family office services Balance sheet, cash flow and business valuation services

KEVIN RED STAR | Horse Tipis

Join Us for the Many Educational Opportunities: Painting on Porch Artist Tours | Lectures & Great Cody Hospitality

Left to right: Michael E Winter, Associate Vice President; Scott L Brown, Managing Principal; Benjamin D Spiker, President; Afton N O’Meara, Registered Client Relationship Manager; Aiyanna T Blow, Client Relationship Manager; Kelly M Brown, Senior Vice President; Lynn M Hudson, Registered Client Relationship Manager

Scott and his team manage roughly $300,000,000 in private client assets. Scott Brown CFP®, CIMA®, CRPC® recognized as Barron’s Top 1000 Advisor’s in 2011, 2012, and 2013.* *The rankings are based on data provided by thousands of advisors. Factors included in the rankings

8 8 8 . 5 9 8 . 811 9 W W W . B U F FA L O B I L L A R T S H O W . C O M

8 8 8 . 5 9 8 . 8 11 9 W W W. B U F FA LO B I LL A RTS H OW.CO M

were assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record and client retention. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC

(WFAFN), Member SIPC. Shore to Summit Wealth Management, LLC is a separate entity from (WFAFN).

PART OF SEPTEMBER 21–23, 2017

(406) 219-2900 | www.shoretosummitwm.com


Ranches for Sale HUNT I NG | RA NCH IN G | FLY FISH IN G | CO N SERVATIO N

Flying H Ranch

Lone View Ranch Big Sky, MT | 2,631 Acres | $16.9M Rarely do properties come on the market such as the Lone View Ranch. Located on the private pass connecting Ennis and Big Sky, the ranch offers spectacular vistas, a custom home, topographic diversity, and trophy big game hunting.

Steelwohl Retreat on Henry’s Lake

Cody, WY | 280 Acres |$5.9M Reduced This idyllic Western ranch borders National Forest and offers extraordinary views, abundant wildlife, seclusion, two miles of the South Fork of the Shoshone River, and world-class hunting and fishing.

Rocking TW Ranch

Island Park, ID | 0.46-Acre | $1.35M This exceptional retreat in the heart of Yellowstone country is ideal for any outdoor enthusiast. It boasts a 4,149 sqft home with 125’ of lake-frontage, and private boat slip.

McCoy, CO | 93 Acres | $7.9M Ideally located between Vail and Steamboat Springs, this ranch enjoys over 1 mile of Colorado River frontage. The 4 bed/4.5 bath house is a contemporary take on a barn, and it overlooks the river, red rock cliffs and green pastures.

406.404.8062

Hunting | Ranching | Fly Fishing | Conservation

www.LiveWaterProperties.com


TARGHEE FEST JULY 13 - 15, 2018

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe funky METERS The Wood Brothers JJ Grey and Mofro Hard Working Americans The Dirty Knobs Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds James McMurtry The Teskey Brothers Rhiannon Giddens Mt. Joy Brandon “Taz” Niederauer

BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL AUGUST 10 - 12, 2018

Greensky Bluegrass The Infamous Stringdusters I’m With Her Fruition Keller Williams and Petty Grass Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives Billy Strings The Mammals Joe Craven and The Sometimers The Music of Jerry & Dawg featuring Stu Allen, Scott Law and Samson Grisman Tony Trischka at Large!

GRANDTARGHEE.COM 800.TARGHEE

NONS TOP HE ALT HC ARE Big Sky Medical Center 334 Town Center Avenue Emergency Department 24/7/365 Family Medicine Clinic Weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Retail Pharmacy Weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

406-995-6995

| BigSkyMedicalCenter.com


NOW

GROWING UP IN RURAL MONTANA TAKES TENACITY BY JESSIANNE WRIGHT

At nine years old, Emmy Oberly is learning how to put tire chains on a truck by herself. Dylon Allestad, a 10 year old, can drive a four wheeler on her own.

PHOTO BY LOUISE JOHNS

The two girls know rural living, and the solitude and freedom to roam that comes with having more cows than people as neighbors. Their families are accustomed to getting stuck in the snow, meticulously planning grocery runs, and keeping water buckets full should the electricity or plumbing fail. Their daily activities are often dictated by the weather and a trip to town is always multipurposed. These families are self-sufficient out of necessity. >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

45


They have learned to adapt, they’re flexible. They understand work, and they themselves work.

sister, Tenley, attended a preschool in Glasgow, where their 4-year-old brother Tate still goes two days a week. The trip to Glasgow is about 65 miles from the ranch, and Britt uses it as a YLON WAS Clockwise from top left: supply run since Opheim doesn’t have a grocery BORN to parents Dylon Allestad, 10, is proud she can catch and saddle her store. living in the tiny horse, Cookie, all on her own. Britt says preschool was especially valuable for town of Opheim, Tenley Allestad, 7, helps check a young calf. Tate Allestad, 4, Dylon, before she had her sister and brother. “We Montana, a dusty, catches some shuteye with felt it was really important because she didn’t have backwoods stop on the Hione of the family’s five dogs any interactions with other kids.” Line—the roughly 100 miles while riding in the skid steer. Dylon and Tenley go to school in Opheim four of Montana that lies south of days a week and are one of two families that use the Canadian border adjacent the school bus. Living 40 miles apart, the parents to U.S. Highway 2. With a tradeoff between using the bus and driving the kids, rather than make population hovering around 90 people in 2016, the children sit for so long. Opheim consists of a post office, bar, church and While still several years down the road, Britt said that deciding a 35-student K-12 school. Dylon’s parents moved where the kids go to high school will be difficult. north from Big Timber to start a cattle operation “We have amazing elementary school teachers, but high school staff in the early 2000s, leaving behind family and turns over much more quickly,” she said, adding that there aren’t sports friends for a fate unknown. teams in the Opheim district either, because they would have to travel Without extended family close by, Dylon’s too far. mom, Britt Allestad, says childcare for her three Many families in the area send their kids to high schools in Glasgow children is a fulltime job. “All of our kids do or Scobey, which are both over 50 miles away, she said. These families everything with us,” she said. “There aren’t usually buy a house in town to live in during the week and then go grandparents, there’s no nannies or babysitters. home for the weekends. … They’re with us day in and day out. They “It’s in the back of my mind, but I really want nothing to do have learned to adapt, they’re flexible. They with living in town during the week and coming to the ranch on the understand work, and they themselves work.” weekend,” Britt said. “I love ranching and I love what we do. Our ranch While the kids do put in their time, they say is like heaven to me.” it’s more fun than a chore. “I love helping when Dylon says she loves it too. “We have our family and don’t get I’m able to,” Dylon said. “I’m proud I know how bothered by the city. We’re in a spot where we can do what we to saddle up my horse and go and help.” want.” In the early years, Dylon and her 7-year-old PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRITT ALLESTAD

46

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


NOW: KIDS WITH GRIT

MMY, HER BROTHER ANSON,

and parents Amber and Charles Oberly, live between Livingston and Big Timber. From their home, set among a network of houses belonging to Emmy’s grandmother, aunts and uncles, a narrow dirt road runs downhill, through a creek bottom and back up to the wide plains before reaching the interstate and the 25-mile jaunt to Big Timber. In the winter, the dirt road becomes impassable without chains and in the spring and fall, mud grabs at the tires. Whether its carpooling to get the kids to school, trading off on childcare with the neighbors, or having someone to call in an emergency, a support network is critical for the Oberlys.

Left: Emmy Oberly, 9, stays busy in the spring assisting with calf brandings, when she helps keep records for each calf that is branded, tagged and vaccinated. Right: Anson Oberly, 3, feeds the family’s chickens.

“It takes a whole community to grow kids,” said Charles, who grew up in Big Timber and now works as a Montana hunting outfitter. “If it wasn’t for family and friends, it would be very hard.” Often, the Oberlys coordinate with the neighbors in planning after-school activities so that they can carpool together. Some of Emmy’s favorite activities include riding horses, rock climbing, playing soccer and performing in the Missoula Children’s Theatre when the traveling circuit comes to town. She and Anson also play outside, no matter the weather. “I like training my goat and feeding the chickens, and watching the ducks swimming in the pond, and riding my horse,” Emmy said, adding that her favorite aspect of where she lives is having the space to ride her horse for miles at a time.

Emmy had just started kindergarten in Big Timber when Anson was born. She was in school when her parents took him to Billings for a 30-day checkup, where they learned that Anson’s aorta, the body’s main artery, was unusually narrow and restricting blood flow. In a matter of hours, Amber, Charles and Anson were on a plane to Denver for emergency heart surgery to remove the narrow section of the aorta. “We had the clothes on our backs, that was it,” Amber said, adding that the experience would have been nearly impossible to endure without the support network in the area. Charles’ parents took care of Emmy, and Amber’s mother cared for the livestock and animals at home. The worried parents had no idea how long they’d be gone, and Charles had to cancel a client’s hunting trip. Fourteen days later, Amber flew home with her recovering child. Folks from the community sent notes of support, offered to help in any way they could, and one family even sent money in the mail. “I couldn’t believe that,” Amber said, her eyes softening as she smiled. “It was everything.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMBER AND CHARLES OBERLY

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

47


THE HENRY FAMILY SEA ISLAND, GA

ÂŽ

Create Your Next Remember When

To learn more, visit ExclusiveResorts.com/My-Vacation Information current as of 5.14.2018. Club Membership is subject to terms and conditions of Club Membership agreement. Different terms and conditions apply to different purchases. Reservations for specific days, destinations, experiences and events subject to availability. Experience Collection vacations, certain services, amenities and other Member benefits may require additional fees, may have limited availability and are subject to additional terms and conditions. Current Club destinations, residences, experiences and events subject to change. See www.exclusiveresorts.com for more information. Make the World Your Second Home is a service mark of Exclusive Resorts, LLC. Create Your Next Remember When, Exclusive Resorts, and the Exclusive Resorts flower logo are registered trademarks of Exclusive Resorts, LLC. Š2018, Exclusive Resorts, LLC. All rights reserved.


finding the

SO U L of

MO N TA NA with the

TO S S of a

D A RT BY SARAH GIANELLI


NOW

Watch video of this story in the making at mtoutlaw.com/darttoss

T H I S S T O RY B E G A N W I T H A D A RT T O S S .

On the hunt f or " t a e M d l i W "

I was blindfolded and spun around before taking aim at a map of Montana. Wherever the tiny arrow landed, I would go in search of the soul of that place. My first attempt missed the target entirely and landed in a flower pot. My second toss landed in a sparsely settled region of western Montana near Georgetown Lake, a predominately summertime community where the main attraction is a 2,800-acre reservoir known for some of the best fishing in the state. In high season, the population swells into the thousands and dwindles to a few hundred in the winter. In mid-March, winter was still going strong. Georgetown Lake has two year-round businesses, both bars, and they seemed like a good starting point. After a long loop around the lake, past vacant, snowbound summer homes, I pulled in to Seven Gables Resort, a watering hole just off Montana Highway 1 at the turnoff to Discovery Ski Area. With no other patrons in sight, the bartender, Summer Payne, had plenty of time to chat. “So long as you don’t ask me about my exhusband, the Montana militiaman,” she said with a laugh. She was referring to Ryan Payne, who was involved in the anti-government wildlife refuge takeover in Oregon, and had recently been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. Originally from California, Summer Payne has lived in the area for 10 years and said she’d never leave. “I love Montana. I love the people— everybody’s friendly around here. People wave when you go through town; if you break down or get caught in a snowbank, someone is going to stop and help you,” she said. When Payne’s house was broken into and she lost everything, the community organized a fundraiser that helped her refurnish her home and care for her kids. When asked to share some stories about the locals, Payne said, “Nope, nothing that I can share … we’re pretty tight-lipped around here about what we do.” She suggested I head to Philipsburg, a former mining-turned-tourist town about 10 miles to the north. >>

MOUNTAIN

51


W I T H A P O P U L AT I O N O F 8 0 0 , A N D L O C AT E D H A L F WAY B E T W E E N Y E L L OW S T O N E A N D G L A C I E R N AT I O N A L

PA R K S ,

Above: A former mining town, Philipsburg’s charm lies in its ornate Victorian architecture, rich history and colorful local characters. PHOTO BY MIKE CHILCOAT

Right: Originally from California and now a bartender in Georgetown Lake, Summer Payne says she’ll never leave the area because the community takes care of its own. OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO

52

MOUNTAIN

Philipsburg consists of a few colorful blocks lined with gem stores, hotels, historical museums, restaurants, and a brewery with a statewide reputation. I popped into the town’s famed candy store, the Sweet Palace, where I met proprietor Shirley Beck, a short, spunky redhead in her early 70s. Her spiel about the shop and her neighboring sapphire gallery was as polished as the emporium’s pink embossed-steel ceiling. Beck has owned the Sweet Palace for more than 20 years, and is nearing her 40th year as an area resident—she’s also a fierce champion of the town’s tourism-based economy. In 1988, after renovating the community’s 100-year-old grocery store, she and her business partner, Dale Siegford, combined their sales and gem expertise, and opened a jewelry gallery that features the sapphires found in the surrounding mines. A few years later, Beck felt the need to diversify and she and Siegford opened what is now one of Philipsburg’s main attractions. “Philipsburg was dying and in pretty sad shape when we [opened the Sweet Palace] in 1992,” she said. “There were tumbleweeds in the street.” Beck’s been an officer of the Philipsburg Chamber of Commerce since 1990, and pointed to the town’s resourcefulness throughout its boom and bust history. “I happen to think there is no such thing as luck; I think you make your own luck,” Beck

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

said, adding how crucial it is to be able to spot opportunity. “[Then], can you turn around on a dime to make it work for you?” I passed a group of happy beerdrinkers soaking in the sunshine outside of Philipsburg Brewing Company and wandered down Main Street. The ornate, Crayola-colored Victorian facades quickly faded into unassuming homes with leaning picket fences and wrought iron doors. At the corner of a muddy, potholed lane, a sign read Woodland Creations and Home Store. I walked through puddles of melting snow and a jumble of trailers, cabins and rusty relics to a large warehouse. Behind the counter, surrounded by a catchall of coffee and pastries, locally made arts and crafts, lumber and general hardware supplies, was Charity Therriault-Lemke, a 36-year-old born and raised in Philipsburg, who soon proved worthy of her namesake.


NOW: FINDING THE SOUL

standing in, once a bank, was boarded up with broken windows, as were many other storefronts in town. The logging industry had all but disappeared, as had mining; and he said that ranching—his parents’ livelihood—has been the sole provider of any economic stability for the region over the long term. “It’s changed a lot,” Dennis said, reflecting on Philipsburg’s shift to a tourism economy, a touch of regret in his voice. “[But] it’s brought a lot of life back … “I’m proud of “He’s the biggest character you’ll ever meet,” she when, honestly, it was dead and dying.” the heritage, said about an old miner who went by the name “Wild He said mining has attempted to Meat.” “When he was younger, he lived on wild meat, the town, the make a comeback a few times, but he like, literally that’s all he ate—at least that’s what they thinks it’s over for good. “Whether we resiliency of say.” like to admit it or not, we are now a the people— She drew a map to Wild Meat’s home, located in an tourist town.” abandoned mining camp in the hills above town. When people who have Wild Meat isn’t ready to accept that asked if she was sure it was OK to just drop in on him, she fate, though. Dennis arranged for me to stayed here in shrugged and simulated pumping a shotgun. meet the old miner the next morning Philipsburg at a house in town where Wild Meat when it would’ve had rebuilt a two-story piece of mining D E C I D I N G I T WA S N ’ T R E S P E C T F U L — equipment resurrected from a defunct and possibly dangerous—to show up unannounced at been a lot easier gold mine he owned northeast of Wild Meat’s front door, I stopped at the brewery where I to go somewhere Philipsburg. met a host of longtime locals who would get me closer to else.” Wild Meat, whose real name is the old miner, and share stories of their own. Dave Harris, was not the threatening Inquiring about Wild Meat, I was directed to Sam hillbilly the townspeople had led me Dennis, a 32-year-old with family roots in Philipsburg to imagine. Gruff, yes, but it seemed to indicate dating back to 1877, when his great-great-great-grandfather arrived to work a disposition accustomed to solitude more than in the mines. a dislike of prying outsiders. Warming him “I could never leave because this is my home,” Dennis said. “I’m up with some small talk, I inquired about his proud of the heritage, the town, the resiliency of the people—people who unusual nickname. have stayed here in Philipsburg when it would’ve been a lot easier to go “I got that when I was 21 years old,” he said. “I somewhere else.” mostly lived on elk meat and somebody just hung His ancestors worked in many industries over the years. His grandfather that name on me.” When he mentioned his 74th was “a sawmill man,” a logger, a milkman; his uncles were miners. He birthday was the following month, I asked if he’d said that one side of his family, the Winninghoffs, owned the first Ford lived in Philipsburg his entire life. dealership in Montana, and his great-grandfather opened the original Sweet “Well, not yet,” he said sarcastically. Crunching Palace in 1934. across the snow to the stamp mill he rescued “In ‘92, Shirley Beck approached my grandmother about using the from ruin, a taciturn man turned into a verbal name, and the Sweet Palace came back to life,” Dennis said. encyclopedia. >> When he was a kid, Dennis said that the lively brewery we were

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

53


NOW: FINDING THE SOUL

B U I LT I N 1892, THE S TA M P M I L L CONSISTED OF 900-POUND STEEL CYLINDERS

that moved up and down to smash raw ore into a pulp from which gold particles and other precious metals could be extracted. He became animated when talking about the machine, shaking his head in awe of its massive parts, the crane it took to move it piece by piece, putting it back together, and the first time he got it to run again. Last summer, he and the six other men it took to operate it, fired up the stamp mill for a demonstration during Philipsburg’s annual Miner’s Union Day celebration. “There used to be hundreds of these mills around the Western mining camps,” he said. “This mill here is one of only 16 operating stamp mills in the country now.” Wild Meat had mined in the area—and anywhere else he could find work—for 30 years, searching for

silver, lead, zinc, tungsten, manganese, gold—whatever was in the ground and in demand. “It seems like the younger people don’t have any interest in this. One hundred percent, it’s a tourist town now,” he said. “It was always a working town when I grew up but it’s quite different now.” Wild Meat spent a good portion of his life underground, at depths up to 1,800 feet, but isn’t able to describe the experience. “I couldn’t make you understand. It’s a different world.” After the tour of the stamp mill, I followed his old flatbed truck up a dirt road toward his homestead in the hills, past mining wreckage that looked like enormous piers that had slid from the hillside and splintered into disarray. Most of the mines were still operating when Wild Meat moved up there in the spring of 1966.

54

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

His property is scattered with old mining cabins, most built between 1875 and 1890. He lives in the newest building on the homestead—a green log cabin built in the mid-1950s. An antique, wood-fired stovetop occupies one corner of his kitchen, antlers hang on the walls, and mining photographs and memorabilia are everywhere. He rifled through yellowed papers and fuzzy black and white images, describing the history behind each one. A bronze bell from a mine he worked in “a couple of gulches over,” hangs on the wall, its hammer still capable of sending ringing vibrations through the room. The bell was used to signal to the men in the shafts when it was time to hoist materials up to the surface. Wild Meat speaks wistfully of the past, and though eager to see a revival of mining, he isn’t very hopeful. “The shafts, the timber, they never kept it up,” he said. “Now it would take many millions to get it going again. Then you’ve got people moved in here that are pretty hostile to mining.” I asked Dave Harris, also known as Wild him how he felt about Meat, lives in an abandoned mining camp in the hills above environmentalists, Philipsburg. and he said his answer OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO wouldn’t be fit for print. After an emotional parting with Wild Meat—who seemed reluctant for me to leave—I made one last stop to fill in a missing piece. Charity Therriault-Lemke had offered to take me out to an area ranch, so I followed her to the Rock Creek Land and Cattle Ranch, a long 9 miles outside of town, where she introduced me to ranch manager Kurt Loma. A man with an impressive build and good-natured demeanor, Loma said ranching has always been the mainstay of Granite County. He spoke of challenges that require a strong will and stronger back, the tightly woven community, and its allure for him personally. “It’s the lifestyle,” he said. “Where you get to live, not having to answer to anybody. It gets in your blood and it’s hard to shake it.” A working rancher, an aging miner, a young man whose blood runs 150 years deep in Philipsburg— and even recent transplants—all share an unshakeable conviction that they’ll never leave. “It’s that pioneer … that real Montana spirit that keeps people here generation after generation,” Sam Dennis said during our conversation at the brewery. “It makes you tough. And it makes you stay here no matter what.”


5 BAR 6 RANCH

MONTANA $15.9 MILLION

5 Bar 6 ranch

922 MILL CREEK ROAD | PRAY, MT

The 5 Bar 6 offers sanctuary from the outside world yet is just 25 miles from downtown Livingston. World-class amenities, sterling recreational attributes and extensive adjoining National Forest lands create a grand vacation lifestyle accessible all year round. Pristine Mill Creek flows through the ranch for +/- 2 miles offering exceptional fly fishing. Three homes and 2 vintage cabins provide a total of 17 beds and 18.5 baths. Beautiful equestrian facilities, irrigated meadows, bountiful wildlife and striking views of mountain peaks dominate this magnificent +/- 240-acre property. The 5 Bar 6 Ranch is one of the most beautiful and rare properties to come to market in Paradise Valley. This offering presents a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity for those seeking an extraordinary Montana lifestyle.

Tracy r aich

Broker | Owner

406.223.8418 | TRACY@TRACYRAICH.COM LIVINGSTON, MT 59047 | TRACYRAICH.COM

Exceptional Service for Buyers & Sellers


room roam to

Protecting Montana’s Open Spaces and Special Places Learn more at MTlandreliance.org


USGBC Innovation Award | ASLA Design Award Confluence House; Whitefish, MT

www.ctagroup.com/living


PHOTO BY MONICA KAWSKI

SECTION: SUBHEAD

OXYGEN AND

TO BETTER FIGHT INTENSIFYING WILDFIRES, THE BUREAU OF LAND BY EMILY STIFLER WOLFE MANAGEMENT WORKS TO DIVERSIFY ITS RANKS 58

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


NOW SECTION: SUBHEAD

J

enna Lyons loved fighting fire. Part of an elite hotshot crew that

deployed to fires around the West, she spent two summers in her early 20s hiking into the backcountry, carrying a loaded pack and sleeping on the ground for weeks at a time. Her crewmates, all men, were good friends, and together they cut down trees, dug fire line for 13 hours straight, and worked all night setting prescribed burns. But there was one thing she loathed. At the end of a long day, she’d walk into the fire camp cafeteria and several hundred men from other fire crews would look up from their plates, visually undressing her. The soot and dirt covering their faces contrasted the whites of their roaming eyes. “It’s the most disgusting feeling I’ve ever had,” Lyons said. She wanted to disappear. Often the only woman in the room, Lyons knew her crewmates had her back, but still. She’d look down at her phone, or go eat alone in the crew vehicle. It happened on almost every big fire.

T H E M A L E - D O M I N AT E D

of wildland fire in America grew out of a culture laid down more than a century ago. Back then, civilian men were pulled from saloons and brothels to fight the Great Fire of 1910, which burned 3 million acres in the Northwest. Today, stories like Jenna Lyons’ are familiar to the few women who work in the field, and because firefighters work together across organizational boundaries, these experiences aren’t confined to a particular government agency. In March 2018, PBS NewsHour ran a two-part story about gender discrimination, sexual harassment and assault in the Forest Service’s fire program, exposing a workplace in which perpetrators are rarely punished, and reporting can stifle or end a victim’s career. Since then, dozens of women have told me that the policies in place to prevent these problems are not effective. This wasn’t the first time the fire services were in the hot seat. In 2016, Yosemite Chief of Fire and Aviation Kelly Martin testified before Congress about the harassment she experienced during her career, and numerous allegations of sexual misconduct came out of Grand Canyon National Park. In response, the Bureau of Land Management’s Fire and Aviation leaders created a task force focused on diversity and employee well-being. Launched in November 2016, the Employee Centered Retention Team found that BLM suffered

WORLD

from the same issues as other firefighting agencies. They’re now working on education and mentorship programs, and on May 1 published a longterm plan to diversify hiring and improve retention. The BLM’s efforts aren’t just about gender parity. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, wildfires in the West now occur nearly four times as often as they did in the 1980s, burn more than six times the land area, and last almost five times as long. Increasing diversity on fire crews is about the need to fight fire more effectively in the face of a warming climate. “I’ve always learned that if you have the same kind of people with the same backgrounds, experiences and education, when faced with challenges, they’re most likely going to come up with some of the same solutions,” said Howard Hedrick, second in command of the BLM fire program. “If you have a more diverse group, I think you’ll come up with much better solutions.” The conversation right now is focused on women, especially since the #MeToo movement brought the topic to the forefront. But in the long run, Hedrick said, this will also be about hiring a workforce with ethnic, racial and educational backgrounds representative of the communities they serve—and treating them well enough that they stay. >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

59


SECTION: SUBHEAD

Between all federal firefighting entities—the LM MANAGES A 10TH OF THE

or 247.3 million acres, more than any other government agency. Housed under the Department of the Interior, the agency oversees grazing, oil and gas leases, recreation, conservation and other uses. As of July 2017, it had more than 10,400 employees, and nearly 3,000 in its fire program. Of those in fire, 18 percent were women. Among firefighters, particularly the high-level hotshot and smokejumping teams, the ratio is much lower. The agency’s 11 hotshot crews employ one to three women on a typical 20-person team, and this year there are three female smokejumpers of 140 nationwide. The sixperson engine crews that comprise most fire line employees usually have one or two women, or none. Between all federal firefighting entities—the BLM, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—the number of women in permanent fire operations positions hovers around 12 percent. Few women and minorities apply to work on the fire line in the first place, and retention is difficult for all employees. The job’s physical nature is self-selecting, plus most positions are seasonal, based in remote locations, and require long stints away and out of cell reception—all of which double as risk factors for harassment and assault. Simply injecting women into the workforce isn’t effective. Armed forces in Canada, Norway and Australia have used the critical mass approach to gender integration, a social theory suggesting that 15 to 30 percent of a minority is necessary for that group to succeed. But fire leaders still remember the 1981 settlement to a class action lawsuit that forced the Forest Service in California to match the civilian workforce’s gender ratio, at 43 percent women. To fulfill the consent decree, as it’s still known, women were sometimes promoted over more qualified men, leading to resentment, attrition and degradation of institutional knowledge. That resentment still lingers. “I was told three years ago during a friendly conversation with a male coworker that I was only hired because I was female,” wrote Lorena Williams in a High Country News opinion piece published in March. “Women are often seen as intruders, as tokens who were only hired to meet some kind of quota. We are treated as pariahs in our professional fields, regarded as little more than sexual-harassment cases waiting to happen.” Even so, she wrote, firefighting culture is not inherently hostile. “For every coworker that has excluded me from the ‘boys’ club,’ 10 others have made me feel welcome and safe in a professional work environment.” COUNTRY’S LANDMASS,

60

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

BLM, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—the number of women in permanent fire operations positions hovers around

12 percent.

Like Williams, the women I interviewed for this story said their experiences on the fire line were generally positive. They spoke highly of male coworkers and friends, and of the work itself. But at some point, almost all commented on the gender-related conflict they put up with to succeed. “On one side of the fence, this job is so cool,” said Lacey England, a former firefighter with the Gallatin helicopter rappel crew in Montana. “I get to go places, work really hard, be outside, work with good people. But on the other side of the fence is my daily environment. This culture I’m working with wears me down a little bit more every day. … That’s why women leave. It’s just not worth it.”


NOW: FUEL, SECTION: OXYGEN AND HEAT SUBHEAD

IXTEEN FIREFIGHTERS A T T E N D E D the Women and Leadership conference at Boise State University in September 2016. Afterward, they were supposed to brief fire leadership on what they learned. Instead, half of them recounted the discrimination and harassment they’d experienced on the job. Some of them cried. Jolie Pollet, then second in command of the BLM fire program, still calls it the “gut punch session.” “Here I was—a woman—I can’t just say, ‘Thanks for your time. Have a good year,’” Pollet said. So, Pollet and Hedrick, head of BLM fire at the time, hired the diversity and inclusion task force. The assignment: Identify core challenges in the agency’s fire program. With 29 years of fire line experience between them, the three women on the task force devised a plan that included the lowest ranking firefighters and went up the chain of command. They drove to five Western states over three months in early 2017, meeting with more than 150 employees to gather information on workplace culture. Early on, at a district in Utah, they asked a group of mostly men about family-life balance and the lack of female firefighters, but the conversation stalled. So, they switched tacks. “How is it for you, having a family?” they asked. “What do you struggle with?” “You could see the looks on their faces,” said Tiffany Fralie, a member of the task force. “We heard, ‘I don’t have a relationship with my kids,’ and, ‘I’m divorced now because I’m never home.’”

This culture I’m working with wears me down a little bit more every day. … That’s why women leave. It’s just not worth it.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TIFFANY FRALIE

Above: Tiffany Fralie and Jamie Strelnik in Carson City, Nevada, analyze ideas after meeting with firefighters across the state.   Below: After recording qualitative data points around firefighter observations, frustrations and solutions, Fralie shows agency leaders how to use patterns in order to unpack and prioritize the ideas gathered.

After airing their own frustrations, many men relaxed enough to discuss women on the fire line, and harassment. Female firefighters, however, rarely opened up. In one instance, a woman pulled them aside afterward. “I couldn’t speak up,” she said. “I have to work with these people.” That May, 100 BLM leaders met in the conference room at the Red Lion Hotel in Boise, Idaho, to learn about the initiative. They talked about how strength and toughness were often valued in hiring and promotion, above communication and emotional intelligence. They brainstormed ways to improve work-life balance for firefighters. And they discussed how those with families needed more support—especially women, who are often pushed out of the career during or after pregnancy. After the two-day training session, reactions were mixed. “One of the comments was, ‘I thought this stuff ended in the ‘70s,’” said task force member Jamie Strelnik. When the assignment ended soon after, that summer’s massive fire season was already ramping up. Ten million acres burned nationwide, 153 percent of the 10-year average. The team figured the project was over, but a handful of participants from the training ran with it. Some started mentorship programs at home. One male supervisor helped a female engine boss return to the work after having a baby. >> M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

61


SECTION: SUBHEAD

UCCESS WILL REQUIRE

from leaders at all levels, and those people have limited resources and competing needs—like putting out fires. Other challenges include the inherent elitism of a life-and-death job, the current political climate, and the fear of speaking out. “You don’t want to be labeled as that person,” said Fralie, who experienced harassment while working on an engine crew years ago. Coworkers would ask what she thought of women in porn magazines, and made explicit comments directed at her about the size of their genitalia, but she didn’t recognize it as harassment because she was so assimilated to the culture. Now the acting center manager of a fire dispatch center in New Mexico, Fralie says reporting a transgression would still be hard. “It hurts you professionally and in your personal life, because most of the people you work with are your friends,” she said. “It’s not a culture where we’re free to talk about things or call people out.” The two firefighters on the second BLM diversity and inclusion task force are now bucking that trend, both personally and professionally. In February, Strelnik went public about the repeated sexual harassment and retaliation she experienced over her 17-year Forest Service firefighting career, a #MeToo moment she says was made possible by the catharsis of working on the initiative. Amos Lee, a supervisory engine module leader at BLM’s Boise District, isn’t ashamed to say he wants to spend time with his family instead of being gone for six to nine months each year. Many firefighters do, he says. This time the assignment is focused on implementation. The project list BUY-IN

62

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

I thought this stuff ended in the 70’s ...

includes providing family housing and childcare facilities for employees in rural areas; re-evaluating physical testing requirements; and supporting independent, state-level education and mentorship programs. One of their top recommendations is hiring a permanent diversity and inclusion employee, a position BLM fire leadership is now in the process of creating. Because the task force is based at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, which houses all federal wildland firefighting entities, their work has the potential to influence fire culture across the board. And the Forest Service is following suit. Interim chief Vicki Christiansen rolled out an action plan that has included listening sessions with all 30,000 employees, establishing a support structure for victims, and chartering an employee advisory board to gather ideas and solutions for improving the work environment.


NOW: FUEL, SECTION: OXYGEN AND HEAT SUBHEAD

Hotshot crewmember Caroline Ward assists with conducting a back burn operation on the nearly 40,000-acre Millers Complex fire in southern Oregon. PHOTO BY JAKE MURIE

O R F I R E T O O C C U R , you need fuel, oxygen and a heat source. Diversity won’t change that, but it can change how we interact with fire. In the dry heat of August 2001, Sara Brown flew into a small, backcountry blaze in Zion National Park with another female firefighter. As the helicopter pilot circled the landing zone, a quarter-acre fire smoldered around a single, tall ponderosa pine. On the ground, alone, they saw no flames or smoke coming from the tree. Brown’s partner suggested they cut it down in case there was a fire at the top. This is how firefighters have done things for a century, and how they are trained today. But Brown, who had more

experience, took a step back. “It was a big, beautiful, living tree,” she wrote later. “If it wasn’t obviously burning, why cut it?” They put out the ground fire, camped under the stars, and found not a sign of smoke in the morning. As they hiked away, Brown looked back at the plateau and saw the lone tree on the horizon. She knew they’d made the right choice. Now a Ph.D. fire ecologist studying the intersection of social pressures and fire science, Brown says we have built ourselves into a dangerous, expensive, ecologically unsound realm, in terms of fuels and our perceived control of fire. “We are quickly realizing that we probably never had control, and we

certainly aren’t going to have control in the future.” Brown says the change that’s needed—allowing more fires to burn, and increasing use of prescribed fire—will require altering the political landscape and public perception, as well as a major perspective shift for fire managers. “Hopefully that shift in the relationship to fire will allow a more diverse view to truly be at the table,” she said. “I think women have a strong role in making that shift.” This story was supported by a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

63


EXPERIENCE FULL SERVICE COMPLETE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT EXCELLENT PERSONAL & CONCIERGE SERVICES

WEEKLY HOME INSPECTIONS 24/7 EMERGENCY SERVICES LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED

BIG SKY, MT | 406.995.2242 | INFO@BIGSKYHOMEMANAGEMENT.COM | BIGSKYHOMEMANAGEMENT.COM PHOTO BY DAVID O. MARLOW


SECTION: SUBHEAD

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

65


ILLUSTRATION BY KELSEY DZINTARS

66

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


NOW

Montana’s Progressive Pioneer Lee Metcalf’s most notable conservation achievement turns 40 BY ED KEMMICK

or Montanans, there’s little question about the importance of Lee Metcalf’s legacy. Thanks to his work in the U.S. House and Senate over 25 years, Metcalf, who died in 1978, had a direct hand in setting aside millions of acres as wilderness and national wildlife refuges in the state, and many miles of wild and scenic rivers. One of those wilderness areas, the Absaroka-Beartooth, turned 40 years old in March and remains a testament to his tireless efforts. But even Montanans who are aware of Metcalf’s pioneering work as a conservationist and protector of wild lands might not appreciate how large a role he played on the national stage, pushing for virtually every cause close to the heart of the traditional progressive movement. “The thing that attracted me to the labor movement was that it seemed like the best way to bring about needed social change for America, and Lee Metcalf was always a national leader for social change,” former Montana AFL-CIO Director Jim Murry said. “There weren’t any of those issues he wasn’t involved in.” Metcalf drafted the original food-stamp legislation, wrote the Family Farm Act, sponsored the Clean Water Act and became known as “Mr. Education” for sponsoring a bill to provide federal aid to schools. In 1957, fed up with the outsize control wielded by conservative, mostly segregationist Southern Democrats in Congress, Metcalf joined fellow Reps. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota and New Jersey’s Frank Thompson in publishing the “Liberal Manifesto,” calling on government to lead the fight for civil rights, health care, affordable housing and educational access. Metcalf also played a critical role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When the Senate’s president pro tempore became ill in 1963, Montana’s senior senator, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, appointed Metcalf permanent acting president pro tem, a position Metcalf held until his death. As presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the vice president, it was Metcalf’s job to use his command of parliamentary procedure to block attempts by Southern

PHOTO COURTESY OF MONTANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY RESEARCH CENTER PHOTOGRAPH ARCHIVES, HELENA

Rep. Lee Metcalf, center, meets with Senate Democratic leaders in August 1960. Also pictured, left to right, presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kennedy; Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson; Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson; and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.

senators to stop passage of the bill. That he did, helping to beat back every maneuver and counterattack, and presiding over the longest debate in the Senate’s history. When it was over and the Civil Rights Act was law, Sen. James Eastland of Mississippi, a segregationist Democrat, gave Metcalf grudging credit, calling him “the civil rights bill’s secret weapon.” Metcalf was born in Stevensville in 1911 and attended Montana State University in Missoula—now the University of Montana—and transferred to California’s Stanford University, playing football for both schools. He earned a bachelor’s in history and economics from Stanford, and then returned to Missoula to earn a law degree from UM. In 1936, he was elected to the Montana House, where he introduced a bill to establish a minimum wage of 30 cents an hour, and another requiring mining companies—this was aimed at the Anaconda Copper Mining Company—to pay miners for time spent underground after their shifts.>>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

67


e was an assistant state attorney general from 1937 to 1941 and served as an Army officer during World War II. After the war, he was elected to the Montana Supreme Court and served one six-year term before deciding to run for the U.S. House in 1952, when Mansfield made his first run for the Senate. Metcalf won that year, and would win three terms in the House, where he was known as a hardworking, whip-smart progressive. He was always a friend of labor, and in his early years in the House he was a supporter of damming rivers and heavily logging federal lands—activities that produced jobs and powered the economy. But in relatively short order he became a committed conservationist, seeing great value, economic and otherwise, in untouched wilderness and

wild rivers. In 1954, five of the nation’s major conservation groups gave him an award for “distinguished service to conservation.” He also introduced the first-ever bill to study the effects of pesticides and insecticides on wildlife, which passed in 1958, and the Save Our Streams bill in 1962, when he was a freshman senator. And as Matthew M. Peek, a photo archivist with the Montana Historical Society, wrote in 2014, Metcalf “had a hand in the classification, eventual creation of, or passage of every acre of wilderness in Montana by the time of his death in January 1978.” Teddy Roe, of Billings, who was an assistant to Mansfield for 10 years before becoming Metcalf’s legislative director in 1972, said that what made Mansfield and Metcalf so effective was that neither of them “went around Washington with

He had a long-range view that went beyond the next election cycle. That in itself was exceptional.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MONTANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY RESEARCH CENTER PHOTOGRAPH ARCHIVES, HELENA

their fingers up, testing the breeze from Montana.” In supporting the Civil Rights Act, Metcalf explicitly tied it to the protection of the rights of Native Americans, not just African-Americans, at a time when such a stance was deeply unpopular in Montana. And as Roe said, “Metcalf did battle, literally, over Montana’s environment almost daily. And almost daily he was called practically a destroyer of civilization.” Metcalf’s response, Roe said, was to say, “Give me 50 percent plus one vote and I will go to Washington and vote my conscience.” Murry, the retired labor leader, said that was the essence of Metcalf—his commitment to what he thought was right and damn the consequences. Other politicians measured their success by their margin of victory at the polls, Murry said, while Metcalf’s only yardstick was what he was able National conservation leaders meet with to accomplish in Metcalf, center, in Washington and August 1961 to discuss legislative strategy in Montana. regarding the proposed national wilderness “He was preservation system bill. almost like a silent giant,” said Evan Barrett, a former congressional staff member and former head of the Montana Democratic Party. “He went about his work and got stuff done.” Bill Cunningham, who has been involved in wilderness advocacy since the 1960s, saw the same traits in Metcalf, calling him an unassuming man who wasn’t out for personal glory. “He had a long-range view that went beyond the next election cycle,” Cunningham said. “That in itself was exceptional.”


NOW: LEE METCALF

The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness encompasses nearly 1 million acres of land and was created in March 1978. It is also home to Montana’s highest point, Granite Peak. PHOTO BY COLTON STIFFLER

e was also known for his ferocious regard for the truth. Roe said Metcalf didn’t just believe in telling the truth himself, he was appalled whenever he learned that another politician had lied to him. He just couldn’t believe that anyone would stoop that low. “Lee had a really strong character quotient,” Roe said. And for all his brilliance, he had a way of talking to regular people that put them at ease. “Lee was such a down-to-earth guy,” Murry said. “He’d get together with a bunch of farmers, farm leaders, and labor leaders, and he was one of us. He was part of the family.” Murry said he and his wife were personal friends with Metcalf and his wife, Donna. “But they were personal friends with just about everybody involved in the progressive movement at the time,” Murry said. “He really was our hero because he was the glue that kept the progressive political movement of Montana together.” At the same time, Metcalf was an imposing figure, who was 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighed 190 pounds when he enlisted in the Army. “[He] was a tough guy physically,” Murry said, “and when he lost his temper, you knew he was displeased.” Barrett remembered one campaign in which Metcalf’s opponent showed up for a televised debate with a 3-inch-thick briefing book. Metcalf walked on stage with only a paper plate

in his hands, which he placed on his lectern. Barrett knew Metcalf carried a wealth of detailed knowledge in his head, so he wondered what was on the plate. He found out afterward that a staffer, not wanting Metcalf to blow up on camera, had drawn a smiley face on the plate, under which was scrawled the message: “Don’t let the son of a bitch get you mad.” Murry said Metcalf could be blunt, to put it mildly, in responding to letters from constituents and others. Sometimes he would write “Wrong” or “Stupid” at the bottom of a letter and mail it back to the sender. If the letter was particularly egregious, he would ink up his rubber “Bullshit” stamp—yes, he really had one—pound it down on the letter and send it back. But as tough and independent as he was, Metcalf was only human. For all his self-effacing modesty, he had regrets about lost opportunities, and about what it had cost him to serve in the shadow of Mansfield, a beloved figure who held the position of Senate majority leader longer than anyone in history. The New York Times, in a story published shortly after Metcalf’s death, wrote, “He was widely regarded among his colleagues as an outstanding constitutional lawyer who never quite lived up to his potential.” >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

69


BEN PEASE PROTECTORS OF THE DAYS TO COME 48H X 60W MIXED MEDIA

MARTIN RICKS MEMORIES OF KIEV 30H X 40W OIL ON CANVAS

EWOUD DE GROOT STANDING FIRM 63H X 63W OIL ON CANVAS

A sample of works available at the auction

July 26, 2018 | 3-6pm Big Sky PBR Arena Tent | Big Sky Town Center bigskyartauction.com

BIG SKY PBR BIG SKY


NOW: LEE METCALF

is reputation even suffered from the unfortunate timing of his death at age 66, when he finally succumbed to multiple health issues including a bad heart. He died on Jan. 12, 1978, one day before Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota, a better-known progressive, former vice president to Lyndon B. Johnson and one-time presidential candidate. The attention of the nation’s press instantly shifted to Humphrey, Roe said, and while “Humphrey was buried amid national pomp and ceremony, Lee’s private funeral service in Helena was attended by his wife, son and niece.” Roe, having worked closely with both men, continues to think of Mansfield as Montana’s best statesman and Metcalf as Montana’s best senator. Mansfield himself named Metcalf the state’s best senator. That was in a conversation with Marc C. Johnson, former chief of staff to Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus, for an article

for passage of one of his most farreaching bills—the one that created the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Including a few small boundary changes made later, it came to encompass 944,000 acres of land described by Cunningham as “like no other place on the planet.” It is the largest contiguous piece of public land with an elevation above 10,000 feet in the United States, outside of Alaska. Many years of hard work and legislative maneuvering had gone into the legislation, which Metcalf introduced in the summer of 1977. For a variety of reasons—it was an election year, for one, which didn’t help a contentious bill—the legislation appeared to be going nowhere when Metcalf suddenly died. His death, and the high esteem in which he was held, brought the bill back to life. Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a Washington state Democrat and chairman of the Energy and

Lee was such a down-to-earth guy. He’d get together with a bunch of farmers, farm leaders, and labor leaders, and he was one of us. He was part of the family. published in Montana Magazine a few month’s after Mansfield’s death. Johnson had asked Mansfield to rank the Montanans who had served in the Senate. “I’d rank Lee Metcalf number one,” Mansfield said. “He was a good partner of mine. He had to operate in my shadow when I was majority leader, but he did a lot for Montana and he didn’t always get the credit.” As tragic as Metcalf’s death was, it had the effect of paving the way

Natural Resources Committee, had been close friends with Lee and Donna Metcalf. Jackson, in consultation with Donna, decided the best memorial to Metcalf would be to push for passage of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Act. As one of the most powerful committee chairmen in the Senate, that meant passage was almost a sure thing. On March 14, 1978, the House voted 405-7 to pass the legislation and send it to the White House. President

In this undated photo, Metcalf, left, presents a service award to his legislative director, Teddy Roe. PHOTO COURTESY OF TEDDY ROE

Carter signed it into law on March 27. Roe said many of the reforms championed by Metcalf in his political career were dismantled during the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s, and his contributions to the nation and to his native state have long been under-appreciated. But the AbsarokaBeartooth Wilderness, and hundreds of thousands of wilderness acres elsewhere in the state, remain. In 1983, Congress designated the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, which now totals 259,000 acres, in southwestern Montana. “The only monument left standing to Lee,” Roe said, “is the physical one of wilderness in Montana.” A version of this story was first published by lastbestnews.com on March 25, 2018.

MOUNTAIN

71


SECTION: SUBHEAD

Bozeman barbers carry on a long tradition with contemporary innovations STORY AND PHOTOS BY BAY STEPHENS DERIVED FROM THE LATIN “BARBA,” MEANING “BEARD,”

barbers are mentioned throughout history as far back as the Old Testament, in which priests were instructed to keep their hair trim. Alexander the Great required his soldiers to shave their faces so that enemies couldn’t grab their beards in battle. In medieval times, barbers performed far more serious procedures, conducting minor surgeries, pulling teeth and performing bloodletting with leeches or lancet. Physicians of the day avoided surgery, which was dangerous due to a limited understanding of the invasive procedure, and viewed it as a trade involving little skill. Believed to heal a myriad of maladies, bloodletting involved puncturing an individual’s arm and draining blood, then bandaging the wound. Hanging the crimson bandages on a pole to dry, barbers sometimes used them as advertisement. As the wind blew, the bandages would wrap around the pole, inspiring the swirling red and white pole that now stands as the barber’s iconic symbol—the blue was a patriotic addition in the United States. The development of germ theory ended the practice of bloodletting in Western culture, and as medical advancements made surgery increasingly successful, surgeons and barbers became distinct occupations. Men now visit barbers for trims and cuts, beard touch-ups, hot-lather shaves and to catch up on local gossip. Bozeman establishments such as Elkhorn, Mack’s and Max, The Barbershop and Shave Parlor, and DJ’s Barber Shop are all testament that the vocation still thrives, albeit with slight departures from tradition. Owner, barber, and Ennis, Montana-native Rachel Croy’s vision for Elkhorn Barbershop was a distinctly Western theme. Country music plays in the background and several racks of antlers and her father’s elk hide adorn the walls. 72

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Right now, Croy and Micaela Mitchell are the only barbers. Both being women, customers have been confused in the past, such as once when they first opened. “This guy walks in,” Mitchell said, laughing. “We greeted him and he’s like, ‘So, are there any barbers in this place?’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re the barbers.’” Female barbers may not be conventional but they’re far from uncommon today. Elkhorn does all sorts of short haircuts, shaves and beard trims, while keeping track of walk-ins with a chalkboard and scheduling appointments. Mack’s and Max Barbershop has an especially authentic feel, complete with a magazine-strewn coffee table, family memorabilia decorating the walls and a small-town intimacy. Max Evans and his father, McRay “Mack” Evans, 84, have been snipping and clipping for so long that they give haircuts to the grandchildren of original patrons. Mack and Max don’t shave customers anymore. “Our insurance doesn’t like us to and we don’t want to,” Max said. But they cover the rest of quintessential male grooming, and end cuts with an electronic back massage. The Barbershop and Shave Parlor honors many traditional barber practices as well, but with a rusticmeets-modern atmosphere accented by the barbers’ vogue style and a shelf for beard oil. They finish cuts with a straight razor and a back massage from a vibrating machine strapped to the barber’s hand. They also do short haircuts for women, undercuts and even shaved-in designs. The Barbershop doesn’t take walk-ins anymore—when they moved to their current location on Oak Street, co-owner Bryan Kirkland said that wait times were absurd. Kirkland tried to keep the order of walk-ins straight in his head but soon moved the list to a whiteboard. That didn’t shorten wait times, though.


REPORTS Above: Max Evans with his dog Victor in the barbershop he shares with his father Mack. Their memorabilia-clad space bears proof of the duo’s longevity in Bozeman. Below: Bryan Kirkland (foreground) gives a cut at The Barbershop and Shave Parlor, where the barbers are scheduled days in advance, or by a virtual line that opens early in the morning.

Eventually, they settled on a digital system that allows customers to schedule appointments as far as five days out, or to step into the day’s virtual line, which opens at 6 a.m. A text message notifies clients when their cut is impending. “The new technology’s cool,” Kirkland said. “It makes it easier for guys to know when their haircut’s coming, and they don’t have to sit in here for three hours.” Keeping track of his barbers, however, isn’t nearly as easy. “Everybody in here’s an independent contractor,” he said. “Nobody’s an employee, so Sheri and I own the business and we rent the chairs out … every dollar they make they keep and they pay a flat rate to be here.” Renting to independent barbers is old school, and can be frustrating when they decide not to work. “Like today … four out of six showed up,” Kirkland said. “They also set their own hours, so I can’t tell them what hours to work.” The autonomy is part of the culture, it seems. “Barbers are a very independent lot,” said

Charles McDonald, owner and sole barber of DJ’s. “They kind of come and go as they please.” It’s not uncommon to visit a walk-in barbershop and find a sign saying something like, “Closed for vacation.” DJ’s can be hit or miss. McDonald said he likes working alone. Many of the barbershops are closed Mondays, a vestige of an era when a barber’s union mandated closure on Sunday and Monday, although now it’s at a barber’s discretion. “It’s frustrating for the public somewhat, but that’s just the nature of the business,” McDonald said. Dependable hours or not, the clientele doesn’t seem to mind. “There’s more work than anybody can handle,” he added. “We could keep all eight chairs going 10 hours every day, but we can’t find enough barbers to do that,” Kirkland said. The ladies at Elkhorn are on a similar page. “I think people are realizing that it’s worth it to get a good cut versus going to a corporate place,” Mitchell said. “But there isn’t a school in Montana, so I think that’s what makes it harder for people to pursue barbering.” The closest barber school is located in Boise, Idaho, but studying there involves transferring one’s license back to Montana to work in the state. “If we could do apprenticeships, I know two customers right now who would make good barbers and would love to do it,” Kirkland said. “They just can’t afford to move out of state.” All the business, however, makes cooperation between barbers easy. Mitchell spoke of a respect and trust between the city’s barbers, and Kirkland said that even when there were as many as 30 different shops in Bozeman, they collaborated to put an ad in the MSU newspaper. Relationships between barbers aren’t like they used to be, though. Max Evans told how associations used to facilitate regular get-togethers where Bozeman barbers grew to know one another. “All the old barbers, that’s what they used to do,” he said wistfully. “But I think the whole world has changed.” Yet barbershops sustain a rich heritage in this changing world, offering a relational service that transcends dollar amounts. And in Bozeman, people just can’t seem to get enough.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

73


The Price of Poaching Human greed rushes a species toward extinction BY JENNIFER LADD | PHOTOS BY JOEL ALVES EVERY CRITICALLY ENDANGERED ANIMAL

in the world has its own story of habitat loss, human interference and the effects of climate change, but the African rhino story is one marked by the darkness of humankind. It’s one I’ve witnessed firsthand as a veterinarian working with wildlife organizations in South Africa.

74

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

According to the World Wildlife Fund, approximately 5,000 black rhinos exist in the wild, making them one of the most critically endangered species on the planet. Their relative, the southern white rhino is near threatened with numbers estimated around 20,000, while the last male northern white rhino died in March—only two females remain in the world.


REPORTS SECTION: SUBHEAD

The rhino horn, a keratin protrusion not unlike a human fingernail, is an evergrowing part of a rhino’s silhouette. It’s value is in its surmised, and disproved, Eastern medicinal properties—from strengthening male vitality to treating fevers and convulsions—and as a status symbol for the wealthy. Its harvest and sale has grown into a global crisis compounded by corruption; products from the underground trade often being funneled from Africa into illegal markets in China and Vietnam. In 2014, the value of rhino horn was estimated at $60,000 per kilogram, meaning that a single horn can be valued up to $240,000. Its value per kilogram exceeds that of gold or cocaine. South Africa is home to 80 percent of the African rhino population, and seems to be the epicenter of the poaching crisis, although the practice is spreading throughout the continent. The harvest and sale of rhino horns has been illegal in South Africa since a national moratorium was enacted in 2008, but the crisis has still intensified. As Asian markets primarily drive the demand for rhino horn, syndicates mobilize the collection and trade, and African poachers on the ground are seeing more money in a day than they can expect to see in a lifetime, according to Dr. Joel Alves, a South African veterinarian with Wildlife Vets. Although the poaching rate slowed slightly between 2015 and 2017 the rates remain unsustainable if we hope to save these populations. Wildlife veterinarians will preemptively dehorn rhinos to make them less attractive to poachers.

SEVERAL TACTICS HAVE BEEN USED

to reduce poaching, some with more positive effects than others. Globally, teaching potential consumers about the lack of scientific proof of medicinal value can help to decrease sales. This does not, however, impact purchases of rhino horn as a status symbol or for their investment potential. On the ground, it’s about demonstrating the value of the living animals on the landscape for the sake of biodiversity—or at least the economic benefits from ecotourism. “The under-privileged, impoverished population needs to see a benefit to keeping rhinos alive,” Alves said. “You can only do that, with massive effect, in the younger generations. … Communities need to see the economical value of wildlife directly.” Alves says the conservation of rhinos depends on providing basic human necessities for the communities that coexist in the animals’ habitat, such as job creation, school and infrastructure construction, health care, and safe drinking water. “If you have a population worrying about … the most basic of human needs, how can we expect them to worry about conservation?” he said. The practice of safe dehorning has become a common management

strategy to deter poachers. Utilizing wildlife veterinarians to safely sedate rhinos, their horns are removed as low as possible without cutting into the blood supply. It’s a painless procedure, and not unlike trimming a dog’s toenails. Each horn is then micro chipped, cataloged and stored under tight security. Although this seems to deter most poachers, the small amount of horn left behind during this process is still valuable enough to attract poachers, and some rhinos lose their lives over a few inches of horn. John Hume, an owner of more than 1,500 rhinos in South Africa, has attempted to overturn the 2008 moratorium on rhino horn sales. According to National Geographic magazine, in 2017, Hume had acquired a 6-ton stockpile of horns, all removed in an attempt to ward off poachers from targeting his animals. His security budget, which includes the practice of safe dehorning, currently exceeds $170,000 monthly. Hume believes that by flooding the market with his stockpile of rhino horn, the price and value can be driven down globally. This is a highly controversial approach to the crisis, and many believe there is a fine line between apparent conservation and further corruption. >>

5,000 BLACK RHINOS

exist in the wild, making them one of the most critically endangered species on the planet.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

75


REPORTS: PRICE OF POACHING

Some dehorned rhinos have been killed for their few remaining inches of horn because it’s so valuable on the international market.

O T H E R C O N S E R VAT I O N TA C T I C S I N C L U D E increased

anti-poaching training on game reserves. Heightened security, improved surveillance, and tactical training are thought to serve as deterrents to poachers. Since 2014, Kruger National Park has experienced a 24-percent reduction in poaching by using a combination of these strategies, although it seems to have simply shifted the problem to other, less equipped regions of South Africa. In addition, tactically trained game rangers are an effective deterrent, but once a horn is removed and leaves a game reserve jurisdiction, it becomes a shared responsibility between national, provincial and private sectors, which can be difficult. This can be further complicated by corruption spread throughout many levels of government. According to South Africa’s National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, captured poachers can face conviction for a variety of charges. Fines range from a minimum of $11,000 to three times the animal’s value, and up to five years in prison. Although stiffer fines and longer prison sentences have been handed to some poachers and traffickers, many believe this is still an inadequate deterrent. “A poacher works on a risk/ rewards basis,” Alves said. “The risk of poaching is apparently minimal if the chances of capture and jail are small. Yet the rewards are absolutely astronomical to them.” Many in the conservation community believe rangers should be given the authority to shoot to kill. “The risk needs to be greater,” Alves added. “Poachers need to know that not only may they be captured, but [that they] could very well be killed.”

76

MOUNTAIN

TAKE ACTION worldwildlife.org/species/rhino savetherhino.org rhinos.org

T H I S I S A C O N S E R VAT I O N C R I S I S

seen through both a macro and micro lens. On a global scale, we are rushing a species to its extinction due to greed, misguided understanding, and a general lack of humanity. On a more intimate scale, the devastation is palpable. In 2015, Alves was working in KwaZulu-Natal Game Reserves when two rhinos were reported killed on World Rhino Day, which is observed on September 22. Two dead rhinos became seven, all poached in a single day, and a total of 18 perished within the week. “A massacre of rhinos ironically started on a day that was supposed to celebrate them,” Alves said. “It was one of the worst weeks in the history of the KwaZulu-Natal parks and essentially marked the beginning of what, to this day, is still a massive increase in poaching in the KZN parks.” In 2011, I aided in the rescue of an orphaned rhino calf whose mother had been poached. The site was grim when we arrived. The fully-grown female lay where she fell, surrounded by her own blood. Indications pointed to a slow death through blood loss, and an ill-placed gunshot wound.

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Once we found the young rhino calf tucked under a bush frightened, alone and hungry, we discovered he was blind—a condition not uncommon to severe trauma. Another young rhino I helped rescue in 2013 would grow with a bullet lodged in his pelvis, the same bullet that had slain his mother while he was standing next to her. He was later killed for a few inches of horn within the security of a rehabilitation center. The planet’s biodiversity is fundamental to ecological balance and global health, and removing one link in the chain can have catastrophic ecological effects that still aren’t fully understood. Humans have an unrivaled capacity to save, modify or destroy resources and species diversity—the path we take will determine what’s left of this magnificent Earth for future generations. While nearly 10,000 miles lie between South Africa and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, as citizens of the world, responsibility falls on us all to help tip the scales toward protection and conservation of our global diversity.


FINE

JEWELRY

Monday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm Meadow Village, Big Sky MT | 406-995-7833

|

ShellyBermont.com

| After hours appointments available


JULY 17, 2018 | 5:30-9:30 pm | TETON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

vendor village featuring retail booths, food and drinks

mutton bustin’ for kids age 6 and under

PBR’S BEST bulls from PBR’s Stock Contractor of the Year, Chad Berger

AFTER PARTY THE MiLLION DOLLAR COWBOY BAR TITLE SPONSOR

PRESENTED BY

Buy tickets before they sell out at JACKSONHOLEPBR.COM BuzzBallz Have a Ball !!


HUMOR / P. 85

ART / P. 88

G R E AT E R Y E L L OW S TO N E SECTION: SUBHEAD

Zach Altman, Anthony Pavkovich, Kim Roush and David Laufenberg flee a thunderstorm high on the Beaten Path trail in the Beartooth Mountains.

A RUNNING TRAVERSE OF THE GREATER YELLOWSTONE PUTS A SPOTLIGHT ON THREATS TO PUBLIC LANDS STORY BY ANTHONY PAVKOVICH PHOTOS BY SETH LANGBAUER

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

79


SU R R OUNDED BY FRIE NDS,

I closed my front door on July 10, 2017, laced up my lugged shoes, and jogged away from my home in Bozeman, south toward the Gallatin Range, Yellowstone National Park, and eventually 200 more miles to Red Lodge, Montana: an immense swath of the 20-million-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Over the course of seven days, I redefined my relationship with the land over high alpine peaks, across vast sagebrush plains, and along countless free-flowing rivers through one of the few intact, wild places left in the Lower 48. Traveling beside me were two of my closest friends. Zach Altman, the race director for Bozeman Running Company and a passionate trail philosophiser, once said, “I define home to be the places you can reach on foot from your front door.” I invited him along for his humor, deep thought and unwillingness to turn down an adventure. After seven days on the trail, our homes would be a whole lot bigger. Matching us stride for stride was David Laufenberg, an ecology graduate student at Montana State University and an old friend from the University of Wisconsin. A former educator with the Yellowstone Association, Dave brought tremendous knowledge and wonderfully complex stories about the country we traveled through. During our years of friendship, we had crisscrossed this ecosystem, but this was the first time we embarked on an adventure of this scale. Stepping back nearly half a year, to the end of January 2017, this trip materialized on the steps of the State Capitol in Helena. Accompanied by more than 1,000 other Montanans, we crammed into the chambers of the Capitol to rally against the sale or transfer of our public lands. The floor and balconies of the rotunda overflowed with citizens representing a variety of user groups: hunters, anglers, hikers, climbers, trail runners and motorized users. Echoing through these stone halls was the thunderous chant, “This land is our land.” Federal and state legislators continue to work with unprecedented zeal to transfer public lands and resources to private interests, with lobbyists from extractive industries leading the charge. To stop this sell-off, the public must find its voice and engage; call our representatives, participate in planning and actively vote. If not, fragmentation and destruction of our wild landscapes, through urban growth, energy extraction and hard rock mining, will continue. Searching for a way to turn our anger into action, we left the Capitol and ran through the city to the top of Mount Helena. While pausing and reflecting on the summit, Dave reinforced the idea that our public land “goes away if we don’t protect it; if we don’t show support for it; if we don’t celebrate it.” 80

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

“We need to connect with people that are different than us, who think differently than us, who make a living differently than us, and understand them in a meaningful way.”

Clockwise from top left: Morning breaks on the wild heart of the Gallatins; Zach Altman assesses damage inflicted by the trail; David Laufenberg traversing a sun-cupped expanse in the Beartooths; long days begin with predawn miles; Zach Altman and the author (at right) contemplating the distance ahead.


YELLOWSTONE: OUR COMMON GROUND

Y E LLOWS TO N E RIV E R

CU ST E R-GA LL AT IN NAT IONA L F ORE ST

Y E LLOWSTONE NAT IONA L PA RK

SH OSH ONE NAT IONA L F ORE ST

J OG G I N G S O UT H F R O M O UR C I T Y ,

we left behind the shrinking farm fields and proliferating second homes, and entered the Gallatin Range. This roadless core of snow-capped peaks and high ridgelines is the last major mountain range, bordering Yellowstone National Park, without permanent wilderness protection. Inspiring the public lands rally, legislation originating from the Montana House of Representatives proposed to strip this range—and many others throughout the state—of its wilderness study status. It was fitting that our run would start here, as this single event inspired our journey. As we headed farther south into this vulnerable mountain range, the words of Governor Steve Bullock that echoed through the Capitol halls still rang in my ears: “These lands are our heritage!” What a spectacular heritage it is. Chasing the rising sun up the snowfields of Hyalite Peak, we basked in the early morning light on the summit. Gazing south, the magnificent crest of the Gallatin Range swept toward Yellowstone. This rugged range is uncrossed by roads while still home to wandering grizzly bears, herds of mountain goats and elusive wolverines. From this highpoint, we would run nearly 40 more miles along the spine of the range before dropping into the remote and wild north end of Yellowstone National Park. Along the border of Yellowstone, this ecosystem is threatened by mining, drilling, logging and rapid urbanization spiraling out from Bozeman, Jackson, Wyoming, and Idaho’s Teton Valley. As increasing pressure is placed on the landscape by the needs of a booming population, we must consider what compromises we are willing to take to protect this wild ecosystem. >> M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

81


NOW: OUR COMMON GROUND

THE CHALLEN GE IN TO DAY’S

polarized political atmosphere is to actively listen and engage with our friends, neighbors and decision makers. While recovering from our run we sat down with Darcie Warden, the Montana conservation coordinator at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and she eloquently shared this vision. “We need to connect with people that are different than us, who think differently than us, who make a living differently than us, and understand them in a meaningful way,” Warden said. As the Gallatin Valley continues to grow at one of the fastest rates in the country, we have to prioritize and plan ahead. Gallatin County is now inhabited by nearly 105,000 residents; nearly one in 10 Montanans live here. Using the Census Bureau’s conservatively estimated growth rate of 3 percent, the county’s population will double in less than 25 years. Finishing each day on the trail, we were joined by many of these residents. Day after long day, friends, neighbors and coworkers had our tents set up and a meal waiting, while engaging in meaningful discussions about the future of our backyards. Reclining with warm The team contemplates After the trip, we met with John food and a cold beer, the conversations around me the magnificence of the Todd, conservation director for the inspired gratitude for the people who share my home. Beartooth Mountains.  Montana Wilderness Association, They all hold a common belief: this wild land deserves to share our experiences and protecting, and it takes a determined community to do observations from the trail and the work. A great debt is owed to Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot within our community. He shared our consensus: that we don’t have to agree on everything. But, here’s this big chunk of what and Montana’s former U.S. Senator Lee Metcalf for setting aside we think is important that we can advocate for together, for the wild spaces of the Greater Yellowstone. However, not one single acre of Montana has been designated wilderness since the each other, and we can be better because of it. That’s where the important work happens—when you turn those people into establishment of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in 1983. While less than 4 percent of Montana is wilderness, we are continually friends and allies. While drinking beers with Zach on my front porch back in challenged to add to this legacy.   Bozeman, he summed up the value of our trip. “Virtually every Leaving camp well before sunrise, we’d be on trail for 12mile we ran on that trip was [on] public land,” he said. “And, I plus hours each day. Often, at the edge of exhaustion, moments think, the run itself and the amount of people it took for that to of awe would sweep over me. The alpenglow on a distant peak, succeed is a good metaphor for how we need to come together the sound of moving water, or the dew glistening on a ripe on public lands issues and see to it that these lands continue to huckleberry repeatedly conjured deep feelings of appreciation exist.” for the landscape we collectively share. Our public lands will continue to come under threat. There Crossing the Gallatins, Yellowstone National Park, and are dangerous mines proposed along Yellowstone’s border, the Beartooth Plateau left me stripped, broken and vulnerable. potentially devastating deregulation to our environmental On tender and tired feet, I staggered past the Forest Service boundary and down the road into Red Lodge. Leaving our public protections undertaken by this presidential administration, and rapid urbanization on the landscape. lands behind, we were welcomed by the arms of friends and We need to collaborate, speak up, and encourage accountability surrounded by the team that selflessly helped us achieve our and action, to keep the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, our dream. During our seven days on the trail, there were nearly 40 remarkable common ground, wild and public. friends and acquaintances that helped us cover these miles.

82

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


SECTION: SUBHEAD

UNPLUG.

5 N I G H T + 6 D AY R A F T I N G T R I P S O N T H E MIDDLE FORK OF THE SALMON RIVER

Rated one of the “Top Three River Trips” in the world by

National Geographic, the Middle Fork of the Salmon is an immersive, once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the center of 2.3 million acres of wilderness. Boundary Expeditions provides an all-inclusive wilderness river guide service and luxury camping experience to slow down time, inspire connections, and share in moments of gratefulness.

BE ADVENTUROUS. BE INSPIRED. JUST BE. BOOK AT BOUNDARYEXPEDITIONS.COM OR (888) 948-4337

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

Boundary Expeditions operates under special use permits with the Salmon Challis National Forest and Payette National Forest and is an equal opportunity provider.

83


DISCOVER

SECTION: SUBHEAD

Teton Valley

discovertetonvalley.com 84

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


YELLOWSTONE: HUMOR

LOST (AND FOUND)

IN YELLOWSTONE BY EDNOR THERRIAULT

More than 4 million people visited Yellowstone National Park last year, and I’m pretty sure they were all on the boardwalk during a sunny July afternoon when my wife and I were checking out Grand Prismatic Spring.

Shannon and I knew it was the absolute peak of Yellowstone’s summer season, but people watching is a big part of the fun for us. Our fellow tourists provided plenty of entertainment on the slow march to the park’s iconic, rainbow-hued hot pool. As we elbowed our way up the walkway past Excelsior Geyser, surrounded by the chatter of a dozen different languages, a wind whipped up and nearly snatched away my straw cowboy hat. Keeping it clamped onto my head with one hand, I looked down into Excelsior’s crater, wondering if anyone without my cat-like reflexes had lost their lid here. Sure enough, at least a dozen colorful caps and visors were scattered along the geyser’s rim like so much Gore-Tex confetti. With strict warnings forbidding visitors from stepping off the boardwalk, those hats were goners. But the hats looked clean and dry, clearly lost just that day. What happened to yesterday’s runaways? If they were allowed to simply pile up in the basin, the geyser would eventually be covered with a mountain of sky blue tennis visors and camouflage ball caps that boast, “Four Wheelers Do It in the Mud.” Back home, I tracked down the National Park Service’s Matt Nagel of the Visitors Service Office, and he was immediately sympathetic to my plight of curiosity. He told me he’d also wondered how these wayward hats were retrieved safely from off-limits areas. “I don’t know how frequently they fish those hats out. A few years ago they’d send us a bag of them and they’d be all crusty and nasty. Now, unless they’re in really good shape, they just throw them out.” Nagel’s office handles lost and found items that get turned in at Yellowstone’s ranger stations, visitor centers and lodges. Last year, between 3,500 and 4,000 items were entered into their system. PHOTO BY KATIE WHEELER

It sounds like a lot, but that number pales in comparison to the mother lode of orphaned Yellowstone things, which reside in a warehouse in Gardiner, just a forgotten cell phone’s throw from the Roosevelt Arch. Virginia Morris is the support services manager for Xanterra, the park’s concessionaire, and she heads up the main lost and found department there. She coordinates with Nagel, sharing their databases so they know the whereabouts of pretty much any item that’s been logged in. By the time kids head back to school in September, things slow down enough to where Morris and Nagel and their staff can catch up on filed claims, taking great pleasure in reuniting abandoned treasures with their owners. Most of the items lost in Yellowstone are your gardenvariety outdoors/travel accessories: sunglasses, gloves (usually just one), water bottles, phone chargers and the like. Occasionally items of significantly higher value find their way to the lost and found, including mad stacks of cheddar. “Each year we seem to have one instance where a big amount of cash is found and turned in,” Morris said. “I am really impressed at how honest most people are.” Expensive jewelry and pricey camera gear are frequently left behind in the park, with high-quality tripods being a common piece of forgotten equipment. You can imagine a serious photographer all set up for a series of telephoto shots of a grizzly on a hillside, only to remove his camera and pursue a bison calf that’s wandered into his frame. When that calf’s mom shows up and chases said photog back to his rented RV where he can change his drawers, it’s so long tripod, hello Lake Hotel Item No. 865. But all hope is not lost when that happens. >> M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

85


V I S I TO R S C A N F I L L O U T A N O N L I N E F O R M to describe the item and leave their contact info. Morris estimates that of the 9,000 abandoned items that come to the warehouse each year, roughly 30 percent are eventually returned to their owners. Xanterra even pays for packing and shipping the items around the world. Some belongings are destined to remain lost. Last year a drone was found in Yellowstone, and the use of drones in national parks is illegal. Morris figures that the abandoned craft probably holds some incriminating footage on its camera, pretty much guaranteeing that its owner will not be filing a claim, much like the (alleged) marijuana enthusiasts who (officially may or may not have) checked out of their room and spaced a baggie of (not officially confirmed or disconfirmed to be) pot. Plenty of weird stuff turns up in Yellowstone’s lost and found. A horse “Plenty of weird head mask and a wedding stuff turns up in Yellowstone’s dress were left behind in lost and found. A a lodge cabin, suggesting horse head mask a somewhat unorthodox and a wedding dress were left honeymoon. About once a behind in a lodge year a gun is found tucked cabin, suggesting under a pillow or mattress, a somewhat unorthodox possibly owned by a visitor honeymoon.” who harbors an irrational fear of a newlywed horse bursting into his room. There was the cosmetic case full of false eyelashes belonging to a man, perhaps a serial winker. Someone turned in a prosthetic big toe. Then there was the wooden item left behind by a member of a Korean tour that had Morris’ staff utterly stumped. In fact, it kind of looked like a stump—like a small log that had been cut in half, hollowed out and finished, open on both ends. No one has claimed it. Its function remains a mystery. Some objects, like an urn containing human ashes, are more poignant. Nagel recalls one item left behind this past season—a small tiara with a letter attached to it, apparently written by a young woman whose boyfriend had recently died. The tiara and the letter expressing her sorrow seemed to have been deliberately left in Yellowstone as part of her grieving process. “Kind of chokes me up just to think about it,” Nagel said. Eight years of processing discarded items has compelled Nagel to put labels on nearly all of his own gear, listing his name and contact info. “People buy these $5,000 fly rods and they come here and fish, and they leave them at a pull-out. There [are] no identifiers to that type of stuff. ‘It’s not going to happen to me,’ right?” My advice? If you’re exploring Yellowstone National Park on a windy summer afternoon, hang onto your hat.

86

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


Janell James

“The Line Up” | 27 x 33 | Multi- Layered Acrylic Reinventing the landscape with unique dimensional works, layering paint on multiple panels of acrylic glass.

Creighton Block

cre ig htonblockgaller y.co m | 406.993.94 00 | 8 8 Ou sel Falls Road Tow n Center | Big Sky, Montana


Special Advertising Section

ARTISTS INTERPRET YELLOWSTONE’S WONDERS

Yellowstone’s Enduring Images How art has connected generations to the nation’s first national park BY CHRISTINE GIANAS WEINHEIMER

Each time a visitor raises their camera to snap a “These early works photograph in Yellowstone, they continue a tradition of art played such that began centuries ago—when the first explorers and visionary artists sought to capture the park’s extraordinary an important wonders and share them with people near and far. role because they In the early 1800s, fur trappers—the first white communicated the visitors to the region—returned home with descriptions powerful emotional of Yellowstone country that listeners dismissed as experience of being tall tales. Later, explorers corroborated their stories of abundant wildlife and alien landscape of geysers, hot in Yellowstone.” springs and waterfalls. Above: Grand Canyon Eventually, writers, artists and photographers all of the Yellowstone, c. 1905 brought proof of these visual wonders to the American by Thomas Moran public. Beginning with the Washburn expedition in 1870 and the Hayden geologic survey in 1871, art documented Yellowstone’s unique features, captivated a nation, and ultimately contributed to the West’s history. Art also played a pivotal role in Yellowstone’s establishment as the world’s first national park. Upon the return of the Hayden survey, Thomas Moran’s paintings and drawings and William Henry Jackson’s photographs helped convince Congress in 1872 that this landscape was exceptionally beautiful and valuable to the nation—and beyond. Today, while Yellowstone’s wonders are known worldwide, art still plays a significant role in the park’s ongoing story. Contemporary artists and photographers travel to Yellowstone to bear witness to its magic. Their work, in turn, inspires people around the world to preserve and protect Yellowstone and other public lands for recreation, spiritual rejuvenation, education, scientific inquiry, and connection to the natural world. From Moran to Instagram, Yellowstone’s enduring images have become a part of our national identity.

88

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

While countless artists have paid homage to Yellowstone through their work, a few stand out for their memorable contributions in sharing the park’s exquisite beauty with the world. Thomas Moran (1837-1926), considered the grandfather of Yellowstone art, became the first person to bring to life the region’s unbelievable landscapes, including his world-famous painting Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. “Moran was part of the 19thcentury American painting movement influenced by Romanticism, and he captured the majesty of Yellowstone with the color, shadow and drama that epitomizes that era,” explains Robert Petty, senior director of education for Yellowstone Forever. “His romanticized works might appear exaggerated, but they succeed in capturing the emotional experience you might have if you stand exactly where he stood.” Nearly a decade later, painter Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) also created a stir in the nation’s capital. The romanticized Yellowstone landscapes that he sent to Chester A. Arthur inspired the president to make a trip to Yellowstone in 1883. Commercial art would soon play a role in connecting nationwide audiences to Yellowstone. Entrepreneurial artist Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) established a thriving mail-order business. From a brochure of thumbnail sketches, customers would select a scene, which Brown would reproduce at full size and in full color. With this innovative strategy Brown became well-known at the time as the first African-American artist to paint extensive scenes of the West. Commissions by railroads for the purpose of promoting tourism to the West brought plein-air painter Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943) to the region in 1905 and 1906, and launched her artistic career. Hill was not only a prolific painter, but also an acclaimed writer and advocate for the preservation of our national parks. “These early works of art played such an important role because they communicated the powerful emotional experience of being in Yellowstone,” Petty says. “That was something painting could do that early photographs and scientific writings could not.”


YELLOWSTONE: ART

ART IN YELLOWSTONE TODAY Contemporary artists continue to seek out Yellowstone for inspiration and expression. At the Yellowstone Art & Photography Center, the artists-in-residence program welcomes artists of all disciplines to live and work in Yellowstone, and engage with park visitors and gateway communities. This summer, the program will host well-known artists including Agnes Ma, Kim Moss and Andrew Steiger. Located near Old Faithful and operated by Yellowstone Forever—the official nonprofit partner of the park—the center invites visitors to participate in free hands-on activities, peruse the art gallery, purchase art and photography supplies, or attend a workshop or lecture. This summer, Yellowstone visitors also have the chance to see a masterpiece in the making at the inaugural Yellowstone Plein Air Invitational. Held September 26-30, the event will feature 12 of the nation’s most talented artists painting “en plein air,” or in the open air, in locations throughout the park, with activities for visitors including painting demonstrations and a paint-out gathering. A selection of the artists’ paintings will be available for viewing and purchase on September 30. Proceeds from the Yellowstone Forever event will benefit priority park projects and education initiatives. Visit yellowstone.org/art to learn more about the Yellowstone Art and Photography Center,

Yellowstone Falls, c. 1905 by Abby Williams Hill

Join 12 of the nation’s most talented artists for a special weekend celebrating art in Yellowstone. ART WORK: THOMAS MOR AN

ART WORK: THOMAS MOR AN

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, c. 1905 by Thomas Moran

Activities include painting demonstrations, paintout gathering, and artwork sale, all in the incredible landscape of the world’s first national park.

26–30 | 2018 Yellowstone.org/plein-air

OFFICIAL NONPROFIT PARTNER OF YELLOWSTONE

406.848.2400 |

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN MC1708040_YFApril_MtnOutlaw_7.875inx5.125_AD.03redo.01_FINAL.indd 1

89 4/13/18 7:17 AM


WE WANT YOUR FURNITURE YOU SCHEDULE

SERVING A

50 MILE RADIUS

WE PICK UP

YOU GET PAiD

USED FURNITURE STORE www.ufsbozeman.com 406.586.1555 1921 w. main Bozeman, MT


E X P E R T R E V I E W E D.

E X P E R T LOV E D .

T H E S E V E N T Y2 TM S U RV I VA L SYST E M

The first 72 hours of an emergency situation are the most critical, and it’s likely up to you to survive until help arrives. Simply having the right tools and know-how can change a deadly situation into a minor inconvenience. With this in mind, we created The Seventy2. Expert-designed to get you through the first 72 hours, The Seventy2 is a complete survival system featuring over 35 tools, organized by need with easy-to-understand instructions. The Seventy2 is completely waterproof, weighs 11.5 pounds, and is perfect for home, car and office use. • • • •

Highest funded survival product in crowd-funding history Featured on the Season 9 Premiere of Shark Tank Tens of thousands of units sold to over 100 countries. Critically-acclaimed and Expert-designed.

Visit our website and use code M O U N TA I N O U T L Aw for $25 off and free shipping.

U N C H A R T E D S U P P LYC O. C O M

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

91


GCI OUTDOOR MASTER COOK STATION Whether tailgating at a bear jam (not recommended) or setting up basecamp at secluded Indian Creek Campground, GCI’s Master Cook Station has your kitchen covered. Popping open in a single piece, and breaking down just as easily, this bad boy features an aluminum counter top, a lower rack for storage, four plastic side tables, a telescopic lantern pole and a soft-shell sink with a collapsible drain. The side tables are fitted with conveniences as well: beverage holders for those who like to sip from stemmed wine glasses, and hooks to hang your garbage bags and cooking utensils. $120 gcioutdoor.com

PHOTOS MOUNTAIN BY DANIEL BULLOCK 92

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


GEAR

Whether you’re coming from Orem or Oshkosh, Toronto or Tampa, Bozeman or Billings, a road trip to Yellowstone can make memories that last a lifetime. Pile the kids in the camper, stock your cooler full of canned beer and sparkling sodas, and ban the devices once you roll through the gates—the crown jewel of our national parks is a place to keep the eyes wide open. Be sure to leave room for some down time between your adventures to Artist Point, Old Faithful and Blacktail Plateau, because your favorite moments might happen while cooking a meal with the family at sunset, or during a game of cards when the bugs send you seeking shelter. Make your Yellowstone basecamp the ultimate relaxation station with the gear found here—designed to simplify your setup and enhance your experience while keeping your clan from resembling the Griswolds. You’ll be the envy of the campground. – The Editors

MOTU OTULTAW. L AW. CM OM MOUNTAIN MT CO / /MOUNTAIN

93


WYOMING WHISKEY

Light, smooth, traditional bourbon made just outside the gates of Yellowstone. wyomingwhiskey.com

CAMP CHEF PRO 60X TWO-BURNER STOVE Every successful camping adventure hinges on keeping bellies full and the calories coming—you don’t want anyone bonking halfway up the hike to Fairy Falls. The Camp Chef Pro 60X is your ticket to outdoor feasting, no matter the size of your clan. Add on the Deluxe Grill Box 30 ($100) for cooking the perfect burgers, dogs, or frozen Alaskan salmon you’ve been saving for a special trip—this stove can handle it all and then some. $230 campchef.com

GCI OUTDOOR 3-POSITION DIRECTOR’S CHAIR WITH OTTOMAN

DOT’S HOMESTYLE PRETZELS

Kick up your feet after a long day of cruising the geyser basins in the ultimate camp chair. With a three-position backrest, side table with built-in beverage holder and ottoman, you better call “quack-quack seat back” when you get up to flip the burgers. When you’re ready to hit your next stop, it stows easily thanks to GCI’s patent-pending folding technology, and the ottoman fits neatly in a side pocket. Foodserving offspring not included. $65 gcioutdoor.com

These savory, gourmet pretzels are great for dipping or as an irresistible road-trip snack. dotspretzels.com

HOUSE OF MARLEY PORTABLE SOUND SYSTEMS Hip look, great sound and sustainably crafted, House of Marley Bluetooth audio systems keep your campground tunes jamming until quiet hours. The Riddim BT ($130) is complete with a removable leather carrying strap, voice prompt and 10 hours of undisrupted playtime. Take the waterproof Chant Sport BT ($100) with you on a paddle around Yellowstone Lake and its eight hours of playtime will keep your favorite sounds rolling, rain or shine. thehouseofmarley.com

94

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


GEAR: ROAD TO YELLOWSTONE

WENZEL SHENANIGAN 5 TENT Whether you’re on a pit-stop picnic or staying for the night, this classic teepee-style tent is the perfect shelter for a game of SkipBo or fair-weather camping. The one-pole system with fast feet makes setup a breeze, and the three rollback window flaps and a hi-low ventilation design keep the outdoor elements in your control. Employ the two storage pockets to ensure your kids’ beloved micro machines won’t get left behind in the Yellowstone sagebrush. $120 wenzelco.com

JELT BELT Snap on a Bozeman-made Jelt Belt for your days spent adventuring in the park. Whether touring the geysers on bicycle, strolling the boardwalks around Mammoth Hot Springs, or hiking in the backcountry, Jelt Belt’s stretchy comfort, versatility and grip will keep your shorts up—loops or no loops. With their retro-inspired designs and a flat clasp that eliminates any unsightly buckle bulge, they’ll also keep you looking snazzy in the firelight. You can also pat yourself on the back for supporting a company that’s earned B Corp status for its socially and environmentally conscious practices. $30 jeltbelt.com

THERM-A-REST SLACKER DOUBLE HAMMOCK Long walks to hot pots and waterfalls can wear you out, so be sure to budget some lounging time when camping in Yellowstone. The Slacker Double Hammock sets up in seconds, can accommodate you and a snuggle buddy, or provide luxurious rest for one. The soft polyester fabric won’t leave your bare skin with a lattice-pattern tattoo either, and toss on the Slacker Hammock Bug Shelter ($80) when the mosquitos invade camp. $80 thermarest.com

MOTU OTULTAW. L AW. CM OM MOUNTAIN MT CO / /MOUNTAIN

95


RULE NO. 22

Victories are to be earned.


GEAR: ROAD TO YELLOWSTONE

UNCHARTED SUPPLY CO. SEVENTY2 SURVIVAL SYSTEM Yellowstone is no Central Park—it’s a land of wild animals, raging rivers and unpredictable weather. You could spend days putting together your own survival kit or instead, pony up a few Benjamins for the Seventy2 Survival System. Designed by wilderness first responders, doctors and mountain guides, this kit will keep you alive for the first 72 hours after an emergency. Just fill the water bottle, pack a pair of shoes and add a phone charger, and you’ll be ready for anything Yellowstone throws at you. $350 unchartedsupplyco.com

GET IN & GO

T E R R A N AU T VA N S .C O M

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

97


SECTION: SUBHEAD

CAN THE OUTDOORS

SAVE LIBBY?

A downtrodden town turns toward its last asset: public lands

98

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


ROCKY & BULLWINKLE / P. 104

STORY BY ZACHARIAH BRYAN PHOTOS BY PARKER SEIBOLD

LAND

PHOTO BY JOHN BLODGETT/THE WESTERN NEWS

WHEN THE SK FINGERJOINT MILL WENT UP IN FLAMES LAST NOVEMBER IN LIBBY, MONTANA,

The Kootenai Falls swinging bridge was originally built during the Great Depression, and is slated for replacement in the coming years.

residents weren’t just watching a fire; they were witnessing the last piece of their town’s century-old timber industry burn to the ground. No one died, but 18 employees were left without jobs, a hard position when living in a town with few opportunities. The mill had just reopened three years prior, bringing activity to the site for the first time since Stimson Lumber Company had shut it down in 2002 and igniting hopes that similar businesses could find a home in Libby. At the moment, it’s unclear if the owners will be able to rebuild and re-employ. “It’s a huge impact, not only financially but emotionally,” said Lincoln County Commissioner Mark Peck. “It was Libby people who started it, it was homegrown, it was successful.” Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Montana just 30 miles from the Idaho border, Libby, population 2,700, is a town used to bad luck. >> M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

99


SECTION: SUBHEAD The Cabinet Mountains loom large above downtown Libby.

IN THE 1990S, NOT LONG AFTER LOGGING REACHED A PEAK OF 250 MILLION BOARD FEET PER YEAR, the timber industry collapsed when lawsuits from

L I B BY, M T

environmental groups forced the U.S. Forest Service to reduce logging on public lands. In 1999, people discovered that the local vermiculite mine, which had employed hundreds of people over decades until it closed in 1990, made people sick. Hundreds of people died from asbestos-related illnesses. In 2002, Libby became an EPA Superfund site, a reputation that would become hard to shake. P O P U L AT I O N Jeff Gruber, a teacher who grew up 2,700 in Libby, likens the town’s history to a game of poker. MEDIAN AGE “You’ve had one bad card after 50.5 YEARS another played, and you know in the NEAREST CITY end it’s us that live here that get left KALISPELL, 90 MILES holding the bad cards,” he explained. Now, more than 15 years after E L E VAT I O N the Superfund designation, asbestos 2,096 FEET cleanup is winding down and a new crop of local leaders are trying to turn WILDERNESS Libby’s luck around by rethinking the CABINET MOUNTAINS, 95,000 ACRES city’s identity, revitalizing downtown, marketing the region’s outdoor virtues and attracting young people. For a town with an unemployment rate of 8.4 percent and a median age of 50.5, it’s a movement that couldn’t come soon enough. “We’re pimply faced teenagers starting to grow up and get good grades and look like we’re trying to do something with our lives,” Peck said. Peck first got involved in the effort in the spring of 2015. He had returned to town five years previous, after serving in the Air Force for 20 years, and was just elected commissioner when a friend referred him to University of Montana business students and Missoula marketing agency PartnersCreative. Together, they worked on a rebranding effort that would become the blueprint for marketing Libby’s future.

100

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Peck calls Libby the “right remote,” a concept that came out of the rebranding effort. The idea is not to become glutted with visitors, but be an attractive place to live. Libby’s location lends itself to this idea. Few people casually pass through on Highway 2 and the closest major city is Kalispell, 90 miles away. The town is hugged by the 95,000-acre Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, a 35-mile stretch of peaks and valleys that locals claim are just as beautiful as anything in Glacier National Park, and without the millions of people. It was this remote setting that drew acclaimed cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki to shoot a scene for the movie The Revenant. In the film, a bearded Leonardo DiCaprio splashes frantically as he drops over the intimidating Kootenai Falls, dodging a flurry of arrows from his pursuers. For some, it doesn’t take long to fall in love with Libby. It only took Nick Raines three weeks of hiking, backpacking and fishing to realize this is where he needed to be. He was tired of living in Midwestern cities, tired of having to travel to enjoy the outdoors. He wanted to just be there. There’s no bigger fan of boosting outdoor recreation in Libby than Raines, who joined the local mountain bike club and now works as environmental coordinator for Hecla Mining. He believes the future of the town depends on it—at least in part. Various groups are building and promoting new mountain bike, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobile trails— even a biathlon trail.


SECTION: SUBHEAD

Kristin Smith opened the Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company with her partner Sarah Sorensen in 2014.

“THE MORE PEOPLE BUILD ON [DOWNTOWN R E V I TA L I Z AT I O N ] , THE BETTER IT IS F O R E V E R Y B O D Y. I THINK IT’S WORKING AND PEOPLE ARE EXCITED ABOUT IT.”

“One of our biggest assets here is the access we have to public land here—absolutely beautiful public land,” he said. As part of the rebranding process, the Libby Chamber of Commerce launched a new website last summer to attract more people like Raines. On the homepage, a video on repeat shows people kayaking the Kootenai River, a happy couple walking among towering trees, attractive people having a beer at the local brewery—the kind of outdoor wonderland that one would expect from Whitefish, not Libby. Of course, there is a balance, Raines said. Part of Libby’s allure is how quiet it is. As Peck said, they want to keep the sense of the “right remote.” Fortunately, it’s so far away from everything, Raines said he doesn’t think that’ll be a problem.

Walking through the doors of the Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company late on a Friday afternoon, it’s hard to believe that people would call Libby quiet. It’s a cacophony of voices from people young and old, both visitors and locals. Co-owner Sarah Sorensen first got the idea to open a brewery when she visited Philipsburg, Montana, with her husband in 2012. She saw how much energy it was bringing to the community there and thought a brewery could do the same for Libby. She contacted her friend Kristin Smith, who had moved to town for a government job a few years earlier, and the two started hatching a plan. Locating the brewery downtown on Mineral Avenue, nicknamed “The Gut,” was important to their vision of creating a community gathering space. Smith and Sorensen purchased the oldest building in downtown— built in 1904—and opened their doors in July 2014. Business has only grown Kootenai Falls is the largest since then, Smith said, undammed falls in Montana. and the brewery has been a catalyst for downtown revitalization. Where once there were boarded-up doors and empty windows, now there are new businesses, including an ice cream spot and a clothing shop. “The more people build on [downtown revitalization], the better it is for everybody,” Smith said. “I think it’s working and people are excited about it.” But if Libby is going to succeed, it needs more jobs, Peck said. >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M /


SECTION: SUBHEAD

ONE SKEPTIC OF CURRENT EFFORTS IS BILL PAYNE,

the 82-year-old owner of a heavy equipment repair shop and parts distributor. He opened his business in 1969 and has seen the ebb and flow of industries in the community. “For some reason, the local merchants have great hopes that tourism is going to take off, but I think that’s false reasoning,” he said. If Libby is going to thrive, he argues that the town needs major employers and high-paying jobs—something Libby hasn’t been able to offer for decades. Even though his business is one of the only heavy equipment repair shops in the area, he’s not sure Payne Machinery can hang on much longer. At its peak, he employed 22 people and pulled in $2.25 million in annual gross sales. Now, there are just seven employees and the business makes about $1 million yearly. Payne has only managed to keep things going by getting creative: reaching out to customers beyond Lincoln County and dropping fire and liability insurance. Payne said he’s not sure what he will do with his business. He tried selling it in 2007, but no one expressed interest. It’s a niche business in a dying market. When it comes to getting more decent-paying blue-collar jobs, it seems Libby keeps drawing bad hands. A welding company came to town in 2009, employing 70 people, only to shutter its doors a few years later. Just last year, the port authority finished a project that connected the business park to the main BNSF Railway line, a crucial step toward attracting new businesses. The problem: the SK Fingerjoint Mill was the only company ready to use it, and it burned down a few days before the city was scheduled to celebrate the spur completion.

Bill Payne doesn’t believe the scenery economy will be Libby’s savior.

102

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


The Kootenai River drains a vast expanse of British Columbia, Montana and Idaho.

SECTION: SUBHEAD

“ T H E O N LY WAY AS A C O U N T Y WE HAVE TO GET REVENUE IS [ T O ] T A X Y O U R P R O P E R T Y. I F 78 PERCENT OF YOUR COUNTY I S U N TO U C H A B L E T H AT M A K E S IT PRETTY TOUGH TO GAIN A N Y W E A LT H . ” The 400-acre business park, which was designated in 2003 after Stimson shut down its last lumber mill, is meant to be a job creator. But convincing businesses to move to town is easier said than done. Tina Oliphant, executive director of the Lincoln County Port Authority, said they inherited 80-plus years of “deferred maintenance.” Roads, sewer, water, buildings and the rail spur all needed repair. Peck admits there are challenges when it comes to renovating the business park and promoting economic development. Mainly, there’s no money, because most of the county is public land. “The only way as a county we have to get revenue is [to] tax your property. If 78 percent of your county is untouchable that makes it pretty tough to gain any wealth,” he said. In the meantime, city leaders are hopeful that a pair of proposed silver and copper mines will be approved, providing the community with hundreds of jobs. However, the permitting process has been slow, with a coalition of conservation groups expressing concerns about detrimental environmental effects, such as the endangerment of native bull trout and grizzly bear populations. City leaders aren’t holding their breath when it comes to the mines. They’ve seen their share of battles between industry and environmental groups. Raines believes public lands could play a key part in Libby’s future. According to a 2017 report by Bozeman-based nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics, public lands have been essential to the success of Montana’s fastest growing counties. Across the West, rural counties with higher percentages of public lands have seen four times as many people moving in, better employment rates, a greater variety of jobs and over double personal income. If other cities can benefit, why can’t Libby? “The more we can do to promote what we have to offer is going to go a long way in Libby’s future,” Raines said. Peck is hopeful about the future of Libby’s economy. He thinks the right pieces are falling into place and that the right people are making things happen. Maybe soon, Libby will be dealt a decent poker hand.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

103


BY JENNIFER LADD

D

ebuting in 1959 under the moniker Rocky and

His Friends, and taking on numerous titles during its broadcast run, The Adventures of Rocky and

Bullwinkle and Friends is a cartoon legacy that takes viewers into a humorous world of adventures and mishaps. Created by Jay Ward, Alex Anderson and Bill Scott, Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket “Rocky” the flying squirrel, are a comedic duo that has entertained generations of children and adults alike. Later renamed the The Rocky and Bullwinkle

Show, the series ran until 1964, and has been in syndication ever since. On May 11, Amazon began streaming a new DreamWorks animation series featuring the pair and their hijinks. Dimwitted Bullwinkle, and his best friend Rocky, live in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, and together face scheming villains, including Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Apart from an affinity for puns, each character possesses a super power. Rocky is able to glide, and hover in the air, while Bullwinkle boasts super strength, or his “mighty moose muscle.” Bullwinkle also has a magnificent memory of previous meals.

104

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


LAND

these powers, but t have super no ay e pretty m ar ey Th owstone Greater Yell e th f o ts ght. residen their own ri impressive in

Alces alces is the largest species in the deer family weighing up to

1,600 POUNDS

Population estimates range from

fun facts

800,000 TO 1.3 MILLION individuals in North America

Moose have the ability to store

100 POUNDS OF FOOD in their stomachs

Antler diameter indicates age. Widest antler spread recorded is

210 CENTIMETERS

Despite their name, they cannot fly but rather glide with help of a membrane of skin connecting the forelimbs and hind limbs called a PATAGIUM

fun facts

The longest recorded “flight” is

295 FEET

In western North America, northern flying squirrels range from ALASKA southward to the GREATER YELLOWSTONE ECOSYSTEM

Born in litters of two to seven, young flying squirrels will glide like their mother at only

2 MONTHS of age

) ys sabrinus l (Glaucom r in the ing squirre he fly ot n er an to rth r male no one cache Overachieve half his weight, from . ne, ke, Montana La ey moves a co el Se ght near middle of ni AEV ALEX PHOTO BY

BADY

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

105


SOIL TO SALAD / P. 112

WILD EDIBLES / P. 116

SPIRIT OF SUMMER / P. 123 SECTION: SUBHEAD

C U LT U R E

WOMEN WHO ROCK FROM BADASS CHICKS TO CELEBRATED

SONGWRITERS, A WAVE OF FEMALE EMPOWERMENT SURGES THROUGH THE REGION THIS SUMMER

BY JESSICA ROUNDS

PHOTO BY MEREDITH TRAUX

THE TOP BULL RIDERS IN THE WORLD CAN BE A TOUGH ACT TO

but the Big Sky PBR after-party on July 28 will surely keep the energy electric when Thunderpussy takes the stage. While the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether or not their name is too profane to be federally trademarked, Thunderpussy is kicking ass on the music scene, receiving accolades on NPR Music’s 2018 Slingshot Artists and “100 artists to watch” at Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. The Seattle-based foursome—Molly Sides on vocals, guitarist Whitney Petty, Leah Julius on bass, and drummer Ruby Dunphy—make nothing but provocative music with classic rock, ‘70s punk and threads of blues all wrapped up in one high-octane, sexy, tongue-in-cheek sound. “We play music, ride motorcycles, date girls and lift heavy shit for a living,” Julius told Trent Moorman in 2014, in an interview published by Seattle’s alt-weekly The Stranger. “And we don’t do them as a ‘fuck you’ to the male-dominated society, or in an attempt to advance women’s rights—we do them because we can and want to.” >>

FOLLOW,

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

107


SECTION: SUBHEAD

“GENERALLY, ONCE PEOPLE EITHER LISTEN TO US, SEE US OR HEAR WHAT WE ARE ABOUT, THEY GET IT AND THEN THE NAME IS NO LONGER A SHOCK VALUE THING AND ACTUALLY REPRESENTS US REALLY WELL.”

t first, their controversial epithet, coupled with sequined studded bras, fishnet stockings, glittery boots and leather bodysuits could come across as gimmicky. Until they start playing. Seasoned and highly skilled musicians, Thunderpussy is a sonic tour de force. In 2017, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready dubbed them his favorite new band and even made a cameo on the track “Velvet Noose.” The young, talented artists built a grassroots following with the support of Seattle’s KEXP nonprofit radio station, and held a private fundraiser to finance their first record, produced by Sylvia Massy, acclaimed for her work with Prince, Johnny Cash and the Red Hot Chili Peppers Mountain Outlaw spoke to Julius minutes after she had touched the first copies of their new, self-titled vinyl album. She reflected on the band’s artistic process and how they’re looking forward to hitting the road for the “School’s Out” East Coast tour, before playing Big Sky the last weekend of July. Mountain Outlaw: Given that your live performances are so powerful, do you think you were able to do justice to that kind of energy in the recording studio? Leah Julius: We look at our live show and the studio as two different beasts. So when we approach the studio, it’s “what can we do to be as creative as possible in this space?” Is it keys, percussion, vocal melody, harmonies? And then when we are on stage, it’s the same question, whether it’s dancers, light show, costumes, [or] projections. Our last song on the record is basically just a jam. I’m really excited for people to hear it because we didn’t try to make it [like] anything you would feel at a live show. MO: Can you tell me about the origin of the band’s name, and how it relates to the kind of music you make? LJ: When people hear the name Thunderpussy for the first time, they might 108

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

think it’s a joke. But it’s very serious. Typically in popular culture, the word “pussy” is used in a demeaning way to mean weak, but we’re trying to reclaim it to mean the opposite. It’s powerful. Pussy is where life comes from! Generally, once people either listen to us, see us or hear what we are about, they get it and then the name is no longer a shock value thing and actually represents us really well. MO: Your music spans genres, combining soulful vocals with raunchy lyrics, and muscle rock peppered with blues. What are Thunderpussy’s musical influences? LJ: I grew up listening to different music than the other three members. My dad was a Deadhead and we only heard Grateful Dead or NPR growing up. As I got older, I gravitated to punk music and played drums in a punk band. I still love more aggressive music. I bring that side of the table to Thunderpussy whereas Molly and Whitney were raised on the classics—Tom Petty, the Beatles, Zeppelin. Ruby comes from a jazz background so she brings a little bit of everything. I think what makes Thunderpussy cool is that we allow space for all of those influences.

PHOTO BY JAKE CLIFFORD


CULTURE: WOMEN WHO ROCK

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: JONATHAN STEWART, MARK SELIGER, DAVID MCCLISTER

MO: Can you tell me about the creative process and approach to making this album? LJ: Generally songs begin with either Molly or Whitney creating a chord progression or a vocal melody or a vocal line. They are a couple so they live together and they usually hash it out into some sort of initial shape. Then we’ll bring it into the practice space with everyone and arrange as a band from there—build on ideas, change it and grow it and complete it together. MO: Do you have any preshow rituals to get you in the zone to perform? LJ: We have a chant that we do together before we go onto stage. Molly, Whitney and I aren’t well trained classically—Ruby said we should learn a counting exercise so we can all get on the same page. That’s turned into a pre-show chant [that] gets us hyped and ready to hit the stage. MO: We’re excited to have you in Big Sky this summer. Is there anything particular you want to do while you’re here? LJ: We shot a music video recently [Badlands, that came out in May] and I got to ride a horse. Even though I’d ridden horses as a kid, it had been probably 15 years. But I’ve now decided I’m a horse person. So hopefully in Montana I can ride a horse. Maybe not in the rodeo, though.

A few other more well-known, celebrated female artists will be gracing stages in the Northern Rockies this summer. On the banks of the Blackfoot River, the KettleHouse Amphitheater promises thousands of concertgoers the quintessential Montana outdoor music experience, and Jackson, Wyoming’s Center for the Arts offers a diverse lineup in an intimate setting.

JUNE 27 / MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER CENTER FOR THE ARTS, JACKSON

Singer-songwriter MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER has been capturing the heart and soul of America for 30 years with her honest ballads and warm, alto vocals. With five Grammys and two Country Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, she’s mastered the art of storytelling through earnest and tender lyrics. Her latest album, Sometimes Just the Sky, features stripped-down versions of older songs, along with the new title track.

JULY 18 / SHERYL CROW KETTLEHOUSE AMPHITHEATER, MISSOULA

With nine Grammys in as many albums, SHERYL CROW is an American music icon whose style has ranged from road-worn ballads and good time rock music, to straight Nashville country. Her latest release Be Myself revisits her ‘90s sound with fresh eyes, and the result is a familiar sound with an honest look at the world today. Crow wanted to understand what made her early songs resonate with people as authentic and original. “So for the first time in my life, I made it a point to sit down and really listen to my old records,” she said in a press release. “But it wasn’t about repeating myself. It was about revisiting where I came from and seeing where that would take me now.” 

AUGUST 1 / RICKIE LEE JONES CENTER FOR THE ARTS, JACKSON

Two-time Grammy winner RICKIE LEE JONES’ career spans five decades and includes 15 critically acclaimed albums. Her latest project, released on her own Thirty Tigers label, The Other Side of Desire, was inspired by her time spent in New Orleans during recent years. Unlike artists who focus on their most recent work in concert, Jones has indicated she’s likely to only play one song from her newest record on the current tour. For fans, that means a taste of the new and a full serving of her beloved hits.


BIG SKY July 25-28, 2018 | BIG SKY, MT PBR’S BEST

Cowboys & Bulls PLUS

MUTToN BUSTIN’ & entertainment by

Flint Rasmussen MORE INFORMATION, SCHEDULE & TICKETS AT BIGSKYPBR.COM BOZEMAN,

M O NTA N A

ALLATIN IMBERWRIGHTS

Ania Bulis

HARLEY-DAVIDSON

BELGRADE, MONTANA

HAAS BUILDERS


HOW THE LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT IS RETURNING MONTANA TO ITS ROOTS

112

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


SECTION: CULTURE SUBHEAD

A Western Montana Growers Co-op intern works the fields of the Lowdown Farm in Moiese, Montana. PHOTO COURTESY OF WMGC

BY CLAIRE CELLA

A

s the calendar cycles into spring and summer, farmers across Montana return to their fields, with a growing sense that the seasons are not the only repeating occurrence here. The way farmers are producing and who they’re supplying is turning, even returning, to values that run deep in the state’s soil. This is due in part to a burgeoning local food movement in the state, one that mirrors a national trend of caring more about the quality of the food we eat and where it comes from. A state known for its rich farming heritage, for decades agriculture has been one of Montana’s primary industries. This celebrated tradition has also generated one of the country’s most vibrant local food scenes, according to the nonprofit food advocacy organization Strolling of the Heifers. In 2017, their annual “Locavore Index” ranked Montana fourth in the nation based on percapita USDA Census of Agriculture data from all 50 states. It’s an impressive rating for this rural and arid state, which only trailed Vermont, Maine and Oregon—states with greater population densities, less extreme temperatures, higher precipitation and more progressive demographics. Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground, substantiated her home state’s ranking. In her book, the journalist and lecturer at Stanford University on food and agriculture tells the story of a pioneering family of Montana farmers who bucked the trend of corporate agribusiness by planting lentils, and grew a million-dollar organic food enterprise. “The local

food economy is quite vibrant right now in Montana,” she said in an interview. “And it’s not new. People are returning to something—a way of life—that was the norm in their grandparents’ generation.” There was a period in Montana’s agricultural history when this lifestyle was not predominant. Since the 1950s, Montana food production has capitalized on financial support from the federal government, which encouraged farmers to specialize in certain crops, like wheat and barley, and to grow high volumes for export. That economic stability of monoculture production was for many farmers too enticing to resist, Carlisle said. As a result, family cows, diverse garden plots and crop rotations disappeared as farmers could no longer afford the time or space to grow anything but high-yield grains and pulses. In 1950, Montana agriculture provided nearly 70 percent of a Montanan’s diet, but at the height of the commodity era, more than 86 percent was imported, according to the Alternative Energy Resources Organization, a membership-based group devoted to promoting clean energy, healthy food and sustainable agriculture in the state. That change began in the early 1970s, through to the farm crisis in the ‘80s, when fossil fuel prices skyrocketed and global grain prices fell. Farmers that relied on expensive chemical fertilizers to remain productive faced bankruptcy, and they looked out over terrible soil health in their fields. Farmers began to realize that “commodity grain was no longer viable, and this way of farming was not environmentally or socially good,” Carlisle said. >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

113


Whitehall Farmers Market PHOTO COURTESY OF MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

S

A

nd if there’s one thing that sets the state apart, she said, it’s a “robust civil society, a moral economy” that allows Montanans to build things, like healthy, local food systems, with intentionality and a sense of responsibility. The movement is seen as a way to diversify the state’s economy, emphasize the health of Montanans, revive rural towns, and help the state rebuild its community-orientated social structures. And it takes many forms: through farmers markets—Montana has more than 80 with four or five added each year; community-supported agriculture programs; food hubs and cooperatives; and farm-to-school and farm-to-hospital initiatives. It also involves many creative and committed people. “Whether it’s local food or positive youth development, you can get a lot done in Montana just by knowing a few people and being passionate,” said Steph Hystad, the marketing officer at the Montana Department of Agriculture. Together, the state’s industrious local food nonprofits, innovative entrepreneurs and inspired individuals have created economic development centers, generated local food-based businesses, and collated the available resources—from delivery trucks to marketing strategies. “It’s that Western mentality of ‘I see this needs to be done and I’m going to do it,’” Hystad said. So when Montanans realized they were losing critical financial opportunities due to a lack of infrastructure, things started to shift. The Department of Agriculture began teaching people how to sustain their businesses by producing products that are now grown, made, processed and sold all within the state. In 2000, the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center’s facility in Ronan was built to provide a venue for processing, research and the creation of value-added products. The Western Montana Growers Co-op was formed in 2003 by a group of producers who realized they could find a greater economy of scale by working together. What started with seven members has grown to 36, and last August, the co-op brought in more sales in one month than its first two years, according to WMGC General Manager Dave Prather. 114

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

6.6%

of U.S. farm acreage lies within Montana

#1

Montana ranks 1st in dry pea and lentil production, 2nd for barley, flaxseed and safflower, and 3rd for wheat, honey and alfalfa hay

The total acreage of land in farms and ranches in the state

59,700,000* and the size of the average farm

2,179 acres are both the 2nd highest in the country

*as of 2016, stats according to Montana U.S. Department of Agriculture

lowly, the infrastructure that connects farmers to the growing demand for local goods is coming back to serve regional markets, helping farmers, ranchers and small Montana towns stay solvent. Another contribution is the concerted effort to get local food into institutions, such as schools and hospitals. This is done through a number of initiatives such as Farm to School, Beef to School, Farm to Campus, and Trout to Trade. These programs help give smaller producers the broad base of the Montana population to supply because they are such large buying entities— investing nearly $33 million in food annually. Aubree Roth is Montana’s Farm to School coordinator, as part of the National Farm to School Network, and works closely with Demetrius Fassas, a local foods program specialist with the Farm to Cafeteria Network. Both Roth and Fassas help K-12 schools throughout the state implement school gardens, establish food-based education, and procure local foods for school meal programs. Their most recent collaboration is Harvest of the Month, a statewide program that showcases Montana-grown foods in communities through a curriculum of cooking lessons, recipes and taste tests. So far, over 130 schools have participated, Fassas said, and schools in the program increased their spending on local foods by an average of 40 percent in one year. Programs like Farm to Campus at Montana State University in Bozeman, and the University

ABOVE: PHOTO BY JACKIE HEINERT/AERO


You know it’s a state filled with good people when you see them switch the way they’ve been doing things for years, just because they want to, because it’s right, even if they’re getting less money. That speaks volumes of these farmers and ranchers.

of Montana’s Farm-to-College Program in Missoula, have been growing for over a decade. According to Kara Landolfi, MSU’s Farm to Campus coordinator, their initiative invests more than $1.5 million, or 22.4 percent, of the total annual budget in local foods to feed its students. MSU’s Steer-A-Year program provides nearly 30 cows annually, which are raised by students and fed to finish at the university’s teaching farm, and then used as meat for the dining services. Seth Bostick, who runs the dining service at the Kalispell Regional Health Center, puts quality of food as the first priority—because his primary clients are hospital patients who need proper nutrition. When Bostick joined Kalispell Regional, he sought out cleaner proteins by sourcing local grass-fed beef, and the equivalent for pork, poultry and fish. He also blanches, roasts and freezes seasonal produce to provide local products year-round. Bostick is encouraged by the growth and stability of the state’s homegrown food movement. “You know it’s a state filled with good people when you see them switch the way they’ve been doing things for years, just because they want to, because it’s right, even if they’re getting less money,” Bostick said. “That speaks volumes of these farmers and ranchers.”

CULTURE: SOIL TO SALAD

Above: A 2017 farm tour, organized by the Alternative Energy Resources Organization at Manuel Farm and Ranch near Havre, was a networking opportunity for farmers and ranchers. PHOTO BY JACKIE HEINERT/AERO

Below: Emma Fernandez speaks to the virtues of Montana-grown grains with a student, as a part of the Montana Harvest of the Month program. PHOTO COURTESY OF MONTANA TEAM NUTRITION

I

n the end, Montana’s local food movement just makes sense. “People here are closer to agriculture, they see it every day, and they realize it’s important for our children to be involved, to understand and to celebrate Montana agriculture,” Hystad said. People take great pride in being from Montana, Carlisle added. “There’s something unspoiled about our state—the clean water, clean air, the open space—and I think that’s something that people want to also be in their food.”

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

115


SECTION: SUBHEAD

WILDedibles FORAGING THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEST STORY AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY CARIE BIRKMEIER

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem covers vast and variable terrain, with countless species of edible plants blanketing the landscape. Food has been growing all around us since the dawn of humanity, yet most modern Americans have become accustomed to a diet of animals and plants imported from around the globe, sacrificing freshness and sustainability for convenience. Foraging for wild edibles is a fun outdoor pastime that you can enjoy for a lifetime, and there’s something special about stumbling upon—and correctly identifying—an edible leafy green or colorful fruit. It provides a rush of excitement that you can take home to your dinner table. Before you venture out in search of edible grub, make certain to take precautions. Always carry water, a first aid kit, extra layers and bear spray. Let somebody know where you’re heading and when you plan to return, since it’s easy to get turned around in the woods. Educate yourself on public land regulations, and make sure it’s legal to forage where you’re heading. Most importantly, never eat a plant unless you’re 100-percent sure you know what it is. With that in mind, let this serve as a guide to some of the wild bounty growing around you. Now get foraging!

116

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


CULTURE

Shiny, smooth green leaves with jagged edges, alternating up the branches

Chokecherry PRUNUS VIRGINIANA

The chokecherry tree is one of the most abundant fruit-bearing trees of the Rocky Mountain West, but it produces some of the smallest fruit. Though many parts of the plant are edible, the tiny berries with their tart cherry flavor make for the best eating. EDIBLE PORTIONS: Bark, twigs, flowers, fruit and nuts. SEASON: Early spring (flowers) to late summer (berries). WHERE TO FIND: On shrubby trees along streams, in ditches

Fruit with a single pit, also known as a drape. Deep purple at summer’s end

and ruts, and in subalpine forests. HOW TO ENJOY: Infuse teas, liquors or honey. Use a food mill to remove the pits of whole cherries, to end up with a smooth fruit puree. Cut through the tartness of the fruit by adding sugar. The pit of the fruit is poisonous unless cooked. PRESERVING: Freeze, can or dehydrate berries. Dehydrate flowers, bark and twigs. SPECIES LONGEVITY: The next generation of this tree and its fruit are certain to return, so pick away! OTHER NOTES: Cherry flavor varies from tree to tree, from astringent to tart, so sample before picking a tree over.

Stinging Nettle URTICA DIOICA

Tiny flowers grow in clumpy strands and dangle from the top of the plant

True to its name, this plant can be unintentionally identified simply by brushing up against it. The tiny hairs covering the leaves and stems of the plant, which contain formic acid and histamine, bring on a stinging sensation and can leave small welts when they come in contact with skin. EDIBLE PORTIONS: Shoots, leaves and seeds. SEASON: Spring to early summer, before they flower. Seeds

Leaves have jagged edges and tiny, stinging hairs on its underside

can be collected in the fall. WHERE TO FIND: In shaded areas near creeks and rivers, where the soil is moist. HOW TO ENJOY: This rich, earthy green has hints of mushroom flavor and should not be eaten raw—the stinging sensation from the leaves is eliminated when cooked. Try substituting this green where you might typically use cooked spinach, such as in lasagna. PRESERVING: Blanch and then freeze leaves. SPECIES LONGEVITY: Considered weeds in most areas, harvesting is harmless as long as you only take the tops of the plant, leaving the roots in tact. OTHER NOTES: Be wary of plants and areas that may have been sprayed with herbicides. >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

117


Branching clusters of tiny green flowers

Lambsquarters SECTION: SUBHEAD

CHENOPODIUM ALBUM

The dark, leafy greens of this giant weed are nutrient-packed, containing more vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and calcium, than spinach. Because of the high nutrient content and abundance of this plant, it’s a great addition to your compost pile, creating nourishing soil for your garden.

Goosefoot-shaped leaves with a graywhite, waxy coating

EDIBLE PORTIONS: Leaves, stems and seeds. SEASON: Spring to midsummer. Can reappear in fall. WHERE TO FIND: Widespread, inhabiting all soil types. HOW TO ENJOY: A substantial green, it can be eaten raw or cooked,

when it takes on a similar texture as spinach. The seeds, which can be harvested after the plant dries, can be cooked whole, similarly to quinoa, or ground and used as a meal or flour. Dried, powdered leaves make a nutritional addition to smoothies. PRESERVING: Blanch and then freeze, or dehydrate and grind leaves into a powder. SPECIES LONGEVITY: Found on the invasive weed list across much of North America, the longevity of this plant is not threatened. OTHER NOTES: Because of its high nutritional content, bugs flock to this plant, so be sure to wash it well.

Nodding Onion ALLIUM CERNUUM

Stem has a grooved texture with hints of red, with leaves alternating up the stalk

Long stem that’s curved at the top, giving the plant the appearance that it’s nodding

Use your nose to find this edible delight. A welcome addition to any campfire meal, it’s hard to miss the pungent aroma of when you stumble upon nodding onions in the wild. The bulb, leaves, and stalk all possess this powerful fragrance and flavor.

Dangling, umbrellashaped clusters of flowers that range in color from white to pink

EDIBLE PORTIONS: Bulb, stalk, leaves and flowers. SEASON: Spring for flowers; spring to midsummer for leaves, stalks

and root.

WHERE TO FIND: Widespread in adequate sunlight. HOW TO ENJOY: All parts of the plant can be used as you would any

onion, either raw or cooked. Leaves and stalks can be used raw, similarly to chives or scallions, making for a lovely garnish. Keep in mind that this species will likely be more potent than its grocery store relatives that you’re used to. PRESERVING: Mince all parts and stir into butter, infuse vinegar or oil, or mix with salt and dry for an infused salt. SPECIES LONGEVITY: Never pick all leaves from an entire plant—its regrowth will be compromised. Find patches of several plants, and harvest only a few bulbs from the patch. Only harvest from areas where this plant is abundant. OTHER NOTES: The bulb can be harvested into the fall, but develops an intense onion flavor. Mark the plant’s location so that you know where to dig after the plant withers.

118

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Teardrop shaped bulb, with pink skin and tiny roots growing from its base


CULTURE: WILD EDIBLES

Intricate shaped leaves, similar to a maple leaf but with rounded edges, growing on thorny branches

Kidney-shaped leaves with long stems that grow in a rosette pattern

Berry ripens to a dark blue or deep purple upon maturity at the end of summer

A delicate, sometimes translucent skin,surrounds the flesh of the berry as it grows

Gooseberry With age, leaves can develop a red tinge on their outer edge

Mountain Sorrel OXYRIA DIGYNA

If you often find yourself in mountainous and rocky terrain, keep an eye out for this small rosette that often lines trails. Chances are you have walked past a patch of mountain sorrel if you are an avid mountain explorer. EDIBLE PORTIONS: Leaves. SEASON: Late spring and summer. WHERE TO FIND: Between rocks, in mountainous terrain,

near a water source. HOW TO ENJOY: This leaf, which packs a lemony punch, should be used as you would an herb, raw or cooked, in small quantities. Infuse water with roughly chopped leaves for a refreshing pick-me-up. Chop into small pieces and mix into a salad for a layer of bright flavor. PRESERVING: Dehydrate and use as a dried herb. Blanch, puree and freeze. Infuse vinegars, oil and other liquids. SPECIES LONGEVITY: Do not uproot, but taking a few leaves from several different plants is safe. OTHER NOTES: If you’re malnourished, dehydrated or have kidney problems, do not eat this plant as it contains oxalic acid which can prevent mineral absorption.

RIBES SPP.

The end of summer means that berries of all kinds are abundant. Gooseberries can be easily confused with currants, but it’s easy to tell them apart when you pick the berry—the stem will come with the gooseberry, and remain attached to the branch of a currant plant. EDIBLE PORTIONS: Fruit. SEASON: Late summer to early fall. WHERE TO FIND: In the mountains near waterways and at

the edge of forests. HOW TO ENJOY: If you can resist eating all these crisp berries straight from the bush, they can be added fresh to salads, or preserved into jams and jellies. Alternatively, make the berries into pies, crumbles or other sweet treats. PRESERVING: Can into jam or jelly. Freeze or dehydrate whole berries. SPECIES LONGEVITY: There’s no risk of exhausting regrowth of this plant, but the berries could be a food source to other forest animals—take some but not all. OTHER NOTES: Where there are berries, there are likely bears. Always carry bear spray and know how to use it.

SOURCES: MOUNTAIN STATES FORAGING BY BRIANA WILES, PLANTS.USDA.GOV

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

119


BIG SKY’S

TEXTILE CLEANING SPECIALIST SINCE 1988

Carpet Cleaning • Soil & Stain Protectants • Spot Cleaning • Upholstery Cleaning • Leather Cleaning Fine Area Rug Cleaning • Tile & Grout Cleaning • Hardwood Floor Cleaning & Conditioning • Odor Removal IICRC CERTIFIED FIRM

406.995.2811

PHOTOS BY WHITNEY KAMMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

BOZE M AN, M O NTANA info@shelterinteriors.com | 406.219.2138


Anyone can run the numbers. But only the right agent can uncover the hidden trails.

There’s a level of knowledge our agents offer that goes beyond what’s on the paper – it’s this insight that leaves you confident in your decision to buy or sell. Visit us at bhhsmt.com/bigsky Stop in and we’ll show you around: 55 Lone Peak Drive Big Sky Town Center 406.995.4060

Peter Don Stacy Eric Toni Mackenzie Pilotte Ossorio Ossorio Delzer sales associate broker, gri, rrs, sfr broker broker sales associate 406.580.0155 406.539.8553 406.539.9553 406.570.3195 406.223.1159

© 2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.


Special Advertising Section

Gin +

CULTURE

Tonic

Whether you prefer herbaceous or fruity, classic or contemporary, spirits are the key component to any summertime cocktail. Sure, there are those who will say any frosty beverage will quench your thirst when a heat wave hits, but some libations are more refreshing than others—and it’s never a bad idea to have a few of these recipes on hand. The Northern Rockies are brimming with small batch distilleries, and indigenous, seasonal ingredients that lend themselves to regionally specific cocktails. Add “drink local” to your philosophy of conscious consumerism, or just experiment with something fresh, by adding one of these tasty combinations to your repetoire. These makers, mixers and shakers shared the secret ingredients in their favorite drink, so that you can take your next cocktail hour to another level. – The Editors

Mojito

B

dy loo

y ar

M

rita a g r a

M

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

123


SECTION: SUBHEAD

Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro

Enjoy Olive B’s Montana huckleberry-inspired cocktails this summer on our outdoor patio in Big Sky’s Meadow Village Center. Olive B’s was voted Best Date Night Restaurant in 2017 by Explore Big Sky newspaper readers, and features Continental cuisine, hand cut steaks, fresh fish, wild game and a noteworthy wine list. Join us for lunch or dinner, Monday through Saturday. 151 Center Lane, Big Sky, Montana. For reservations visit olivebsbigsky.com or opentable.com (406) 995-3355

The Spice & Tea Exchange

The Spice & Tea Exchange offers a wide selection of seasonings and exotic teas sure to please any food enthusiast or tea lover. 47 Town Center Avenue, Big Sky, Montana. spiceandtea.com/bigsky (406) 993-2163

Mint Basil Mojito (serves eight to 12)

1 ounce The Spice & Tea Exchange Mint Basil Herbal Tea 1 1/2 ounces The Spice & Tea Exchange Ginger Sugar 750 milliliters Wildrye Distilling Silver Rum 4 tablespoons agave nectar or honey 64 ounces limeade, prepared and sweetened 1 quart unflavored seltzer water 10-12 fresh mint leaves 2 limes, cut into wedges Mix mint basil tea and rum in a large pitcher and let infuse for 30 minutes. Place a funnel into the empty rum bottle, then place a fine mesh sieve on top of funnel. Carefully pour the infused rum through the sieve into the bottle, capturing the herbal tea. Place the lid back on the rum bottle and put in the freezer for one hour to chill. Pour the agave or honey into a small shallow dish, and pour the ginger sugar into a separate shallow dish. Dip

Huckleberry Martini 3 1/2 ounces 44 North Idaho Potato Vodka

1 1/2 ounces Patrón Citrónge Orange Liquer 1 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce Huckleberry puree

lots of ice, then shake until frosty. Strain the liquid into the chilled martini glass and garnish with an orange wedge.

MOUNTAIN

glass into the ginger sugar and twist the glass to coat the rim. Add a lime wedge and mint leave to each glass— using a spoon, gently crush both to release juice and mint flavor. Carefully add crushed ice to each glass. Add 1 to 2 ounces

Chill a martini glass and combine all ingredients in a shaker with

124

the rim of each glass into the agave/honey, then dip each

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

of infused rum, and pour limeade to fill each glass 3/4 full. Add a splash of seltzer water, and gently stir the contents. Garnish each glass with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

PHOTOS BY JENNINGS BARMORE


CULTURE: SECTION: SPIRIT OF SUMMER SUBHEAD

Special Advertising Section

Jackson Hole Still Works

Good friends, owners, and partners Chas Marsh and Travis Goodman are passionate about creating the highest quality grain-to-glass craft spirits, capturing the hard work ethic of the Western frontier into every bottle they produce. Each small batch of Jackson Hole Still Works liquor is produced by hand, which means that they have total control over every aspect of the distillation process. This begins with mashing their 100-percent Wyoming-sourced grains, to fermenting, expelling the alcohol, distilling, aging and bottling. You can find their Great Grey Gin and Still Works Vodka on the shelves of your favorite Wyoming, Idaho, and—as of June 1—Montana bars and liquor stores. Do you want to see how it’s made and taste it at the source? Visit the distillery for a free tour and tasting. 3940 South Eagle View Drive, Jackson, Wyoming. jhstillworks.com (307) 699-8998

The Feathered Friend 2 ounces Jackson Hole Still Works Great Grey Gin 1/2 ounce Aperol Italian apéritif 1/2 ounce simple syrup 1 ounce fresh lime juice 2-3 muddled strawberries (our favorite berries are from Kate’s Garden in Billings, Montana) Shake all of the ingredients together in a tumbler, strain over ice and add 3 ounces of club soda into a Collins glass.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JACKSON HOLE STILL WORKS

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

125


SECTION: SUBHEAD

Vacation Mode ON With over 1,000 handpicked vacation homes and lodges in 30 breathtaking destinations, the perfect vacation starts and ends with Natural Retreats.

PARK CITY, UT

BIG SKY, MT

SUN VALLEY, ID

Big Sky, MT | Park City, UT | South Fork Lodge & Outfitters, ID | Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, ID | Sun Valley, ID Mammoth Lakes, CA | North Lake Tahoe, CA | Palm Springs, CA | Taos Ski Valley, NM

126 MOUNTAIN 126 MOUNTAIN

NAT U R A LR ETRE ATS.C O M | 8 8 8 - 4 51- 0 15 6 L AW. OM / M/ TMOTUOTULTAW. C OCM


SECTION: SUBHEAD

Invest in your wellness with a Santosha membership! Visit santoshabigsky.com to see our class schedule and get more details on services and membership options. YOGA

AYURVEDA

MASSAGE

THAI MASSAGE

Skin care

SPRING & FALL CLEANSES

individual & couples therapy

Holistic health consultations

406.993.2510 | santoshabigsky.com 169 Snowy Mountain Circle | Big Sky, MT

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

127


Custom leather for home and life Handmade in Montana

FortOmotse.com

406 586 0122 | www.laurafedrointeriors.com


UNSURPASSED DURABILITY AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGN SINCE 2003

bradfordproducts.com

vikingpools.com

aquasystemsmt.com

(406) 585-9374

Bozeman, MT


130

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


SECTION: SUBHEAD

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

131


Stretches of the FutaleufĂş River evoke comparisons to scenes found in the Greater Yellowstone.

132

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


ADVENTURE

DISCOVERING ARGENTINA’S PATAGONIA REGION THROUGH ITS RIVERS AND ESTANCIAS STORY BY ERIC LADD | PHOTOS BY ISAIAS MICIU NICOLAEVICI


“This place reminds me of stories of the American West 1oo years ago,” I commented, gazing across a vast landscape toward the Andes and nearby Chilean border. Crouched under a willow tree ablaze with fall colors, second-generation fly-fishing guide Peter Treichel peered into a deep, clear pool on the Malleo River and smiled. “Si, si, I hear that all the time,” Treichel said. “Now cast your line towards that big rock and give it a good mend, there’s a nice fish feeding there.” With endless similarities to the western U.S., Argentina is home to sweeping horizons like those seen in Montana, dramatic volcanoes reminiscent of those found in Oregon and Washington, remote river canyons like Idaho’s, and immense wild spaces characteristic of Alaska. The country’s raw beauty inspires photographers, writers and painters to travel here from around the world. Argentines have a proud culture—they sing out loud, aren’t shy about public displays of affection and can easily lose track of time on the riverbanks. Late nights, slow mornings and time for yerba mate tea accentuate most days. Patagonia is a land of rooted traditions, indigenous people and gauchos, and an identity increasingly associated with ecotourism and boundless outdoor resources. The word Patagonia comes from “Patagones,” the name Portuguese explorer Fernando Magellan gave to the native people he purportedly found there during his 1520 expedition. A mythical race of giants, Patagones were believed to be at least double normal human height, with some early European accounts describing natives as tall as 12 to 15 feet. Many inflection points have led rural Argentina, and especially the Patagonia region, to seem trapped in time. The nine national parks and three national monuments in the region have protected its sense of vastness and secured nature’s importance in Patagonia’s culture. Cultural anthropologist Francisco Moreno, as well as a series of supportive governments, led the efforts of incorporating large parts of Patagonia into natural reserves. Moreno was a prominent naturalist and explorer, and for his efforts was given large tracts of land in Patagonia, which he subsequently donated back to the government in 1903, as a precursor to the country’s land preservation efforts. In 1934, a federal law was passed making Argentina the third country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada, to establish a national parks system.

134

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

The Lanín volcano offers a stunning backdrop for a day fishing the Malleo River.


ADVENTURE: PATAGONIA

To discover Patagonia through its remote rivers, ditch the guidebooks and choose an authentic experience with a guide company like Montana-born Patagonia River Guides. Fly fishing in this part of the world is a dream trip fueled by legendary tales of 30inch fish, gin-clear waters and iconic lodges and estancias. The introduction of trout to Argentine Patagonia began in 1904, and they have flourished ever since. Twenty years ago, Montana natives Travis Smith and Rance Rathie came to Argentina to work as seasonal guides and after a few seasons they returned to Big Sky Country. During a year off from guiding, Rathie married his Argentine sweetheart and he and Smith decided to finally act on all of the big talk about owning their own company. “Long story, but we started as the smallest outfitting business in the country and grew into the largest,” Smith said about PRG’s two-decade history.   PRG has become an industry leader in high quality, inclusive and personalized trips at over 50 different locations. Fishing nearly 1 million acres of privately leased waters, in three different Patagonia regions, they also offer accommodations at 12 different lodges. “Our approach to guiding is to always have the best guides, on the best water, at the best times, with the best equipment humanly possible to give our guests the best chance to catch fish in any situation,” Smith said. The lodges are handpicked for quality and aesthetics, with front-end travel planning provided by a partner company, LOL Argentina, based in the capital Buenos Aires. Good food and comfortable beds are a must, as days are long, with many river and road miles, and some fishing days ending in the dark. PRG’s northern operation has an adventurous and pioneering feel to its daily operations. PRG North manager and partner Alex Knull helps organize guest journeys through his hometown region with anglers typically moving river locations daily, and new lodging every couple of nights. Knull and his guides grew up fishing this region together,

and a trip with them is like having a good friend show you his secret fishing holes, taking all of the back roads to get there. PRG North is based out of San Martín de los Andes, an area rich with history, towering volcanoes, vast open landscapes and massive estancias. Locals have a passion for the outdoors—summers and falls are spent chasing fish or hunting, and winter months revolve around the ski mountains. Anglers quickly find that a trip to northern Patagonia is much more than a fishing adventure, it’s an experience where you’ll share fields with red deer stags, learn the ways of the gaucho lifestyle and cultivate a deep respect for the land. Though initially we wondered how we would fare on a 10-day fly-fishing intensive, we soon learned it was just enough time to start to feel the pulse of the culture and perfect our casts. A typical day on the river includes wading or floating in the clear waters of rivers like the Malleo, Chimehuin or Caleufu, with the 12,388foot snow-capped Lanín volcano hovering over you. It’s easy to get spoiled fishing these rivers, as trout average 16 inches in length, with most hard-fighting rainbows approaching 20 inches. The elusive Patagonia brown trout is what legends are made of, and one perfect cast can turn a good trip into an unforgettable one. Elaborate riverside lunches are an Argentine tradition, with a gourmet spread of homemade breads, salamis and “vino tinto” as guests swap stories with guides. You won’t go hungry in Argentina, I promise. Our first stop was at the relatively new and cozy Northern Patagonia Lodge, overlooking the Chimehuin River. With a large deck and wood-fired hot tub, the offgrid lodge is a perfect place to begin planning your adventures. Treichel tied on the famous Patagonia “bicho” dry fly and within minutes a beautiful brown trout shattered the surface of the water. The lodge also offers nonfishing activities, including an hour walk to the breathtaking Lago Huechulafquen, which is more than 19 miles long and one of the birthplaces of Argentina fly fishing. >>

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

135


OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO

Clockwise from top left: Searching for big browns in the deep waters of the Frey River; an asado is a quintessential Argentina dining experience; camping on the Limay River; guide Hernan Zorzit shows off a trophy brown trout.

136

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


ADVENTURE: PATAGONIA

Guides prepare for a day on the river at Estancia Quemquemtreu.

Moving on to an estancia called Quemquemtreu—a working ranch of nearly 200,000 acres— homemade jams, breads and farm-fresh milk and yogurts greeted us each morning. Quemquemtreu is located deep in a pristine countryside, at the end of a long dirt road lined with tall poplar trees that leads to a compound of cabins and barns built in the 1920s. In the mornings, guests move slowly while shaking off the late-night dinners of ranch-raised beef and empanadas, paired with endless bottles of regional malbecs. Guides gather on the tailgates of their Toyota Hilux diesel trucks, sipping yerba mate and divvying up the endless river miles that flank three sides of the historic estancia. Ranch managers Paula and Mauricio Zimmerman, have an elegant efficiency that has earned them a nearly 90-percent return guest ratio. Our guide Hernan Zorzit led a hunt-and-stalk fishing expedition at Quemquemtreu, taking us on side channels of the Collón Curá River, where brown trout get trapped in seasonal pools and become desperately hungry. Hernan introduced us to the downstream stripping technique of fishing minnow patterns, which are prevalent on this river in the fall. With one good cast, a 6-pound brown burst from a shady patch in a coffee-table-sized pool, and the hunt was a success. A signature offering of PRG North is their “unplugged trip,” where guests are driven two hours from the Andes to the open expanses of the Limay River Valley, to float and camp for three days. The Limay is a wide river with a character reminiscent of Montana’s Yellowstone. The deep runs are lined with red sandstone cliffs and the night sky is a planetarium of unfamiliar constellations. Flowing between two large reservoirs, which provide most of the region’s power, this stretch of the Limay promises some of the best chances of hooking a trophy brown over 10 pounds, while enjoying a safari-like camping experience. Waking up riverside in a spacious tent, wrapped in a down comforter on top of a padded cot is a great way to slow down time and immerse yourself in this landscape. PRG provides all the amenities a guest might want, including hot showers, and steak dinners cooked by chef and retired extreme skier, Estanislao “Tato” Vasiuk.   Sunrise on the Limay can be a living work of art, the sky painted red and orange, while birds and fish frolic in the eddy lines. Our days began with the PRG crew waking us up by singing along with their favorite Cuban music while rigging rods and loading up boats. The riffles regularly produced 18-inch rainbows and kept anglers busy between working the deeper channels for larger browns. >>

What to know before you go Population density Argentina’s population is just over 40 million, with more than half of residents living in the Buenos Aires area. The Patagonia region stretches across both Argentina and Chile, is 402,700 square miles, and with five people per square mile, is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the world.

What is an Asado? “Asado” translates to “roast” in English and is a traditional way of preparing food over an open grill called a “parrilla.” An asado usually consists of beef, sausages, short ribs, and often other meats, including sweetbreads. The meat is sometimes skewered on a metal frame called an “asador” and roasted next to a slow-burning fire. Huge herds of wild cattle roamed much of Argentina’s pampa region until the mid-19th century, and gauchos there favored cooking asado with the wood

Yerba mate (yer-bah MAH-tay) Made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of a shrub in the holly family, for centuries South America’s Aché Guayakí

of the quebracho tree because it produces very little smoke. Accompanied by mate tea, asado formed the basis of the gaucho diet and is now cooked for guests at most lodges and restaurants.

tribe have sipped yerba mate from a gourd for its stimulating effects. The tea is drank socially in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil, and it’s estimated that more than 90 percent of Argentines drink yerba mate.

Malbec One of the original five Bordeaux grape varietals, malbec was brought to Argentina from France and has flourished, becoming uniquely identified with well-priced Argentine wine found on nearly every lunch and dinner table. The

Argentina’s diverse landscape Home to one of the greatest ecosystem diversities in the world, Argentina has 15

Mendoza region is the leading producer of malbec in Argentina making it a great stop for wine lovers to have a Napa Valley-type experience.

continental zones, three oceanic zones, and claims part of Antarctica as part of its territory. This huge ecosystem variety has led to a biological diversity that is among the world’s largest.

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

137


SECTION: SUBHEAD

The next stop on our journey found us at Tres Rios Lodge under a full moon with red stags bugling in the surrounding fields. Tres Rios has embraced the green-energy movement in Argentina, and use wind and solar power to run the quaint and elegant lodge. The chef’s homemade lamb ravioli helped fuel dinner table stories from Oklahoma anglers and longtime friends Mark DeHart and Larry Brown. Tres Rios is a great location to attack a few different rivers, including the Chimeuin and Collón Curá. Both can yield great dry-fly hatches with endless beds, pools and riffles to court trout. Patagonia has attracted top anglers from around the world, as well as visits from dignitaries like President

Llao Llao Hotel and Resort

While you’re in Argentina At the famous Llao Llao Hotel and Resort in Bariloche, sip tea on the porch, swim in the infinity pool overlooking the Andes, enjoy firstclass service in the Restaurant Patagonia, and kayak around Lake Moreno.

Nestled in a valley on the shores of Lake Lácar, the small mountain town of San Martín de los Andes boasts European charm, physically active people, sporting goods stores and coffee shops. Be sure to stop at the Georg museum and eat at Almacén de Flores.

A stunning drive from San Martín de los Andes to Bariloche, the Road of the Seven Lakes can be traveled one-way in under three hours, but a full day is recommended to enjoy all of the sights. Stop at the numerous lookouts for photos, and be sure to hike to Nevinco Falls. Buenos Aires is a big city with big heart, and there are many sights to see in the Argentine capital. Be sure to visit La Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón—the former first lady and actress, also known as Evita—is buried, along with past Argentine presidents and Nobel Prize winners. The Teatro Colón is considered one of the finest opera houses in the world, and there are endless choices of tango theaters and restaurants to entertain you throughout the city.

138

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


ADVENTURE: PATAGONIA

Dwight D. Eisenhower. Estancia Arroyo Verde was one stop for the former president, and its 20,000 acres of property is stunning, with towering stone outcroppings flanking both sides of its valleys. For 80 years, the Larivière family have owned and operated this ranch within Nahuel Huapi National Park, and it offers polished European hospitality and more than 10 miles of exclusive access the Traful River. Our guide Alex stalked fish by scaling boulders and climbing to ledges 30 feet above the clear pools to sight cast for trophies. Savvy salmon and large trout inhabit these waters and anglers with a polished cast and patience will love this river.

“ ...the visual beauty

of this country’s rivers, mountains and pampas is only rivaled by the grace, humility and good nature of the people who call it home.”

During our final day of fishing, I ventured off with guide Peter Treichel for a float on the Chimeuin River, a stream similar in size to my hometown Gallatin River in Montana. At the put-in, Treichel peered over the river and noticed a small mayfly hatch beginning. He tied on a size-20 dry fly, and we slowly approached each pool and riffle. “Moving slow will pay off on days like today,” Treichel said. We let a few other anxious anglers get ahead of us, which is usually taboo on stateside rivers, as more fishermen downstream disturbing the waters often results in fewer fish. Patience paid off—as we inched our way down the stream nearly every seam produced some action. On the final bend we encountered our Oklahoma friends, and Larry instantly hooked into the fish of the day, a beautiful 20inch rainbow. It just happened to be his birthday, and as he fought the fish both boats broke into song, with a Spanish and English blend of “Happy Birthday” filling the canyon air. While the fly fishing in Patagonia is world class, it’s the people you meet along the way, the history you experience at the estancias and lodges, and the unspoiled landscapes that make the journey unforgettable. “We want everyone who leaves to go home and tell their friends that Argentina is an easy country to travel to, and to travel in,” said PRG co-owner Travis Smith. “That it is safe, the food is great, the wine is fantastic, the fishing is amazing, the scenery is unparalleled and that the people are friendly.” There is a lifetime of travel opportunities in Argentina, from wine country in Mendoza and tango lessons in Buenos Aires, to visiting Tierra del Fuego at the far southern reaches of the continent. And the visual beauty of this country’s rivers, mountains and pampas is only rivaled by the grace, humility and good nature of the people who call it home. Occasionally travel can be distilled into just a few unforgettable moments, like that blood orange sunrise over the Limay River. The 8-pound brown trout I lost at the net the day prior, well, that was pretty amazing too, and will likely haunt me for years. Since I didn’t get a photo, it will have to be a fish tale, until my return. OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

139


Authentic Northern Italian Cuisine Extensive Wine List • Happy Hour Private Dining Available • Catering Open 7 days a week 5pm-10pm | 75 Center Lane | Big Sky, MT michaelangelosbigsky.com or call (406) 995-7373 to make a reservation

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & REMODEL Serving Montana, North Dakota, Idaho & Utah granitemtnconst.com | 406.599.8461 view projects at: houzz.com/pro/kurt-gmc/_public

Make it a weekend! August 10 & 11 2nd Annual Big Sky Artisan Festival August 10, 11 & 12 8th Annual Classical Music Festival

Big Sky Artisan Festival August 10 & 11

Classical Music Festival August 10, 11 & 12

Meadow Village Center

WMPAC & Town Center Stage

40 juried artisans who create 2 free outdoor performances in the beautiful works of art in a variety park, 1 ticketed indoor concert, a of mediums; kids activities, food music camp & master classes for trucks and more! Montana teens www.bigskyartisanfestival.com

140

MOUNTAIN

www.bigskyarts.org

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

June 21: Kitchen Dwellers • June 28: Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal July 4: Tiny Band • July 5: Mandolin Orange July 12: Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds • July 19: Polyrhythmics July 26: Shovels and Rope • August 2: Cordovas • August 9: The Elders August 10-12: Big Sky Classical Music Festival August 16: Jeff Austin Band • August 23: The Dustbowl Revival August 30: Pinky and the Floyd

bigskyarts.org


SIP | SAVOR | SLEEP

McAllister Inn mcallistermontana.com

Steakhouse: 406-682-50 0 0 | Lodging: 406-682-5050

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

141


JESS LOCKWOOD IS THE CROWN PRINCE OF PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDING,

RURAL MONTANA ROOTS KEEP A WORLD CHAMPION GROUNDED BY DOUG HARE

Jess Lockwood shows off the coveted PBR World Champion belt buckle he won during the 2017 world finals in Las Vegas.

and his coronation came in Las Vegas at the 2017 PBR World Finals. In front of a raucous crowd, jolting pyrotechnic displays, and lasers beaming from the rafters onto the shimmering dirt of T-Mobile Arena, Lockwood won the first three rounds of six in the world finals, the first rider ever to do so. The performance helped him close a 655-point deficit to earn him a championship golden buckle and the accompanying $1 million prize. At 20 years old, Lockwood became the youngest world champion in PBR’s 24-year history, and just the second bull rider—after Silvano Alves in 2011—to capture the title a season after being named Rookie of the Year. That feat is all the more impressive considering the spate of injuries that Lockwood endured during the 2017 season. Early on, a torn groin muscle kept him out of competition for five weeks, only to get knocked unconscious by a notorious bull named SweetPro’s Bruiser shortly after his return. Bull riding is often called the most dangerous sport on dirt, but that might be an understatement. It’s hard to find a competition on any surface resulting in more injuries, and where the prospect of death is ever-present. A common refrain from the sport’s athletes is: “It’s not ‘if’ you get hurt, it’s ‘when.’” The possible outcomes of a bull ride are many, but the rules of the sport are relatively few. If a rider can keep his mount for eight seconds, keep one arm on the bull rope wrapped around the animal’s chest—without allowing

his free hand to make contact with the animal—his ride qualifies for a score. Qualifying rides are scored by four judges, two awarding points for the rider’s skill and two judging the quality of the bull’s fight. The harder the bull bucks and rolls—the “ranker” the bull— the more points the rider earns. Five weeks before his Las Vegas performance, after getting bucked off and stomped by Blue Magic, Lockwood suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a lacerated kidney at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. After leaving a Long Island hospital, he came down with pneumonia on a cross-country road trip to North Dakota. Three weeks later he was competing again. “[The injury] wasn’t fun, but coming down with pneumonia was probably worse. And when I did come back, I wasn’t in good form,” Lockwood said. “That’s part of bull riding though— dealing with the slumps, pushing on, being tough through it all. Grit, I guess.” Lockwood grew up in the small southeastern Montana town of Volborg, the son of rancher. When he reminisces about his hometown as being little more than “a post office and a few buildings,” you get a sense of the quiet pride he has for the place where he was raised. “Not only do you know everyone in the school, you know everyone in the community,” he said. Remaining in touch with his roots seems to temper a hard-won confidence in his athletic prowess, with a humility that keeps him striving to improve even after reaching the top echelon of his sport. >>

JESSLOC PHOTO BY ANDY WATSON

142

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


O U T L AW SECTION: SUBHEAD

Lockwood puts his game face on during the Big Sky PBR in July 2017.

KWOOD

143 M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO


SECTION: SUBHEAD

“THERE IS NO ADRENALIN RUSH LIKE IT, I DON’T BELIEVE. THERE AREN’T TOO MANY SPORTS WHERE DEATH IS A POSSIBILITY IN AN INSTANT.” Lockwood put up two qualifying rides in Big Sky last summer, taking third place for the weekend.

LIKE MOST OF THE COWBOYS ON THE PBR CIRCUIT,

Lockwood started riding stock when he was young, mounting a calf for the first time at just 2 years old. His father, Ed, was a former saddle bronc champion and his mother, Angie, was a competitive barrel racer. His parents know one of the most beloved characters in bull riding, entertainer Flint Rasmussen. “We forget Jess is just a kid. Think about what we were doing at 19 or 20,” Rasmussen said. “He handles more media in a weekend than most Montanans will in a lifetime. … And he is still just a ranch kid from eastern Montana.” Jess and his younger brother Jake went to high school in the nearby town of Broadus where Lockwood excelled in wrestling, earning a high school state championship at 98 pounds during his freshman year. “That’s where I got my dedication and mindset that help me out so much with riding bulls,” he said. “You can’t rely on teammates—it’s all on you.” Lockwood left school after his sophomore year to pursue his passion full time, while taking online courses in his spare time. After winning two Northern Rodeo Association titles and three Montana high school state championships, he joined the PBR on September 27, 2015, the day he turned 18. Lockwood’s eyes have a quiet intensity. He wears a 100-watt smile most of the time, stands 5-feet 5-inches 144

MOUNTAIN

and weighs only 130 pounds. “Skinny, light, strong,” said the wiry world champ about his ideal physique. “I try to stay as strong as I can without getting too bulky.” His rancher work ethic is evident in his training regimen. “I run a lot. I do core and back strengthening exercises. And I train to improve my balance. Bull riding—it’s mostly about balance.” When describing how it feels to climb on top of a one-ton steer, Lockwood said, “There is no adrenalin rush like it, I don’t believe. There aren’t too many sports where death is a possibility in an instant.” To manage the fear and excitement before bursting out of the chute, Lockwood describes a flow-like state where instinct and muscle memory take over. “You don’t want to be thinking too much when you’re in the chute, too many things could potentially go wrong,” he said. “I’m just trying to clear my mind and let my body takeover.” The spectacle of bull riding is a distilled display of man versus beast, one deeply rooted in the culture of heartland America. To the ever-increasing number of PBR fans, bull riders exemplify the stoic cowboy, the fearless gladiator, the rock star, and the elite athlete wrapped up in one package. While bull riding has a long history throughout the Western Hemisphere, the PBR was founded when 20 bull riders broke away from the traditional rodeo

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Above: OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTOS


OUTLAW: JESS LOCKWOOD The cameras couldn’t get enough of Lockwood during his historic 2017 season.

circuit in 1992, each ponying up a $1,000-investment to fund the nascent sport. At the time, there were some rodeo competitors who thought of bull riders as unskilled daredevils, lacking the rope skills or horsemanship to compete in equine events. CBS Sports has aired nationally televised broadcasts of PBR events for nearly a decade, and with the 2015 buyout of Professional Bull Riders, Inc. by superagency WEI/ IMG—now known as Endeavor— bull riding has become one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and a global phenomenon with tours in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. If you were one of the 20 cowboys who had the guts to gamble on bull riding as a standalone event, your share would be worth well over $4 million today. The consensus on the tour is that Lockwood has yet to reach his full potential, and he has no shortage of ambition. “In a perfect world, I would win the next five world titles, and hopefully retire by 27 years old—and be smart with my money and buy more cattle,” he said. The record for the most PBR world championship titles is three, shared by Brazilians Adriano Moraes and Silvano Alves. Even the legendary J.B. Mauney, the all-time career money earner in bull riding, has only two championship buckles to his name. Listening to a kid who can’t legally buy a beer talk about retiring might sound strange, but bull riding is one sport where it’s best to go out on top. With Lockwood’s determination and preternatural abilities, it will take more than a few broken ribs and a cough to keep the heir apparent to bull-riding royalty from achieving his ambitious goals. At 20 years old, Jess Lockwood was crowned the youngest PBR World Champion in the sport’s history, earning himself $1 million in prize money. PHOTO BY MATT BRENEMAN

M T O U T L AW. C O M / MOUNTAIN

145


LAST LIGHT SECTION: SUBHEAD

Finding a unique view of Wyoming’s majestic Tetons can be challenging yet highly rewarding. I give full credit to my wife, Katie, who found this scene while on a horseback ride. The following morning, we watched the diffused orange light illuminate the Teton Range as a new day began. PHOTO BY CHRIS D’ARDENNE

146

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M


GENERAL CONTRACTING, TIMBER & CABINET WORKS MT: 406.586.1500 | WY: 307.733.0733 ONSITEMANAGEMENT.COM


SECTION: SUBHEAD

148

MOUNTAIN

/ M T O U T L AW. C O M

Profile for Outlaw Partners

2018 Summer Mountain Outlaw  

With award-winning editorial content, design and photography, Mountain Outlaw magazine has been described as “Powder Magazine meets Rolling...

2018 Summer Mountain Outlaw  

With award-winning editorial content, design and photography, Mountain Outlaw magazine has been described as “Powder Magazine meets Rolling...