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Mountain Journal

Remember 2018 When 'Creative Destruction' Leveled A Bozeman Trailer Park To Create 'More Prosperity'?

Four years later, Tim Crawford wonders how much empathy the new Bozeman has for those that prosperity sent packing. EDITOR'S NOTE: This column by T.H Crawford appeared originally in spring 2018 and was written by him in response to the demolition of a trailer park that was turned into condo/town houses whose values were well beyond the reach of longtime working class citizens. That gap accelerated in the wake of Covid arriving in 2020. Some of the inhabitants of the trailer park were single parents raising kids, elderly and people with disabilities. Nowhere, be it in Bozeman, Big Sky, Jackson, Wyo or Teton Valley, Idaho is there any indication that the free-market, even as the construction industry seeks less regulation, is appreciably making a positive impact in addressing the growing affordable housing crisis. Rather, the free market has only made it worse, observers say. MoJo is sharing Crawford's column again because it is more timely than when it was presciently written. As he says, Bozeman's "community visioning" process initiated by local government has proved to be a failure.
BOZEMAN, MT
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The Fierce Spirit Of Painter AD Maddox

She goes by AD, short for Amelia Drane Maddox, born in Nashville, Tennessee. But in spirit, AD Maddox has an extroverted presence matched by an introvert's intense focus on making art that impacts our senses. As she says, making fine art isn't a team sport and now, past the half century mark in age and at the height of her creative powers, painting for long hours on end is her favorite muse.
LIVINGSTON, MT
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Anatomy Of A Wake-Up Call: The Wealthy Need To Support Conservation

Tom Spruance, conservative businessman, describes what motivated him to speak up and try to protect the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. He says others need to, too. EDITOR'S NOTE: The following essay appears as a prologue to Todd Wilkinson's new book, Ripple Effects: How to Save Yellowstone and America's Most Iconic Wildlife Ecosystem. The piece also appears in the new free print edition of Outlaw Magazine magazine now on newsstands throughout the Greater Yellowstone region.
ENVIRONMENT

Unthinkable Disaster: Sweep Of Yellowstone Likely Closed To Tourism For Remainder of 2022

Park Supt. Cam Sholly says damage caused by roaring rivers to roads puts northern part of park out of commission just as busy 150th anniversary/summer season getting under way. For the first time in its storied history and in a celebratory milestone year marking its 150th birthday, Yellowstone National Park has been knocked out of commission by a weather-related natural disaster.

Wildlands Festival: A 'Farm Aid' For Last, Best Wildlife Ecosystem In Lower 48?

Indigo Girls, Lukas Nelson, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and friends coming to play benefit for protecting Greater Yellowstone's wildlife, wildlands and connection to nature. In the American West, cowboys have long been portrayed as arch-hero underdogs for whom it’s easy to cheer. And owed to the past, there is almost a universal sense of respect for local agrarians who grow healthy food and safekeep lands often situated at the center of community identity. During the mid 1980s, hearing of the plight of mom and pop farmers struggling to survive, musician Willie Nelson and a group of big-hearted fellow performers came together and staged Farm Aid as a benefit concert.
BIG SKY, MT

Bozeman’s Affordable Housing Crisis Tied To Newcomers And Wall Street

Calling a time out on the boom: two former mayors from one of the fastest-growing small cities in America want temporary moratorium on new housing development. EDITOR'S NOTE: Some members of the Bozeman City Commission and lobbyists for the building industry claim that weakening regulations and allowing aggressive infill in favor of the free market will cure Bozeman's deepening affordable housing crisis. But two former mayors in the op-ed below say it's actually caused by a myriad of factors, including the city's inability to deal with growth at the north end of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, speculative real estate and a planning department that is both overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with the unprecedented boom transforming both Bozeman and Gallatin County, Montana. Affordable housing challenges in Bozeman and Big Sky are spilling over into neighboring valleys and they are equally dire in Jackson Hole and Teton Valley, Idaho. Steve Kirchhoff, known for being a political progressive, served one term as mayor of Bozeman and was on the city commission from 1999 to 2007. Jeff Krauss, known as a libertarian and conservative, served three terms as Bozeman mayor and was on the commission from 2004 to 2020.
BOZEMAN, MT

Peacock The Firebrand Asks: Is Fighting For Wild Earth Worth It?

Doug Peacock battles for grizzly conservation, inspired an Ed Abbey character and served as a Green Beret medic in Vietnam. His new memoir is perfect read for summer. HAD DOUG PEACOCK BEEN INTERESTED IN PENNING A SWAN SONG, it might have happened in 1968 after he returned from the war in Vietnam. As a young Green Beret medic, he arrived back home traumatized, mentally discombobulated and aimless. He was depressed. That was a long time ago and, as one of many crossroads in Peacock’s enigmatic life, it is explored in his provocative, inspiring and challenging new memoir, Was It Worth It? A Wilderness Warrior’s Long Trail Home.
BOOKS & LITERATURE

Please Look Up: Goldens Are In Trouble

They hold aloft in the thermals above us as predators, drifting sometimes over hundreds of square miles of open space in a single afternoon, using keen eyesight to hunt and lock in on prey. Some have the aerial maneuverability of Top Gun fighter pilots; others appearing more nonchalant in their slow soaring above rural fields; still others inhabiting spaces closer to our backyards in town, feeding on squirrels, songbirds and pigeons.
ANIMALS

When Iktomi The Trickster And Original Spider Man Comes A Calling

Lois Red Elk writes a poem about how an ancient spirit pays a visit when we are most vulnerable. Our dear friend, Lois Red Elk, Mountain Journal's poet in residence, is convalescing. She sent along a note to say she misses having contact with all of you—the thousands who have become readers of both her poetry and reflections on the sentient natural world. Let us all wish her well.
WOLF POINT, MT

Juggernaut: Industrial Recreation Deepens Its Tear Across America's Wildlands

Nearly 40 years ago, Bill Hedden along with other citizens, civic leaders, and conservationists in the desert of east-central Utah got a sobering taste of “be careful what you wish for.” With uranium mining and other natural resource extraction jobs on the wane in Canyon and San Juan counties, Hedden remembers the seductive woo of mythological Sirens riding forth on two wheels. Arriving at the doorstep of Moab, they pitched what seemed like an innocuous opportunity for community reinvention.
MOAB, UT

Searching For The 'Other Bob' Behind Dylan

The American West, be it Hollywood or the rural hinters where outlaws dwell, is famous for being a province in which people escape their pasts and court reinvention around new identities. Writer Toby Thompson understands the allure, how breaking away from one's former origins can be a path to becoming free.
LIVINGSTON, MT
Mountain Journal

Life Trails: Reflecting On Paths Taken, Dead Ends And Routes Remembered

I haven’t been writing much lately, and as usual I have excuses, but underlying them all is a bit of a depression. These days we all have good reasons to be fretful, sad, and anxious, and I’m working on striking a balance between acknowledging the feelings and seeking a bit of joy at the same time. I am not always successful.

Greater Yellowstone Tourism Soars With No Limits In Sight

In conclusion of his series on the evolution of mass tourism in the Yellowstone region, Earle Layser wonders why there's no leadership from local politicians and public land managers?. By Earle Layser. With Yellowstone National Park now marking its 150th anniversary, it’s important to note that visitation last year in...
BOZEMAN, MT

Another Colorado Mountain Town Copes With Impacts Of Growing Recreation Pressure On Wildlife

Outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, expanding trails and intensity of use are impacting how elk use the landscape and may be causing their numbers to fall. NOTE: As Mountain Journal's reach and audience have grown, we've enjoyed hearing from readers in other mountain regions (in the West, Canada, Alaska and eastern reaches of the US) concerned about conservation issues shaping their communities. In the piece, below, Larry Desjardin, a longtime resident of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, shares the results of an analysis, based on US Forest Service data, that examines how growing level of outdoor recreation appear to be impacting elk.Steamboat is located in north-central Colorado. Besides holding a downhill ski town with a rich ranching heritage and plenty of public lands around it, Routt County has been place where radio-collared wildlife from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have wandered. In addition to being an expert in modular instrumentation technology, Desjardin is a conservationist, avid outdoor recreationist, sportsman and president of Keep Routt Wild. We believe the piece, below, is worthy of your attention, as fodder for discussion, because it allows for parallel comparison to corners of Greater Yellowstone and beyond dealing with similar questions.

Outdoor Recreation Equals Conservation: Debunking The Myth

A developer's proposal to build a 'glampground' on the banks of the famous Gallatin River stokes controversy and calls messaging used by American conservation groups about recreation into question. Outdoor Recreation and Wildlife Conservation. Section 1: Can We Play Our Way To Better Protecting The Last Best Wild Ecosystem in...
BOZEMAN, MT