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Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Great Old Broads for Wilderness

The Great Old Broads for Wilderness volunteered to work on the Gallatin National Forest’s Lava Lake Trail last Friday. Members of the group include, from left, Suez Jacobson, Helen Kiefer, Donna LaCasse, Nancy Ostlie, JoLynn Jarboe, Laurie Kerr and Di Allison.

16 hours agoLoading…
Leading broads

Leading broads

Shelley Silbert, at left, is the executive director of the Great Old Broads. Rose Chilcoat is the associate director. The two admit that being older and women does carry some advantages when they lobby for wilderness designations.

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N Bar Ranch headquarters

N Bar Ranch headquarters

The N Bar Ranch, owned by the Wilks brothers, is headquartered along Flatwillow Creek in Fergus County.

August 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Farris Wilks

Farris Wilks

Landowners Farris Wilks, left, and John Swanz talk to the Private Land/Public Wildlife Council during a meeting in Lewistown in March.

August 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
N Bar Ranch

N Bar Ranch

The historic N Bar Ranch is located in Fergus County along Flatwillow Creek and at the base of the Little Snowy Mountains. In the background are the Big Snowy Mountains.

August 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Shotgun stand

Shotgun stand

Double-barreled shotguns rest on a stand next to the table where shooters load their weapons before each round.

August 18, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
View from the top

View from the top

A wide, rolling meadow of grass turned golden by the summer sun provides a foreground to the north end of the Crazy Mountains, seen in this view from the top of the Castle Mountains.

August 17, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Old mining town

Old mining town

The old mining town of Castle stands on private land, although it can be viewed from a county road.

August 17, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Backdrop to concert

Backdrop to concert

The Red Ants Pants Music Festival is set in a farmer’s field west of White Sulphur Springs with the Castle Mountains forming a backdrop to the stage.

August 17, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Short hike

Short hike

A short hike up from Richardson Creek provides access to this large meadow. The trail in the foreground drops down to Grasshopper Creek. The trail is on the north side of the Castle Mountains.

August 17, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Soda Butte Creek

Soda Butte Creek

Soda Butte Creek flows from just outside of Cooke City in the Beartooth Mountains into Yellowstone National Park, where it is one of the tributaries to the Lamar River.

August 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Yellowstone cutthroat trout

Yellowstone cutthroat trout

Protecting Yellowstone cutthroat trout habitat in Soda Butte Creek may mean removing all brook trout via poison.

August 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Stained rocks

Stained rocks

Stained rocks are one of the most visible relics of the heavy iron content that old mine tailings leached into Soda Butte Creek.

August 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Old McLaren Mill site

Old McLaren Mill site

This is what the old McLaren Mill site looked like in 2012. This month, work is being done to rehabilitate the site with plantings of grass, trees and shrubs.

August 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Blister card

Blister card

Sizable blisters on a fellow hiker’s foot like this one kept French from playing the sympathy card.

August 14, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Tough pack

Tough pack

Cabela’s 100 liter XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear) internal frame backpack took a beating while hauling a heavy load.

August 14, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Rapid water

Rapid water

The view of the Yellowstone River from the suspension bridge near the Hellroaring Creek trailhead highlights the difficult terrain and rapids below where a Georgia man went missing on Monday.

August 12, 2014 3:00 pmLoading…
Traffic delays

Traffic delays

Cars are backed up at Long Lake last year as traffic narrowed to one lane as the bridge across the lake's outlet was being rebuilt.

August 12, 2014 1:30 pmLoading…
Goat bids

Goat bids

Two chapters of Safari Club International squared off at the Fish and Wildlife Commission hearing on Thursday in a bidding war for the right to auction off a mountain goat tag.

August 10, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Beargrass path

Beargrass path

Scott Bosse carries his backpack down the Lodgepole Creek Trail into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, one of many beautiful tracts of federal land in Montana.

August 03, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Meadow Creek Gorge

Meadow Creek Gorge

Far below a pack bridge, the South Fork of the Flathead River courses through a narrow gorge. The bridge was a good spot for Jared White to pose for a photo with his fellow packrafters last week.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Rocky portage

Rocky portage

Jared White, Erin Madison and Bill Cunningham walk their boats around a log jam on the South Fork of the Flathead River in mid-July.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Takeout sign

Takeout sign

Easily missed by some boaters, the take out here sign signals the start of the 4-mile-long Meadow Creek Gorge which contains rapids rated for advanced or expert boaters only.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Loaded boat

Loaded boat

Jared White steers past whitewater during the fourth day of his five day trip down the South Fork of the Flathead River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. His pack is lashed to the front of his boat to somewhat counterbalance his weight in the back.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Hiking in

Hiking in

A hiker pulls his kayak up the trail to the head of Meadow Creek Gorge for a wild ride down the whitewater stretch of river.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Busy intersection

Busy intersection

Scott Bosse paddles upstream to reach a rendezvous with his fellow boaters during a five-day trip into the wilderness section of the South Fork of the Flathead River. Other packrafters, not with Bosse, get ready to depart in the background.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Dusty trail

Dusty trail

Dust from the trail darkens Jared White’s calves above his sock line after he changed footwear to cross Youngs Creek.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
The start

The start

After Babcock and Jenny creeks joined to form Youngs Creek, packrafters inflated their boats and lashed their packs to the rafts to begin their float. They went only about 80 yards before having to portage around the first of many log jams.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Fishing stop

Fishing stop

Chris Solomon casts to westslope cutthroat trout rising in a wooded bend of the South Fork of the Flathead River.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Inflation

Inflation

Packrafts are inflated by a fabric bag from which the air is squeezed, as Bill Cunningham demonstrates. Once nearly full, the rafts are tightened by blowing into separate valves.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Drying out

Drying out

Packrafting can be a wet ride on splashy water. Erin Madison dries her damp clothing out at camp in a well-positioned pine tree.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Toy boats

Toy boats

Although small, packrafts are incredibly durable and well-engineered for their task. Left to right Erin Madison, Bill Cunningham and Jared White enjoy a leisurely section of the South Fork of the Flathead River below the Big Prairie pack bridge.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Portage

Portage

By lashing his backpack to the packraft with the shoulder straps up, packrafter Scott Bosse of Bozeman hauls his boat and pack in one piece. Chris Solomon, at right, chose to take his pack off the boat for this portage.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Calm stretch

Calm stretch

Wildland fires have scorched many stands of trees along the South Fork of the Flathead River, providing an eerie backdrop to Jared White’s float.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Log jam

Log jam

Log jams are the most frequent cause of portages on the South Fork of the Flathead River. This one is just below Gordon Creek, a popular put in for boaters packing in from Holland Lake.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Spray skirt

Spray skirt

A spray skirt and inflatable seat cushion help keep packrafters drier and more comfortable as they float.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
South Fork

South Fork

The South Fork of the Flathead River is born in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and flows into Hungry Horse Reservoir near the town of Columbia Falls.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Cool, clean water

Cool, clean water

Wilderness areas protect watersheds vital to agriculture, communities and fisheries.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Photo op

Photo op

Bill Cunningham poses members of his packrafting trip for a photo at the takeout above Meadow Creek Gorge.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Loading up

Loading up

After a 70-mile trip through the Bob Marshall Wilderness earlier this month, Bill Cunningham loads up his pack for a shuttle ride from the trailhead.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Morning wade

Morning wade

With his hiking boots hanging around his neck, Cunningham wades through Youngs Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, followed by Erin Madison.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Dinner with a view

Dinner with a view

After two hard days of hiking and packrafting, Cunningham takes a dinner break along the banks of Youngs Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Map study

Map study

Studying a topographic map and his GPS, Cunningham relaxes in a meadow below Hole in the Wall Cave. 

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Daybreak

Daybreak

The sun breaks over the rim of the mountains along the South Fork of the Sun River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness earlier this month.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Mule deer

Mule deer

Wilderness areas are important habitat for species like this mule deer doe, as well as elk, grizzly and black bears.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Lunch break

Lunch break

With a mustard packet in one hand and some turkey jerky in the other, Cunningham takes a break for a lunchtime snack along the Youngs Pass trail.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Tiny boat

Tiny boat

Folded into a tiny packraft, Cunningham starts out his 56-mile float on the South Fork of the Flathead River drainage by launching on Youngs Creek with fellow packrafter Chris Solomon.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Big Salmon Lake

Big Salmon Lake

Big Salmon Lake is the largest lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Peaks from the Swan Range loom in the background.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Wildflowers and smoke

Wildflowers and smoke

Wildflowers bloom in an avalanche chute in the Bob Marshall Wilderness as a haze of wildland fire smoke hangs over the mountain tops.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Youngs Creek

Youngs Creek

Youngs Creek provided cool relief to Cunningham and his fellow backpackers as they trekked into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

July 31, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

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