In an unprecedented show of unity, 40 Montana writers created original essays and testimonies advocating for support of public lands, and for Rob Quist in the May 25 special election.
In rapid-response fashion, the writers contributed to the anthology, "We Take Our Stand: Montana Writers Protecting Public Lands to Support Democratic Congressional Candidate Rob Quist," who is running for the open seat vacated when former congressman Ryan Zinke became Interior secretary.
Produced by author Rick Bass and edited by Seabring Davis and Brian Schott, the anthology will be inserted into three state newspapers as a 24-page tabloid that will be distributed to nearly 35,000 subscribers in the southwest and northwest portions of Montana this Sunday.
Copies will also be distributed at Quist events with Sen. Bernie Sanders in Missoula and Bozeman. The project was privately funded by the writers and other concerned citizens who oppose Republican Greg Gianforte and the Republican agenda for public lands. In two frenzied weeks the team raised nearly $10,000 to design, print and insert the anthology.
A press release states that "recent attempts at public lands transfer into private ownership under the Republican administration prompted Bass to rally fellow writers in this unprecedented outcry of endorsement."
"The land is under imminent threat. Our public lands are in grave danger. This is the extraordinary catalyst that drew this movement together in such short order," Bass said.
Featured contributors include James Lee Burke, Tom McGuane, Doug Peacock and science writer David Quaamen, former poet laureates and a congressman, novelists, artists and outfitters — all sharing the common desire to preserve public access to public lands.
The full list of contributing writers, accompanied by images from photographers Steven Gnam and Tom Murphy includes: Rick Bass, Sandra Alcosser, Marc Beaudin, David Brooks, James Lee Burke, Kevin Canty, Russell Chatham, Nancy S. Cook, Seabring Davis, Chris Dombrowski, David James Duncan, Cristina Eisenberg, Tess Fahlgren, Amanda Fortini, Jessie Grossman, Tami Haaland, Max Hjortsberg, Matt Holloway, Lowell Jaeger, Allen Morris Jones, Greg Keeler, Walter Kirn, Tim Linehan, Ben Long, Tom McGuane, Scott McMillion, Miles Nolte, Andrea Peacock, Doug Peacock, David Quammen, Shann Ray, Russell Rowland, Brian Schott, Robert Stubblefield, Todd Tanner, Toby Thompson, Carter G. Walker, Alan Weltzien, Richard Wheeler, Todd Wilkinson, Louisa Willcox and Pat Williams.
The essays and a pdf of the tabloid are also available online at www.wetakeourstand.org.