Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Common Thread by JW Westman

Having just returned back into the supposedly world of civilization, after spending a week in the wildest of the Bob, that wild that only Montana can and still does offer, I find the Wild Swan Crest and Little Salmon Drainage offers more than a big checkbook and comforts of life.
It was here, a place I haven’t visited in more than 30 years, that I once again found a true meaning and contentment like the very first time I visited, it seeps into the body and mind like the cold night air. Into the realm of the wolverine and lynx; if nothing more than tracks in the mud, those tracks made me realize we must speak and speak boldly for these inherent values so often forgotten in today’s world.
The Swan Crest, home to a host of critters that not only capture our imagination but feed our inner being itself. The grizzly, the elk, the mountain goats and a whole host of bird life. While at Palisade Lake, two bald eagles were, what appeared to be nothing more than enjoying life while swooping, gliding and diving after using the thermals to rise high against the rock face of Oreamnos Mountain. Let’s also remember those west slope cutthroat and bull trout finning those cold waters of Owl Lake, Little Salmon and Lion Creek. These fish are throwbacks to the ice-age and comprise the most genetically pure stock of any other place, ahhh....Montana.
I took a lot of my conservation ethic from old friend Bud Moore, Jim Posewitz, TR, Aldo Leopold, my father and my Grandmother who lived in three different centuries; from 1898 -- 2002 when she died at 104. I still remember her saying we are doing things to our lands, waters and critters that will harm them a great deal; Grandmother you were so right as you always were, you didn’t have fancy words and phrases but you had wisdom from the head, heart and gut. When one values these places and critters, one bites really hard when they protect them, to those who care -- bite hard!

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