Bob Quinn, fourth-generation farmer, graduated with a PhD in plant biochemistry from the University of California-Davis in 1976. He chose not to sue his neighbor when his organic crops were contaminated by drift. PHOTO BY GABBY FRIEDLANDER | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Dealing with drift

ON A BREEZY MAY DAY in 2008, Daryl and Linda Lassila were doing what they do most spring days: yard work. The Lassilas are farmers, so once the snow has disappeared and the soil begins to warm, they are almost always outside getting their land prepped for planting.

Story by Jenny Gessaman | Staff Writer

Return of the buffalo

A JOURNEY OF REDEMPTION and restoration is rising out of the foothills of northern Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front. Tribal nations in the U.S. and Canada see a connection between the health of their communities and the restoration of buffalo, and have been working to bring herds back to both tribal and public land. The Blackfeet Nation is leading the way.

Story by Louise Johns | Photo Editor

On the line

ON JULY 18, 2017, a storm rolled through Seeley Lake, Montana. The clouds churned and lightning flashed, momentarily illuminating the peaks of the scenic Swan Mountains east of Highway 83. The valley had experienced an early, hot summer, and when a lightning bolt struck Rice Ridge, it sparked a forest fire Bob Vanden Heuvel will never forget.

Story by Keith Szudarski | Staff Writer

At the Crossroads

WHEN WILLIAM ALLEN RETURNED to the Crossroads Correctional Center (CCC) in 2009 from a California prison, he was shocked by what he found: religious restrictions on sweat lodges and retaliation for speaking out against prison administration. Two cavities abscessed when Allen was forced to wait months for dental treatment, he said, and the correctional officers no longer acted

Story by LJ Dawson | Staff Writer

College in an education desert

STUDENTS POUR INTO THE HALLS of Thompson Falls High School every 45 minutes, seven times a day, five days a week. Through a gauntlet of blue lockers, slow streams of teenagers flow in opposite directions as they navigate toward class. Several of these students find their way to the Learning Center, the only place in town where high-speed internet is reliable enough to take online courses.

Story by Hannah Kearse | Staff Writer

Mussels be dammed

THE RUMBLE OF THE TURBINES inside the inner workings of Séliš Ksanka Ql’ispé (SKQ) Dam is so loud, it’s hard to hear anyone speak. Brian Lipscomb raises his voice above the clamor to explain how the dam’s turbines are cleaned and maintained.

Story by Heather Fraley | Senior Editor

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