I haven’t posted on this before, although debating and planning for this has gone on for years. Yesterday, however, it came to fruition. The old Milltown Dam near Missoula was breached and two very important rivers were made free-flowing again.

There was some positive rhetoric from the politicians. “Sen. Max Baucus, Sen. Jon Tester and other officials told the crowd that the Milltown project represented Montana’s shift from an extraction to a restoration economy, creating jobs that protect the environment and use the state’s natural resources in sustainable ways rather than plundering them.” . . . Missoulian.

Into the breach – Clark Fork, Blackfoot rivers punch through Milltown Dam. By John Cramer. The Missoulian

Some folks may have seen the popular movie, A River Runs through It. It centered on the “Big Blackfoot” river, but was mostly shot on the Gallatin River as a standin because of the damage done to the Big Blackfoot over the years.

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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