Scenic Montana county with exploding population seeks $10-million from voters-

Whenever I visit the area, I try to take a few photos of the disappearing rural countryside.

Story: Flathead open space bond on ballot. By Michael Jamison of the Missoulian

The disappearing rural landscape of Flathead County. Photo taken Sept. 2008 a few miles south of Kalispell, Montana. Copyright Ralph Maughan

The disappearing rural landscape of Flathead County. Photo taken Sept. 2008 a few miles south of Kalispell, Montana. Copyright Ralph Maughan

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

6 Responses to Flathead County, Montana to consider large bond to conserve open space

  1. Mike says:

    I drove through Kalispell this year and was shocked at how poorly planned and developed that city is. In fact, the whole section of 93 from Kalispell to Darby is quite sad.

  2. I agree Mike. It is basically sprawl from Darby, Montana a couple hundred miles north to the border of British Columbia.

    You can tell when you are approaching customs — the trophy homes built randomly along the highway come to an end. Once in B.C., all that ugly development immediately disappears.

    This is one reason why the economy is in the toilet. An economy has to do something besides build homes for the relatively well off (or at least those who could secure some kind of mortgage).

  3. Mike says:

    Nice pic BTW. Did you get a chance to head into Glacier? Amazing colors on the east side this fall. Lots and lots of bear activity.

    Good point about the economy. It seems the only thing keeping it afloat was the housing market. That’s a hollow shell.

  4. Mike,

    No. I didn’t go to Glacier. I went up to Fernie, BC and down into the headwaters of the North Fork of the Flathead. I wanted to see where the big coal pit mine would be.

    Then I went north and explored around the Bull River.

  5. Barb says:

    Beautiful photo!

    The really sad part is often the developers put in horrendous suburban sprawl for everyone else (to line their pockets), then they go find the beautiful land (that’s left) to live on themselves.

  6. John says:

    Open fields…ahhh… such a calming picture.


October 2008


‎"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