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‘Unbroken Wilderness:’ The Quest To Save The Wild Gallatins

For this American mountain range vital to Yellowstone's world-class wildlife, Bart Koehler reflects on why protecting it is one of the most important conservation issues in the West

Quadrant Mountain speaks to the rugged untamed character of the Gallatins near Gardiner, Montana.  Ahead, looking south, the Tetons in Jackson Hole 150 miles away break through the clouds. Behind, the Gallatins leave Yellowstone Park and stretch without a road crossing them for dozens of miles until reaching the Gallatin Valley. What's the value of a wild mountain range, defined by incomparable wildlife in the 21st century?  Photo courtesy Chris Boyer (kestrelaerial.com)
Quadrant Mountain speaks to the rugged untamed character of the Gallatins near Gardiner, Montana. Ahead, looking south, the Tetons in Jackson Hole 150 miles away break through the clouds. Behind, the Gallatins leave Yellowstone Park and stretch without a road crossing them for dozens of miles until reaching the Gallatin Valley. What's the value of a wild mountain range, defined by incomparable wildlife in the 21st century? Photo courtesy Chris Boyer (kestrelaerial.com)

Part One

By Todd Wilkinson

When Bart Koehler pulled off of US Highway 191 and turned east toward the trailhead, he wasn’t toting a guitar. He sported a King Ropes trucker hat and whistled the melody of a new tune. The modern ballad he’d been composing in his head would soon be debuted by his Country Western/folk band “Coyote Angels.” 

 He shared the lyrics and chorus as he gazed toward green ridges and the curving pathway of a creek that fell out of snow-covered mountains: 

 Ridin’ my old Appaloosa 
There’s one thing I know for darn sure 
When it comes to the change of the seasons
Elk Valley will always endure 

And I sing for the Wild Heart; 
The Wild Heart; 
I sing for the wild heart of the range. 

“Elk Valley,” he said, was an anonym for what lay before him—the twisting expanse of the Porcupine Creek drainage. 

Historically, after wapiti had been nearly wiped out by market hunters in the West, this terrain served as a sanctuary of sorts for the Gallatin Elk Herd that was known and beloved even by Theodore Roosevelt. 

Playing gigs as a crooner was rare weekend entertainment for Koehler. By his 60-hour work weeks, he was a professional conservationist. His area of expertise had, even by then, earned him a national reputation as a firebrand. He had helped spearhead several successful campaigns to get American federal public lands elevated to full protection as wilderness. Up in Alaska, he also had toiled to prevent biologically-rich old-growth trees on the Tongass National Forest from being toppled by timber and paper companies—subsidized at taxpayer expense— and then sold at discounted prices.

Only a few months earlier, he had arrived in Bozeman, recruited as part of a special assignment for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and its allies. His task: building public and Congressional support for a series of complicated land trades in the Gallatin Mountains: a range jutting through two states—Wyoming and Montana—that begins in Yellowstone National Park and extends 75 miles to the edge of the Gallatin Valley encircling Bozeman. 

As Koehler’s song alluded, he thought of the Porcupine as the Gallatins’ “wild heart.” Back then, in 1993, when Koehler stepped out of his pick-up, the circumstances were urgent and potentially dire. 

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was at hand to prevent the Gallatins from becoming heavily logged and peppered with residential development built for wealthy homeowners as was then happening directly across Highway 191 in Big Sky beneath the loom of Lone Mountain. 

At the bottom of the Porcupine where he stood, the possibility had even been floated of putting in a golf course. Were it ever to materialize, one would be able to tee off into higher-elevation fairways with the backdrop of jagged summits and with exotic manicured grasses supplanting game trails where grizzlies and members of the Gallatin Herd still grazed and where cow elk gave birth to their calves.

The previous autumn, a motion picture had hit the big screen, a movie adaptation of Norman Maclean’s novella, A River Runs Through It produced by Robert Redford and starring among other actors, a young Brad Pitt. The film not only instantly popularized fly-fishing, but inspired a rush of well-to-do outsiders coming to Montana looking for land where they could secure their casting fantasy. 

Koehler and his colleagues knew they faced a race against time. For purposes of full disclosure, Koehler on that morning 27 years ago set out with a topo map in hand, and as he whistled his fresh tune, a young reporter tagged along with him into the Porcupine. A year later, the same journalist joined him on a trek into another nearby drainage, the Buffalo Horn—also a wildlife stronghold located just to the south and next to US Highway 191. 

That writer in Koehler’s company was me.
Bart Koehler saddled up for a ride into the Porcupine in 1993 with the crest of the Gallatins rising in the distance. Some call the drainage "the Holy Land" for its incredible diversity of wildlife and its role as a corridor for migratory elk and other species moving in and out of nearby Yellowstone National Park.  Photo courtesy Bart Koehler
Bart Koehler saddled up for a ride into the Porcupine in 1993 with the crest of the Gallatins rising in the distance. Some call the drainage "the Holy Land" for its incredible diversity of wildlife and its role as a corridor for migratory elk and other species moving in and out of nearby Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy Bart Koehler
Today, the Custer Gallatin National Forest is nearing final stages of a new forest-wide management plan, required by law to be prepared at least every 15 years. It lays out top priorities. A huge question now is how much acreage, if any, will Custer Gallatin managers recommend be set aside as Wilderness, the highest land classification possible for public lands.  The Custer Gallatin Forest’s conclusion could be a crucial first step leading to a possible legislative action taken up by Congress which has final authority.

The issue is being closely watched nationally. The principle protagonists are not the usual suspects such as traditional natural resource industrialists on one side battling tree huggers. The conflict is internecine, pitting citizen conservationists concerned about wildlife against outdoor recreationists who want to use the Gallatins as their playground. And nearby is what conservation biologists call “the elephant in the room,”——Big Sky—the one time semi-quaint downhill ski resort destination that each day more closely resembles a large development complex like one would find in the Colorado Rockies.

In more than 40 years of  activism, Koehler has walked in the canopy of half millennial-old giant spruce and hemlocks, sparing them from circular saws, seen wild salmon spawn in ancient streams fed by post-Pleistocene glaciers, ridden his horse into the most remote corners of the Lower 48 in Wyoming, and camped on redrock mesas where indigenous peoples 500 generations earlier had the same sunset vantage. “I’ve had the privilege of helping to save some remarkable places from being ruined,” he said recently. “And I would put the importance of protecting the Gallatins, especially now, right up there with the best of them.”

Gallatins are only mountains abutting Yellowstone witheout significant wilderness protection.
Gallatins are only mountains abutting Yellowstone witheout significant wilderness protection.
With swelling development pressures in the northwestern tier of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, rising numbers of recreational users, the fact that Bozeman is the fastest-growing micropolitan city in America, more than a billion dollars in new construction happening at Big Sky and with climate change already notching impacts, Koehler sees Wilderness as a chance for citizens, civil servants and elected officials to place a positive bet on the future.

Together with Michael Scott, who oversaw the Northern Rockies Office of the Wilderness Society in Bozeman, Montana decades ago, Koehler was a conservationist the on the front lines in an effort to essentially erase human boundaries drawn across the Gallatins and restore a more holistic conceptualization of their natural qualities. A reader might think of what transpired as a high-stakes chess game played on top of a cartographic checkerboard with the goal making the checkerboard itself disappear. 

The kind of wildlife attributes found in the Gallatins, in particular the Porcupine and Buffalo Horn, Koehler says, are superlative even by the already high standards of globally-recognized wildness that exist in Greater Yellowstone.

The Porcupine is valuable because it’s not topographical rocks and ice, as often pertains to many established Wilderness areas in America but is a wildlife crossroads of undisturbed lower elevation grasslands,  meadows and islands of forest with water flowing through it. If there’s a vision of a wildlife oasis in the Northern Rockies, these western slopes of the Gallatins would be the picture of it. That it’s still intact in the 21st century is a fluky stroke of luck. 

“This wild spot isn’t obscure or in the middle of nowhere. And it isn’t in isolation as an island all by itself surrounded by development. The Gallatins are an important expression of the things we value about Yellowstone Park. Yellowstone is where the movement to protect wild places before they are gone started,” Koehler says. “The Gallatins have all of their original wildlife. Do you realize how rare that is? If you picked up the Gallatins and dropped them in the middle of a plains state, they would instantly be seen and wholly appreciated for what they are—a national treasure distinguished by what lives there.”

After a long pause, he added, “the Gallatins are part of the life-support system of the very first national park on Earth.”
“The Gallatins have all of their original wildlife. Do you realize how rare that is? If you picked up the Gallatins and dropped them in the middle of a plains state, they would instantly be seen and wholly appreciated for what they are—a national treasure distinguished by what lives there. The Gallatins are part of the life-support system of the very first national park on Earth.”  —Bart Koehler
Government wildlife officials and land managers in the early 20th century had long pressed to safeguard the part of the Gallatins—about three dozen linear miles worth— stretching beyond Yellowstone. They had witnessed how the 19thcentury forces of Manifest Destiny rolled across the West leaving a record of decimated native animal populations in its wake. 

One place where native species persisted was Yellowstone; another, owed to the rugged remoteness of terrain and proximity to Yellowstone, were the Montana piece of Gallatins. From Electric Peak northward they represent a wild divide between Paradise Valley on the east and the Gallatin Canyon where busy US. Highway 191 wends along the Gallatin River on the west. Calling them home are grizzlies, wolves, Canada lynx, fisher, wolverines, elk, and bison (all once or still imperiled) along with mountain goats and bighorn sheep, cougars, black bears, moose, mule and white-tailed deer, several kinds of raptors, bobcats, beaver, pikas, amphibians, cold-water native trout and other species classified as indicators of climate change. 

From the moment it was created in 1872, architects of Yellowstone realized the 2.2-million acre park, by itself, was not big enough to sustain the large “charismatic megafauna” that resided there and moved seasonally between high country and lower-lying winter range.  Topographically, geographically, and ecologically, the Gallatins represent a seamless extension of parklike qualities. A key aspect that has been part of their salvation is no highway or other bisecting road was ever built over them, though schemes to do that were proposed. 

Securing durable habitat protection had been also stymied by a relic of frontier history. In the years after the Civil War, the federal government came up with a land giveaway program that incentivized railroads to lay tracks. The iron-rail infrastructure, promoters said, would benefit a growing nation and provide passenger and freight service across the Western interior between cities in the Midwest and the Pacific Coast. The railroads, however, needed wood to build ties and facilities.

As a result, they were handed deed to sections of unclaimed land. A section is 640 acres.  [Yes, those tracts were actually traditional homelands for indigenous peoples, which must be recognized and it’s a topic that will be explored in a future story]. 

The doling out of real estate by the federal government to railroads resulted in creation of a checkerboard pattern—an interspersal of public-private ownership across portions of the West located near railroad lines. Both the Gallatins and Madisons became a mixture of  square sections owned by Burlington Northern and alternating squares that came under the jurisdiction of what is today the Custer-Gallatin National Forest.

In a tale of what could have been, the Forest Service once quietly considered in the 1960s working with Montana Power Company and Burlington Northern Railroad to blaze a road that would have commenced near the present-day 320 Guest Ranch along Highway 191 where the Buffalo Horn trailhead is located. That road, which had the Custer Gallatin Forest’s blessing, would have allowed Burlington Northern to access its unreachable holdings and clearcut vast swaths of trees. It would have enabled  Montana Power to simultaneously build in a power corridor extending over the mountains into Tom Miner Basin that rises above Paradise Valley. And it would have given the Forest Service itself access to public land sections, too, that might have been put out for bid to private logging companies. 

Most importantly, it would have resulted in a road that would have given Big Sky a shortcut to the front door of Yellowstone with that route flanked by thousands of acres of private land that today probably be peppered with tourist guest lodges, trophy homes and yard lights, barking dogs and other suburban trappings. 
From the flanks of Big Sky the Gallatin mountains fill the skyline on the other side of US Highway 191. Had the Porcupine and Buffalo Horn had been acquired, the landscape there could easily have resembled the leapfrog pattern of development in Big Sky. Photo by Todd Wilkinson
From the flanks of Big Sky the Gallatin mountains fill the skyline on the other side of US Highway 191. Had the Porcupine and Buffalo Horn had been acquired, the landscape there could easily have resembled the leapfrog pattern of development in Big Sky. Photo by Todd Wilkinson
Again, miraculously, both the public and private squares in the wild heart of the Gallatins were spared from clearcuts, logging roads and a power corridor. The untrammeled quality of the mountains was always duly noted. In 1977, nine different wild stretches of federal public lands in Montana, encompassing 700,000 acres, were identified through a review process that involved U.S. Sen. Lee Metcalf and federal agencies like the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. They were the focal point in Metcalf’s bill, the Montana Wilderness Study Act, that sought to keep them safeguarded until—and if—Congress could ever act to formally designate them wilderness. 

The lands were deemed wilderness worthy (meaning relatively pristine condition) and among them was 155,000 acres in the Gallatin Range that encompassed the Hyalite, Porcupine and Buffalo Horn drainages, hence the name the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area. 

If it’s not already apparent, the issue of Gallatin range protection has been a sordid story of near disastrous misses and missed opportunity. 

Prior to 1983, when a proposal in Congress was being considered for what is today the 259,000-acre Lee Metcalf Wilderness in the Madisons, some 600,000 acres would have been protected, including the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area in the Gallatins and public lands immediate adjacent to present-day Big Sky. But both were stripped out of consideration by US Sen. John Melcher.

Some acreage in the Gallatins would also have gained Wilderness status in 1988 had President Reagan not vetoed the Montana Natural Resources and Protection Act, led by then U.S. Rep. Pat Williams of Montana, that passed through both houses of Congress. With determination, two more Montana wilderness bills were proposed, in 1992 and 1994, with support from citizens but they didn’t get through either.  With the 1992 effort, a vote was scheduled o the floor of the Senate but Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato of New York staged a filibuster—the second longest filibuster in history— because he wanted to save a typewriter plant in his state. The wilderness bill never got a vote. 
Telling is that successive forest supervisors of the Custer Gallatin have, over time, exhibited an overt ambivalence or timidity about recommending significant Wilderness protection. At one point, when the Custer Gallatin assembled an earlier iteration of its management plans, forest staff failed to recommend any acres in the Gallatins for protection as Wilderness, arguing that 50,000 acres of private checkerboarded lands made it too complicated and problematic.
Telling is that successive forest supervisors of the Custer Gallatin have, over time, exhibited an overt ambivalence or timidity about recommending significant Wilderness protection. At one point, when the Custer Gallatin assembled an earlier iteration of its management plans, forest staff failed to recommend any acres in the Gallatins for protection as Wilderness, arguing that 50,000 acres of private checkerboarded lands made it too complicated and problematic.

° ° ° °

Eventually, Burlington Northern decided to focus on the railroad part of its business and got rid of its timber holdings. It spun off Plum Creek Timber as a forestry company and by the early 1990s Plum Creek decided to sell many of its tracts throughout the Pacific Northwest. A bid to acquire roughly 100,000 acres in the Gallatins, Madisons and other nearby mountains was made by The Nature Conservancy and aided by Ted Turner but it failed to get completed because of protests from the timber industry.  Plum Creek withdrew because it wanted whoever bought its holdings to guarantee they would continue to be logged and provide a steady flow of trees to its sawmill in Belgrade.

Instead, in 1992, wheeler-dealer businessmen involved with the timber industry in Oregon, Tim Blixseth, Mel McDougal and two partners acquired the motherlode of Plum Creek holdings in the Gallatins and the Madisons, including the Taylor Fork, Jack Creek and sections around Big Sky. They formed a new company called Big Sky Lumber. 

The short explanation of what happened next is that Blixseth and McDougal approached their holdings like junk bond traders who acquire a company and then liquidates it of parts piecemeal. In this case the company was some of Montana’s finest wild country. Plans were advanced to raze the forested tracks in their checkboarded pieces and sell the timber to mills, and reserve  some sections for intense real estate development around Big Sky. The fate Porcupine and Buffalo Horn was precarious.
Blixseth and McDougal approached their holdings like junk bond traders who acquire a company and then liquidates it of parts piecemeal.  Plans were advanced to raze the forested tracks in their checkboarded pieces and sell the timber to mills, and reserve some sections for intense real estate development around Big Sky. The fate Porcupine and Buffalo Horn was precarious.
Bob Dennee, who served as a Forest Service negotiator and who had a special expertise in orchestrating land trades, was one of many unsung heroes. He recently revealed a new backstory. Within weeks after Big Sky Lumber took title in 1992, Blixseth’s attorney Joe Sabol  reached out to Dennee making an unexpected overture. 

“He was representing Tim and Mel as their legal counsel. He knew they were shrewd businesspeople who had made a good investment and planned to capitalize as much as they could. But Joe knew what they had in terms of the natural value of the property they owned. He wanted to see the land in the Gallatins with wilderness and backcountry character and high wildlife values protected. And he felt strongly about protecting the Porcupine and Buffalo Horn in particular,” Dennee told Mountain Journal

“The fact that Joe reached out to us at the Forest Service and connected them to the partners in Big Sky Lumber was a good thing,” Dennee added. “ [US Senator] Max Baucus also made a call and suggested that Joe and his clients sit down with us. Joe was instrumental in turning the probable fate of the Gallatins in a different direction and the first meeting happened in the library in the back of his law office.”

Fully aware and horrified of the certain negative and permanent impacts that could befall the Gallatins, conservation groups that included The Wilderness Society (TWS) and Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) learned of the Blixseth-Forest Service parlay and were invited to assist by Dennee but it was important that their involvement, at first, be low-key. 

Already, forested slopes on the east side of the Madisons were left bare and some of those clearcuts are still visible today. Blixseth realized keenly that compared to hawking trees he could yield a fortune selling lots and controlling as much of the development as possible. Again, interest in fly-fishing, piqued by the fact that some scenes of A River Runs Through Ithad been filmed along the Gallatin River, provided mystique for him to exploit.

Blixseth, in holding on to about 15,000 acres of land for himself on the southern edge of Big Sky, set out to build a millionaires’-only, ultra-exclusive gated community for the rich and famous that played on the iconic appeal of America’s first national park. He called it The Yellowstone Club.

Koehler remembers early discussions with Blixseth, who evinced little sympathy for what of the natural world would be lost to development and he showed that he didn’t like environmentalists much either. “He loved playing hardball. He was the one who held all of the good cards and all of the chips,” Koehler said. “He pretty much had us over a barrel and we knew it.”

In a story by Scott McMillion in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Blixseth had noted that he regarded his Montana holdings as mere assets to be monetized and he disregarded the concerns of environmentalists. He owned the private squares in the checkerboard, after all;  they had no say. It didn’t pay to get sentimental about animals if it inhibited his ability to turn a profit. “Maybe someplace in this United States of America, somebody needs to draw a line and protect private property rights,” Blixseth told the newspaper. “Maybe I’m the guy and that’s the place.”

As McMillion noted, Blixseth referred to the undisturbed forests in the Gallatins and around Big Sky as a “tree farm” and “once said he was ‘tired of people saying clear-cutting is a bad word.’”

Attempts by Mountain Journal to reach Blixseth by were unsuccessful.

“He didn’t give a hoot about what the impacts would be of logging or development in the Porcupine to the world-class elk herd moving in and out of Yellowstone or to grizzly habitat,” Koehler said. “I think what mattered more is that he saw our desperate desire to save it being expressed and with that he saw our vulnerability. Advocates were in a place where we had to pretty much meet his demands or lose it.”
“He didn’t give a hoot about what the impacts would be of logging or development in the Porcupine to the world-class elk herd moving in and out of Yellowstone or to grizzly habitat. I think what mattered more is that he saw our desperate desire to save it being expressed and with that he saw our vulnerability. Advocates were in a place where we had to pretty much meet his demands or lose it.” —Koehler
With the help of Montana’s Congressional Delegation, the Gallatin Range Consolidation and Protection Act of 1993 passed and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. About 37,000 acres of the checkerboard was consolidated into public hands in the Gallatins but left out were the Porcupine and the Buffalo Horn.  

When the process of completing further swaps and securing federal funding for a buyout appeared to stall, an impatient Blixseth parked a bulldozer along US Highway 191 at the mouth of Porcupine to serve as a reminder of what would happen if the deal fell through.  “It would have been a disaster if the Porcupine and Buffalo Horn had been developed and crisscrossed with roads, or worse, logged then developed,” Michael Scott said, noting that any talk today about saving the essence of the Gallatins would be moot. 

Bringing the rally to Congress once again, Scott and Koehler helped get the Gallatin Land Consolidation Act passed in 1998 and it included 8700 acres of the Porcupine and Buffalo Horn.  In the end, through both acts of legislation, about 101,000 acres of private land became public, mostly in the Gallatins, while Blixseth and McDougal got 47,000 acres of prime timberland and $25 million. 

Millions of dollars more were made selling off land that resulted in creation of the Moonlight Basin development in Jack Creek on the northwest side of the Madisons near Big Sky, to owners of another lifestyle community named Spanish Peaks;  and, of course, in Blixseth’s construction of the Yellowstone Club on 15,200 acres that made him a multi, multi-millionaire. He claimed he was worth $1.3 billion before the Great Recession of 2008 caused a high-profile downfall which led to bitter divorce, bankruptcy and legal troubles. The Yellowstone Club was taken over by CrossHarbor Capital in 2009.

Koehler says what’s most important, a vital reference point, is to correctly recall the arguments that were made to Congress in support of the land trades and winning the appropriations of cash. “It set the stage for securing unbroken Wilderness for the wild Gallatin Range,” he said.
The Upper Gallatin River drainage which cuts between the Gallatin and Madison mountain ranges. Every major species of large mammal that roamed this part of Greater Yellowstone in 1491 is still there today, including bison. One would have to go to Alaska in the US to find a comparable spot.  Photo courtesy Chris Boyer (kestrelaerial.com)
The Upper Gallatin River drainage which cuts between the Gallatin and Madison mountain ranges. Every major species of large mammal that roamed this part of Greater Yellowstone in 1491 is still there today, including bison. One would have to go to Alaska in the US to find a comparable spot. Photo courtesy Chris Boyer (kestrelaerial.com)
In the years between passage of the first and second piece of legislation, I wrote a story which appeared in a Big Sky newspaper in 1995. The editor published it with this headline: “Porcupine is the heart of a wild mountain range” and it included this direct reference to the Porcupine based upon interviews I did with hunters, outfitters, conservationists and wildlife biologists:  “Proclaimed ‘the Holy Land’ by sportsmen, Porcupine provides winter range for 1,500 elk, prime habitat for grizzlies and native cutthroat trout as well as rich foraging terrain for raptors, bighorn sheep, moose, deer , and a dozen other species.”

Thousands of elk also migrate to and from Yellowstone through the Porcupine and Buffalo Horn corridors, into the Taylor Fork and other corners of the Madisons into the Madison Valley and northward across Ted Turner’s Flying D Ranch. The large elk herds that used to populate the slopes around Big Sky have winnowed

My newspaper report appeared just after the first round of funding and land trades was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. But the multi-part deal remained in a precarious position. “Fundraising still is critical because Tim Blixseth, the owner of Big Sky Lumber, and his attorney Joe Sabol say that unless the government agencies and conservation organizations are successful in securing a buy out, they would consider logging and selling Porcupine piecemeal which would result in the suburban clutter and declining wildlife you see around Big Sky, nearby,” I wrote.

In the story, Koehler emphasized what the dividends were of getting all of the different moving parts to agree upon an accord. “By consolidating roughly 40,000 acres and protecting Porcupine and the Taylor Fork, you are really preserving the ecological integrity of almost 200,000 acres or close to it,” Koehler said. “There were many times when the deal almost fell apart but it shows that people working together from the grassroots level up to Congress can still make a difference, particularly at a time when everyone is so goddamned cynical about everything.”

That was 25 years ago. In recent years, young conservation activists who weren’t around in the 1990s have put a different spin on the purpose of the consolidation, implying it was completed to create new recreation opportunity and apparently not realizing how close the Gallatins came to being transformed. 

As my notes show, as history shows, as those who were making the deals happen confirm today, a paramount priority was using the consolidation to serve as the basis for more comprehensive wilderness protection, and the reason for wilderness protection was to benefit wildlife that pass in and out of Yellowstone.  The appellation “holy land” was an expression of humble reverence.

Plus,  the two other parts of this Mountain Journal three-part series on wild Gallatins:

'Unbroken Wilderness:' Some Call The Porcupine And Buffalo Horn 'Holy Land' (Part 2)



Todd Wilkinson
About Todd Wilkinson

Todd Wilkinson, founder of Mountain Journal,  is an American author and journalist proudly trained in the old school tradition. He's been a journalist for 35 years and writes for publications ranging from National Geographic to The Guardian. He is author of several books on topics ranging from scientific whistleblowers to Ted Turner and the story of Jackson Hole grizzly mother 399, the most famous bear in the world which features photographs by Thomas Mangelsen.  For more on Wilkinson's career, click here. (Photo by David J Swift).
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