Stories for Action
Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley, Range Rider Chet Robertson

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley, Range Rider Chet Robertson

June 3, 2022

Chet Robertson is a Range Rider in the Big Hole Valley on behalf of the Big Hole Watershed Committee. A Range Rider typically rides amongst the cattle, to keep an eye on the livestock, watch for medical issues, monitor when they need to move to new ground to prevent overgrazing, and to prevent conflict with predators. Whereas most Range Riders ride the cattle, Chet is unique in that he rides the predators, primarily wolves. As a tracker, he keeps a close connection with the area packs, to predict their movements, and to discourage their presence around grazing areas. Chet speaks about the tracker lens that he moves through the landscape with, his perspective on the social divisiveness of wolves, and his experience owning the Jackson Mercantile for the last 20 years, and the larger connections to what small towns are up against. 

Links:

Big Hole Watershed Committee

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

 

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley; Eric Thorson (fly fishing guide), Liz Jones (rancher)

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley; Eric Thorson (fly fishing guide), Liz Jones (rancher)

June 3, 2022

The communities of the Big Hole Valley depend on the economies of ranching and fly fishing. In this episode, we hear from two members of the Big Hole Watershed Committee from each of those industries.

Eric Thorson owns Sunrise Fly Shop in Melrose, MT and speaks to the significance of fly fishing in the Big Hole as an economic driver and a catalyst for conservation. He also speaks to the impacts on the fishery from a changing climate.

Liz Jones is a rancher in Wise River, MT and was a founding member of the Watershed Committee. She speaks to the changes she has seen in the Valley as well as what the drought and fires of 2021 meant for ranchers.

Both Eric and Liz speak to the value and urgency in different perspectives coming together for the betterment of all life in the Valley that depend on the Big Hole River and its tributaries. The Big Hole Watershed Committee creates a space for that to happen, and can serve as a model for other watersheds to utilize this holistic, community driven approach.

Big Hole Watershed Committee

Sunrise Fly Shop

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation: Piikani Lodge Health Institute; Kim Paul

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation: Piikani Lodge Health Institute; Kim Paul

May 20, 2022

Piikani Lodge Health Institute (PLHI) is a community-driven organization that integrates traditional lifeways to create resiliency for the people and biosystems of the Blackfeet Nation, in Northwest Montana. They use holistic approaches and the guidance of traditional lifeways to meet community led and community focused needs. They lead programs on the ground and conduct research, integrating both Western and Indigenous Research Methodologies. Their work encompasses climate adaptation, job and career creation, opioid misuse prevention, regenerative grazing, and youth outdoor programs, recognizing the interconnectedness of community well-being with the health of the ecosystem they are a part of, and connecting to traditional lifeways. We hear from Kim Paul, Director and Founder of PLHI, on her own journey to this work, the importance of holistic approaches and efforts that are truly community-led, and the empowerment in connecting with traditional lifeways and cultural history that have been pushed away through assimilation policies of the last 200 years. We also hear from Tyrel Fenner, Hydrologist for PLHI, on his work with their climate adaptation and regenerative grazing programs, as well as Jimi Champ, Vocational and Horticulture Teacher at Browning High School, who is partnering with PLHI on a snow fence project.

LINKS:

Piikani Lodge Health Institute, also on FB & IG

The Blackfeet Climate Adaptation Plan

Blackfeet Agricultural Resource Management Plan, FB Page

Blackfeet Community College

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

This episode was Co-Produced by Lailani Upham of Iron Shield Creative.

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation: Kristen Kipp; Rancher, Mother, and Griz Advisory Council

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation: Kristen Kipp; Rancher, Mother, and Griz Advisory Council

May 20, 2022

Kristen Kipp is a member of the Blackfeet Nation, Amskapi Piikani. Kristen is a cattle rancher, a mother, a hunter, an advocate, and so much more. She runs her own cattle operation within her family’s ranch outside of Browning, MT in the heart of Blackfeet Country in Northwest Montana. She works in Producer Outreach for the Piikani Lodge Health Institute and the Blackfeet Nation Stockgrowers Association. Kristen shares about her own connection to the land and role in stewarding it, as Amskapi Piikani, and as a rancher. She also speaks to her experience living in grizzly bear country, the Blackfeet's cultural connection to the bear, and being on the Governor’s Grizzly Bear Advisory Council, and the need for representation in all forms of advocacy.

LINKS:

Piikani Lodge Health Institute, also on FB & IG

Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council

Blackfeet Nation Stockgrowers Association, also on FB & IG

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

This episode was Co-Produced by Lailani Upham of Iron Shield Creative.

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation: Jesse DesRosier; Blackfeet Language

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation: Jesse DesRosier; Blackfeet Language

May 20, 2022

Jesse DesRosier, Amskapi Piikani, Blackfeet Tribal Member, is a teacher of the Blackfeet Language. He teaches at The Piegan Institute's Cuts Wood School and Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Montana. Jesse is also an artist, a community and cultural advocate, a Veteran, a husband, and father. Jesse shares with us about the intricate connection of the Blackfeet Language to the land and how Blackfeet ways of life are directly embodied in the language. Following two centuries of forceful assimilation policies, the existence of the Blackfeet Language was threatened as of 20 years ago, as there were no young speakers remaining. With efforts from within the community, such as The Piegan Institute, started by the late Darrell Kipp, there are over 100 new language learners who are carrying it on. Jesse shares the hope he gains from witnessing the young members of the community connecting to their culture. He also speaks to the connections to the Badger-Two Medicine area and the significance of this land being stewarded by the Blackfeet people.

Links:

The Piegan Institute

Jesse's Art Page on IG

Badger-Two Medicine, article from Flathead Beacon 

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at  LifeintheLand.org

This episode was Co-Produced by Lailani Upham of Iron Shield Creative.

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Seeley Swan, Caryn Miske, Clearwater Resource Council

Life in the Land: Seeley Swan, Caryn Miske, Clearwater Resource Council

May 20, 2022

In this episode we are in the community of Seeley Lake, in Western Montana. We hear from Caryn Miske, the Executive Director of the Clearwater Resource Council, a locally-led entity that works to engage the community and facilitate efforts that enhance, conserve, and sustain the natural resources and rural lifestyle of the Clearwater Watershed for present and future generations. Caryn shares with us about what holistic, community-led work around climate, equity, and environmental quality can look like, the realistic challenges to starting and sustaining a local nonprofit, and as pressures on small towns and wild places increase, why the efforts are always worth it. She also shares an example of a collaborative process that did not go so well, so there's a lot of information in here for folks in other regions who are looking to embark in collaborative or locally led work in their own community or work. 

LINKS:

Clearwater Resource Council You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.

Montana Legacy Project

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at  LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Seeley Swan, Pyramid Mountain Lumber

Life in the Land: Seeley Swan, Pyramid Mountain Lumber

May 20, 2022

We are in Seeley Lake, a community in the Clearwater Watershed, and an hour north of Missoula, hearing from Gordy Sanders (Resource Manager) and Wendy Dalrymple (Controller) of Pyramid Mountain Lumber. Pyramid is is the largest employer in Seeley Lake, and the oldest surviving family owned lumber mill in Montana.

Gordy and Wendy speak with us about what it can look like when a natural resource industry approaches its work through a stewardship lens; not only going above its expected duties as a lumber mill to be involved in work that benefits the greater ecosystem, but also to benefit the community it is a part of. Pyramid is also intrinsically very collaborative in its approach, working closely with government agency, tribal entities, conservation organizations, and private landowners. Gordy speaks with us about the value in this approach and about working with entities with different priorities. 

LINKS:

Pyramid Mountain Lumber You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.
Montana Forest Collaboration Network

Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project & legislation: www.blackfootclearwater.org
 
This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at  LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. Storiesforaction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: CSKT Forestry Division (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes)

Life in the Land: CSKT Forestry Division (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes)

May 20, 2022

In this episode, we are on the Flathead Reservation in Western Montana, speaking with Tony Incashola, Jr., Director of the Tribal Forestry Department for the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), and Ron Swaney and Darrell Clairmont of CSKT’s Division of Fire. These interviews are featured in the Life in the Land film on the Seeley-Swan, as that region was not only significant for the Kalispell, Salish, and Kootenai Tribes for thousands of years, but today, the jurisdiction line between Tribal management and U.S. Forest Service follows the ridgeline of the Mission Mountains.

For over a century, forest management on the Flathead Reservation was held by federal agencies. In 1996, management was transferred to the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, who stewarded these lands for thousands of years. Tony Incashola, Jr. and his team speak about their ecosystem approach to their forestry plan, working in partnership with neighboring jurisdictions, combining Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science, and reconnecting to a traditional relationship with fire on the landscape. 

Links:

CSKT's Fire on the Land Presentation
CSKT's Forestry Department & forestry plan
 
This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at  LifeintheLand.org
Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Timothy Ryan, Cultural Educator Mission Mountain Youth Crew, Salish Kootenai College

Life in the Land: Timothy Ryan, Cultural Educator Mission Mountain Youth Crew, Salish Kootenai College

May 20, 2022

In this episode we are speaking with Timothy Ryan, Salish tribal member, cultural educator, and Department Head for the Salish Kootenai College’s Culture and Language Studies Department. We are on the banks of the Flathead River, on the ancestral homelands of the Salish, Kootenai, and Kalispell Peoples in what is now known as Western Montana. Tim speaks about connections to this land, here, in the Seeley-Swan, and well beyond in the ancestral homelands of the tribes. He speaks to the sense of place, which all of humanity can learn from, Indigenous worldviews, and the ways he sees his communities weaving traditional life ways into present day life, to benefit the health of people and place.

LINKS:

Mission Mountain Youth Crew
Salish Kootenai College
The Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at  LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Seeley Swan, Rebecca Ramsey, Swan Valley Connections

Life in the Land: Seeley Swan, Rebecca Ramsey, Swan Valley Connections

May 19, 2022

We are in the Swan Valley of Northwest Montana, hearing from Rebecca Ramsey, Executive Director of Swan Valley Connections. SVC is a locally-led organization with a mission to inspire conservation and expand stewardship in the Swan Valley. SVC really dials into the holistic values of stewardship; of connecting people to their environment, in ways that directly benefit the health of the local communities. In this conversation, Rebecca shares with us about the critical nature of listening to folks on the ground within rural communities and successes and challenges of working with varied interests, which creates insight for those thinking of applying this approach to their own work. We spoke with Rebecca on the banks of Elk Creek, in the Elk Creek Conservation Area, which Swan Valley Connections co-owns with the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, which Rebecca will also share about this important partnership.

LINKS:

Swan Valley Connections You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.

 Montana Legacy Project

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at  LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

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