After two months of backpacking the Bob Marshall Wilderness, living with grizzlies, and exploring the beauty of life in a rural community, I have returned to Missoula. I have spent the past two months living in a refurbished barn with nine other students from UM and around the country. We lived, learned, and explored as a group. We continually engaged in conversation amongst ourselves and with community members to understand the complexities of natural resource conservation. Conservation of the environmental, economic, and social aspects of the human and land interaction.
Condon, Montana is a rural community located in the Swan Valley (North of Missoula). The Condon community and surrounding landscape adapts to complex and changing issues; issues that challenge ecosystems on a global scale. Interactions between human and land occur internationally. Water scarcity, economic growth, population stability, and natural resource extraction are pressing issues around the world. Rather than approaching these topics from the broad scale, I chose to study a rural community in which the issues are present every day.
As a student at Northwest Connections we explored the water, the mountains, and the fields in an attempt to understand conservation. We challenged our thinking and collectively worked towards broadening what we see.