Local Knowledge

Preserving a timeless craft, skill or tradition in a modern world


Local Knowledge: Upside Down World of Skimo

Winter 2012       Written By Brook Merrow      

The snowy rideline of Bridger Bowl beckons, cracking sharp against cut-cold cerulean. However, wintery spectacles are lost on a group of skiers lined up for the 8 a.m. start of…

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Local Knowledge: Liquid Gold

Fall 2013       Written By Kim Ibes       Photography By Jessica McGlothlin      

On a late summer day, in the otherwise idle and quiet whistle-stop known as Power, Montana, Mark Jenson and his harvesting crew are making one heck of a racket inside their…

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Local Knowledge: Goose Bay Glass

Arts 2010       Written By Jennifer Olsson      

At the stop light in Townsend, Mont., I observed a yellow building, the color of French’s mustard, with a hand-painted sign out front that read: Open, Glassblowing Daily, Visitors Welcome.…

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Local Knowledge: Ranching for Sage Grouse

Winter 2014       By Deborah Richie      

Rancher Mike Delaney climbs into his jeep with Nikki Rife, district conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) out of the sleepy Montana town of Winnett, an hour east…

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Grizzly Man

Winter 2010       Written By Kimberley K. Yablonski      

Bear 609 was no longer moving. A routine weekly flyover revealed the bear’s tracking collar was inactive. For Yellowstone National Park’s lead bear management biologist, Kerry Gunther, that meant one…

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Local Knowledge: Radio Ready

Summer 2014       Written By Brian Hurlbut       Photography By Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez      

On a sleepy spring evening in Bozeman, a small crowd starts to gather inside an old brick building on the north side of town. Inside reveals a warmly lit atmosphere…

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Local Knowledge: The People’s Luthier

Summer 2016       Written By Charles Finn       Photography By Jeremy Lurgio      

He could have been a garden gnome in a previous life. Or maybe a hobbit. I don’t know if saying such things in print will upset him, but there is…

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Local Knowledge: Big Sky Stage

Arts 2013       Written By Brian Hurlbut       Photography By Kene Sperry      

Andrew Jensen, Logan Smoot and Ron Richeson work to gather honey on a hillside overlooking Freezeout Lake. Their protective suits are duct taped at the wrists and ankles, assuring no…

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Local Knowledge: Cane is Cool

Fly Fishing 2014       Photography By Jessica McGlothlin       Photography By Firegirl Photography      

Tucked into the north end of little Twin Bridges, Montana, is the headquarters of Sweetgrass Rods. It is painted barn-red, with a small garage door on the far side and…

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Local Knowledge: The Perfect Shot

Fall 2015       By Jason Bacaj      

The February chill has started to lift when someone calls for more diesel on the fire. Bright orange flames jump out of the small woodpile and, along with the two…

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Local Knowledge: Hard Ridin’, Straight Shootin’

Spring & Summer 2009       Written By Linda Hagen Miller      

“Rider!” The announcer shouts. Nostrills flaring and muscles primed, a single horse thunders toward a marked course. The rider has already drawn his revolver and trained his eyes on the first…

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Local Knowledge: One Book at a Time

Winter 2009       Written By M. Mark Miller       Photography By Jeremy Lurgio      

When you enter Missoula's Fact and Fiction Bookstore pictures of dozens of Montana writers greet you. You’ll recognize many of them as the giants of Montana literature — Ivan Doig,…

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Local Knowledge: The Heroes of O’Dell Creek

Fly Fishing 2011       Written By Kimberley K. Yablonski       Photography By Audrey Hall      

Surveying the Madison Rivery Valley with the naked eye, O’Dell Creek is all but invisible. It is only under closer examination of the working ranch land that the stream reveals…

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Local Knowledge: Arts Without Boundaries

Arts 2012       Written By Alexis Marie Adams      

In the town of Chester on what we in Montana call the Hi-Line — that rolling, windswept expanse of open prairie and wheat fields south of the Canadian border —…

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Local Knowledge: King of the Road

Fly Fishing 2010       Written By Alan Kesselheim      

I met Mike Robb on a slow train in northern Manitoba. The train averaged about 15 mph. Butterflies flew past faster than we clicked along. He kept peering out at…

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Local Knowledge: Reinventing the Billings Public Library

Arts 2014       Written By Stella Fong       Photography By Erik Petersen      

Light, space and books dominate the Billings Public Library. In this new building, architect Will Bruder created “a comfortable room with a view in which to learn and to grow,…

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Local Knowledge: Empty Forests

Winter 2011       Written By Bruce Smith       By Hannah Hardaway      

On August 3, 2011, a federal court of appeals ruled on a case that challenged winter feeding of elk and bison on the National Elk Refuge (NER) in Jackson Hole,…

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Local Knowledge: A Celebration of the Arts

Arts 2009       Written By Michele Corriel       Photography By Ellen Ornitz      

Like a messy hot fudge sundae, overflowing with nuts and whipped cream, Bozeman’s Emerson Center for Culture and Arts layers people and art, places and music, events and happenings of…

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Local Knowledge: A Place for the Arts

Arts 2015       By John Zumpano       Written By Seonaid B. Campbell      

It’s a big night at Livingston’s nonprofit Shane Lalani Center for the Arts. About 45 teenagers from the town’s middle and high schools are bustling about in the basement dressing…

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Local Knowledge: Conservation is a Circus Act

Fly Fishing 2017       Written By Tom Reed       Photography By Melanie Nashan      

The first thing I notice about Montana conservationist and sportsman Rock Ringling is that he throws a tight loop. Spend a lifetime fly fishing and you develop an appreciation for…

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Local Knowledge: Seeking Troutopia

Fly Fishing 2012       Written By Allen Morris Jones       Photography By Thomas Lee      

These days in Montana, fishing guides are a relatively common species. If you’re an enthusiast of a certain age, a certain inclination, working as a guide becomes a natural kind…

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Local Knowledge: Ultimate Fly-Fishing Lodge

Fly Fishing 2009       Written By Anne Parsons       Photography By Cameron R. Neilson      

Of course, the legendary rivers figure into it: the Madison, Gallatin and Ruby. Yellowstone’s Firehole and Gibbon. But that’s only the beginning. Check out the big lakes: Hebgen, Quake, Cliff…

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Local Knowledge: Hometown Hero

Summer 2015       Written By Seonaid B. Campbell       Photography By Jeremy Lurgio      

It is Saturday of Memorial Day weekend in Arlee, Montana, a small town on the southern end of the Flathead Reservation, and the sky is threatening rain. Twenty-three-year-old cowboy Leon…

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Local Knowledge: Ruana Knives

Winter 2016       Written By Melissa Mylchreest       Photography By Jeremy Lurgio      

Sometimes, the best ideas come about by accident — quite literally.  In 1937, after a tornado wiped out their farm in North Dakota, Rudy Ruana and his young family headed…

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Local Knowledge: Big Trout, Big Business

Fly Fishing 2016       Written By Courtney Gerard      

Last May on the Clark Fork River near Missoula, Montana, anglers donned waders along the banks, their faces slathered white with sunscreen, while a faint dusting of snow lingered on…

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Local Knowledge: A New Angle, Bozeman Reel Company

Fly Fishing 2015       Written By Christine Rogel       Photography By Ben Pierce      

In an industrial building on Bozeman’s north side, the whirl, hiss and occasional groan of hot machinery reverberates over a crackling radio and periodic yells between machinist and engineer at…

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Local Knowledge: Shoni and Ron Maulding

Fall 2016       By Brian D’Ambrosio       Photography By Jeremy Lurgio      

French artist Paul Gauguin once observed, “Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” While many of us struggle to create art, only a few manage to make something that’s even close…

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Local Knowledge: Finding His Way, Douglas H. Chadwick

Summer 2011       Written By Brian Schott      

When young Doug Chadwich was 7 years old, his father gave him an old-style, 18th century brass microscope — a simple, but deliberate gift that opened up worlds of wonders…

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Local Knowledge: Pioneering Baseball

Summer 2010       Written By Gary Griffith      

ANNOUNCER: Tyler Kuhn will lead off the game for the voyagers. Here’s the pitch, a fastball, Kuhn swings and there’s a base hit up the middle into centerfield. And that’s…

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Local Knowledge: The Spirit of the Trees

Arts 2016       Written By Corinne Garcia       Photography By Tim Carney      

If you think about it, trees are such an iconic part of nature; in many ways they are the mascot for the natural world. They stand tall, proud, and strong…

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Local Knowledge: Brant Oswald, The Straight-line Path

Fly Fishing 2013       Written By Allen Morris Jones       Photography By Lucas Carroll      

Some years ago, when I was still new to fly fishing, my morning commute took me past the Yellowstone Angler, a fly shop south of Livingston, Montana. More often than…

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Local Knowledge: Call of the Wild

Summer 2012       Written By Melynda Harrison      

On May 15th at precisely noon, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wardens swing open the gate to the Sun River Wildlife Management Area. Sixty-plus horses gallop close together down to…

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Local Knowledge: Rodeo Rockstar Flint Rasmussen

Summer 2013       Written By Seonaid B. Campbell      

Flint Rasmussen, professional bull rider's ringmaster, of sorts, is home on his first weekend off since the beginning of the year. It’s a sunny day at Copper Spring Ranch, near Four…

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Local Knowledge: Hometown Hero Heather McPhie

Winter 2013       Written By Christine Rogel      

To watch Heather McPhie ski freestyle moguals is akin to witnessing perfection. Nailing bump after bump with precision and speed only to launch off jumps and dazzle onlookers and judges…

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Local Knowledge: Stories in the Landscape

Fall 2014       Written By Brian Schott      

Cristina Eisenberg looks sternly at the clacking, hyperventilating, young grizzly bear who is aggressively following her and her research crew on the Wishbone trail in Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park.…

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Local Knowledge: Chronicles of the Mountain

Winter 2015       By T. Hamish Tear      

Tom Turiano had no ambition to become one of Greater Yellowstone’s most highly acclaimed mountaineering authorities, but after 26 years of exploring the region, that’s how it turned out. Jackson…

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