Our meeting was held in conjunction with the Montana Wilderness Association annual meeting, which provided an opportunity to meet many of the "players" who are connected with environmental and conservation organizations that we have been funding. The first night was a barbecue and bluegrass event at the Bones Brewing Pub & Eatery, which was loud and fun! The next day were hikes — the one I was on included the really exquisite Pictograph Caves State Park east of town. The spiritual energy of this sacred place is palpable and those who work here seem to have been "called" in very sweet ways! That evening the MWA held a dinner at the lovely DanWalt Gardens and featured a very enthusiastic Huckleberry Pie auction and a engaging keynote talk by wildlife photographer Michael Forsberg, who has focused much of his work on the North American Great Plains that were once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. His goal is to capture the wild spirit that survives in these wide open spaces and put a face on the often overlooked native creatures and landscapes found there.
Our board meeting was held the following two-days at the office of the Northern Plains Resource Council and Western Organization of Resource Councils — which is way cool! They renovated a 1940s grocery store into the first LEED Platinum level building in Montana and the 44th in the United States.