When you show up somewhere wondrous and pristine, it's easy to think it's always been that way and that it always will be. The reality is that the government or a citizen group maintains it in the face of industry or other special interest use that might damage it for good. This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' designation of the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness. And what a wilderness. The Native Land and Wilderness Council celebrates this feat with a Regional Gathering at Salish Kootenai College. The three-day event is open to the public and includes a day hike into the Missions as well as panels of speakers representing indigenous groups from Canada, Mexico and Brazil. The symposium is an opportunity for various indigenous groups to share ideas about conservation, land management and stewardship. You can hear tales about the Sinkyone Wilderness of California and New Mexico's Blue Lake, plus get in on talks and tribal consultations about land ethics and aboriginal lands outside of reservation boundaries.
The Regional Gathering of the Native Lands and Wilderness Council takes place from Wed., Sept. 5 through Fri., Sept. 7, at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. $140. For a full schedule and to register visitnlwc.eventbrite.comorcontact email@example.com or call 415-250-4910.
FRIDAY AUGUST 31
The 10th Annual Ennis on the Madison Fly Fishing Festival is a two-day hullabaloo with vendors, liars, Canadians and more liars. By liars, of course, we mean devoted anglers ready for a weekend of catching trout the size of a Buick. We should've seen it, we know. Sponsored by the fine folks at the Madison River Foundation. Get directions to the party, err, boat ramp at madisonriverfoundation.org.
Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's weekly meeting to talk about past glories and upcoming activities at Bigfork's Swan River Inn. 6–8 PM. Free.
Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole Ave. 7–8:30 PM. $40.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 1
Show the neighbors that camouflage is more conducive to hunting than watching NASCAR as it's opening day for archery hunting antelope, deer and elk. The season lasts though Oct. 14, giving the critters a one-week vacay to relax before the general rifle season pops off on Oct. 20.
For those who are less Carlos Hathcock and lean more toward the style of hunting favored by the Inca king Atahualpa, the Annual Montana Atlatl Mammoth Hunt might be your ticket to a paradise lost. The event allows experts and beginners alike to toss the old spear around First Peoples Buffalo Jump near Ulm and enjoy a freshly-killed wooly mammoth burger. Fine, the last bit isn't true, but the spear part is. Call 866-2217.
Break out the white glove and Jay Leno monologues jokes for the Monthly Moonwalk: Garden Moon at the MPG Ranch in Florence where you can learn about the various ecosystems native to the place. 19400 Lower Woodchuck Road. 7–8:30 PM. Free.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 2
Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. Noon–1:30 PM. $40.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 3
At Slacker Mondays, from 6 PM until close, slackline fans can come to the Freestone Climbing Center, at 935 Toole Ave., to test their balance. $13/$10 for students. Visit freestoneclimbing.com.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 4
Update your resume, nature lovers, and take the Montana Natural History Center's Montana Master Naturalist Class. This twice-per-week (Tue. and Thu., plus a few Sat.'s) course lasts for six weeks and teaches you how to better identify and catologue the world around us. 4–7 PM. $395 (college credit available). Call 327-0405.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 5
Attention history dorks and other rad people, George Black, author of Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone, presents a lecture titled Civilizers, Soldiers, Explorers and the Creation of Yellowstone National Park. The talk is sponsored by the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West. Gallagher Business Building, room 123. 7 PM. Free.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 6
The Clark Fork Coalition's field course Living Near Water showcases a homeowner's association along Pattee Creek and two properties along the Bitterroot River that are doin' it right. Participants can learn how to make their own personal watersheds healthy. 9:30–Noon. 140 S. Fourth St. W. Transportation provided. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The miniNaturalists Pre-K Program is aces for summertime learning and such. The Montana Natural History Center has moved it to the Fort Missoula Native Plant Gardens, where bugs, dirt and explorations abound. 10–11 AM. $3/$1 for members. Visit montananaturalist.org.
You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 students.