Our year in photos 
















click to enlarge The hillside above West Riverside smolders hours after a fast-moving fire ripped up the mountainside Aug. 22. The fire burned 3,800 acres. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • The hillside above West Riverside smolders hours after a fast-moving fire ripped up the mountainside Aug. 22. The fire burned 3,800 acres.


click to enlarge After a fast-moving lightning storm prevented him from summitting, Allen Byrd descends his namesake mountain in Glacier National Park. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • After a fast-moving lightning storm prevented him from summitting, Allen Byrd descends his namesake mountain in Glacier National Park.


click to enlarge Another glorious day at Goldbug Hot Springs near Elk Bend, Idaho. - PHOTO BY ELIZABETH COSTIGAN


click to enlarge Following a La Niña winter, the Clark Fork River crested at nearly 13 feet in Missoula. Floodwaters devastated homes north of Third Street in the Orchard Homes neighborhood. Residents used any means necessary—waders, ATVs, even canoes—to access their property. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Following a La Niña winter, the Clark Fork River crested at nearly 13 feet in Missoula. Floodwaters devastated homes north of Third Street in the Orchard Homes neighborhood. Residents used any means necessary—waders, ATVs, even canoes—to access their property.


click to enlarge Volunteers from the Missoula Rural Fire Department divert a freshly formed channel of the Clark Fork River by digging a trench through Randy Newman’s yard on Tower Street. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Volunteers from the Missoula Rural Fire Department divert a freshly formed channel of the Clark Fork River by digging a trench through Randy Newman’s yard on Tower Street.


click to enlarge With a dam freshly removed, floodwaters at the confluence of the Blackfoot (left) and Clark Fork Rivers fill the Milltown Reservoir floodplain for the first time in a century. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • With a dam freshly removed, floodwaters at the confluence of the Blackfoot (left) and Clark Fork Rivers fill the Milltown Reservoir floodplain for the first time in a century.


click to enlarge Dee Baker crosses a creek near Seeley Lake to check his beaver trapline on an afternoon in February. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Dee Baker crosses a creek near Seeley Lake to check his beaver trapline on an afternoon in February.


click to enlarge Sections of the Upper Clark Fork River Basin damaged by a century of mining received a boost in funding Dec. 19, when Gov. Brian Schweitzer authorized $116.5 million to repair the most polluted parts of the damaged landscape, like this “slicken.” - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Sections of the Upper Clark Fork River Basin damaged by a century of mining received a boost in funding Dec. 19, when Gov. Brian Schweitzer authorized $116.5 million to repair the most polluted parts of the damaged landscape, like this “slicken.”

















click to enlarge Two excavators barricade a car parked in a no-parking zone near Flipper’s Bar and Casino Oct. 8 after the car obstructed a crew’s work on a water main. - PHOTO BY STEELE WILLIAMS
  • Photo by Steele Williams
  • Two excavators barricade a car parked in a no-parking zone near Flipper’s Bar and Casino Oct. 8 after the car obstructed a crew’s work on a water main.


click to enlarge Mike Long and Rich Parker, along with the ACLU and five other gay couples, sued the state of Montana in July to obtain same-sex partner benefits. After a district judge dismissed the suit, the couples appealed to the Montana Supreme Court. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Mike Long and Rich Parker, along with the ACLU and five other gay couples, sued the state of Montana in July to obtain same-sex partner benefits. After a district judge dismissed the suit, the couples appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.


click to enlarge Six hundred runners got down and dirty at Marshall Mountain for the inaugural “Mad Mudder” on Sept. 17. The event raised nearly $20,000 for CASA of Missoula, a child advocacy organization. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Six hundred runners got down and dirty at Marshall Mountain for the inaugural “Mad Mudder” on Sept. 17. The event raised nearly $20,000 for CASA of Missoula, a child advocacy organization.


click to enlarge After dominating a local weekly race series, Missoula racer Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) won the men’s Pro XCT race at Marshall Mountain Resort. With the win, Schultz finished third in the nation. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • After dominating a local weekly race series, Missoula racer Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) won the men’s Pro XCT race at Marshall Mountain Resort. With the win, Schultz finished third in the nation.


click to enlarge Raptor rehabilitator Brooke Tanner holds a red-tailed hawk recently shot by a BB gun. Raptors in Montana fall prey to multiple man-made hazards, including vehicle collisions, power line electrocutions and lead poisoning. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Raptor rehabilitator Brooke Tanner holds a red-tailed hawk recently shot by a BB gun. Raptors in Montana fall prey to multiple man-made hazards, including vehicle collisions, power line electrocutions and lead poisoning.


click to enlarge With gold prices surging above $1,600 per ounce, RX Exploration reopened the Drumlummon Mine near Marysville, where it’s extracting millions of dollars in gold. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • With gold prices surging above $1,600 per ounce, RX Exploration reopened the Drumlummon Mine near Marysville, where it’s extracting millions of dollars in gold.


click to enlarge With a La Niña weather pattern bringing skiers one of the deepest winters on record, even the lower runs at Montana Snowbowl let skiers find themselves in the white room. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • With a La Niña weather pattern bringing skiers one of the deepest winters on record, even the lower runs at Montana Snowbowl let skiers find themselves in the white room.


click to enlarge The state sold 1.4 billion tons of Otter Creek coal to Arch Coal for about $160 million, a move that could bring as many as 30 China-bound coal trains through Missoula every day. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • The state sold 1.4 billion tons of Otter Creek coal to Arch Coal for about $160 million, a move that could bring as many as 30 China-bound coal trains through Missoula every day.

















click to enlarge A doe and her fawn groom one another in the Lower Rattlesnake on a warm August afternoon. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • A doe and her fawn groom one another in the Lower Rattlesnake on a warm August afternoon.


click to enlarge Indy writer Alex Sakariassen attempted to prove how easy it is to hitchhike out of Missoula. Turned out it isn’t. After three hours of failed thumbing on the Interstate 90 ramp on North Orange Street, Sakariassen yielded to reality and declared his trip to Frenchtown a failure. - PHOTO BY ELIZABETH COSTIGAN
  • Photo by Elizabeth Costigan
  • Indy writer Alex Sakariassen attempted to prove how easy it is to hitchhike out of Missoula. Turned out it isn’t. After three hours of failed thumbing on the Interstate 90 ramp on North Orange Street, Sakariassen yielded to reality and declared his trip to Frenchtown a failure.


click to enlarge University of Montana student Daniel Thew, 19, drew rowdy cheers as well as police attention and UM disciplinary action for streaking naked before more than 25,000 football fans at Washington-Grizzly Stadium Sept. 10. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • University of Montana student Daniel Thew, 19, drew rowdy cheers as well as police attention and UM disciplinary action for streaking naked before more than 25,000 football fans at Washington-Grizzly Stadium Sept. 10.


click to enlarge The Pride Foundation hosts a drag show at the Fox Club in September. Drag kings, or women who impersonate men, are gaining popularity across the nation and changing the way people think about gender. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • The Pride Foundation hosts a drag show at the Fox Club in September. Drag kings, or women who impersonate men, are gaining popularity across the nation and changing the way people think about gender.


click to enlarge Children crowd around a crayfish caught by Matt Hauser (left) in Silver’s Lagoon. It was the first catch of the day at a Parks and Rec “Adventure Fishing Camp” in August. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Children crowd around a crayfish caught by Matt Hauser (left) in Silver’s Lagoon. It was the first catch of the day at a Parks and Rec “Adventure Fishing Camp” in August.


click to enlarge After Sen. Jon Tester successfully attached a wolf-delisting rider to a must-pass budget bill this spring, the hunt was back on in Montana, with an overall quota of 220 wolves. Some districts filled their quotas before the Dec. 31 deadline. Others, like the Bitterroot Valley, didn’t, prompting Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to extend the season into late January. - PHOTO BY STEELE WILLIAMS
  • Photo by Steele Williams
  • After Sen. Jon Tester successfully attached a wolf-delisting rider to a must-pass budget bill this spring, the hunt was back on in Montana, with an overall quota of 220 wolves. Some districts filled their quotas before the Dec. 31 deadline. Others, like the Bitterroot Valley, didn’t, prompting Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to extend the season into late January.


click to enlarge Linemen with NorthWestern Power reconfigure electrical lines near the University of Montana as part of a road project improving vehicle and pedestrian flow on Highway 12. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Linemen with NorthWestern Power reconfigure electrical lines near the University of Montana as part of a road project improving vehicle and pedestrian flow on Highway 12.
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