By Scott McMillion
Nature Conservancy Magazine
Photography by Karen Ballard
The toughness that drove most settlers from Hells Canyon is what kept this place so fruitful for wildlife. For the most part, it’s been spared the energies and damages of mankind, the opposable thumbs and the itch to tinker. Hells Canyon still supports that amazing diversity of life, still has what the rest of the American West once had: vast acreages of native plants and big populations of native critters to eat them and each other. It’s an ecosystem that works.
But much of this is threatened. We saw the invaders.
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