Web site of Scott McMillion - Journalist, author of Mark of the Grizzly, senior editor of Montana Quarterly

Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife’

“A Rare, Ghastly Night”

By Scott McMillion
Montana Quarterly
Spring 2011

While most bear attacks on humans can be explained, last summer’s predatory attacks near Cooke City remind us that occasionally, bears see humans as food.

“Part of the Landscape”

By Scott McMillion
Montana Quarterly
Summer 2010

After 15 years, millions of dollars and a raft of lawsuits, wolves are here to stay. But who will call the shots?

“A Fragile Coalition”

The Montana Quarterly
Winter, 2010
Photography by Thomas Lee
Is Montana ready for more wilderness? U.S. Senator Jon Tester says it’s time.

“Getting Another Shot”

By Scott McMillion
Montana Outdoors
September/October 2009
Photography by Erik Petersen

Brandon Renkin isn’t very big. Though he’s 15 years old, he weighs just 38 pounds. But it’s almost all heart. The rest of it is brain and spunk, wrapped in a layer of patience. These are things that make a hunter.

“Swimming with Giants”

By Scott McMillion

Western Art & Architecture

Winter/Spring 09

     Every afternoon for 10 days, John Banovich went to the banks of Botswana’s Khwai River, where families of elephants gathered to eat and drink and bathe.  With 25 trips to Africa under his belt, he’d seen a lot of elephants, but he wanted to see more, to learn more.

     Then, on the eleventh day, he decided to join a group of 12 bulls in the river, slipping into the chest-deep water, among the hippos and crocodiles, trying not to think about mysterious bugs and parasites.

“The Perfect Storm” First in a Four Part Series about wildfire

By Scott McMillion

Bozeman Daily Chronicle

June 29, 2008

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – It started out dry and then it got drier. The rains stayed away, but the wind showed up in a fury and it stayed mad all summer, puffing out its cheeks over and over again. There was lightning all over the place. An outfitter got careless. So did a woodcutter. By July, the fires took over.

Nearly 800,000 acres – more than a third of the park – burned during the summer of 1988. It seemed like the fires were everywhere. You could count the smoke columns. Two, three, four at a time on some days. Ominous mushroom clouds big enough to create their own weather.

Millions of ancient trees went up like matchsticks and the smoke drifted across the nation. Scorched twigs and pine needles wafted 20,000 feet high in the smoke columns, then fluttered to Earth 100 miles away. Nerves frayed. Tempers exploded.

The summer of 1988 reintroduced America to wildfire. Big fire. Major fire. Unstoppable fire. Fire that hadn’t been seen in decades.

Such fire was no stranger to the continent. From Maine to California, wildfires had destroyed communities and killed thousands of people, burned millions of acres in decades past.

In Wisconsin, the 1871 Peshtigo fires burned nearly 4 million acres and killed 1,500 people.

The Great Burn of 1910 scorched 3 million acres of Montana and Idaho and killed 85 people.

But these horrid memories lived mostly in the distant past, before slurry bombers and helicopters and chain saws, before Smokey the Bear, before television could bring the flames to your home every night. Could these things still happen?

The summer of 1988 showed that they could.

Click here to see the entire story.

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/articles/2009/10/07/special-reports/yellowstone_fires/00yellowstonefires.txt

“The War on Weeds: In Hells Canyon the Lines Are Drawn”

By Scott McMillion
Nature Conservancy Magazine
Summer 2007
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.

Click here to read the entire story.

“Congruence on the Big Hole”

By Scott McMillion

Montana Quarterly

Fall 2006

Photography by Thomas Lee.

Ranchers, environmentalists and the government forge an ambitious plan to save the grayling’s last habitat in the lower 48 states.

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