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Articles written by Rick Graetz

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  • Montana east of the mountains

    Rick Graetz, The University of Montana|Updated Nov 23, 2022

    CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK Plenty of space, minimal human activity and protected lands ensure thriving wildlife and waterfowl population. Together, Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge, tucked in Montana's northeast corner and Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge out of Malta make a home for more than 200,000 ducks and geese, as well as lake pelicans. Other havens, such as Half-Breed National Wildlife Refuge at Rapelje, Freezeout Lake near Choteau and War Horse Lake National... Full story

  • Montana east of the mountains

    Rick Graetz, The University of Montana|Updated Nov 17, 2022

    CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK With the exception of some stretches of the Yellowstone, most of the rivers of the high plains are mellow - no whitewater excitement, just serenity, solitude, beauty and a sense of the past. The water moves at an easy pace past islands, sandbars and groves of cottonwoods interspersed with a carpet of grasses and other riparian vegetation providing a home to river wildlife. The landscape along the rivers has changed little with time. A modern day...

  • Montana east of the mountains

    Rick Graetz, University of Montana|Updated Nov 10, 2022

    One June evening a few years back found us at the site of Chief Joseph's surrender, just beyond the northern slopes of the Bear Paw Mountains. A thunderstorm was tailing off in a cloud-laden sky. On the western horizon, a widening gap revealed a setting sun. As a prelude to an unfolding concert the elements and the heavens merged. As pastel hues of crimson tinted the breaking clouds, the sun slowly disappeared from sight. Just when we thought the drama was complete, the pinks...

  • Granite Peak, Montana's highest, presents a climbing challenge

    Rick Graetz, University of Montana Faculty Member|Updated Dec 5, 2019

    Remote and majestic, it is all a mountain should be. Sheer walls on all sides and crevassed glaciers flowing from its upper reaches present an awesome sight. At 12,799 feet, Montana's Granite Peak stands out as the patriarch of "the roof of Montana," the Beartooth Range of the south-central part of the state. The 1-million-acre Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness boasts 28 peaks over 12,000 feet in elevation. Granite is one of seven of these found in a closely-grouped chain that...

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