By Rick and Susie Graetz
University of Montana 

Southwest Montana provides distinctive stories


January 31, 2020

Rick and Susie Graetz

Trapper Peak rises over the Bitterroot Valley

For the most part, the physical and social geography of Southwest Montana has changed little with the passage of time. Ranching and agriculture are the major lifestyles, and the Bitterroot and Gallatin valleys still draw the most folks. Water, which played a significant role in the past, is still important today. Here in this quadrant of the state is the gathering place for the rivers forming the three forks of the big Missouri. The Jefferson and Gallatin both get their start within the boundaries, while the Madison's birthplace – in Yellowstone National Park – is just a few miles outsi...

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