By Joseph T. O’Connor EBS Managing Editor
Looking for summer reading material? Look no further.
The summer issue of Mountain Outlaw magazine, the Outlaw Partners’ biannual flagship publication, landed at our Big Sky office on June 5 and is now being distributed around the Greater Yellowstone region and beyond.
With readers in all 50 states and across the globe, Mountain Outlaw staff selects eclectic stories and adds the grit of our Mountain West perspective. You’ll read adventures and heartwarming tales; you’ll learn about the issues facing the West, the country and the world.
This edition of Mountain Outlaw marks the full-color glossy’s 10th release and hones in on people and the stories they embody. From smokejumpers and dancers in southwest Montana to a U.S. Senator who also farms in the northeastern part of the state; and from a conservationist based near Missoula to aid workers involved in the Nepal earthquake relief effort, these subjects amplify the intrigue that exists all around us.
For the cover story, journalist Todd Wilkinson dug into the inevitability of wildfires and how we can help manage our exposure by understanding the “wildland-urban interface” and changing climate. In Montana, as in much of the West, wildfire dominates summer headlines, and increased development in forested areas puts people in harm’s way.
“Wildfire is a natural phenomenon that used to be hit or miss,” said Wilkinson. “But as far as we can see into the future, [it] now is on our horizon. As Westerners, this is the twin combination of our time – the combination of wildfire and climate change.”
Mountain Outlaw Associate Editor Maria Wyllie took another tack to the outdoors in the Greater Yellowstone, one that extends to anywhere people enjoy hiking and biking. Trails are more than paths in the forest. These days, research indicates they can benefit local economies as well, according to multiple surveys.
“When asked the top two reasons they moved to or stay in Teton County,” Wyllie writes, “96 percent of participants said outdoor recreation, and 91 percent said access to public lands.”
Residents of the Mountain West, as well as those who visit its trails, mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, love the area for what it is and what it represents for future generations. We hope you’ll dive into the summer edition of Mountain Outlaw, brush up on what’s important to us in this special corner of the world, and enjoy some summer reading.
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