I usually don't write about things I've read, or send people to read something someone else wrote. I like to sing my own song, with links maybe for reference or for further reading, but I like to have my own ideas.

But this time's different.

If you can imagine a lifelong lover of nature and wild animals and places, who is also a very good writer, spending months belaboring a very few hundred words about a place he chose to live and raise his kids in, then you have Hal Herring's magnificent article about the changes wrought by energy development to an unspoiled landscape south of Glacier.

The fact that Hal has the greatest respect and admiration for his neighbors with whom he disagrees is evident half way through the article. Hal even goes beyond the place most would go in recognizing the legitimacy of those with whom we disagree, he sees the inherent legitimacy and righteousness in his neighbor's ideas, even though in the end he still disagrees in the best action to take. Hal displays a largeness of heart, a generosity of spirit, that all should attempt to emulate in our strong views, whether they are politics or conservation.

Hal writes not only of his deep affection for the land but also for the people who inhabit it and think differently than he does. He writes not only to inform us of impending energy development but also of his deep love of place for the people and town in which he lives.

It's as good a piece of writing as I've read of late, and it's about an issue and a people I also care for. It's going to take you ten minutes, but you'll know by the end of the first couple of paragraphs if it's for you.

The Rocky Mountain Front Blues by Hal Herring at HCN

Above was taken on a "weather day" at our LZ across the road from the Dell cafe, Dell Montana,  in the mid 80s while working seismic survey for the petroleum companies. I didn't take the picture, it's by my friend Tim.

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