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Storeis from the Mountains

   April 11, 2014.  Our good friends at National Parks Conservation Association and Glacier Climate Action are hosting an evening of science and visual and musical arts in Whitefish on Saturday, April 26. 

WHAT: "Stories from the Mountain, Songs from the Soul, Tales of Climate Change, Inspired by Glacier National Park"
WHERE: Whitefish, O'Shaughnessy Center
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
WHO: Artists, scientists and musicians including:

  • Dan Fagre, Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, West Glacier
  • Lisa McKeon, Physical Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey, West Glacier
  • Diane Burko, Painter, Philadelphia
  • Joy von Wolffersdorff, Professor of Art, Northridge, California
  • The Crown of the Continent Choir
  • Left Side Brains, Youthful bluegrass

What's It About

A year after Glacier National Park was established in 1910, University of Montana professor Morton Elrod lugged a large camera to a scenic point and snapped a photo of Jackson Glacier. An artist as well as a scientist, Elrod sold park images through his family postcard business.

In 2009 scientist Lisa McKeon photographed the exact same scene from the exact same location. Side-by-side, but separated by 98 years, the two images reveal a striking truth of climate change -- a great glacier nearly gone in less than a century. That stark contrast has inspired a new generation of artists to translate science back into art, bringing attention to the urgent issues of climate change.

Two of those artists will be in Whitefish on April 26 to join scientists and musicians for an evening of visual stories, reflection and knowledge about the real-world impacts of climate change caused by carbon pollution.

These creative thinkers bring planetary climate change down to the human scale, prompting us to grapple with how our species and others can adapt to a powerful new reality.

The multimedia extravaganza caps a day of gatherings in 14 Montana communities, including five in the Flathead, seeking Montana climate solutions.

"Climate change is a big hairy challenge," said Laura Behenna, coordinator of the Kalispell event. "We're trying to make sense of the science through the most human of endeavors: art, music, sharing stories, talking with your neighbors.

By meeting the climate challenge at a personal and community level, we can begin to find the abundant climate solutions available to us as Montanans."

Local Flathead Community Events

Earlier on April 26th, residents in five Flathead towns will spotlight Montana climate solutions through community discussions, music, and rallies. All events begin at noon.

  • BIGFORK: Climate and Community Gathering, Downtown Bigfork: Join your neighbors to discuss the issues, ask questions, explore solutions, and take action. Noon
  • COLUMBIA FALLS: Honk and Wave in Support of Climate Solutions, Highway 2 and Nucleus. Rally for climate solutions. Bring signs to support climate solutions. Noon.
  • KALISPELL: Jamming for Climate Solutions, Depot Park Rally, featuring the Tropical Montana Marimba Ensemble. Bring signs to support climate solutions. Noon.
  • PABLO: Roundtable Discussion with speakers, Salish Kootenai College, The Late Louie Caye Sr. Memorial Building. Lunch Provided. 12-3 p.m.
  • WHITEFISH: Dance a Jig, Honk and Wave for Climate Solutions, Corner of Spokane and 2nd Street, featuring the youthful bluegrass sounds of the Left Side Brains. Noon.


To learn more about specific events contact


Bigfork: Jeffrey Funk, 837-4208 
Columbia Falls: Diane Taylor, 892-1640 
Kalispell: Laura Behenna, 257-2116 
Whitefish: Steve Thompson, 250-9810 
Pablo: Kirwin Werner, 676-8988


To learn more about An Evening of Art, Music & Science, contact: Michael Jamison, National Parks Conservation Association, 862-6722 Steve Thompson, Glacier Climate Action, 250-9810


Diane Burko is a painter and photographer based in Philadelphia. Her "Politics of Snow" project draws upon the Glacier repeat photography project and similar projects around the world. She is devoted to using her art to bring attention to the urgent issues of climate change.


Joy von Wolffersdorff is an art professor at California State University Northridge. Although her first love in art is drawing, she uses whatever medium she feels will most effectively express a given concept. She is currently focused on creating gathering places for scientists and artists who are working on climate change.


Craig Hodges directs the Crown of the Continent Choir, volunteers who sing for fun and perform for social justice, environmental stewardship, spiritual fulfillment and community service.

USGS scientists Dan Fagre and Lisa McKeon have created an exhibit, Losing a Legacy: A photographic story of disappearing glaciers, to showcase photographs from their Repeat Photography Project. The collection consists of historic glacier photographs paired with contemporary photographs, a juxtaposition that reveals dramatic reductions in glacier size. Since they began their rephotography efforts in 1997, over 100 photographs of 20 different glaciers have been repeated. Each summer they capture more images to add to their growing collection.


  Save the Date... Octobert 24.  Headwaters Montana  works closely with several other conservation organizations to help conserve our water, wildlife and traditional outdoor heritage. We partner with American Rivers on the North Fork Flathead River and its many vital tributaries.
(To view a PDF of this article/annoucement, please click here. For poster click here.)
American Rivers and Headwaters Montana thinks its important to protect  the tributaries of the North Fork Flathead River under the Wild and Scenic River Act of 1968.  This national legislation provides assurance that rivers and streams designated as 'Wild', 'Scenic', or 'Recreational' will not be damned or their natural flow impeded.  Congress enacted the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act as a counter-measure to the dam building across the nation and particularly in the West during the mid 20th Century.
The Whitefish Range was formed in part by the erosive force of its creeks.  Trail Creek, Whale Creek, Red Meadow Creek, Hay Creek, Coal Creek, Big Creek flow east from the high ridges of the range.  All are important habitat for the endangered bull trout as well as west slope cutthroat trout.  Trail Creek also has ancient cultural significance as the 'Buffalo Cow Trail' that connected the Tobacco Valley to the Great Plains buffalo herds.
This forum will provide information on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, its relevance to conservation today, and the opportunity to protect more of the Flathead's rivers and creeks during the ongoing Flathead National Forest management plan revision process.
~ We Hope You Can Attend! ~