Rick Bass and the Yaak Valley Forest Council
"The future's so random, and so mobile, there's no way you're going to get to your vision of what you want your community to be, just by chance alone. I really believe you have to let people know, to use your voice, to say, "this is what I like about my place, I want to keep it this way, this is what I think can be improved, this is what I disapprove of." That's the only way you can have a part in shaping the future." Rick Bass
Rick Bass is a writer who lives with his family in northwestern Montana's Yaak Valley. The valley has been described as a "Noah's Ark of Diversity," with mountain lions, moose, elk, bobcats, grizzly and black bears, lynx and wolverines. Almost all of the Yaak Valley is in the Kootenai National Forest. Rick works with his neighbors on the Yaak Valley Forest Council to support a local and sustainable forest-based economy, and to help protect the last roadless areas on the public wildland in northwestern Montana.
The Yaak Council has been described by Rick as a mix of valley residents, including "hunting and fishing guides, bartenders, massage therapists, road builders/heavy construction operators, writers, seamstresses, painters, construction workers, nurses, teachers, loggers, photographers, electricians and carpenters."