“At the start of rookie training, we say, ‘Take a look around you—these will be your best friends for life,’” said Squad 3 leader Jeremy Harper, who led these rookie Smokejumpers through an intensive 4-week training course this summer. The DC-3 in the background dropped firefighters on the deadly 1949 Mann Gulch Fire in the Helena National Forest.
After buying hot cocoa at the 3-Mile Trading Co. near Stevensville, Jaymee Medlin and Courtney Stromme walk home against a strong wind in January.
After being pulled from a crowd gathered outside the Badlander in May, Gina Pannoni, right, and her friend Shayna Schildt laugh as police handcuff Pannoni and arrest her for littering a plastic cup. She was later released without being charged.
A few sheep from a herd of hundreds graze on Missoula’s North Hills in August. The use of sheep to control weeds has been proven to reduce the density of noxious plants, but critics say that too many sheep can actually aggravate the problem.
Helena lobbyist Jerome Anderson surveys the floor of the Montana House of Representatives in April. Anderson, now 86, has worked the halls of the Capitol for 60 years, peddling power and influencing some of the state’s most important laws.
Montana Rep Missoula’s staging of Martin McDonagh’s wickedly twisted and masochistically entertaining play, The Pillowman, was one of the year’s theatrical highlights. With a talented cast—including, clockwise from upper right, Don Fuhrman, Andrew Rizzo and Mike Verdon—and veteran director Bobby Gutierrez, Pillowman managed to be as sensational as it was substantive.
After giving high-fives to many of the passing Shriners on University Avenue during the UM Homecoming parade, a boy offered his best Gene Simmons impersonation to a driver from the Bitterroot Fire Engine Patrol.
Falconer Kate Davis works with Sibley, her peregrine falcon, during a hunting exercise in the Bitterroot Valley. Davis, founder of Raptors of the Rockies, raised Sibley from a chick and takes her flying every day during Montana’s seven-month falconry season.
Laura Case and her 4-year-old son Parker learned how frustrating the healthcare system could be after doctors diagnosed Parker with Transverse Myelitis, a rare neurological disease much like multiple sclerosis. Though Parker feels somewhat better today, he still has numerous physiological problems from the illness. People can help Parker and his mom pay medical bills by donating money in jars around Missoula.
During the last hours of Splash Montana’s season, dogs enjoyed the water park during Doggie Dive-In. John, left, and Kramer Ungaretti watch as Turbo, their 4-year-old English Bulldog, goes down the bear slide.
Andrew Rizzo starred as the title character in Thom Pain (based on nothing). Rizzo, an Army veteran from the first Gulf War, brought a real-life persona that was both intensely complex and easily identifiable to the emotionally raw story of an everyman who rents a theater so he can voice all his darkest ruminations.
After a 12-hour day digging fire line at the Mile Marker 124 Fire, the 20-member Fort Peck Type 2 crew makes their way to a row of sinks to clean up before dinner on Saturday, Aug. 4. The Incident Command Post and base camp, located just east of the Beavertail exit on Interstate 90, fed 450 workers a 6,000-calorie diet every day.
Father George Dumais, 71, performs daily chores at his university area home, where he cares for “the Gents,” four disabled men whom he took under his wing 33 years ago. “We read the scriptures, and what was it all about?” he asks. “It was about doing for others, for others who can’t do for themselves.”
Regular Indy film reviewer Andy Smetanka, right, exhibited his signature lightboxes with boxsmith Martin McCain, left, during July’s First Friday festivities at The Catalyst.
Missoula Youth Homes’ InnerRoads Wilderness Pro-gram spent an afternoon in June at McCormick Park on Missoula Parks and Recreation’s High Ropes Course Challenge.
Robin Prosser, Montana’s most outspoken advocate for medical marijuana, was crushed in March when the federal Drug Enforcement Agency seized a small shipment of medical marijuana en route to her. Months later, unable to ease the ravaging pain of her lupus-like immunosuppressive disease, Prosser took her own life in October.
Missoulians Tom Guschauski and Dustin Anderson wait for the fish to bite on Salmon Lake on a Saturday morning in January. “Catching a fish would be a bonus, but right now we’re only catching a buzz,” Guschauski said.
The Smurfit-Stone Container mill reflects on one of its 12 wastewater treatment ponds—home to many species of waterfowl— during a February tour guided by the Five Valleys Audubon Society.