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The Year in Photos

A look back at the images that defined 2012

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2012: The year in photos

Slideshows The year in photos

A look back at the images that defined 2012

On the cover: A crowd at Forward Montana’s election results party at the Elk’s Club reacts during President Barack Obama’s reelection victory speech. - PHOTO BY ERIC ORAVSKY
  • Photo by Eric Oravsky
  • On the cover: A crowd at Forward Montana’s election results party at the Elk’s Club reacts during President Barack Obama’s reelection victory speech.


With no sheep in sight, a border collie at Bangtail Dog Rescue works a Frisbee. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • With no sheep in sight, a border collie at Bangtail Dog Rescue works a Frisbee.


Since being hired in 2010, University of Montana President Royce Engstrom has had a tough go of it. The Department of Justice, National Collegiate Athletic Association and Department of Education are each investigating how the university has handled a series of sexual assault allegations. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Since being hired in 2010, University of Montana President Royce Engstrom has had a tough go of it. The Department of Justice, National Collegiate Athletic Association and Department of Education are each investigating how the university has handled a series of sexual assault allegations.


Freeride mountain bikers spoke with the Indy at length this summer about their continued frustrations with state and federal agencies. Despite advances in bike technology that allow cyclists to ride steeper, more technical terrain, many trails frequented by local cyclists remain illegal. Mountain bikers continue their quest of creating an extreme—but legal—trail system. - PHOTO BY STEELE WILLIAMS
  • Photo by Steele Williams
  • Freeride mountain bikers spoke with the Indy at length this summer about their continued frustrations with state and federal agencies. Despite advances in bike technology that allow cyclists to ride steeper, more technical terrain, many trails frequented by local cyclists remain illegal. Mountain bikers continue their quest of creating an extreme—but legal—trail system.


The March 19 relocation of 63 wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Reservation proved unpopular with neighboring ranchers. A district court judge soon ruled against any future wild bison transport in the state. - PHOTO BY ALEX SAKARIASSEN
  • Photo by Alex Sakariassen
  • The March 19 relocation of 63 wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Reservation proved unpopular with neighboring ranchers. A district court judge soon ruled against any future wild bison transport in the state.


Eric Samsoe takes the express lane down the Bitterroot Range’s Saint Joseph Peak. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Eric Samsoe takes the express lane down the Bitterroot Range’s Saint Joseph Peak.


Two dozen bear rugs line the shelves at Darby’s Big Bear Taxidermy before being shipped in late January to customers across the country. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Two dozen bear rugs line the shelves at Darby’s Big Bear Taxidermy before being shipped in late January to customers across the country.


Colton Wilson, 22, is incarcerated at the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Shelby for felony assault with a weapon. Wilson is one of a growing number of mentally ill people behind bars. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Colton Wilson, 22, is incarcerated at the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Shelby for felony assault with a weapon. Wilson is one of a growing number of mentally ill people behind bars.











Sen. Max Baucus hoists a wall at a low-income homebuilding project in Missoula on Aug. 7. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the controversial Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” a sweeping reform of the country’s health insurance system authored chiefly by Baucus. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Sen. Max Baucus hoists a wall at a low-income homebuilding project in Missoula on Aug. 7. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the controversial Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” a sweeping reform of the country’s health insurance system authored chiefly by Baucus.


An autumn view of Flathead Lake from the parking lot of Polson’s Subway. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER


In overseeing the largest online permaculture forum in the world, Paul Wheaton promotes foregoing conventional gardening and green building techniques for ecological designs that take cues from Mother Nature. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • In overseeing the largest online permaculture forum in the world, Paul Wheaton promotes foregoing conventional gardening and green building techniques for ecological designs that take cues from Mother Nature.


Mamalode publisher and longtime Missoula resident Elke Govertson thrives in controlled chaos. Her publication was named “America’s Best Parenting Magazine in Print” this year by Lisa Stone, CEO and cofounder of the website BlogHer, which draws 40 million unique visitors a month. - PHOTO BY STEELE WILLIAMS
  • Photo by Steele Williams
  • Mamalode publisher and longtime Missoula resident Elke Govertson thrives in controlled chaos. Her publication was named “America’s Best Parenting Magazine in Print” this year by Lisa Stone, CEO and cofounder of the website BlogHer, which draws 40 million unique visitors a month.


A late afternoon thunderstorm builds over Swan Peak, the namesake of the range. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • A late afternoon thunderstorm builds over Swan Peak, the namesake of the range.


Tom Maclay saw his 3,000-acre family ranch at the base of Lolo Peak auctioned off on the Missoula County Courthouse steps in February, all but killing his decade-long quest to build the controversial Bitterroot Resort. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Tom Maclay saw his 3,000-acre family ranch at the base of Lolo Peak auctioned off on the Missoula County Courthouse steps in February, all but killing his decade-long quest to build the controversial Bitterroot Resort.


Despite a brutal headwind, riders in the 2012 RATPOD raised nearly $500,000 for Camp Mak-a-Dream by biking 130 miles around the Pioneer Mountains on June 22. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Despite a brutal headwind, riders in the 2012 RATPOD raised nearly $500,000 for Camp Mak-a-Dream by biking 130 miles around the Pioneer Mountains on June 22.


A powerful March 28 storm brought 55 mph winds, toppling trees from Hamilton to Missoula and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses. This Ford Bronco, parked on the UM campus, received an unexpected garland. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • A powerful March 28 storm brought 55 mph winds, toppling trees from Hamilton to Missoula and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses. This Ford Bronco, parked on the UM campus, received an unexpected garland.


Arrowleaf balsamroot reach toward the sun in Missoula’s North Hills in early May. A blanket of the native flowers covers Missoula’s hills with a brilliant yellow every spring. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Arrowleaf balsamroot reach toward the sun in Missoula’s North Hills in early May. A blanket of the native flowers covers Missoula’s hills with a brilliant yellow every spring.











Sue Holden pulls a cart full of garbage across the Missoula County Fairgrounds while cleaning up after Western Montana fairgoers. Holden found a truck tire, an unmatched shoe, an empty wallet, a bucket of pickles and Easter egg hunt remnants. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Sue Holden pulls a cart full of garbage across the Missoula County Fairgrounds while cleaning up after Western Montana fairgoers. Holden found a truck tire, an unmatched shoe, an empty wallet, a bucket of pickles and Easter egg hunt remnants.


An elk hunter uses a bike and trailer to access more remote parts of the Lolo National Forest. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • An elk hunter uses a bike and trailer to access more remote parts of the Lolo National Forest.


A gaggle of Canadian geese cruise through downtown Missoula before landing on the Clark Fork River in late January. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • A gaggle of Canadian geese cruise through downtown Missoula before landing on the Clark Fork River in late January.


Andy Hartnett kicks up a rooster tail of beer and water during the Montana Snowbowl Pond Skim in late March. - PHOTO BY MICHELLE GUSTAFSON
  • Photo by Michelle Gustafson
  • Andy Hartnett kicks up a rooster tail of beer and water during the Montana Snowbowl Pond Skim in late March.


Pearl Jam rock a sold-out Adams Center on Sept. 30 with a 29-song performance benefiting U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s reelection campaign. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Pearl Jam rock a sold-out Adams Center on Sept. 30 with a 29-song performance benefiting U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s reelection campaign.


Missoula native Sam Schultz charges the “A line” on his way to a first-place finish at the second annual Missoula XC at Marshall Mountain on July 14. The nine-time World Championship team member later took 15th place in the mountain bike race at the London Summer Olympics. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Missoula native Sam Schultz charges the “A line” on his way to a first-place finish at the second annual Missoula XC at Marshall Mountain on July 14. The nine-time World Championship team member later took 15th place in the mountain bike race at the London Summer Olympics.

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