The Yellowstone Gateway Museum is hosting Borderlands, a virtual speaker series beginning on Wednesday, October 20, 7:00pm, and continuing on November 10 and November 17. Participants can register for any or all of the Zoom programs here: https://www.parkcounty.org/Yellowstone-Gateway-Museum/webinars-programs/borderlands-fall-speaker-series/. Programs are uploaded to museum’s YouTube channel after the live virtual event.

Museum curator Karen Reinhart explains this fall’s theme, “We are excited to offer programs by experts who explore areas that border or are near the edge of Park County, Montana—the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Ivan Doig Country to the north in Meagher County, and the Beartooth Highway on the border of Park County and Wyoming.”

Jesse Logan presents, “Wilderness, Wildness, and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area: From Grasshoppers to Grizzly Bears,” on Wednesday, October 20, 7:00pm. Logan is a retired US Forest Service research scientist and backcountry ski guide. Much of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is protected as National Parks, National Forest, or designated Wilderness. Among the most spectacular of these is the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area. At almost 1,000,000 acres, this spectacular landscape is nearly ½ the size of Yellowstone National Park itself. Although, even such a large, protected area is not sufficient for the complete habitat requirements of many wildlife species. These species, and in fact, the indigenous humans who utilized them, followed seasonal migration paths that were not restricted by human-made borders on a map. Both the promise of protected Wilderness and the challenges presented by their artificial boundaries will be explored using two examples from Voices of Yellowstone’s Capstone: A Narrative Atlas of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness (available at Elk River Books, Sax and Fryer, Dan Bailey’s, or on-line at https://shop.abwilderness.org/) Logan was the Associate and Contributing Map Editor for the bookwhich won the 2020 Big Sky Award and an Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal, and was a High Plains Book Award finalist.

Mary Murphy presents “Ivan Doig: Writer of Montana’s Land & People” on Wednesday, November 10. Murphy is a Distinguished Professor of History at Montana State University Bozeman and the Director of the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West. Doig captured the Montana landscape and the Montana voice in his novels. But his own voice was born in Meagher County in his beloved memoir This House of Sky, the story of his childhood and coming of age. Doig returned over and over to the world of central Montana and the Rocky Mountain front in his novels. But he learned to write about the land and people of Montana by living and listening in Meagher County. Murphy will discuss the deep respect for working people and the love of Montana language that characterize all Doig’s works and that grew from his own experiences. Murphy teaches courses in American history with a special focus on gender and on the history and culture of food.  Among her books are Hope in Hard Times: New Deal Photographs of Montana, 1936-1942 and Mining Cultures: Men, Women, and Leisure in Butte, 1914-41.

Jon Axline presents “The Beartooth Highway: A History of America’s Most Beautiful Drive” on Wednesday, November 17, 7pm. Axline is the long-time historian and interpretive marker coordinator at the Montana Department of Transportation. He’s a fourth-generation Montanan and graduated from Montana State University with an MA in American history. The famed Beartooth Highway is particularly noted for its sometimes frightening switchbacks, steep grades, and its spectacular views. The construction of the highway is a story in and of itself. Built during the Great Depression, the Beartooth Highway was the result of many years of political lobbying by Montana’s congressional delegation and the National Park Service. The highway also presented significant engineering and construction challenges. This is the story of how the highway came about and the story of the men who designed it and the contractors who built America’s most scenic highway.

Visit Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for program updates or contact Karen Reinhart, 222-4184 or kreinhart@parkcounty.org. Register for Zoom programs here: https://www.parkcounty.org/Yellowstone-Gateway-Museum/webinars-programs/borderlands-fall-speaker-series/.

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