Commitment in the High Divide

Posted by Renee Magyar on September 26, 2014

Alden Boetsch reflects on her recent visit with members of our capacity building initiative.

Madison mountain range in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

As fall images of bright yellow aspens, golden grasses, and reddening willows against a backdrop of mountain peaks and rivers still lively from a wetter than normal summer filled the view through my windshield on my most recent trip to Montana and Idaho, one word kept coming to mind: commitment.

I spent the week making a big loop from Missoula, over to Bozeman, and down to Dillon, Dell, and Wise River in Montana, and then dipped over to Salmon, Idaho to visit with each of the seven groups participating in an organizational capacity building initiative that Sustainable Northwest is leading. Together with our partners, Blackfoot Challenge, Future West, The Nature Conservancy, the Montana Watershed Coordinating Council, and the Brainerd Foundation, we’re working with each of the groups in the program to strengthen their ability to foster and maintain strong organizations. 

Although all at different stages, and working in different communities on a range of resource-related issues, each of the groups participating in the program share a common commitment. It’s a commitment to place, to making their communities vibrant places to live for current and future generations, and to stewarding the natural resources that define the landscape. I also saw a commitment to curiosity, to partnership, to collaboration, and to being creative and proactive in finding solutions to challenges. 

It’s inspiring to get to work with such a committed group of people, and I’m greatly looking forward to what the next year will bring as we continue our work together.