The Seeley-Swan Region
The Seeley-Swan Region is an intricate network of streams, lakes, and forested peaks. This critical wildlife habitat and corridor is also home to diverse communities and human/landscape interactions. Hear how local residents are working together for the holistic health of this valley; from sustainable community development
to wildfire and forestry management.
Scroll down to view the film, podcast episodes, learn about those who are featured,
and view informational links.
Life in the Land: The Seeley - Swan Region
Full film: 32 minutes
How to use the content
Please feel free to screen this film, or portion thereof, in your gathering, workshop, or classroom.
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Links for more info on things mentioned here:
CSKT Fire on the Land Presentation
Montana Forest Collaboration Network
Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee
Southwestern Crown Collaborative
The Nature Conservancy, Montana
Voices Featured & Podcasts
Each interview is featured in its entirety in its own podcast episode.
The podcasts are also available on Apple, Spotify, Podbean, and Google Podcast under "Stories for Action".
Rebecca Ramsey, Swan Valley Connections
Rebecca Ramsey is the Executive Director of Swan Valley Connections (SVC), a locally-led organization with a mission to inspire conservation and expand stewardship in the Swan Valley. Rebecca shares with us about the critical nature of local involvement & leadership in landscape decision making, and the successes and challenges of working with varied interests. Rebecca also shares about the Elk Creek Conservation Area, which SVC co-owns with the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes.
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Forestry Division
Tony Incashola, Jr. is the Director of the Tribal Forestry Department for the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). He and Ron Swaney and Darrell Clairmont of the CSKT Division of Fire, will speak about their ecosystem approach to their forestry plan, working in partnership with neighboring jurisdictions, and reconnecting to a traditional relationship with fire on the landscape. Tony will speak to traditional connections for the Kalispell, Salish, and Kootenai Tribes to the Seeley-Swan region, as well as current connections through bordering jurisdictions. Also view the 8 minute film Returning Fire to the Land, expanding on the interviews with CSKT's Division of Fire.
Gordy Sanders, Pyramid Mountain Lumber
Pyramid Mountain Lumber is is the largest employer in Seeley Lake, and the oldest surviving family owned lumber mill in Montana. Gordy Sanders (Resource Manager) and Wendy Dalrymple (Controller) speak about what it can look like when a natural resource industry approaches its work through a stewardship lens; not only being involved in work that benefits the greater ecosystem, but also to benefit the community it is a part of. Pyramid is also intrinsically very collaborative in its approach, working closely with government agency, tribal entities, conservation organizations, and private landowners. Gordy speaks with us about the value in this approach and about working with entities with different priorities.
Caryn Miske, Clearwater Resource Council
Caryn Miske is the Executive Director of the Clearwater Resource Council (CRC), based in Seeley Lake, in Western Montana. CRC is a locally-led entity that facilitate efforts that benefit the people and place of the Clearwater Watershed. Caryn shares about what holistic, community-led work around climate, equity, and environmental quality can look like, the realistic challenges to starting and sustaining a local nonprofit, and as pressures on small towns and wild places increase, why the efforts are always worth it. In the podcast episode, she also shares an example of a collaborative process that did not go so well...so a lot of information in here for folks who are looking to embark in collaborative or locally led efforts in their own community or work.
Timothy Ryan, Salish Cultural Educator
Timothy Ryan is a Salish cultural educator, and Department Head for the Salish Kootenai College’s Culture and Language Studies Department. We speak with him on the banks of the Flathead River, on the ancestral homelands of the Salish, Kootenai, and Kalispell People. Tim speaks about connections to the land, here, in the Seeley-Swan, and well beyond in the ancestral homelands of the tribes. He speaks to the sense of place, which all of humanity can learn from, and the ways he sees his communities weaving traditional life ways into present day life, to benefit the health of people and place. Tim also shares about the Mission Mountain Youth Crew, which he leads, which connects Native young adults and teens to the land, cultural connections, and natural resource professions on the Flathead Reservation and in the Swan Valley.