Add this Event to Calendar 03/19/2020 06:00 PM 03/19/2020 07:00 PM CANCELLED --- Helena College: Montana Conversations: Storytelling and Public Lands with John Clayton




Montana Conversations: Storytelling and Public Lands with John Clayton

Part of Lewis & Clark County Library and Helena College's Event Series

Thursday, March 19 at 6 PM, Lecture Hall at Helena College, 1115 N. Roberts.


Funding for Montana Conversations is provided by Humanities Montana through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Montana’s Cultural Trust, and private donations.


In 1916, when Steve Mather and Horace Albright founded the National Park Service, they imbued their new agency with stories. Stories of heroes such as John Muir in Yosemite and John Wesley Powell in the Grand Canyon. Stories of ideas, such as the alleged birth of the national park idea a Yellowstone campfire in 1870. Stories of what their agency’s lands could do for America.


In a 40-minute lecture and prompt for discussion, John Clayton, author of Natural Rivals: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and the Creation of America’s Public Lands, examines elements of storytelling and how they apply to the public land debate. He shares examples of stories from the world’s first national forest (quick: where was it?) to the creation of Muir Woods to the alliance of rivals John Muir and Gifford Pinchot on the shores of Glacier’s Lake McDonald. Audiences will gain an appreciation for the role of story in shaping public opinion, and the tools to understand and shape such stories themselves.


John Clayton is a nonfiction writer who is particularly drawn to the intersection of history, nature, and culture. His book Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon won the High Plains Book Award. His previous books include The Cowboy Girl: The Life of Caroline Lockhart and Stories from Montana’s Enduring Frontier. This presentation draws from his latest book, Natural Rivals: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and the Creation of America’s Public Lands.

Contact: Suzanne Schwichtenberg 406-447-6681