Mountain Journal Ceases Publication

Big loss for supporters of wildlife and land conservation in the Northern Rockies

In August of 2017 Mountain Journal, an online advocate for the protection of the wildlife, lands and traditional communities of the Northern Rockies had its debut.  It was the brainchild of journalist Todd Wilkinson, whose passion and knowledge infused and informed the insightful articles he wrote and helped fill the void in long-form journalism on the mainstream media.

Mountain Journal described itself as “a journalistic watchdog and celebrant of Greater Yellowstone.” With “a strong readership in the Rocky Mountain region, every US state, and 223 countries and territories around the world, we are devoted to telling stories informed by truth and facts. We do it in a way that advances civil, scientifically-informed discussions about the role/obligation that government and private interests play in serving a larger—and greater—public purpose, benefitting humans and non-human species.

Jim Barrett and Todd Wilkinson (on right)Right: Todd Wilkinson (right), with Jim Barrett (left), at a Friends of Park County supporter event in June 2021. He made a point of attending despite having just finished a long plane ride.

Wilkinson wrote many of Mountain Journal’s articles, and recruited other talented writers to write the rest.

In addition to writing about the changes taking place in Greater Yellowstone, many distressing but many hopeful, he popularized what would otherwise have remained obscure scientific research.  He humanized issues by connecting them to people places.  Signficantly and interestingly he and Mountain Journal’s other writers were not reluctant to be a critic of governments and nonprofit organizations that were failing in their duties as stewards of “America’s Serengeti.”

One of those gaps in stewardship was the use of planning and land use regulations to protect the shared resources on private lands, especially as development accelerated (sometimes caused by and in many cases unrelated to population growth.)

This perspective certainly reflects the view of Friends of Park County, which is focused on the one topic that many other nonprofit groups seem afraid or unable to address.

Wilkinson has many friends across the region and among Friends of Park County’s leaders and supporters.  Ken Cochrane, FPC Board President said of Todd: “Todd is the premiere voice for protecting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His informed and hard-hitting articles and books [most recently “Ripple Effects”] provide a lucid presentation of the multitude of natural and human pressures which threaten this truly magical place. His writings educate us and motive us to care and take action to conserve these incredible lands and biosystems for future generations.”

Six years later, Mountain Journal is ceasing publication and the nonprofit that was its legal structure is being dissolved.

That is a major loss for Park County and Greater Yellowstone.  We hope that after a well-deserved break Todd will continue to be an effective advocate for the region.  Actually, we expect it, because that is part of who Todd is.

Here is a sampling of some of our favorite articles in Mountain Journal relevant to the issues in Park County: