Figure 8.2: Riparian tranquility. Source: Flathead Conservation District

“People who resolve to live in a place indefinitely with deep commitment, no matter what their politics or philosophical views may be, are the key to that place’s future.”
- Robert L. Thayer, Author, Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture and the founder of the Landscape Architecture Program at the University of California, Davis

Living in place is not about one’s place of origin, politics, or point of view.  Rather it is a commitment made by many diverse individuals to the place they live. It is a relationship that transcends the shortcomings, idiosyncrasies, and unpredictability of a place. It is a participatory relationship that inhabitants have with a natural region, and the stewardship that grows from that bond. The Flathead Watershed overflows with examples of people with differing views and politics joining together to preserve a stretch of land, repair a bridge, build a trail, or protect a waterway. Over 80 people came together to steward this publication. Our health and the health of our economy depend on the health of the place we live. And the place we live—the Flathead Watershed—depends on us to unite as partners in place.

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