UM, local partners debut program

The Rocky Mountain Front Gathering — an event organized by the University of Montana and local partners — will celebrate the history, landscapes, communities and surrounding wilderness of the local area on Sept. 13 and 14.

“The purpose is to identify areas with natural and historical assets that we can use to boost the economy,” said Rick Graetz, UM geography professor and a leader of the UM Community Vitality Program. “We want to encourage journalists to take advantage of all the stories these small communities have to offer, and encourage people to enjoy Choteau for a couple days.”

The Community Vitality Program started in Lincoln, where it focused on advertising the city as the “basecamp on the crown of the continent.” UM students and professors then spread out to partner with other small communities — and Choteau is next.

“We’ve always been interested in the Choteau area,” said Graetz. “We

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