By Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press
Consider the accolades heaped upon Montana by writers who’ve passed through for a spell or made their home here. In 1962, John Steinbeck famously wrote that he had “admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection” for other states, but found that with Montana “it is love.” Two and a half decades later, William Kittredge of Missoula coined the moniker “The Last Best Place.”
Regardless of their zip code, political leaning or socioeconomic status, Montanans from all corners of the state tend to love its open character, snowmelt-fed rivers and largely intact wildlife populations. University of Montana Environmental Studies Director Robin Saha says that this appreciation can cut through other divides, even in an increasingly partisan political climate.