July 31 Yaak Wilderness Festival was a winner.

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness program coordinator Sandy Compton took the opportunity on July 31 to meet Lincoln County Friends, catch some rays and listen to some stellar music at the Yaak Valley Forest Council’s 7th annual Wilderness Festival.

“The things I have to do for the Friends,” Compton complained, tongue firmly planted in his cheek. “I’ve attended the Festival before, but I’ve never been to Turner, and I think I’ll force myself to come back . . . probably in January or February . . . or both.”

Music for the Festival was provided by Alan Lane, Wise River Mercantile and Drum Brothers. Lane is a gravelly-voiced and talented balladeer in the finest Western tradition. Wise River Mercantile are two married couples who play and sing bluegrass to a central mic. Last on, the Drum Brothers brought their special blend of “world music.”

Northwest Montana balladeer Alan Lane entertains at the Yaak Wilderness Fest July 31.
Northwest Montana balladeer Alan Lane entertains at the Yaak Wilderness Fest July 31.

FSPW signed up several new Friends from Lincoln County and Compton was able to put faces to names of  “veteran” Friends he had never met in person, including YVFC staffers Robyn King and Lisa Mountain.

In addition to the music and food and beverages provided by the Turner Lodge kitchen, Kim Annis from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks brought her bear education booth to the Festival, and Mike Justus of Eureka from the Lincoln Conservation District used a specially-designed hydrology education trailer to teach Festival goers about water dynamics and conservation.

“It was a great time for a great cause,” Compton said, ” and a good opportunity to meet wilderness-lovers from the north side of the Kootenai.”

For more pictures, visit Sandy Compton’s Facebook page here

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