edited by Keir Graff
The Montana Land Reliance is celebrating their millionth protected acre with the gorgeous new book A Million Acres, published in partnership with Riverbend Publishing of Helena. Editor Keir Graff , who grew up in Missoula, has worked with Montana writers, including Jamie Harrison, Joe Wilkins, Jim Robbins, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, Carrie La Seur, Rick Bass, Antonia Malchik, and Allen Morris Jones, to capture the vibrancy, beauty, value, and complexity of land in our state.
This coffee-table book reads like a literary journal: it features nonfiction and fiction pieces as well as one moving song. It also features generously sized photographs by fourth-generation Montanan Alexis Bonogofsky, whose images actually do deserve the term breathtaking. These pictures capture the wild, complex, eerie patterns of sky; the pinks and purples of evening; the delicacy of grass and animals’ fur; and the wisps of clouds clinging to mountains. The images seem to second what Graff writes in the book’s introduction: “What we are protecting is in many ways absence, but it is only our absence. It is also everything: earth, water, sky.”
Sent to a Montanan living in another state or kept for oneself as a celebration of the land around us, A Million Acres is a book to treasure—vivid proof of the reason so many Montanans agree with a line from LeDoux Hansen’s song in the book: “I’d rather give up heaven, than Montana.”