Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Exploring Ecology and Community-based Conservation


Faith Bernstein

The Landscapes and Livelihood students visit several lumber mills to learn about the logging industry firsthand. Here they are pictured at RBM Lumber in Columbia Falls.

SWAN VALLEY – Since the early 2000s, Northwest Connections (NwC) led a two-month course called Landscapes and Livelihood. It introduced college students from all over the country to ecology and community-based conservation in the Swan Valley. Following the merger of NwC and Swan Ecosystem Center, Swan Valley Connections (SVC) continues to teach the course that promotes the triple bottom line: healthy ecology, healthy community and healthy economy.

NwC was founded in 1997 by Tom and Melanie Parker and Andrea Stephens. The initial focus was on conservation work.

"The conservation work was...

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