By Jenny Rohrer
Director, In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean Festival 

Norman Maclean Literary Festival nearing 1,000 registrants


MISSOULA – The In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean Literary Festival announced that the biennial gathering in late June 2022 in Missoula has attracted almost 1,000 registrants and will feature the auction of an original Kevin Red Star painting produced just for the event.

The event, the fourth to be hosted by the Maclean Literary Festival, is called “Public Land & Sacred Ground: Western Writers Bear Witness.” It is scheduled for June 24-26 at The Wilma Theatre. Admission is free to the public. Registration is required and available on the Festival website:

“We’re so pleased to see this outpouring of interest for this great event, which shows the interest and appreciation that Montanans and westerners have in their land and landscapes,” said Festival Director Jenny Rohrer. “Participants will hear from a wide range of authors and speakers on the importance of our land to their and our history. We’re urging those interested to register online and take advantage of this opportunity.”

Earlier this year, festival planners moved the free event from the Missoula Public Library to a larger venue at The Wilma so more people could hear nationally prominent authors discuss the unique heritage of American wilderness, public lands and sacred grounds.

Nationally recognized Crow artist Kevin Red Star has graciously contributed an original painting featuring the Sacred Ground of his family in the Pryor Mountains. This special painting of the 6,880-foot Crown Butte, with four tipis and a band of horses in the foreground, will be auctioned at the Gala Dinner at the Maclean Festival.

“Sacred ground. It’s something that is respectful, something that we walk softly on,” Red Star said of his painting, which is portrayed in the festival’s poster.

“The Maclean Festival was initially designed to celebrate the literature of the West,” Rohrer said. “Our 2022 Festival is moving beyond that mission to respond to conservation issues – specifically the global climate crisis and the need to protect public lands and native ground – because they should be sacred to all of us. We truly believe that literature can educate, motivate, and initiate a call to action.”

Led by New York Times Opinion writer Timothy Egan and author and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams, the 2022 Maclean Festival will begin with an exploration of the challenges to preserving these sacred lands.

The writers will challenge public policy on wilderness, address the history of indigenous people and their land, and brainstorm to create individual and collaborative means to better ensure a positive future for our public lands and sacred places.

Leading conservation advocates Doug Peacock, Williams and Crow Activist Shane Doyle will end the presentations on Sunday with a discussion on current activities in the Bears Ears National Monument and Crazy Mountains (sacred ground to the Crow Tribe) and discuss such measures as the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, a U.S. Senate measure designed to protect working landscapes in Montana for future generations.

On Monday, members of Wild Montana will lead a full-day field trip through the Blackfoot Valley near Missoula to discuss collaborative working-land conservation efforts in the watershed. A bus tour of Norman Maclean’s Favorite Fishing Holes is also available on Monday.

For the full event’s schedule visit


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