by Cara Gardner

To raise awareness and simply have a good time, the Yaak Valley Forest Council is getting behind a series of events in North Idaho and northwestern Montana in the next two weeks.

War and Peace

Vietnam vet and grizzly bear expert Doug Peacock will show his acclaimed documentary, Peacock's War, at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint this Saturday as a benefit for the Yaak Valley Forest Council. Peacock was a Green Beret medic in Vietnam. Upon returning to the U.S., he lived in the Yaak wilderness of northwestern Montana, where he found solace for his war-ravaged mind and soul. Peacock created a moving documentary on the grizzly bear population in the Yaak, capturing their very human characteristics, coupled with their wild and untamed natures.

"My first impressions [of the film] were wonder and amazement at the incomparable footage of wild Montana bears -- not Alaska-salmon bears, but secretive forest-bears" says Rick Bass, an environmental novelist, essayist and short story writer, who has written extensively on the Yaak Valley.

Bass will introduce Peacock at the film's showing on Saturday evening at 7:30 pm, and the two men will lead a discussion afterward. Bass says anyone with an appreciation for the wild should see Peacock's film, "for the unique perspective of a tested, battlefield warrior who has the courage to defend that which he loves deeply, and that which healed him." Tickets $10; $15 at the door

Yaak Wilderness Festival

In honor of wilderness protection and the way of life in the Yaak Valley, all are welcome to attend the family-friendly festival held all day on Saturday, July 31, at the Dirty Shame Saloon in Yaak, Mont. It will include live music by the Hey Dan Rhythm Band, local and organic foods, Montana microbrews, local vending, educational and activist exhibits and even fire eaters and giant tree puppets. All proceeds go toward the Yaak Valley Forest Council's mission of seeking diversity and balance between the Yaak community and its surrounding wilderness. Silent and live auctions will be held, along with free children's games and the raffle of a Perception Swifty Kayak, an Orvis flyfishing combo, Patagonia clothing and more. Tickets are $15 in advance; $18 at the festival; students are $6; children under 12 are free.

More Live Music

The Wilderness festival in Troy, Mont., will start a little early this year, with live acts the Broken Valley Roadshow and Amy Martin, performing at the Hotclub during the evening of Friday, July 30. The Broken Valley Roadshow performs bluegrass instrumentals, a capelas and old-time favorites. Amy Martin's first record, To You, was named one of the 10 best albums of 2000 by The Inlander. Tickets: $5

For more info, contact the Yaak Valley Forest Council at 406-295-9736 or e-mail

Publication date: 07/22/04

Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 11
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