Nature: Our imperiled sagebrush ecosystem

At one time, sagebrush habitat covered as much as 300 million acres (more than 468,000 square miles) in the western United States. It provided a robust ecosystem for more than 350 species of wildlife. Today, that vast sea of sagebrush has shrunk into a series of lakes, ponds and puddles and is considered to be one of the most imperiled ecosystems in the nation.

Packrafts open new vistas in the backcountry

In this photo taken on June 11, 2015, a man packrafts on Packrafting on Quartz Lake in Glacier National Park, in Mont. Packrafting is a good way to explore the four-mile-long lake that has no trail around its thickly vegetated shoreline. Packrafts are light enough to be carried into remote stretches of water by backpackers. (Tom Bauer/Missoulian via AP)

POLEBRIDGE, Mont. (AP) — Not to sell Quartz Lake short, but as Glacier National Park destinations go, it’s tough to love.

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