“Wild” essay wins grant for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness

Compton’s “Growing Up Wild” chosen as one of five best essays on conservemontana.org

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness program coordinator Sandy Compton was one of five essayists honored with a $1,000 grant to a non-profit of their choice by the Cinnabar Foundation. His story Growing Up Wild was chosen along with four others by a panel of judges led by Montana author Rick Bass from 341 personal stories about wilderness and conservation, appearing on the website www.conservemontana.org 

Compton’s essay was honored along with writings from Monique DiGiorgio (Surviving a Deer-Car Collision at 75 Miles Per Hour), Ben Long(The Colonel: Gary Holmquist’s Battle for Freedom), Jeremy Roberts (The Climate and Ewe – Changes Under the Big Sky), and Walter Archer (Ranchers Unite to Protect Land Against Coal-to-China Scheme). Each is involved in conservation efforts and wrote about that commitment. These top five essays can be found on-line at http://bit.ly/Tw5Pl9

“I have to give credit for the title to my brother Kent,” Compton says, “who wrote a poem entitled “Growing Up Wild” about our childhood in Western Montana. We did, indeed, “grow up wild” — in the presence of some very wild country, the western Cabinet Mountains.”

Compton was raised in the Blue Creek drainage, a tributary to the Clark Fork River in western Sanders County, Montana, on land his grandparents purchased from the Northern Pacific Railroad and moved onto in the spring of 1917. Blue Creek drains much of the southern third of the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. Growing Up Wildfocuses on both then and now, and the transcendent value of wild country to all generations.

“We are proud of Sandy’s contributions to conservation and of his great storytelling,” FSPW executive director Phil Hough said. “FSPW is also honored to be the designated recipient for the grant made by Cinnabar in recognition of Sandy’s Conserve Montana essay.”

Compton, who has been program coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness since 2009, has several books to his credit, as well as hundreds of published essays and articles on life in the contemporary West. His website is www.bluecreekpress.com

Sandy Compton is often still found deep in the country where “Growing Up Wild” was inspired. 

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