Badluck Way

Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Phil Condon


cattle, Madison, ranching, west, wolves, work


University of Montana


The thesis grew out of a year spent working as a ranch hand at the south end of the Madison Valley, on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park. The landscape—which is beautiful and brutal in equal measure—provides context for a collection of stories and photographs describing the realities of living and working on the ragged edge of man’s range. This project documents an attempt to reconcile ranching with conservation against a backdrop of sheer mountains and bone-scattered wilderness. It deals with hard choices, like whether it is right to take the life of a cow-killing wolf, or how much development a landscape can bear before losing its essential quality of wildness. Taken as a whole, these stories and photographs describe the process by which I came to feel at home on the Sun Ranch, and how physically working the land shaped my understanding of it.

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© Copyright 2009 Bryce Patrick Chartier Andrews