Wild Yaak Studios:

Wild Yaak Studios is the Yaak Valley Forest Council's media arm and uses photography, remote video monitoring, and aerial cinematography to highlight conservation efforts in the wild Yaak. Our field crews produce short films, educational materials, photo-point monitoring projects, wildlife photography, and trail-cam footage of daily life in the Yaak Valley.

Wild Yaak Photography

During the field season, Yaak Valley Forest Council crew members capture wildlife and landscape photography that enhances conservation and community outreach efforts in the wild Yaak. Our field crews document the forest ecosystems and wildlife that best highlight the rare and unique qualities that define the Yaak Valley and the Kootenai National Forest. Most of the photographs spotlighted on the Yaak Valley Forest Council website were taken by our Field Crew Leader Anthony South.

Photo Contest

The Yaak Valley Forest Council also holds the annual Lincoln County Photo Contest to raise awareness for wild places and strengthen community connections through wild experiences. We are hosting the seventh annual Lincoln County Photo Contest this year and encouraging submissions that capture the beauty and uniqueness of the wild and remote Yaak area and inspire compassion for our public lands. Finalists will be featured on our website, and contest winners will be recognized in YVFC newsletters and emails and highlighted on our social media channels. If you would like to participate, please contact us at info@yaakvalley.org

Photo Right: 2019 photo contest winner- Keith Taylor


Aerial Cinematography in the Wild Yaak

The Yaak Valley Forest Council uses aerial cinematography to quickly capture epic views of the landscape and actively support conservation initiatives in the wild Yaak. Aerial cinematography allows YVFC crew members to film rare vantage points of the Yaak Valley and produce captivating videos of the area's intact forests and rich ecological diversity. Watch the video below to see an awe-inspiring example of aerial cinematography in the wild Yaak.

Remote Video and Photo Monitoring

The Yaak is a biologically rich and diverse valley home to many sensitive and threatened species in Montana including one of America’s most imperiled grizzly populations. The Yaak Valley Forest Council conducts remote video and photo monitoring to document rare and fascinating wildlife. Watch the video below to see our collection of the best trail-cam footage captured in the Yaak Valley. Thanks to Adam Switalski with InRoads Consulting for putting the video together.

Photo-point Monitoring Projects

The Yaak Valley Forest Council conducts before and after photography of road decommissioning projects, weed abatement sites, and timber sales to establish photo-point monitoring that documents habitat recovery over time. Our Headwaters and Forest Watch programs use photo-point techniques to advocate for healthy native-fisheries and improved forest management in the wild Yaak. View photo-point monitoring project examples below.


Wolverine Monitoring and Education

The Yaak Valley Forest Council recently worked with our local Troy and Yaak schools, Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists, and partnering organizations the Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation and Friends of Scotchman Peaks to help survey for wolverine and educate our community about their ecology and presence in our areap>

Wild Yaak Social Media

The Yaak Valley Forest Council uses Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to support our mission and programs, conduct local community outreach, and provide a powerful voice to conservation issues in the wild Yaak. Our social media shares educational programming that highlights the intact forest ecosystems and rich biological diversity found in the Kootenai National Forest and advocates preserving and protecting native habitat in the Yaak Valley for future generations.


The Roadless Yaak

The Yaak Valley has been logged for its timber more than any other valley in the state. There are, however, 15 areas that remain untouched by loggers. Author Rick Bass has recruited dozens of writers, scientists and locals in a campaign to preserve the last of the Yaak’s forested areas as wilderness. Diane Toomey talked with him about his new collection of essays called: "The Roadless Yaak: Reflections and Observations About One of Our Last Great Wild Places."


Mud Season

Come March, it sometimes seems as if winter will never end. But despite the snow and mud, writer Rick Bass notices changes that indicate Spring is on its way.



The Thinness of the Soil

Rick Bass reads from an essay-in-progress on "westernness," bringing together familiar themes of place and people, of beauty and art and their relation to the problematic idea of wilderness. His thoughts are grounded in human and economic realities of life in the Yaak valley, where he makes his home, writes, and works with the Yaak Valley Forest Council. This reading took place at the Best of Bioneers event in Bozeman on March 27, 2011.