For Montana’s water rights, a radical and likely doomed idea

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) – Joe Gutkoski’s office is cluttered, overflowing with books, papers, magazines. Photos, maps and awards fill wall space not occupied by bookshelves, and two fish are mounted above a closet – a native paddlefish and a non-native brown trout. There are two desks. One supports a computer and faces the wall. The other holds up a stack of unopened mail and faces a window to the snow-covered yard at this house Joe Gutkoski has, this house that has begun feeling a little too big.

Not much else has seemed too big for the short 89-year-old with a neat mustache. He still scales the occasional mountain, and he still fights for environmental causes with apparently boundless energy. Bison, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears – name it, and he has an opinion. He might even have a grand and controversial solution, like his idea about water, reported the Bozeman Daily Chronicle ( Months from now, the weather will warm and snow will melt. Some of it will soak into the ground, and some will flow into the rivers and streams that thread the state.


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