Located in Montana’s southern Carbon County where the plains meet the mountains there exists a parcel of austere coulee and sagebrush country known as Weatherman Draw. A little known fact about this obscure valley is that is holds one of the highest concentrations of prehistoric polychromatic (many colored) pictographs found anywhere in the Northern Plains. Native American tribes like the Crow and Shoshone know it as the Valley of the Chiefs, or the Valley of the Shields, owing to the numerous paintings they left behind of large, colorful shield symbols which are thought to represent powerful warriors.
The area was recently the site of a contemporary battle between an American oil tycoon who saw the potential for vast fossil fuel resources confronted by the joined forces of several tribes and environmentalists who wanted to protect the area for its natural, historical, recreational, and spiritual values. In the end, the enviros succeeded, and the BLM has designated Weatherman Draw as an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern” (ACEC) to protect it for future generations.