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Presettlement Wildlife and Habitat of Montana:
An Overview

Annotation Of Expeditions And Individuals Recording Natural History Notes

David Thompson, 1808-1812:

Thompson was a Canadian fur trader and geographer who worked for the Northwest Fur Company. Between 1808 and 1812, Thompson explored what is now northwestern Montana. During this period, he traveled along the Kootenai, Clark Fork, and Flathead Rivers and his journals provide the first written account of northwestern Montana and Flathead Lake. While exploring in this region he established four trading posts, one of which was in Montana - Salish House. In 1812, Thompson reached his southern limit of explorations in Montana at the site of present day Missoula. Thompson's journals include many well written descriptions of the wildlife and habitat of northwestern Montana. There are several accounts of the size and extent of the coniferous trees in this area. Figure 3 shows the approximate routes taken by Thompson.

Glover, R., ed. 1962.  David Thompson's narrative, 1784-1812.  The 
     Champlain Society.  Toronto. 

Henry, A. and D. Thompson.  1897.  New light on the early history of the 
     greater Northwest.  ed. E. Coues.  3 Vols. Francis P. Harper, New York.

Hopwood, V.G., ed. 1971.  David Thompson's travels in western North 
     America, 1784-1812.  MacMillan. Toronto.

Thompson, D.  1925.  Narrative of the expedition to the Kootenai and Flat 
     Bow Indian countries on the sources of the Columbia River.  Oregon 
     Historical Quarterly 26:23-49

Thompson, L.S.  1985.  Montana's Explorers: The pioneer naturalists.  The 
     Montana Magazine, Helena.

Tyrell, J.B., ed.  1916.  David Thompson, narrative of his exploration in 
     northwestern America, 1784-1812.  The Champlain Soc., Toronto.

White, M.C. ed.  1950.  David Thompson's journals relating to Montana and 
     adjacent regions, 1808-1812.  Montana State Univ., Missoula.  

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