Out-migration has devastated the small towns of Montana, novelist Deirdre McNamer writes in an op-ed in today's Times. Salvation has come in the improbable form of Operation Noble Mustang. The US government program uses prisoners to train wild horses from federal land holdings for use by border guards patrolling for smugglers and terrorists coming from Canada.
The border town of Shelby has benefited from the 40 new Customs and Border Protection agents who now call it home. McNamer concludes, "It’s a new, strange story... economic health in this new century rides largely on the continued threat of threat itself."