This list wasn't exactly picked using scientific methods. A mix of most-read, least-read (but more important) and controversial stories involving your Missoula City and County government was easy to make and hard to pare down.

The best involved: a unique character from the 2017 wildfire season made people smile through the haze, Missoula County got into it with locals and state officials, the City Council listened to a neighborhood and walked back a decision (yes, really) and there was so much to do with water—from Lolo to Rattlesnake Creek, to what comes out of your tap every day.