Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks
This novel takes place in Montana during the 1950's. A young Catherine Lemay is sent to survey a canyon for the Smithsonian and a wealthy business man that wants to build a power generating dam. When Catherine finds evidence of ancient artifacts she finds out who she really is working for. Along the way she meets a cowboy, John H, who has a unique understanding of the wild horses he paints. A great depiction of the landscape and a glimpse of how the open wilds of the United States get altered for both good and bad. I recommend this book.