For the first time in a century, fish are swimming upstream of the Milltown Dam and Reservoir near Missoula, Mont. Soon after the dam was built in 1908, a flood choked the area with millions of tons of chemically laced sediment from a nearby lumber mill. But this month, after years of cleanup by the EPA, a man-made channel was opened between the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers, and now the fish can pass again. “This is an amazing achievement,” said wildlife official David Schmetterling. “We are undoing a century’s worth of destruction.”

Danica Patrick has become the first woman to win an IndyCar race, capturing the Indy Japan 300 this week. Racing fans had wondered when Patrick, 26, would score her first win; she has had 50 career starts since 2005, but her closest brush with victory was a second-place finish in the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. This time, though, she defeated two-time Indy 500 winner Hélio Castroneves by nearly six seconds. “I feel way too young to be giving life advice, but this is a great platform to have,” she said. “This reaches outside racing. This is about finding something you love to do, and following through with it.”

The last fluent speaker of Samala, a Native American tongue of the Chumash people, died in 1965. But the language gained new life last week with the release of a Samala dictionary compiled by linguist Richard Applegate. The 608-page dictionary, 40 years in the making, was unveiled at a ceremony in Santa Ynez, Calif., that featured Chumash dancers in native dress and goodie bags that included M&Ms stamped with the Samala words for “good” (choho) and “hello” (haku). “We won’t have to constantly go searching for our culture,” said Chumash cultural director Nakia Zavalla. “Now it’s right here.”