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Share your thoughts and images of the West!

Check out upcoming contest topics, and submit your essay(s) or photo(s) for others to enjoy. Viewers can vote on their favorite essays and images, and entries with the most votes will be featured on the Web site, and earn consideration from our editorial and production staff for appearing in the magazine!

The West is not just about the varied terrain in which we live, but the collection of perspectives and realities of the people who occupy this inspiring land. Add your voice to High Country News – or enjoy those of other readers – and embrace your community of fellow people who care about the West.

finishedThis contest has ended.

The People of the West

Entries: (81)
Began: Apr 10, 2010
Ended: May 10, 2010

SUBMIT up to three of your image(s) starting April 12, through midnight, May 9, 2010. Click on an image to enlarge it. VOTE for your favorites (within the enlarged view frame) through midnight, May 23, 2010.
(Read more ...)

Winning Entry

Coffee Break in Shoshone, Idaho

Coffee Break in Shoshone, Idaho

by nribi — Wid Tanaka, born and raised in Shoshone, Idaho, has coffee with his friends on a Saturday morning at the Valley Co-op, Shoshone. Photo by Nils Ribi, March 6, 2010

by x2awatt 129

Across the Snow Field

On a hot late June day, a hiker crosses a snow field during a hike up Table Mountain in Idaho.

by traveltilmyhomeisfound michelle jorgensen 79

Kid's Ranch Rodeo

Kid's Ranch Rodeo in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming.

by traveltilmyhomeisfound michelle jorgensen 73

Wrangler and little cowboy

Wrangler and little cowboy at the HF Bar Ranch, Wyoming.

by alpinfoto 71

Silver Creek Angler

Spring fly fishing on the pond above Kilpatrick Bridge, Picabo, Idaho. An angler enjoys the peace and serenity of uncrowded waters in the West.

by rangerbighorn 67

Neon Canyon

A perfect spotlight in Neon Canyon, a tributary to the Escalante river in southern Utah.

by jottawalee 51

Pat and Hawk, Archaeologists

At the end of a long day of contract archaeology on the White Sands Missile Range, south of Alamogordo, NM, May 1987

by cleary6717 50

Slickhorn Canyon Hike

Backpacking trek off Cedar Mesa, Utah 2007.

by traveltilmyhomeisfound 44

Cattle Chute Playground

Small children play in an old cattle chute at the HF Bar Ranch, Saddlestring, Wyoming.

by mlynne 33

Brother Bob

At the 100 Ranch near Carrizozo, New Mexico

by nribi 29

Firefighters Occupy the Forests of the West Each Summer

For 100 years, firefighters have occupied the forests of the West. In 2007, nearly 1,600 worked for over three weeks to stop the Castle Rock Fire from burning the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho.

by rangerbighorn 28

Where's Whistler?

A long winter in Saint Mary, Montana sometimes means snowmobiling with your best buds. And sometimes finding your best buds mean crossing that fine line between isolation and insanity.

by amcinerny 24

Collaborative Planning for Recreation Opportunities on the Inyo National Forest

The Sherwins Working Group was an independent, community-based body of stakeholders that developed a preferred alternative for safe and environmentally responsible public access for the Sherwin Area located south of the Town of Mammoth Lakes. The group was comprised of approximately 30 community members who met numerous times in late 1009 to tackle this complex project; they represented a broad spectrum of recreation, business, and agency interests from the area. The process was professionally facilitated and was supported by the Inyo National Forest, Town of Mammoth Lakes, and the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation.

by skiercol 24

Sunrise Duck Hunt

Beautiful morning sunrise in Laramie, Wyoming

by nribi 22

People and Their Dogs

People of the west love their dogs and their dogs love them. Here Kim Nalen and Maddy ski the Wood River Trails near Hailey, Idaho.

by rschnitzer 22

Riding Herd

Moving cattle in Wyoming's southern Wind River Range.

by mlynne 21

Riding Drag and Eating Dirt

Toward the end of a hot, dry day spent rounding up cattle on the 100 Ranch near Carrizozo, New Mexico. Photo taken from horseback with a Nikon N90s.

by marlab 19

What's in the Pocket?

Horses Sooner and Boo checking out my pockets.

by Jeff Chen 19

Bob can't get enough

Bob, a WW2 veteran, began packing mules with the Forest Service in his mid-70s. He stopped doing it full time after a few years. But now in his 80s, he still goes out on occasion with the mule trains.

by rschnitzer 19

Sandboarding: Great Sand Dunes

Summer fun at Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park.

by Hoosiermuse 18

Huckleberry picking in the North Cascades

With Mount Challenger for company, Paula Ogden-Muse picks huckleberries for breakfast in North Cascades National Park. Photo by Jeff Muse.

by rchoi05 18

Ute dance

Young dancer at the Ute Mountain Bear Dance

by utahchrisp 16

Mono Crater Epic Ski Day

Monster storm hit the Southern Sierra Nevadas, providing ideal conditions for skiing the Mono Craters. This shot was taken as we skinned back up for the last run of the day.

by rschnitzer 16

Caddis Hatch

A fly angler enjoying an evening hatch on Montana's Madison River.

by skiercol 16

Watching a Western Sunset

A man and his best friends soaking up the last moments of the western sun. Laramie, Wyoming

by JustNCase 15

Be Right Back

Saddlestring, Wyoming

by Hoosiermuse 14

Inmates sow seeds for prairie restoration

Through the Sustainable Prisons Project in Washington State, inmates at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center propagate plants for the prairies of South Puget Sound. Photo by Benjamin Drummond.

by rangerbighorn 14

A Bevy of Custers

Local Custer impersonators at the 133rd anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn near Crow Agency, Montana. Ranger Michael Stops looks on in the background.

by jdr 14

USFS firefighters

A USFS fire crew still working after a long night on the fireline.

by jdr 14

The Cowboy

Bringing the cows home in Nevada.

by alpinfoto 13

The Real Urban Cowboys . . .

Celebrating the history and heritage of sheepherders in the Wood River Valley . . . Trailing of the Sheep in downtown Ketchum, Idaho.

by BrantNybergPhotography 11

For the director of music...

Thundersnow makes it's way west across the Wind River basin in west central Wyoming.

by skiercol 11

Fly Fishing the North Platte River

Fishermen on the North Platte River Saratoga, WY

by joki 10

Indian parade in Kamiah,

Indian parade in town of Kamiah, 2002. Gorgeous feathers. Photo by John Dadabay

by joki 10

Malheur Refuge sunset, Oregon

End of a birding day at Malheur field station, OR, May, '08. Photo by Jo Kirkpatrick

by benjohnson 10

Playing Around

Having a little fun in Goblin Valley, UT

by fathernature 9

The West is a place to ponder eternity

This photo shows three college students, sitting in the rain/snow/sleet near Sheep Rock in central Oregon, mesmerized by the notion of time passing before their eyes and climate changing over time. Where are we headed as a Nation?

by Hoosiermuse 9

Park ranger teaches little girl

National Park Service ranger Paula Ogden-Muse teaches a little girl and her friends about birds in the North Cascades. Photo by David Snyder.

by mhargadon 8
by hdoliver 8

Cattle Drive

Cattle being moved near Cortez, Colorado

by ChrisBell 8

Drip Castle

Cow Swim campsite, Desolation Canyon of the Green, UT

by readshelley 7

Feeding the Soul at 14,000 Feet

A pristine summer's morning at 14,000 feet: heading off Mt. Blanca to summit Mt. Ellingwood, Colorado's Sangre De Christo range

by alpinfoto 7

Field Study - Multi-use on the waters of the West

This photo represents the potential symbiosis of competing interests for our limited water resources in the west - agriculture and recreation can co-exist.

by benjohnson 7

Old Goat

Overlooking a canyon of the Bitterroot Valley, Montana.

by csalo11 7

Scientists in Sagebrush

Pat Shaver (Natural Resources Conservation Service), Rick Miller (Oregon State University), and Al Winward (Rocky Mt. Research Station, USFS, retired) discuss vegetation dynamics on the sagebrush sea.

by jasonandrick 6

Springtime on the Madison River

Two anglers giving the trout a rest while they take some time to enjoy the beauty of the Madison River near Varney Bridge (Ennis, MT), with Sphinx Mountain (Madison Range) in the background in May 2009.

by RedOni 6

Rope Tricks

Young cowhand at Cabot's Pueblo, Desert Hot Springs, June 2009. Photo by Joe Ross, 29 Palms, CA.

by Jeff Chen 6

Jack, the deliverer

A Delta County resident makin' deals for local produce.

by joki 6

Idaho vernacular art chandeliers at old Payette Lake Lodge

My neighbor Casey in the dining room of the Payette Lake Lodge before it was sold and the fabulous antler chandeliers removed to we know not where, 1996.

by marlab 6

Our Birthday!

Bull calf, Pot Roast, born March 10, 2010 My birthday, too.

by benjohnson 6


Enjoying an early morning in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

by coonrad 6

Quileute Fisherman

A Quileute fisherman stands on the banks of the Quileute river on a blustery February day. La Push, Washington.

by jdr 5

Fishing Buddies

Same place, same time, year after year.

by readshelley 5

Blessings from the snow gods

BIG snow in Crested Butte, Colorado

by Billybear 5

High Noon

Looking over the ranch, Karl Knorr takes a lunchtime ride at 'High Noon'. Heeney Colorado...on the Blue River, in the Gore Range.

by mhargadon 5
by madison 4

What's that sound?

My son watching elk, listening to them bugle, and wondering how they make that incredible sound... Estes Park, Colorado

by madison 4

My heart belongs to you

Sending love from Rollinsville, Colorado

by penquite2 4


a burley pickup hauling a trailer and back dropped by a grand Great Plains thunderhead

by kalaina3 4
by mhargadon 4

The topic: We want to see faces from all corners of the West!  Submit up to three of your best image(s) of a person or people who you think reflect the varied communities and terrain of the West.

About submitting images: Entrants may submit up to three (3) photos for each photo contest, in JPEG, PNG and GIF file formats only; each image submitted may be no larger than 2 megabytes in size.

About voting on images: Instead of making you choose only one entry to vote for, we decided to allow viewers to vote positively for any entry they want to -- one vote per viewer, per image. But be careful - you can't undo your vote once you've clicked the "vote" button, so CHOOSE CAREFULLY!