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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 Working West in Photos

Entries: (56)
Began: Jun 07, 2010
Ended: Jul 19, 2010

SUBMIT up to three of your image(s) starting June 7, through midnight, July 4, 2010. Click on an image to enlarge it. VOTE for your favorites (within the enlarged view frame) through midnight, July 18, 2010.
(Read more ...)

Winning Entry

Old West meets New West

Old West meets New West

by tross — Sheep drive on the road near Durango Co.

by rzurer 37

Branding Day

It's getting steamy at a branding on the Carrizo Plain in central California.

by dcm 20

Hang On!!

Taken during a calf round up on the Salt River Pima Maricopia Indian Community, Arizona

by Carina 20

Fiddleneck? Fiddlesticks.

CarolAnn and Kelly pull the invasive and toxic fiddleneck weed from a California cow pasture.

by Carina 16

Duck Cover

The physical reminders of an emotionally exhausting morning slaughter on a small poultry farm.

by marcbarnwell 13

There's work where we play

Helicopter Rescue in the Grand Canyon

by grandcanyontrust 12

Grand Canyon Trust " Spring Steward" volunteers

Grand Canyon Trust " Spring Stewards" volunteers learn water quality protocols in Grand Canyon

by vpatton 11

Fishing Sitka

A fishing trawler heads out just after dawn at Sitka, Alaska.

by tross 11

The Sweet smell of success

Local Colorado tank cleaner company cleans out the restrooms at Animas Forks, CO.

by pabloconrad 11

Cowboys in Hooper, Utah

Rodeo competitors wait on the top of the chutes for the annual Bullnanza in Hooper, Utah, to begin.

by pabloconrad 11

Taking a break from work

Basalt, Colo., rancher Francesca Fender laughs with her daughter Lauren while the two help herd calves into a chutes for vaccinations and branding.

by grandcanyontrust 9

Grand Canyon Trust volunteers in Paria Canyon

Grand Canyon Trust tamarisk removal volunteers consult map in Paria Canyon

by tross 9

Working the water

Deputies with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office patrol Wahweap Bay on Lake Powell

by dcm 9


A calf roper at a round up on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community misses his calf.

by MZukowski 8

Vineyard Beest

Who works harder than worker bees? This transient swarm of honey bees attached itself to a dormant vine in the vineyard as the bees prepared to establish a new colony. The swarm took the shape of a horned "beest."

by DTB 8

"Desert Bloom"

Carnival as a part of the O'odham Wapkial Ha:Tas, 72nd Annual Tohono O'odham Nation Rodeo and Fair.

by mlucid 8

Biologist and detection dog descend.

During a training exercise, wildlife biologist Lacy Robinson descends the walls of Idaho's Main Salmon River Canyon with her detection dog Mojo, Mojo is trained to detect bighorn sheep carcasses, which are then collected to determine cause of death. Too often, pneumonia transmitted from bighorn's domestic sheep cousins, is the cause of death.

by MikeBeiser 8

Wheels that keep on Working

Palouse country, Eastern Washington Dahmen barn fence

by nribi 7

Sheepherder at work in Idaho

Whether or not you like grazing on public lands, sheepherders work hard in the American West. Here, in the foothills of the Boulder Mountains of Idaho, on the morning of June 30, 2010. Photo by Nils Ribi, Sun Valley, Idaho

by Carina 7

Rhubarb Pie

CarolAnn roles out the dough for a strawberry rhubarb pie from the first fruits of the season.

by pabloconrad 7

Branded For Life

A calf shows its displeasure while being branded by Ted Potter at the McNulty Ranch in Missouri Heights northeast of Carbondale, Colo.

by BisonDoc 7

High Plains Legacy

Old farm equipment sits idle in a field near Centennial, Wyoming.

by BisonDoc 7

Cattle Drive

A border collie spots a wayward cow en route to summer range near Maudlow, Montana.

by DTB 6

The First 10 Seconds

Two US Forest Service Smoke Jumpers exit a Douglas DC-3.

by BisonDoc 6

Brew Pup

A handsome canine sits patiently outside a bar in Virginia City. Wolf-like facial features and yellow eyes hint at a Canis lupus heritage among his more dog-like traits.

by marcbarnwell 5


Vintage truck from a few decades ago

by marcbarnwell 5

Working to Survive

American Buffalo rom the Badlands National Park

by catbaca 5

Monitoring Bats

Setting up a net to catch bats to monitor for species on The Valle Grande Ranch owned by The Quivira Coalition on Rowe Mesa, NM

by Freemanpeak 5

Working for buckle and check

Bareback Rider--Senior Pro Rodeo, Fallon, Nevada

by ajeffery 5

Adjusting Cinch

A wrangler at Triangle X Ranch in Jackson Hole saddles up one of the ranch's horses for morning ride.

by grandcanyontrust 5

Grand Canyon Trust volunteeers celebrate end of day's work

Grand Canyon Trust volunteers from Northeastern University celebrate end of hard day's work

by ajeffery 4

Leather Tooler

Saddlemaker and leather tooler Jack Sept works in his Bellevue, Idaho shop

by ktoft236524m 4

Cattle Crossing

A herd of cattle being moved from one valley over the Cumberland Pass

by Gelatt4 4

Rockslide Brew Pub, Main Street Grand Junction

Grand Junction Colorado Rockslide brewery boys hefting hops upstairs

by hobbitgardens 4

some driveway work

up keep on the driveway

by Trex_Colorado 4

Storm Comin'

Thad Englert loads hay bales before leaving for the pasture to feed the heifers.

by hobbitgardens 4

spring time

the horse is nick,

by ajeffery 4


A wrangler at Triangle X Ranch in Jackson Hole is reaching to get the bridle on one of the ranch's horses.

by ObsidianPearl 4

Singing Wren

Cactus Wren singing a spring song.. Superior, Arizona

by gbroyles 4

Firefighter - Idaho

This was taken on a prescribed fire on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest

by lydiaadixon 3

Day Off

Trucks lined up on a Sunday during Togwotee Pass, WY road construction.

by davewicks 3

Crossing the Colorado

Mule Riders on the Grand Canyon bridge over the Colorado

by vpatton 3

Wild Bighorn

A wild bighorn sheep fights through deep snow in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon.

by DTB 3

"Business is a Little Slow"

A product of the recession in Nevada?

by ObsidianPearl 3

Salute the San Juans

Top of Cork Screw Pass... between Ouray and Silverton, Colorado

by davewicks 2

Hikers by Balanced Boulder

On the trail to Fern Lake in RMNP

by honjarvey 2

weathered wooden western wagon wheel

This wagon wheel has clearly seen many long, hard days under the great western sun. Big Bend National Park, Texas.

by hobbitgardens 2

wood all in. it was a lone day

use the skid to get wood in and some fun after a lone day

by davewicks 2

Taking a Break

Hikers at Mills Lake in RMNP

by quintano65 2
by Freemanpeak 2

Bed and Breakfast

After morning feeding--Lemhi Co. Idaho

by lydiaadixon 2

hello goat!

A colored Angora goat purposed for fiber production. I now own this goat but purchased her from an ag producer in Pinedale, WY.

by ObsidianPearl 2

Gonzales Pass in Bloom

"Spring 2010" What a Beautfiul Spring this year.

by gbroyles 2

Firefighter - New Mexico

This image was taken on a prescribed fire on the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico

by Jimbob 2


Herons nesting along the Green River in Brown's Park, UT

The topic: There are many ways to work hard in the West's landscapes and communities. Submit your image(s) of living or inanimate objects that are hard at work in the American 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!