Items by Pepper Trail

Hot Mess and other fears for the future
Hot Mess and other fears for the future
How we worry about a dystopian future.
Why we don’t "get" climate change
Why we don’t "get" climate change
Does humanity’s poor time-depth perception explain our lack of environmental coordination?
Look! Shooting stars!
Look! Shooting stars!
A naturalist’s advice: pay attention
Heading out of fall's impending darkness
Heading out of fall's impending darkness
As winter approaches, the author heads to the mountains in search of light.
Pondering change in the Great Basin
Pondering change in the Great Basin
Paleontology and geology at Summer Lake, an ancient lake bed in Oregon, have shown the Great Basin's history of dramatic change
No longer the safest place
No longer the safest place
One ideal corner of the Northwest can’t escape environmental impacts from the rest of the world.
Survival of the worthless
Survival of the worthless
Let's hear it for the sagebrush solitude of the West -- especially those places most Americans consider "worthless."
The way the West was can be seen again
The way the West was can be seen again
Watching sandhill cranes gather on the Platte River in Nebraska is like stepping into a time machine that takes you back to an unspoiled, wild West.
Birding, fast and slow
Birding, fast and slow
If Pepper Trail's Birdathon team had a theme song, it would be "Bat out of Hell."
Bear witness to climate change
Bear witness to climate change
To imagine what your corner of the West will be like in a warmer climate, consider how different plants and animals are at a lower elevation.
Cow-free at last
Cow-free at last
A ground-breaking agreement between ranchers and environmentalists means that Oregon’s beautiful Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is virtually cow-free.
An octopus wants to eat the West
Pepper Trail says a proposed energy corridor for the region will chew up huge amounts of public and private land: Comments are due by Feb. 14.
You can’t stop nature
Pepper Trail warns us that we continue to tinker with nature at our peril.
The BLM plays with fire in Oregon
Pepper Trail says the BLM’s preferred alternative for an Oregon forest will only increase the risk of wildfire.
When is a barred owl a red herring?
Pepper Trail says shooting barred owls is not going to help the northern spotted owl.
The decline of logging is now killing
Now that logging no longer provides enough money to support Oregon’s libraries, Pepper Trail says it’s up to citizens to decide to keep their state’s bookshelves filled and accessible.
Of salvage logging and salvation
If we truly want to "salvage" our forests – and the rest of our environment – we need to think beyond salvage logging, and acknowledge that the value of dead trees cannot be measured in board-feet alone
Of salvage logging and salvation
The writer finds salvage logging to be anything but salvation for a forest
How do you enter a roadless area?
The writer criticizes the Bush administration for ignoring public sentiment and rushing to log potential wilderness areas
If only binoculars were cool
The writer is an avid birder, but how uncool is that?
Cooking up a whopper on federal land in Oregon
The writer says logging companies and the Forest Service have targeted the last of the big old trees
Killing cougars is the easy choice
The writer says Oregon's decision to kill cougars is the wrong way to go
Pombo’s plan to privatize the West must be stopped
The writer asks all those who love the West’s open spaces to oppose a bill privatizing federal mining claims
Avian flu: Don’t fear the flocks yet
The writer cautions us not to become alarmists about bird flu
What’s at stake in the evolution debate
The writer warns that we trifle with reality if we allow the teaching of intelligent design as science
Death Valley wakes up with a bang
The greatest wildflower bloom of a generation hits Death Valley, and people come from all around in search of the beauty of "Bloomstock"
Death Valley wakes up with a bang
The writer drives from Oregon to Death Valley to experience its once-in-a-lifetime wildflower bonanza
The ecology and politics of fear
The writer analyzes the nature of fear and how it can affect the behavior of both elk in Yellowstone National Park and Americans in the voting booth
Who can argue with equality for all salmon?
The writer praises the government for its ingenious solution to the problem of too few native fish
The high cost of low prices
In Oregon, the writer asks people to think of the benefits of government, not just the costs
Searching for the true causes of the West’s fire problems
Pepper Trail, a wildlife biologist in Oregon, says that this is not the time to log our way out of wildfire threats in the West.