Essays

  • This bird fills more niches than a cowpie has bugs

    The author reflects in magpies.

  • The West's nuclear Mandarins have reaped what they sowed

    To those of us who grew up in the 1950s reading I.F. Stone's Weekly, with its regular exposes of the dangers of above-ground nuclear testing, the accompanying coverups and denials, and the silence of the mass media on those subjects, the end of all nuclear testing is a shock.

  • Let's stop dirt-bike noise and 'the-end-is-here' noise

    "Wise-users" may not have much influence, but they should give environmentalists pause to reconsider their long-run strategies.

  • Power could come from a shared vision

    These two special issues of High Country News say that we have overbuilt our electric power system by up to five times. We could shut down up to four out of five power plants, coal mines, and hydroelectric dams while providing the same services and a higher quality of life.

  • 'I lay lizard-like on a boulder, basking and sun-drying'

    I'd always had this urge, possibly primeval, to live in a cave for a while.

  • Everett Ruess: 'I have really lived'

    Unless he returns to tell it himself, we'll never know his fate for certain, but it appears that he began to realize that his love of wilderness, his quest for oneness with nature, had him trapped. He knew he could never go back.

  • How you and a bear can survive a chance meeting

    When meeting a black bear, friendly or otherwise, it is best simply not to move ...

  • Where neighbor is a verb

    Minutiae matters in rural South Dakota.

  • Death and anarchy above Tucson

    A head-on. From the skid marks it looked like the Camaro had been cutting the inside of the curve, way over the double-yellow centerline ...

  • Politics can't save endangered species

    We proudly say that ours is a government of laws, not of men. But there are times when we expect too much of laws and not enough of women and men. This is the case with the failure of the Endangered Species Act.

  • A father's view of a dam proposal

    One weekend in April, I was planning to be on the Colorado River, spending some time in Horsethief and Ruby canyons. Winds and cold temperatures cancelled my plans. Instead I found myself in the office reviewing the" Application for Preliminary Permit" for the Horsethief Canyon Water Power Project.

  • Echoes from a fire at Beaver Creek

    Today I sat in a stand of lodgepole pine trees that met death during the Beaver Creek fire in Grand Teton National Park. Their charred trunks bristled the hillside like quills on the back of a porcupine huddled in self-protection. Unlike people, these trees remain standing after their deaths, sentinels in their own graveyard.

  • Yellowstone: We must allow it to change

    In Yellowstone, managerial control is not love; biology and philosophy, to say nothing of politics, economics, theology and the rest, ought to cooperate to form an ethics that seeks to appreciate, rather than to manipulate.

  • Yellowstone: The Erotics of Place

    The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is landscape that loves bison, bear, elk, deer, moose, coyote, wolf, rabbit, badger, marmot, squirrel, swan, crane, eagle, raven, pelican, red-tail, bufflehead, goldeneye, teal, and merganser.

  • Facing up to the end of the petroleum era

    The National Energy Strategy, revealed earlier this year, is not really an energy strategy at all. It is an economic program, aimed toward the short-term benefit of the domestic oil industry and other existing energy corporations.