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Essays

  • Power of the picture

    Power of the picture

    High Country News photographer Morgan Heim joins the International League of Conservation Photographers to document the gasfields and the wildlands around Pinedale, Wyo.

  • Home is where the guilt is

    In Santa Fe, N.M., April Reese wrestles with the question of whether owning a new house is worth being responsible for the bulldozing of pinon and juniper trees.

  • Credo: The People’s West

    Photographer Stephen Trimble offers suggestions for how citizens and communities can reinvent their relationship with the Western landscape.

  • In Montana, a festival of light

    In the depths of a dark Montana winter, Rebecca Stanfel lights the Hanukah candles and rejoices in being Jewish.

  • Wake up to the West, wannabe presidents

    Pat Williams says the candidates running for the nation’s highest office need to start paying attention to the people – and the problems – of the Rocky Mountain West.

  • The aroma of Tacoma

    Karen Mockler likes the West’s grittier towns – the ones that aren’t remotely cool, the ones with a certain funk

  • There was no green in this Rainbow gathering

    A rancher whose grazing permit in Colorado’s Routt National Forest was usurped by this year’s Rainbow Family gathering decries the environmental damage left in its wake

  • Empty pods and pleasant graveyards

    In today’s surrealistic world, where language exists only to sell things, barren desert suburbs have names like "Lake Forest" and "WillowDale," while a graveyard is called "Pleasant Valley Cemetery."

  • Between the body and the world

    The creepy glamour of the scientific exhibit Body Worlds 2 – which showcases actual preserved sections of human bodies – never answers the question of how – and where– these people lived

  • Science vs. science fiction — get it straight

    The decision of the Association of Petroleum Geologists to give novelist Michael Crichton its "Journalist of the Year" award for his anti-global warming thriller State of Fear can only increase public cynicism about science and scientists

  • Repo Manic

    The author takes a disconcerting journey with a repo-man friend to repossess a car somewhere in Navajo Country

  • Isn't it time to bury the hatchet?

    Tired of the rhetorical arguments that pass as conversation these days, the author proposes it’s time to take a blockhead to lunch – and listen to what he has to say

  • Mute, riven, blessed

    All over the West, white roadside crosses and spontaneous, humble shrines mark the holy sites where the souls of human beings have left this world

  • Waypoints of the heart

    The new hobby of geocaching gives the author and her husband an excuse to explore Wyoming with a GPS while seeking to decode small human mysteries

  • Washing our hands

    The writer tells of an unexpected encounter with Interior Secretary Gale Norton, and the conversation that ensued

  • The trouble with the Endangered Species Act is us

    The Endangered Species Act isn’t broken; we just don’t like to enforce it

  • Fishering

    In a part of Oregon where everybody says there have been no fishers for years, the writer stumbles across one of these rare and beautiful animals

  • In hunting camp, the closet is closed

    A "gay, wolf-loving, tree-hugging former Marine" writes about Brokeback Mountain, elk hunting, and his own lifelong experience with shame and prejudice

  • Waiting for Rain

    The hurricanes in the Gulf and New Mexico’s endless drought lead the author to wonder why it is human beings refuse to take nature seriously

  • The many problems of Richard Pombo

    California Republican Rep. Richard Pombo is having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year

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