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Essays

  • The devil made us do it

    From Devils Tower to the Devils Slide, Old Nick is very much at home in the West

  • So-called 'peace treaty' won't save the Rio Grande

    Environmentalists made a mistake when they settled with the city of Albuquerque over water use on the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico

  • 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"

  • Montana tells the federal government to butt out

    Montanans are rebelling against the federal government, angry at the Recreation Enhancement Tax, the Patriot Act, and the loss of their National Guard to Iraq

  • The Far East yearns for the wild West

    The Wild West lives on in a distinctly Eastern way at Western Village in Imaichi, Japan, sister city of Rapid City, S.D.

  • Do you want fries with that mustang?

    A rider in the federal spending bill will end a 34-year-old ban on selling wild horses for slaughter

  • A look at the West, in the funhouse mirror

    Old Westerners and New Westerners are equally hypocritical when it comes to caricaturing each other and not looking at themselves

  • Evolution of a timber family

    A Northwestern family finds itself in the midst of heated controversy over ecology and economics when it has to decide how to manage its timber farm

  • Let's not ram more boats through the Grand Canyon

    Even though the river is their livelihood, most river guides oppose the Park Service’s plan to increase the number of boats allowed in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon

  • Prowling the back spaces of the West

    Inside an abandoned Air Force base on the Nevada-Utah border, the Center for Land Use Interpretation houses a remarkable museum of the West's human landscapes.

  • The BLM wields fork and spatula over the West's wildlands

    The Bureau of Land Management is handing out public-lands drilling permits like a McDonald’s drive-through with a hyperactive "Order Assembly Target."

  • The wind eternal

    The warm chinook winds of Cody, Wyo. keep temperatures mild as they sand away at the town with a steady gale.

  • It's the West's turn to call the shots

    The neglected, underestimated Interior West might plant the seeds of change for the current American empire

  • An artist's residency, unplugged

    A writer spends time in a primitive cabin in the Colorado mountains, and discovers the wonder of silence and darkness

  • Go West, Democrats, in the path of Harry Reid

    New Senate minority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., brings to Capitol Hill the lessons learned from a hardscrabble Nevada childhood

  • Together, we cross the fence

    A biologist ponders the fences that block us and the labels that brand us, and says we are going to have to learn to trust each other if we want to get anything done

  • Brace yourselves for the counterrevolution

    Don’t worry so much about what President Bush will do to the environment; worry instead about the three new justices he might put on the Supreme Court

  • A mountain lifts a heavy heart

    An emotionally wounded writer is cheered by a visit to Mount St. Helens, even though heavy clouds obscured the volcano

  • Colorado voters snub coal for all things renewable

    The board member of a small electric utility opines that the wind power mandate of Colorado's Amendment 37 is good for the energy industry, despite the utilities' resistance

  • In Oregon, a lesson learned the hard way

    Oregon’s famed land-use laws take a stake to the heart, thanks to voter ire and planners' failure to explain the benefits of a system that has kept strip-malls and sprawl to a minimum

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