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Essays

  • The owl and I

    Melissa Hart’s relationship with an owl transforms her life

  • Lost in the Land of the Ugly Stepsister

    Great Falls, Mont., suffers from the Ugly Stepsister Syndrome, a cognitive disorder that makes it willing to trade a Lewis and Clark historic landmark for a dirty coal-fired power plant

  • The resurgence of hook-and-bullet conservation

    Hunters have done a huge amount over the years to preserve wildlife and habitat, but the powerful group Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, with its obsessive focus on killing predators, seems to be taking a step backward

  • Piscatorial theology

    For Irle White’s father, fly-fishing was the one true religion

  • Epiphanies on the range

    As teacher Phil Brick travels the West with 21 of his students, he encourages them to ask difficult questions about environmental issues

  • Wilderness Lost

    Rebecca Stanfel always planned to take her young son Andrew on wilderness expeditions, but the onslaught of illness has taught her that nature can also be found much closer to home.

  • Safe out there

    To an aging, mentally ill woman named Jade, the beautiful Colorado day is filled with sinister, frightening demons, and even a well-meaning neighbor can do nothing to drive them away.

  • The American Dream, sans gasoline

    The author’s successful search for a car that can run on biodiesel helps her understand the lure of the open road

  • In the suburbs of Los Angeles, your futureawaits

    The neighborhoods of suburban L.A. can serve as a useful model for the West’s urban planners

  • The allure of the gnarled

    It took a while, but the writer eventually came to see the strange, harsh beauty of the gnarled old pinon and juniper trees in Canyon Country

  • Why should the Arctic Refuge matter to the ski industry?

    If the United States doesn’t come up with an intelligent energy strategy, global warming could spell the end of the ski industry

  • The knowledge of mules

    After more than a decade of a solitary existence packing mules in the Northern Rockies, the writer is seriously injured and must reconsider his way of life.

  • The bigger the mine, the better the deal

    Land swaps, like the one planned to save land near Yellowstone National Park from mining, are a bad habit with a bad history in Montana's national forests.

  • This land holds a story the church won't tell

    The Mormon Church would like to buy all of Martin's Cove, Wyo., where Mormon pioneers died 146 years ago, but the writer believes the historical site should stay in the hands of the public, so the full story can be told.

  • We aimed for Russia and hit the West

    The Atomic Energy Commission deliberately lied about radiation dangers to miners and other Westerners.

  • Utah and the Ute Tribe are at war

    Distrust from past betrayals makes Utes stall Utah on Central Utah Project.

  • The luckiest horse in Reno

    After a herd of wild horses is massacred in Nevada, Deanne Stillman ponders the bones in the desert.

  • Conservation groups come and go. Why?

    Pat Munday decries the “professionalization” of environmental groups.

  • The amphibian heart

    Aaron Gilbreath rescues red-spotted toads and wishes he could preserve the unraveling strands of his grandmother’s memory.

  • Too many elk and not enough tough love

    Jeff Welsch decries the “ungulate welfare” on display in the overcrowded winter feeding grounds of Wyoming’s National Elk Refuge.

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