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Uncommon Westerners

  • Spinner of yarns, maker of floats

    Black George Simmons – an 84-year-old park volunteer with a flair for colorful stories – dishes out root beer floats to anyone who visits his tiny log cabin in Grand Teton National Park.

  • Sculpting a reason to love the wind

    Gary Bates creates mammoth metal sculptures out of discarded junk and sets them outside to turn and spin in the wind

  • Changing the world, one car at a time

    Greg Rock, co-founder of the Green Car Company in Seattle, is determined to help the world drive into a greener and more sustainable future

  • Worth the work

    Jeremias Pink fixes up bikes and gives them away because he loves his town, Pocatello, Idaho

  • John Nichols and his 19th miracle

    Writer John Nichols is still fighting the good fight in Taos, N.M.

  • Fightin’ against the feds

    Utah state Rep. Mike Noel is still fighting the federal government over Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

  • Saving the Sierra, tale by tale

    Independent radio producers Catherine Stifter and jesikah maria ross are trying to help the Sierra Nevada by preserving the stories of the people who live there

  • His playground pulls fun hogs off the publiclands

    Jeremy Parriott is working with friends to create a 320-acre extreme-sports playground near Moab, Utah, to give four-wheelers and others a place to play off the public lands

  • She builds new words in an ancient tongue

    Reba Teran is painstakingly building an audio dictionary of spoken Shoshone, hoping to save both her language and her culture

  • Wolf man John

    John Morgart works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, overseeing the recovery of Mexican wolves in the Blue Range of New Mexico and Arizona

  • A wolf’s life

    The wolf known as B-7 – the last surviving member of a group of Canadian wolves released in Idaho in 1995 – has died.

  • Warp, weft and Wal-Mart

    Navajo weaver Marie Begay makes beautiful rugs from the wool of the sheep she raises, and looks forward to spending the money she earns at Wal-Mart.

  • Population’s Paul Revere?

    Frosty Wooldridge sees himself as a kind of Paul Revere, tirelessly warning the West about overpopulation – especially in the form of illegal immigrants.

  • Keeper of the wildlife

    Biologist Les Bighorn, a Dakota Sioux, works to restore the swift fox to its native landscape on the Fort Peck Sioux and Assiniboine Reservation.

  • A Montana rancher stands his ground against subdivision

    An 86-year-old lifelong rancher named Vernon Gliko is donating his entire 1,800-acre Montana ranch as a conservation easement.

  • Native Intelligence

    Lili Singer is in love with California’s native plants and wants to share that love with other people.

  • The Chaparralian

    Richard Halsey says Southern California’s chaparral is not to blame for the fires that scorch the region every year.

  • Tackling Utah’s trash

    Issa Hamud, an engineer who was born in Somalia, helped Logan, Utah, create a successful recycling program.

  • Sniffin’ out scat for conservation

    Wicket – a wildly energetic dog discovered in an animal shelter – serves scientists by looking for grizzly poop in the Montana wilds.

  • Conspiring with caddisflies

    A Seattle artist known only as Ferg works with tiny caddisfly larvae to make jewelry from the insects’ intricate casings

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