Essays

Ranch Diaries: The peculiar confines of cowboy culture
Ranch Diaries: The peculiar confines of cowboy culture
I see my 19-year-old self in our new intern, as she builds her skills and learns the ropes of ranch etiquette.
A life aloft
A life aloft
An ode to airport-dwelling birds.
The outdoors gender gap needs to be closed
The outdoors gender gap needs to be closed
Women’s tax dollars help fund public land – yet that public asset isn’t seen as safe for all people to enjoy.
Ranch Diaries: Our first intern, branding cattle and renovating an old home
Ranch Diaries: Our first intern, branding cattle and renovating an old home
Triangle P cattle know the territory now, so our second summer shouldn’t be as demanding as the last.
The life of a fire lookout is one of the senses
The life of a fire lookout is one of the senses
A former lookout finds the woman who used to guard her tower.
National Park Week fails to change the game
National Park Week fails to change the game
Last week’s celebration showed how close we are to natural beauty, yet so far from diversifying our national parks.
Ranch Diaries: The risks of ranching on a wild landscape
Ranch Diaries: The risks of ranching on a wild landscape
How the threat of predators has fundamentally shaped my relationship with nature.
No, national parks are not America’s ‘best idea’
No, national parks are not America’s ‘best idea’
There’s potential to alienate people who value ideas more pertinent to them than the parks.
Who belongs in the natural world?
Who belongs in the natural world?
The lack of diversity in the outdoors often prompts people of color to ponder their sense of belonging in nature.
Ranch Diaries: Sustainability doesn’t always mean regenerative
Ranch Diaries: Sustainability doesn’t always mean regenerative
How I came to terms with my subsistence upbringing, and have started to rethink it.
Take a page from the mountain goats
Take a page from the mountain goats
A parent contemplates risk assessment with kids in the mountains.
Rants from the Hill: After many years of essay writing, a wave goodbye
Rants from the Hill: After many years of essay writing, a wave goodbye
All good Rants must come to an end and this marks the final missive from the Ranting Hill.
Ranch Diaries: I’m starting (another) new business. Will it work?
Ranch Diaries: I’m starting (another) new business. Will it work?
I’ll soon be delivering our grass-fed beef to the processor myself, and connecting directly with customers.
Seeds in a sandstorm
Seeds in a sandstorm
A writer contemplates love and disaster in a city of transients.
I inherited an oil field. Now what do I do with it?
I inherited an oil field. Now what do I do with it?
A writer faces a moral dilemma: fight the bureaucracy to end oil extraction on family land or give in?
Ranch Diaries: The era of the landless agrarian
Ranch Diaries: The era of the landless agrarian
I’m part of a generation of young farmers and ranchers who will struggle to ever own the land they work.
The tricky allure of unpeopled places
The tricky allure of unpeopled places
Longing for solitude on the land, and feeling uneasy.
Finding the big quiet in Great Basin National Park
Finding the big quiet in Great Basin National Park
A writer revisits the acoustical landscape of the National Park system.
Rants from the Hill: A romance in Reno, land of the second chance
Rants from the Hill: A romance in Reno, land of the second chance
The Ranter remembers being struck down by love for Tonya Harding, the fallen ice skater.
I’m garden-obsessed even though it’s still winter
I’m garden-obsessed even though it’s still winter
Ranch Diaries: Dispatch from a confab of women in agriculture
Ranch Diaries: Dispatch from a confab of women in agriculture
When holistic management is too land-focused, the needs of the people on the land gets lost.
The time of painful impossibilities
The time of painful impossibilities
A reading by U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
Can we make sense of the Malheur mess?
Can we make sense of the Malheur mess?
A writer finds camaraderie and despair inside the Oregon standoff.