Essays

Public land is the essence of freedom
Public land is the essence of freedom
A hunter reflects on the gut-level connection she has to the public land she traverses.
Coal. Guns. Freedom?
Coal. Guns. Freedom?
How the Trump administration has seized mythologies around coal.
Close encounters with a scary fire season
Close encounters with a scary fire season
As wildfires have ripped through the West, take stock of what climate change has wrought.
Growing up in timber country
Growing up in timber country
A writer returns to the old-growth forest of her youth.
The Yaak Valley’s ‘Dirty Shame’
The Yaak Valley’s ‘Dirty Shame’
In the infamous Montana saloon, a lesson about home in harsh places.
Cowboys with surfboards
Cowboys with surfboards
How Hanalei, Hawaii, reflects small Western towns.
Together we pause
Together we pause
Sometimes we need to stop — to think about the ways we wreak havoc in the world.
An expedition through the Edgelands
An expedition through the Edgelands
This landscape isn’t always beautiful — but that’s what makes it loveable.
The watcher and the watched
The watcher and the watched
Observation transforms our bodies and minds.
Naked in the desert
Naked in the desert
The sunburned, imperfect and deeper wild of the human body.
Standing Rock’s men at war
Standing Rock’s men at war
By challenging our myths of the West and its warriors, Native men find their voice.
A case of mistaken identity at the dinner table
A case of mistaken identity at the dinner table
The ‘turkey’ was oddly shaped, too small — and the meat too dark.
Tolerance in Trump’s America
Tolerance in Trump’s America
Amid fear and despair, we’ll have to find ways to talk to each other.
Hope in a post-nature society
Hope in a post-nature society
A writer seeks answers from Lake Powell.
The captivating magic of a dry, dusty text
The captivating magic of a dry, dusty text
An encyclopedia-style book published in 1933 offers surprising perspective.
Terry Tempest Williams and the refuge of change
Terry Tempest Williams and the refuge of change
One of the West’s most beloved authors revisits Great Salt Lake.
Why we don’t mention my great-grandfather’s name
Why we don’t mention my great-grandfather’s name
Aaron A. Abeyta on his family’s shadowy past in New Mexico
Adventures of a roving Bookmobile driver
Adventures of a roving Bookmobile driver
This is not your typical library job.
Looking over the edge
Looking over the edge
2016 Bell Prize runner-up.
Healing on the river
Healing on the river
2016 Bell Prize winner.
How to shear a sheep — and why
How to shear a sheep — and why
On the satisfaction of back-breaking labor.
Remembering a ‘free man’ who died at the Grand Canyon
Remembering a ‘free man’ who died at the Grand Canyon
A transient outdoorsman, he only wanted to be in the mountains or down some canyon.
The afterlife of cotton
The afterlife of cotton
Through the present and past of a border town, on the trail of literary legend José Revueltas.