Essays

What it’s like to fight off fire to save your home
What it’s like to fight off fire to save your home
As neighbors evacuated, one family stayed behind.
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
A firefighter contemplates the coming fire season.
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
What’s the meaning of lugging literature into the wild?
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
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.
Ranch Diaries: Should we name the animals we raise to eat?
Ranch Diaries: Should we name the animals we raise to eat?
The point of our company is good food but it's bittersweet to see our calves go.
Cursing the mountain
Cursing the mountain
An adventurer asks whether his failures in the alpine zone are caused by blasphemy.
In ‘Gold Fame Citrus,’ the nascent genre of cli-fi looks to California
In ‘Gold Fame Citrus,’ the nascent genre of cli-fi looks to California
A new climate change novel predicts a dystopian West of sand and refugees.
Rants from the Hill: Reno is a desert city with a river heart
Rants from the Hill: Reno is a desert city with a river heart
The Ranter recalls playing an unexpected concert on the banks of the Truckee River.
Ranch Diaries: How to apply holistic livestock management to life goals
Ranch Diaries: How to apply holistic livestock management to life goals
Abiding by shared values helps our quality of life.
The tree in the river
The tree in the river
A writer ponders a remnant of past disaster.
Ranch Diaries: The anti-ranching, misinformed discourse around Malheur
Ranch Diaries: The anti-ranching, misinformed discourse around Malheur
The federal grazing system doesn't support good management.
Rants from the Hill: A Christmas tree grows in the Nevada desert
Rants from the Hill: A Christmas tree grows in the Nevada desert
The pinyon offers an alternative to artificial or commercially farmed trees.
Ranch Diaries: Year in review at Triangle P
Ranch Diaries: Year in review at Triangle P
Coconut the elk, Clem the colt and big dreams for next year.
5 things I learned about managing my money from covering the oil bust
5 things I learned about managing my money from covering the oil bust
A reporter relays tips from her time in the field.
The mysteries of the everyday
The mysteries of the everyday
A writer and her family court the unknown.