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Check out upcoming contest topics, and submit your essay(s) or photo(s) for others to enjoy. Viewers can vote on their favorite essays and images, and entries with the most votes will be featured on the Web site, and earn consideration from our editorial and production staff for appearing in the magazine!

The West is not just about the varied terrain in which we live, but the collection of perspectives and realities of the people who occupy this inspiring land. Add your voice to High Country News – or enjoy those of other readers – and embrace your community of fellow people who care about the West.

finishedThis contest has ended.

The Most Changed West

Entries: (62)
Began: Aug 30, 2010
Ended: Oct 11, 2010

SUBMIT up to three of your image(s) starting August 30, through midnight, September 26, 2010. Click on an image to enlarge it. VOTE for your favorites (within the enlarged view frame) through midnight, October 10, 2010.
(Read more ...)

Winning Entry

votes
1885
Prairie Dogs at Jackalope

Prairie Dogs at Jackalope

by amyrlevek — Jackalope, a store in Santa Fe, has an outdoor courtyard where garden goods are displayed. In the center of the courtyard is a stone wall-enclosed prairie dog colony, relocated about 10 - 15 years ago. St. Francis oversees the prairie dogs, who munch away, growing to mega-sizes compared to their cousins in the wild. Not quite a zoo, not quite a managed colony, is this the future for prairie dogs in the west?

by utter13 1
1

The New Forks, Washington

Forks, once a tiny logging town relegated to a bygone era, has erupted in 'Twilight-Mania', thanks to the author Stephanie Meyer's choice of settings. To many of us native Pacific Northwesterners, driving through a newly Twilight-ified Forks is a very strange experience. For the busloads of teenage girls and Japanese tourists, however, it is an opportunity to grasp a sliver of Bella and Edward's world, and to buy mass-produced vampire knick-knacks in one of a dozen tiny downtown shops. The Quileute people of Forks' lineage stretches back thousands of years to the Ice Age, making them possibly the oldest inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest. Twilight tourism now brings much needed revenue, however strange, to a tiny area tucked into the forests of the Olympic Peninsula.

by emfaedundee 3
3

Van's Dance Hall

Faded tickets from the past in the booth at Van's Dance Hall, Delta, UT.

by emfaedundee 4
4
1

Trickster

Coyote remains outside Meeker, CO.

by emfaedundee 14
14
1

Roaring Fork

A wintering herd of elk, displaced by development in the Roaring Fork Valley outside Carbondale, CO.

by lryuva 2
2

Waiting for the Past

Empty mailbox on road to Red Rock Lakes, MT

by lryuva 8
8

Big Sky Dreams

a home outside Phillipsburg, MT

by lryuva 2
2

A Room in the Victory

Motel along Hwy 93

by tm4429 4
4

Harvesting

Seemed like wherever we looked that Saturday (Sept 18th) the farmers were rushing to harvest.

by amyrlevek 1885
1885
11

Prairie Dogs at Jackalope

Jackalope, a store in Santa Fe, has an outdoor courtyard where garden goods are displayed. In the center of the courtyard is a stone wall-enclosed prairie dog colony, relocated about 10 - 15 years ago. St. Francis oversees the prairie dogs, who munch away, growing to mega-sizes compared to their cousins in the wild. Not quite a zoo, not quite a managed colony, is this the future for prairie dogs in the west?

by judyjeep 1
1

The Believers Built the West

Old Mission Church still stands among the tall buildings of Phoenix, Arizona

by judyjeep 3
3

The Trains are Still being Robbed , but for Fun

The Grand Canyon Railway rides the rails from Williams, Arizona to The Grand Canyon still today. The Marshals still protect it.

by lenc 7
7

Times Change

old wash tub with sagebrush growing through it

by lenc 6
6

Foreclosure

old house

by tm4429 7
7
1

BIG bird and big birds

This spring I found a nest of a Red Tail Hawk family. It was located by one of the airport runways. One day while watching and taking photos I captured a bigger bird than expected. Montrose CO

by tnarg 4
4

Landscapes Of The Future

Composite of ten western landscapes exploited by extractive industries and destructive entertainment seekers. Changed forever and not for the better.

by judyjeep 4
4
2

advances in Transportation

A photo taken at Holbrook, Arizona on Route 66

by tnarg 4
4
1

Paved Paradise

What more can I say. This used to be the LA basin desert.

by tnarg 1
1

Forests Of The Future

This 4' X 6' Pigment print is a composite of nine western landscapes that have been changed by fire, parasites or the combination. Western forests are dying and this constitutes one the biggest, most radical changes we face. How and where things can grow will cause major shifts in food production and where people live.

by tm4429 6
6
1

Fire in the Sky

All I know is it was gorgeous and I snapped a photo. It was the evening of July 4th

by tross 2
2

Schultz Fire Caused Flooding- Flagstaff, AZ

The aftermath of the 15,000 acre Schultz Fire on the San Francisco Peaks causes residential neighborhood flooding July 2010

by tross 2
2

Big Sky, Big Crime

Homicide investigation north of the San Francisco Peaks, AZ

by tross 2
2

Weatherford Hotel, Flagstaff AZ

The Hotel has been serving Flagstaff guests since 1900. Today a major stop for visitors from all over the world

by buckleUp 1
1

right of way?

two burros crossing desert open range (& asphalt) w/oil well in distance

by buckleUp 2
2

from the cradle

two native youths treading poker-faced through timber slash, past a D-9 Cat

by buckleUp 12
12

a modest proposal

Six-shooter peak reaching for sky, while federal Will draws a bead (SE Utah)...

by Thea 9
9

Wyoming bison

Iconic even in death

by jcyr 1
1

on the trail, hydration & migration

...while hiking up in the forests of the Santa Rita mountains, between Tucson and Nogales, AZ, I stumbled upon several bottles of this strawberry-flavored 'suero'-- an electrolyte drink similar to Gatorade sold in Mexican pharmacies. One is never far from the reality of the plight of migrants and human smuggling in southern Arizona, whether down in the desert, or up in the pine forests.

by jcyr 2
2

sprawl in the Sonoran Desert, Tucson

...looking over Tucson, taken with my cellphone camera during a recent Tucson-L.A. flight. The distinctive circle-within-a-rectangle area in the foreground is a 55-and-older-only neighborhood of manufactured homes on the far SW edge of the city...in the background, beyond the Tucson Mountains, is the city of Tucson proper and the Santa Catalina Mountains, truly a 'sky island' rising above the sprawl in Southern Arizona's Sonora Desert.

by jcyr 3
3

in Joshua Tree Nat'l Park

Even with the pressing problems of population-growth, sprawl, and pollution--there are still blessed corners of the West that remain timeless and uninhabited, like Joshua Tree National Park...but for now much longer? Can we keep looking ahead to preserving these areas, or will we end up only being able to look back at things that were unspoiled?

by wildkat 4
4
1

Sign of the Times

Warning sign posted at a trailhead in a City of Phoenix Desert Preserve.

by rustyaustin 2
2

Highway 138, Oregon

A straight as an arrow for 100 miles...

by rustyaustin 2
2

Amboy 50 miles

Just outside of 29 Palms California.

by rustyaustin 2
2

Deserted Desert Shack

East of 29 Palms California. There are hundreds of abandoned desert shacks spread out over the desert, accessible only by dirt roads. In some you can still see the rusting hulks of refrigerators and stoves, some are boarded up, and some appear to be occupied...

by AngelaMBurton 2
2

Crow shows learned behaviour

A wild crow shows learned behaviour on a water fountain, Seattle Center, Seattle, WA.

by AngelaMBurton 2
2

Wildlife thru the windshield

Wild buffalo roam Grand Teton National Park roadside.

by newsnose 32
32
2

The West: Before and After Albuquerque

Albuquerque suburbs creeping up on Petroglyph National Monument

by jaa 9
9

Life on the 18th Hole

Bringing home a vole and a golf ball, this fox parent is providing food and fun for the 5 kits waiting in their foxhole, not far from the 18th hole of the River Valley Ranch golf course in Carbondale, Colorado.

by newsnose 2
2

God and Meth in the West

Both the God of the Cross and Meth have changed the West, as depicted by this mural on an auto store on Yellowstone Highway in Idaho Falls.

by jaa 8
8
1

Bear, meet bicyclist

Young bear wandering across the Rio Grande Trail south of Carbondale, Colorado, turns tail and runs when a bicyclist hollers at him.

by TritonPSH 3
3
1

Truck, Abandoned Kings Canyon Mine Site, central Sierras

What's more thrilling and satisfying than rounding a bend and suddenly encountering a long-abandoned Steinbeck-era vehicle in some mostly-but-not-completely hidden cranny of the vast West ? Then, conjuring up how it got there just to die .. what California was still like back then .. and what salt was behind the wheel the last time its engine growled its last. Its charming unlikely presence in 2010 reminds me that in the not-so-distant future, on the REAL downside of "Peak Oil" we know is coming, ALL our vehicles will sit rusting in the dappled post-Apocalyptic afternoon sun. Glory be.

by RedOni 4
4

Archer Graveyard

Wooden crosses mark graves at Archer in the Mojave Desert, Calif. Photo by Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.

by RedOni 2
2

Valve Station in the Mojave

Gas lines now transect the West. Photo by Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.

by RedOni 1
1

Arch

How much longer will we be able to see this feature in Arches Natl. Park? Photo by Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.

by potzerslc 3
3

New Whale

Art by the Sun Tunnels

by potzerslc 4
4

The Fist

Land art by the Sun Tunnels

by jorndorf 4
4

Adios, Open Range.

Upon entering Arizona.......

by kshirley 5
5

Carelessness

Simply, carelessness can change the West.

by kshirley 2
2

Wheels

We've replaced the wide open horse drawn wagon trails with asphalt and rubber tired, gas guzzling, exhaust spitting, rusting metal carriages that cause TRAFFIC JAMS.

by girlpilot 15
15
1

Lake Cyn as Powell reservoir recedes

Falling water levels in Lake Powell leave behind great walls of silt in Lake Canyon, which is recovering. Note the bathtub ring high on the slickrock.

by Michelle-Jorgensen 6
6

Wyoming carved up and driven through

A rail line in Shoshone, Wyoming, cuts through the arid, high desert, making its way through the Wind River Canyon.

by lyle 2
2

Vent Pipe

Stuff is moving under our feet.

by lyle 2
2

Hay and the Front Range

Hay, among other things, has changed the Plains.

by lyle 7
7

Powerlines and Cattle

...have changed the face of the west.

by travisbenton 16
16

Modern Use of a Beaver Slide

Beaver Slides have been used for decades by ranchers to form huge haystacks. Baling machines have almost made these a thing of the past. The Beaver Slide in this photo is protecting a pile of square bales from nearby cattle.

by ZakSilverman 3
3

Camel

Saw this guy on a ranch next to the road to Big Bend N.P. in Texas

by ZakSilverman 3
3

Diesel Fried Chicken

Taken near Valentine, Texas in 2009.

by clovely 13
13

Era gone bye

Independence Mine, Alaska - abandoned 1930's gold mine

by clovely 9
9
1

Bears and Plane

Katmai sow with spring cubs surveys the water for salmon with a boost from a tourist plane

by clovely 8
8

Sol and Powerlines

The Powerline Trail - Chugach Mountains, Alaska

by jorndorf 33
33

NAPI Fields

The Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) fields outside of Farmington, NM

The topic: Do you have a photo that shows how the American West has changed over the years? From wilderness to watered lawns, boomtown to bust - we're looking for images that show how the American West's landscapes and communities have been changed by people, industry, the weather, time itself...

About submitting images: Entrants may submit up to three (3) photos for each photo contest, in JPEG, PNG and GIF file formats only; each image submitted may be no larger than 2 megabytes in size.

About voting on images: Instead of making you choose only one entry to vote for, we decided to allow viewers to vote positively for any entry they want to -- one vote per viewer, per image. But be careful - you can't undo your vote once you've clicked the "vote" button, so CHOOSE CAREFULLY!