Items by Alan Kesselheim

What does a $155 million house reveal about us?
Alan Kesselheim has been thinking about a spec house that will be bigger than his town’s library.
Thanks, neighbors
The writer is grateful to live in a community where neighborliness is a given
Watch out for hijackers in national parks
The writer gets held up by ravens in two national parks
Camping out at home
The writer gets motivated by a heating bill to camp out at home
Is how we’re living gross?
The writer sees his over-developed town through a friend’s eyes
What it was like in prison in Riverton, Wyoming
The writer spends a weekend in jail with violent offenders who want to change
My kind of river flows fast and gritty brown
The writer defines freedom as canoeing with kids down a fast-flowing Colorado river in spring
Gay people seem to threaten more people than Osama
The writer wonders why so many people obsess about gay people
Once again, California leads the way
The writer says California points the way toward responsible shopping
When yesterday’s garbage becomes today’s collectible
A visit to Glass Beach in California leads to dumpster-diving on a grand scale, and offers a preview of future geologic strata
When yesterday’s garbage becomes today’s collectibles
Alan Kesselheim visits Glass Beach in California, where garbage is being transmuted into collectibles.
Driver’s ed from a pedestrian’s point of view
The writer says pedestrians have a right to feel road-rage, too
You can’t share a trail with an obnoxious machine
The writer says snowmobilers ruin it for cross-country skiers like him in the backcountry
Some issues are uncomfortably gray
Alan Kesselheim finds that some issues are uncomfortably gray
Everyone needs a place apart
Watching his children discover nature on the family’s land in central Montana, the writer remembers his own childhood special places on a Connecticut beach
Everyone needs a place apart
Alan Kesselheim learns again to relish the unpredictability of both the outdoors and childhood.
On the road, where everything falls away
Alan Kesselheim takes a road trip across the wide West
Lewis and Clark: Their footprints are gone
A writer retraces the journey of Lewis and Clark, but finds that Montana’s growth and development have destroyed the wild West the explorers saw
An eco-wacko figures a few things out
It’s about time the anti-environmentalists turned down the rhetoric and took a break from their rude and silly diatribes.
Wilder Grand Canyon proves too contentious
Grand Canyon's backcountry and river planning effort ends abruptly when Park Superintendent Robert Arnberger decides the process, which includes outfitters, private boaters and wilderness advocates, is "too contentious."
A river divided
The 670 miles of the Yellowstone River cross a varied landscape and face an equal variety of problems along the way.
An opportunity lost to politics
Landowner opposition helped shoot down President Clinton's Heritage Rivers Initiative, which Yellowstone River activists believe could have helped the river greatly.
Property owners call the shots
The unregulated development of private property along the banks of the Yellowstone River is the greatest threat to the river.
A family encounters a conservation quandary
Andrew Dana, who went to the Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to stabilize the Yellowstone River's banks on his land, describes the permitting process as "a bad dream."
The last wild river
The Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the West, but Montana's rapid growth is affecting it, as property owners afraid of floods lay huge amounts of riprap along its banks.
State senate says voters weren't very smart
Montana legislators are trying to find ways to get around the recently passed voter initiative 137, which halts new or expanded cyanide leach gold mines.
Grand Canyon Gridlock
So many people want to take a river trip through the Grand Canyon that limits set by the Park Service - which many say favor commercial outfitters over private boaters - create an administrative nightmare for the agency.
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