Items by Christopher Smith

Mormons win Martin’s Cove
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gains control of the Wyoming historic site of Martin’s Cove, where Mormon immigrants died 150 years ago
Bureau of livestock, mining ... and parks?
The decision to put the BLM, rather than the Park Service, in charge of the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, is part of a trend toward blurring the lines among the roles of the federal land management agencies.
Yellowstone soft on safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Yellowstone National Park for violating safety regulations for its employees.
Poacher gets trapped
Utah hunting guide Samuel Sickels is nailed for poaching cougars, with the help of videotapes and photographs taken by his clients.
Deaths drive change at Lake Mead
At Nevada's Lake Mead, the busiest national recreation area in the country, park rangers try to crack down on the "reckless clueless" misbehavior, often fueled by alcohol and drugs, that has already killed 36 visitors this year.
Feds sue a Utah county for building a road in a national park
Garfield County faces a trespassing lawsuit, filed by the Department of Interior for unauthorized road construction on the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park.
Judge gives grave-robbers a green light
In Utah, a court rules that state law does not protect Anasazi graves, dismissing charges against a Blanding couple who dug up an Indian burial site while pot hunting.
The Park Service takes a hard look at itself
Park historian Richard West Sellars is not flattering when he examines the history of the Park Service in his book "Preserving Nature in the National Parks."
The "tough love' trial is over
The Utah trial of eight North Star employees in the death of Arizona teenager Aaron Bacon on a "tough-love" wilderness program ends with only the field instructor, Craig Fisher, guilty as charged.
The rise and fall of Steve Cartisano
Utah native Steve Cartisano, the controversial "godfather" of wilderness therapy, has left a trail of lawsuits behind him, including one for negligent homicide in the death of a Florida teenage girl.
Tough love proves too tough
Controversial "wilderness therapy programs" such as Utah's North Star, intended for troubled kids, come under critical scrutiny - and lawsuits - after several teenagers die while in their care.
Did federal negligence help kill two hikers?
An upcoming trial will decide whether the Park Service was responsible for the deaths of two men in Kolob Canyon July 15, 1993.
How the BLM killed a cow to save a canyon and stop the paperwork
The removal of a lone cow from Utah's Chimney Canyon cost reams of paperwork, road-building and human effort.
I came, I saw, I wrote a guidebook
The increase in numbers of tourists drawn to the canyon country by guidebooks and magazines raises questions about exploiting and overusing a fragile landscape.
Moab area acts to regain control of public lands
Changes in management of Moab-area public lands, including new visitor fees, may help protect an over-used landscape.
How an ex-clown brought order to a boom town
Former Summit County Commissioner Gene Moser worked to create a state-of-the-art development code for a rapidly growing area.
Ranchers charge tourists for a dose of reality
"Recreational ranchers" earn extra money from tourists who pay for a chance to work as cowboys.
A delicate question: When is an arch crowded?
Arches National Park uses pilot program to measure how many people are too many people at Delicate Arch.
Whose fault? A Utah canyon turns deadly
The deaths of two hikers in Utah raise legal and ethical questions about risk and responsibility.
BLM union comes to Moab
BLM employees vote to unionize because of management and morale problems.
Cows are evicted from Utah
Judge finds BLM defied the law in administering Comb Wash grazing permit
High Country News Classifieds
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a development professional to coordinate the organization's individual giving program. The position description is available at http://greateryellowstone.org/careers Please email a letter...
  • IDAHO STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society is seeking a full time Idaho State Director who will preferably be based in Boise, Idaho. At least 8-10 years of experience...
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER AND BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER MANAGER
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions. We seek a Communications Manager to execute inspiring and impactful communications...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Wilderness Volunteers Wilderness Volunteers (WV), a 24-year leader in preserving our nation's wildlands, is seeking a motivated person with deep outdoor interests to guide our...
  • HECHO POLICY AND ADVOCACY MANAGER
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • FISHERIES BIOLOGIST
    Under the direct supervision of the Director of Shoshone-Paiute Tribe's Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in coordination with the Tribal Programs Administrator and the Tribal Chairman,...
  • REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NORTHERN ROCKIES, PRAIRIES & PACIFIC REGION
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more than...
  • STEWARDSHIP MANAGER
    STEWARDSHIP MANAGER Job Vacancy and Description Posted June 2, 2021: Open until filled The New Mexico Land Conservancy (NMLC) is a non-profit, regional land trust...
  • KSJD - MORNING EDITION HOST/REPORTER
    KSJD is seeking a host/reporter. Please see for www.ksjd.org for more information. EEO compliant.
  • ON THE EDGE OF CEDAR MESA/BEARS EARS
    Quiet, comfy house for rent in Bluff, Utah. Walk to San Juan River. Bike or hike to many nearby ruins and rock art sites. Beautiful...
  • CARPENTER AND LABORER WANTED.
    Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rain forest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg meadows,...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Title: Project Manager Reports To: Program Director Salary Range: Negotiable; starting at $60,000 Location: Bend, OR The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Project Manager to...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Program Director to join our dynamic team in restoring streamflow and improving water quality in the Deschutes Basin. WHO...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - TWISPWORKS
    Established healthy nonprofit in the Methow Valley of Washington state, TwispWorks is hiring the next Executive Director. Terrific opportunity to strive for our mission to...
  • BOARD DIRECTOR
    Help us achieve our mission of promoting excellence in the professional practice of wilderness stewardship, science and education to ensure the life-sustaining benefits of wilderness....
  • TEMPORARY FULL-TIME RANCH OPERATIONS ASSISTANT
    Twin Willows Ranch in Ocate, NM is seeking to immediately fill a Temporary Full-Time employment position as Ranch Operations Assistant for Facilities, Equipment, Land, and...
  • RANCH OPERATIONS ASSISTANT
    Twin Willows Ranch in Ocate, NM is seeking an individual to fill the Regular Full-Time position of Resident Operations Assistant for Technology, Hospitality, Gardening, and...
  • CONSERVATION PROJECT MANAGER
    Conservation Project Manager Position Description Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for...
  • POEM+ NEWSLETTER
    Start each month with a poem in your inbox by signing up for Taylor S. Winchell's monthly Poem+ Newsletter. No frills. No news. No politics....
  • OUTDOOR PROGRAM - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
    St. Lawrence University seeks to fill the position of Assistant Director in the Outdoor Program. To view the complete position description, including minimum qualifications required,...