Items by Eric Wagner

What makes a whimbrel?
What makes a whimbrel?
A writer reflects on natural cycles of absence and abundance, loss and love.
The threat below Mount St. Helens
The threat below Mount St. Helens
Forty years after the mountain’s eruption, officials struggle to balance research and risk.
Why aren’t marbled murrelets recovering?
Why aren’t marbled murrelets recovering?
The enigmatic bird’s populations have not increased despite conservation efforts.
Backpacking the blast zone
Backpacking the blast zone
At Mount St. Helens, they never say ‘recovery.’
Washington welcomes wolves back — across deep political divides
Washington welcomes wolves back — across deep political divides
The state’s emphasis on non-lethal control is saving livestock and wolves, but rural residents are still leery.
Don’t drink the water
Don’t drink the water
Portland’s fluoridation battle shows how tricky it is to integrate science into debates that have as much to do with values as policy.
Fear the falcon
Fear the falcon
A man and his raptors take on Washington's dump scavengers.
Duwamish sludge, from source to sink
Duwamish sludge, from source to sink
A close look at ‘Seattle’s toilet’
The great Flathead fish fiasco
The great Flathead fish fiasco
State and tribes disagree over how to tackle an exotic species' takeover of a Montana lake.
Location matters in the war on lake trout
Location matters in the war on lake trout
These fish aren’t only in low-elevation lakes.
Arctic ship logs help scientists reconstruct climatic history
Arctic ship logs help scientists reconstruct climatic history
Sailors' journals detailing the weather of voyages past could improve the accuracy of climate models' projections of the future.
War Bird: An essay on robot hummingbirds
War Bird: An essay on robot hummingbirds
Robotic hummingbirds have got nothing on the real thing
Are whale watchers taking a toll on Puget Sound's orcas?
Are whale watchers taking a toll on Puget Sound's orcas?
Unraveling the mystery of the whales' steady decline.
Seattle-based artist paints portraits of a melting world
Seattle-based artist paints portraits of a melting world
Maria Coryell-Martin uses 'expeditionary art' to educate people about climate change.
In search of camas, a Native American food staple
In search of camas, a Native American food staple
Botanist Madrona Murphy traces long-lost edible wild plant gardens cultivated by the Pacific Northwest's Coast Salish.
Historic plant cultivation in Northwest native tribes
Historic plant cultivation in Northwest native tribes
Lying to rest a dispute over whether tribal reliance on fish meant they did not garden.
Save a chimney, save a swift
Save a chimney, save a swift
As their natural roosts disappeared, Vaux's swifts turned to old, brick chimneys for refuge during long migrations. Those safe havens are disappearing, too. Luckily, the swifts -- and the chimneys -- have found a champion in Larry Schwitters
Balancing fish and farms on a Washington estuary
Balancing fish and farms on a Washington estuary
A restoration effort at Fisher Slough in Washington's Skagit River Delta has encouraged cooperation between farmers and environmentalists - and might even help endangered chinook salmon.
Cruising the ocean, counting seabirds
Cruising the ocean, counting seabirds
What an unconventional journey on a cruise ship can reveal about seabirds' enigmatic lives.
The windhover
The windhover
Biologist Travis Booms tracks Alaska's elusive gyrfalcons.
The marten chronicles
The marten chronicles
Biologists trying to photograph wolverines see martens as a nuisance, but martens are actually pretty cool creatures themselves.
The wreck
The wreck
While scientists try to understand the reasons behind recent seabird die-offs, volunteers count the corpses on Northwest beaches.
After the Floods
After the Floods
The Ice Age Floods reshaped the landscape of eastern Washington -- and our knowledge of geology.
All along the watchtower
Andrew McNair, who works weekends at a computer in Olympia, Wash., is not your typical Western fire watcher.
The wandering lepidopterist
Eric Wagner joins naturalist Robert Michael Pyle on one leg of his first-ever “Big Year” – in which he will try to see as many different butterflies as he possibly can.
Catch-22
High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action is seeking two full time community organizers to join our team. Positions can be based in Garfield County, Montrose...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Join our team as the Association's Executive Director. Working closely with the Board of Directors, take ANWS to the next level of professionalism by managing...
  • FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Friends of Cedar Mesa is hiring a Development Director who will have the overall responsibilities of leading our fundraising programs and reports directly to our...
  • WATER RIGHTS/ADJUDICATION BUREAU CHIEF
    Job Overview: Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that Montana's land and water resources provide benefits for present and future...
  • CLIMATE CHANGE COORDINATOR
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is seeking a Climate Change Coordinator to play a lead role in shaping our programs to make the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Position Announcement POSITION TITLE: Executive Director ORGANIZATION: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument REPORTING TO: Board of Directors EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-time - Full-time, based...
  • HEALTHY CITIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Healthy Cities Program Director leads and manages the Healthy Cities Program for the Arizona Chapter and is responsible for developing and implementing innovative, high...
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Conservation Programs Manager Job Opening Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Associate Director Job Posting Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through science,...
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • OJO SARCO FARM/HOME
    A wonderful country setting for a farm/work 1350s.f. frame home plus 1000 studio/workshop. 5 acres w fruit trees, an irrigation well, pasture and a small...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...