Writers on the Range


Writers on the Range is opinion from the ground up.


When Mary had a lot of lambs
When Mary had a lot of lambs
Forty years ago, Wyoming ranchers raised a lot of sheep, and ranch kids like the author’s own knew the joys and frustrations of raising “bum” lambs.
2017 is just around the corner
2017 is just around the corner
Salmon could well be extinct by 2017, and yet Judge James Redden appears to be the only one contemplating the obvious solution: removing four fish-killing dams on the Lower Snake River.
Dust off your survival skills
Dust off your survival skills
In tough economic times like these, we could learn a lot from our pioneer ancestors, who managed to survive – and thrive – in a harsh Western landscape.
Let them eat copper
Let them eat copper
The National Park Service’s decision to ban lead bullets and lead fishing tackle will protect rare California condors and other creatures, including humans.
Calling Hollywood to run the West
Calling Hollywood to run the West
Now that Val Kilmer is considering a campaign for New Mexico's governorship, why not have actors run all the Western states?
Slumdog U.S.A.
Slumdog U.S.A.
Most Americans associate slums with places like Mumbai, India. But they exist here, too.
Would you want to live near a wind farm?
Would you want to live near a wind farm?
Everybody believes in alternative energy, but very few people want to live next to giant wind turbines.
Dwindling supplies inflame water wars
Dwindling supplies inflame water wars
Arguing about water is a beloved Western pastime, but Coloradoans may soon find themselves seriously fighting over what’s left in the Colorado River.
We need a renewables roadmap
We need a renewables roadmap
President Obama's economic plans need to include a truly audacious vision for renewable energy.
What Wallace Stegner knew
What Wallace Stegner knew
Western writer Wallace Stegner unflinchingly described both the promise and the peril of the American dream.
Welcome to the era of scarcity
Welcome to the era of scarcity
Arguing about water is a beloved Western pastime, but as the snowpack shrinks, Coloradoans are going to find themselves seriously fighting over what’s left in the Colorado River.
The little island that could
The little island that could
The small Danish island of Samso runs entirely on renewable energy. The West could do the same.
Winter camping can be hazardous to your health
Winter camping can be hazardous to your health
One hundred and thirty-five years ago, Alferd E. Packer survived winter starvation in the Colorado mountains with the help of his friends -- or at least of the meat on their bones.
The very worst thing about hard times
The very worst thing about hard times
Too often, Americans feel personally guilty when they’re poor and out of work, even when outside forces are responsible.
Time to cowboy up
Time to cowboy up
A carbon tax is the fairest way to tackle climate change, despite its political challenges and risks.
A macabre measure of the human footprint
Susan Tweit says the huge numbers of road-killed wildlife point to a simple fact: There are too many of us.
Decriminalizing drugs could stop the violence on the border
Decriminalizing drugs could stop the violence on the border
Decriminalizing drugs won’t solve all our problems, but it would certainly make life safer for the people along the U.S.-Mexico border.
How long do we wait for clean coal?
How long do we wait for clean coal?
Politicians are excited about “clean coal,” but so far there’s no sign that it even exists.
At last, a Montana rivers bill that makes sense
At last, a Montana rivers bill that makes sense
The Big Sky Rivers Bill would protect Montana’s streambanks – and save taxpayers from having to reimburse fools who build big houses in floodplains.
The importance of memory
The West has a peculiar kind of amnesia when it comes to its Cold War nuclear-weapons-building past.
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