Writers on the Range


Writers on the Range is opinion from the ground up.


Abraham Lincoln and the West
The Civil War included more than just the North and the South. The West was a battleground, too.
Fear and rage in the barn
Fear and rage in the barn
Cleaning a barn and shoveling the manure of a gigantic but gentle old bull helps a woman come to terms with the misery of her divorce.
It's time to abandon Desert Rock
It's time to abandon Desert Rock
New Mexico's Democrats need to prove their green mettle by putting an end to a proposed coal-fired power plant.
The terror and beauty of away games
The terror and beauty of away games
In small Western towns, schoolkids – and their parents – often make long journeys over rugged mountain roads just to play other high school sports teams.
Out of the nest and into a tent
Out of the nest and into a tent
Twenty-two-year-old Allison Linville finally owns a home of her own, even if it’s just a tent in the wilderness.
Putting our house back in order
Jaime O’Neill hadn’t planned on vacuuming during Inauguration Day, but housecleaning is a good metaphor for the job facing our new president.
The HCN miracle
The HCN miracle
HCN’s readers pitch in financially; new interns Terray Sylvester, Emily Underwood and Jeff Chen arrive.
Is America ready for the rails?
More business travelers would choose Amtrak if the trains were faster – or if people could get work done during long journeys.
The saga of Mineral King
The saga of Mineral King
California’s beautiful Mineral King Valley was deeply wounded by hardrock mining, but now it is on its way to wilderness protection.
Don’t trust this Texas billionaire
T. Boone Pickens is now boosting alternative energy, but Ray Ring trusts him about as far as he could throw a modern-day wind turbine.
Inventory of loss
Inventory of loss
After the family home is lost to wildfire, Gordon Gregory faces the pain of having to remember and describe everything he lost.
Thinking green in the midst of winter
Thinking green in the midst of winter
Ari LeVaux fights the wintertime blues by curling up with a pile of lavishly illustrated seed catalogs and dreaming of next spring’s garden.
On second thought, Mr. Cheney
On second thought, Mr. Cheney
Ted Williams finds it more than ironic that Dick Cheney -- a well-known foe of fish and rivers -- was invited to speak at a fly-fishing museum.
The myth of minority favoritism
The myth of minority favoritism
Wayne Hare, a ranger for the Bureau of Land Management, says giving hiring preference to minorities in federal jobs is just a myth.
Of an environmental hero and the need for reform
Paul Larmer reminds us that it will take more than a single environmental hero – like Tim DeChristopher, who cleverly sabotaged a BLM energy-lease auction – to reform the agency.
The West goes to Washington
The West goes to Washington
Barack Obama is bringing Westerners to Washington, including Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to run Homeland Security, and Cabinet picks Ken Salazar, Hilda Solis and Steven Chu.
Who’s an Indian?
Deciding who is, and is not, a member of a Native American tribe can be a difficult business.
Drilling the Democrats
Jonathan Thompson says that Barack Obama -- caught between the threat of global warming and demands for energy independence -- is unlikely to end drilling in the West.
Wherever you go, there you are
Lissa James learns about solitude in places as diverse as an apartment in downtown Paris and a ranch in rural Wyoming.
Fire and ancient forests belong together
Matthew Koehler says that fire and old-growth forests are longtime allies, not natural foes.
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