A Westerner's ten wishes this holiday

  1. A gift subscription to High Country News
    Further understanding and connection to the complex issues shaping the American West.
    Give it! >>
  2. Uncover the treasure of the Sierra Madra
    Human bones lie bleached and scattered.
    Pillaging the Past by Craig Childs. Read it >>
  3. Solve colony collapse disorder
    By the time John Miller realized just how many of his bees were dying. The Silence of the Bees by Hannah Nordhaus. Read it >>
  4. Solitude
    The man pulls back the tarp, and I'm staring at a seal carcass. Solace at the end of Homer Spit by Krista Langlois. Read it >> 
  5. Thriving future for the California condor
    Did Obama's Interior hobble the Endangered Species Act? by Judith Lewis Mernit. Read it >>
  6. Full focus on the bark beetle
    The West is heating up -- and the bark beetle is moving in for the kill. Global Warming's Unlikely Harbingers by Michelle Nijhuis. Read it >>
  7. Restitution for the Colorado River Delta
    During the worst drought in more than a century, the Colorado River may flow to the sea once more. New Hope for the Delta by Matt Jenkins. Read it >>
  8. An end to political bickering
    Ranchers, enviros and officials seek a middle path on public-land grazing in The Odd Couple by Sarah Gilman. Read it >>
  9. An energy revolution
    Innovations in energy storage and distributed generation could remake our electricity system. Solar City by Judith Lewis Mernit. Read it >>
  10. Check in Monday to see the final wish 
    Hint: Step up! 

Tell us what you wish for this holiday season >>

Following are wishes that readers submitted, some edited for length:

  • "I wish the Republicans would recognize how serious the threat is to the environment (and thus to humanity) from too much carbon in the atmosphere. It's a vain wish I know..." —Rusty Austin
  • "A public apology and payment of all debts and fines by Cliven Bundy, or jail time!" —Richard Johnson
  • "I wish for an informed electorate that votes, and rejects lifetime politicians or judges." —Edward R. Dumph
  • "I wish that people would really be careful with our precious water, and really try to work out how our children and grandchildren are going to survive when water becomes even more scarce." —Julia
  • "I wish that energy development would occur on public lands with greater scrutiny, stricter environmental regulations, a mandate for restoration once the drilling is done (this includes roads, pollution, invasive species, etc.), and an approach that seeks to develop resources over a longer time period to support sustainable rural communities rather than boom (and bust) towns." —Dan R.
  • "A call for justice for the corruption and misuse of power in Jasper County Indiana government" —Pat Jedwabny
  • "A big snowpack!" —Brooke McDonald
  • "I wish the Democrats would recognize how serious the threat is to the environment (and to our society and economy) from the high immigration-driven and Cliven Bundy-driven rate of US population growth. It's a vain wish I know." —Stuart Hurlbert
  • "My wish would be for an abundance of water for agriculture...... And for everyone in the West..... Especially my home state of Colorado." —Mary Pat Dunn
  • "Water. May God be merciful and send what is needed. May people ask Him to answer this need." —Mark Newell
  • "Stop the Fracking madness." —Chris Nigro
  • "End industrial farming. Allow the world to feed itself." —Bruce Berryhill
  • "My wish for the American West (and it applies to equally to rural Ohio and lots of areas in the South) is to have more compassion for the urban areas (Detroit, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and so on) when it comes to the issue of gun control. What is acceptable in, say, Wyoming is not acceptable in Chicago. Have some compassion and let's find a way to work this out." —Name withheld by request
  • "I wish that every nuclear site that is being turned into a Wildlife Refuge would be named a sacrifice zone so that the public, especially children would never be allowed to visit these sites and be exposed to residual radioactive contamination." —Mary Harlow
  • "First, I wish that we will be blessed with a good winter and spring seasons with the needed moisture to end the extended drought conditions. Second, I wish that California, and in particular the Central and San Joaquin Valleys, will receive the necessary moisture to terminate the so-called worst drought in 1,200 years. My last wish is that the Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation Act be reviewed, reconsidered unfair, and permit the Navajos access to their former sacred lands. Ah'gonne' Hastiin dibe'" —Dr. Lyle McNeal
  • "That humanity would waken to the catastrophic consequences of climate change." —Joe Whelan
  • "Cliven Bundy goes to jail until he pays his debts to the public sector. " —Tim Tilton
  • "I wish that Cliven Bundy, his family who were involved, and all associated 'militia' members who were involved in the April confrontation are all hauled to prison where they belong!" —Name withheld by request
  • "I wish that the state of Utah would join the 21st century and stop profiling travelers from Washington and Colorado (pot-legal states), falsely accusing hundreds of drivers with DUIs, especially on Hwy 40!" —Art OIson
  • "Just enough water to encourage conservation measures, but not enough to sustain big water projects and big agriculture." —Meg Hayes
  • "An economic system that doesn't depend on unlimited population growth for sustainability." —Dave Migliaccio
  • "For the people on our coast lines to leave us the heck alone. These city slickers do not know a hill of pintos what being out west is all about. We get along for the most part, are not racist for the most part, and love the land and culture most of all. I say clean up your own messes because we all know you have a heck of a lot more than we do." —Mark Marecek
  • "More water, or if not more water--less water use. And specifically, when we can't subsidize farmers with as much water, spend resources in supporting transition to crops and rotations that are less thirsty, and find ways to support restoration of retired fields that can support those who live rurally. It's a wish, right?" —Rosie Yacoub
  • "That humanity would be a more gentle and understanding toward all living things." —Ray Harper
  • "I wish New Yorkers would quit saying, 'Dis isn't New Yoak,' so I wouldn't have to say in response, 'That's a clever observation.'" —Lee Barnes
  • "A year with normal temperatures and normal rainfall. Just one. I may never see another, but just one." —Mike Smith
  • "I wish that the American West remain protected for its natural environment, its traditions continued and that big corporations leave it alone no matter the cost!" —Romy Overstreet
  • "I wish for President Obama to use the Antiquities Act to designate National Monuments for Browns Canyon and the Berryessa Snow Mountain region." —Charlotte Orr
  • "Just leave the West f'ing alone -- I cannot understand how we believe in Nature, but we will NOT let her take her own coarse." —Susan Tixier
  • "More wilderness!!!!!" —Lance Craighead
  • "A return of widespread free range buffalo......displacing people." —Lorna Reed
  • "Prevent the transfer of Federal Public Lands to states - and the subsequent inevitable sell off of public lands to private interests." —Name withheld by request
  • "Secure borders and an end to mass immigration." —Robert Michael
  • "No more trespass fees for the use of our own public lands. Building more infrastructure on them is not a valid excuse either." —Bill Ellis
  • "Quit treating the natural resources of this great nation as a garage sale and profit center for wealthy individual and corporate interests and recognize that God's bounty is designed to benefit future generations as well -- not just our own." —James Schwartz
  • "I would like to see a complete study done on geo-engineering, including why they are doing it, exactly what they are spraying, and why we the people were not and are not informed about it. I don't believe we are being told the truth about this harmful practice and what it is doing to the climate, our world, our skies, the ozone layer, and our health." —Sandra Wolf
  • "I wish that the state governments and hunters' organizations would stop murdering wolves--one of the noblest animals in the West. The ignoble humans who are killing or allowing the killing these beautiful animals are showing their lack of common sense and fear of losing money from elk hunters." —Saran Kirschbaum
  • "Protection of the last wild rivers and sustainable salmon forest in SE Alaska from BC Mine development " —Guy Archibald
  • "That all former tribal lands be returned to Native Americans without delay!" —Jan Yuslum
  • "Please, list the sage grouse as an endangered species! So much good will flow from that!!!!" —Patricia M. Olsson
  • "The nation's serious issues, especially in areas of civil rights, global warming and sensible solutions to land use, water and species protection, and intelligent use of forests, etc., will spur those still considered sane and responsible in Congress to push the envelope and get some important legislation passed in these and related areas. If not now, when?" —James Schwartz
  • "I wish that the National Park Service was given the funding they need to restore our National Parks to the wonderful places I remember visiting in my youth." —Richard Ferrary
  • "Baseline Water Testing for landowners with wells within 10 miles of oil/gas and coal bed methane activity and/or leased mineral rights, previously capped wells and other impoundments -- to be paid for by the energy company with leased rights and conducted by a third party testing agent and lab." —Lohrer, Laurie
  • "That thousands and thousands more people will see the huge ecological benefits -- and simple humaneness -- of switching to a vegan diet!" —Susan Dietrich Schneider
  • "Rain." —Mary Bess Whidden
  • "I wish that all Federal Land would be turned over to the States, whether it is a national park or Reserve. The Federal Government does not have a right to own land." —Jerry F Barnes