Essays

How to choose a pronoun
How to choose a pronoun
The land does not care what parts of you are male or female.
What does it mean to live well on an overheating planet?
What does it mean to live well on an overheating planet?
A walk through the Quinault rainforest leads to a cascade of questions.
On grieving trees
On grieving trees
For years, a young writer saw the tell-tale signs of beetle kill. And then the infestation came for the pines at her own home.
Hate speech on the Bitterroot
Hate speech on the Bitterroot
How a day on the river made me question my relationship to a place I call home.
The place that coal built and fire burned
The place that coal built and fire burned
Extractive industry laid the infrastructure for the suburban sprawl that fueled Colorado’s destructive Marshall Fire.
When the little owl vanishes
When the little owl vanishes
A writer reflects on parenthood and what to talk about when confronting extinction.
Rekindling connections in the small flame of a qulliq
Rekindling connections in the small flame of a qulliq
An Inupiaq writer welcomes the nourishing glow of a seal oil lamp into her home.
The hidden fires
The hidden fires
Keeping honest about what we burn and why.
The time of the Indigenous critic has arrived
The time of the Indigenous critic has arrived
Now that the industry is finally greenlighting Indigenous films and TV, Indigenous critics ought to lead the conversation.
The public lands that kept us sane
The public lands that kept us sane
In honor of National Public Lands Day, High Country News staff reflect on access to spaces across the West.
How wildlife sightings create community
How wildlife sightings create community
What we share and what we keep quiet in small mountain towns.
Anxiety and hope in wildfire-prone Oregon
Anxiety and hope in wildfire-prone Oregon
How might we live in the reality of our climate?
A new Conservation Corps for the climate
A new Conservation Corps for the climate
What it means to contribute to the future of a place.
The fires that follow us
The fires that follow us
A hiker copes with a new anxiety brought by a changed climate.
Rewilding is a two-way street
Rewilding is a two-way street
A letter from your neighborhood deer.
Is there really freedom in the outdoors?
Is there really freedom in the outdoors?
After a year indoors, a writer remembers the joy — and pressures — of a childhood spent in Utah.
What makes a whimbrel?
What makes a whimbrel?
A writer reflects on natural cycles of absence and abundance, loss and love.
In Nogales, joy endures
In Nogales, joy endures
The Borderlands may be militarized, but for writer Alberto Ríos, it’s still home.
The lessons on storytelling that William Kittredge taught
The lessons on storytelling that William Kittredge taught
The beloved teacher and writer was preoccupied with the particular.
Studying seabirds, the sentinels of the ocean
Studying seabirds, the sentinels of the ocean
Perspective from one of the longest, largest and most comprehensive seabird monitoring efforts in the world.
Through wildland firefighting, finding a space to heal
Through wildland firefighting, finding a space to heal
A grieving daughter encounters solace in an unexpected place.
Of hawks and hope
Of hawks and hope
In a climate collapse, a wildlife biologist turns from sadness to action.
How an intimate burial can make death human-sized
How an intimate burial can make death human-sized
In burying a stranger, a writer learns that dying can be as small and personal as life.
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