Essays

The importance of Black Lives Matter in a white rural West
The importance of Black Lives Matter in a white rural West
A Westerner reflects on racial injustice close to home.
Ranch Diaries: On returning home from the city
Ranch Diaries: On returning home from the city
Whenever I leave, I miss out on big events at the ranch.
Ranch Diaries: The ranching-writing life
Ranch Diaries: The ranching-writing life
Somewhere in the midst of the business of ranching I have to figure out a way to keep writing.
What if I’m not white?
What if I’m not white?
A former sports writer tries to find a place for himself in the outdoors.
In praise of a wild West
In praise of a wild West
A 21st-century vision for Western public lands, including their role in solving challenges like climate change.
Ranch Diaries: Trusting your horse on ice and in quicksand
Ranch Diaries: Trusting your horse on ice and in quicksand
On the ranch, horses help us through bad weather and barbed wire mishaps on a regular basis.
Taking water’s measure
Taking water’s measure
A three-day trip to measure Montana’s snowpack follows a century of tradition.
Ranch Diaries: Traditional agriculture meets progressive ideals
Ranch Diaries: Traditional agriculture meets progressive ideals
Can producers come together to find common ground and work toward common goals?
Are we smarter than the hummingbirds?
Are we smarter than the hummingbirds?
We produce abundance. Are we smart enough to share and sustain it?
“A history of subversion”: An excerpt from Terry Tempest Williams’ latest book
“A history of subversion”: An excerpt from Terry Tempest Williams’ latest book
“César E. Chávez National Monument” from The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks.
Ranch Diaries: The peculiar confines of cowboy culture
Ranch Diaries: The peculiar confines of cowboy culture
I see my 19-year-old self in our new intern, as she builds her skills and learns the ropes of ranch etiquette.
A life aloft
A life aloft
An ode to airport-dwelling birds.
The outdoors gender gap needs to be closed
The outdoors gender gap needs to be closed
Women’s tax dollars help fund public land – yet that public asset isn’t seen as safe for all people to enjoy.
Ranch Diaries: Our first intern, branding cattle and renovating an old home
Ranch Diaries: Our first intern, branding cattle and renovating an old home
Triangle P cattle know the territory now, so our second summer shouldn’t be as demanding as the last.
The life of a fire lookout is one of the senses
The life of a fire lookout is one of the senses
A former lookout finds the woman who used to guard her tower.
National Park Week fails to change the game
National Park Week fails to change the game
Last week’s celebration showed how close we are to natural beauty, yet so far from diversifying our national parks.
Ranch Diaries: The risks of ranching on a wild landscape
Ranch Diaries: The risks of ranching on a wild landscape
How the threat of predators has fundamentally shaped my relationship with nature.
No, national parks are not America’s ‘best idea’
No, national parks are not America’s ‘best idea’
There’s potential to alienate people who value ideas more pertinent to them than the parks.
Who belongs in the natural world?
Who belongs in the natural world?
The lack of diversity in the outdoors often prompts people of color to ponder their sense of belonging in nature.
Ranch Diaries: Sustainability doesn’t always mean regenerative
Ranch Diaries: Sustainability doesn’t always mean regenerative
How I came to terms with my subsistence upbringing, and have started to rethink it.
Take a page from the mountain goats
Take a page from the mountain goats
A parent contemplates risk assessment with kids in the mountains.
Rants from the Hill: After many years of essay writing, a wave goodbye
Rants from the Hill: After many years of essay writing, a wave goodbye
All good Rants must come to an end and this marks the final missive from the Ranting Hill.
Ranch Diaries: I’m starting (another) new business. Will it work?
Ranch Diaries: I’m starting (another) new business. Will it work?
I’ll soon be delivering our grass-fed beef to the processor myself, and connecting directly with customers.