Essays

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.
Hunting for myself in the high Montana sagebrush
Hunting for myself in the high Montana sagebrush
A hunter celebrates a new vision of queerness and rural culture.
Inhospitable, remote and compelling: The island swallowed by nowhere
Inhospitable, remote and compelling: The island swallowed by nowhere
Alaska’s St. Matthew Island has had its share of human visitors, but none can remain long.
COVID-era lessons from homeschool
COVID-era lessons from homeschool
Don’t be terrified. Be ready.
When home is next to an oil refinery
When home is next to an oil refinery
All I knew about Wilmington, California, was poverty, so I long hid my connection to it.
Now that you’ve gone West, young man
Now that you’ve gone West, young man
Toward unlearning Manifest Destiny.
The physics of connection and solitude
The physics of connection and solitude
In the middle of a pandemic, a lifetime of lessons from a parent.
Who’s looking out for elders on the Navajo Nation?
Who’s looking out for elders on the Navajo Nation?
A reporter documents lack of food and harsh conditions for many Diné elderly, and few willing to take responsibility.
Am I an invasive species?
Am I an invasive species?
How COVID-19 and ‘murder hornets’ compelled a writer to rethink invasions.
Heartache, compounded
Heartache, compounded
After her son’s death, a writer searches for a path forward through personal and climate grief.
Safe at home in Los Angeles
Safe at home in Los Angeles
Even under restrictions, the city shines for all to see.
During the pandemic, how do you ethically get outdoors?
During the pandemic, how do you ethically get outdoors?
Sheltering responsibly doesn’t mean you have to stay inside.
Overcoming winter’s alienation
Overcoming winter’s alienation
I long felt shut out of the season. Snowshoeing changed that.
The wildness is in me, too
The wildness is in me, too
People were excluded from the wild, historically, and in today’s rapidly digitizing West.
Searching for winter in  Palm Springs
Searching for winter in Palm Springs
As the West warms, hunting for snow becomes part of the adventure.
The mystery of mountain lions
The mystery of mountain lions
Despite decades of research, myth and fear still surround the animals.
Colorado throws wolves to the vote
Colorado throws wolves to the vote
Should democracy take over where science ends?
We went to jail for our great-granddaughters
We went to jail for our great-granddaughters
Protesting the Jordan Cove natural gas facility and its pipeline brings an environmental writer and a rancher together.
How not to fight a fire
How not to fight a fire
Will we learn to confront an existential threat to the West for what it is?
We need more than stories for the unheard
We need more than stories for the unheard
Writing offers a way to understand our community and ourselves.
Is development a cancer on the West’s landscape?
Is development a cancer on the West’s landscape?
When your mom is battling the illness, the metaphor gets complicated.
From the Bundys to cheap burgundy: How myths shape the West
From the Bundys to cheap burgundy: How myths shape the West
Novelist Frank Bergon meanders through a changing West and traces old stories refreshed.
In Southeast Alaska, a hunter searches for kinship with the wild
In Southeast Alaska, a hunter searches for kinship with the wild
A mountain goat’s death brings life into focus.
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