Essays

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.
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.
Faced with chronic wasting disease, what’s a hunting family to do?
Faced with chronic wasting disease, what’s a hunting family to do?
Hunters are critical for game management, but the spread of CWD means some may put down the rifle.
One man’s mission to save a historic ship built a digital community
One man’s mission to save a historic ship built a digital community
If you (re)build it, they will come.
Amid the climate crisis, a parent commits an act of hope
Amid the climate crisis, a parent commits an act of hope
Sometimes you need to take a weekend off from worrying about climate change and just go camping with your kid.
What about the rails?
What about the rails?
A recent Amtrak journey conjures visions of functional rail transportation in the U.S.
Mom loves the desert. Daughter loves the Dollar Store.
Mom loves the desert. Daughter loves the Dollar Store.
Can a desert ‘superbloom’ compete with the flashy pull of toys and gadgets?
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