Essays

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.
If you hear the alarm, stop breathing
A reporter tours the chemical agent disposal facility at Tooele Army Depot in Utah.
A creeping plague of crickets is hitched to everything in the world
Writer's love of nature is put to the test during a Mormon cricket plague.
The Southwest's writers are terrified liars
A writer argues that Southwestern writers refuse to tell the truth about the contemporary West.
Burning nerve gas makes me 'volatile'
The Army's plans to incinerate deadly chemical weapons are dangerous, expensive and irresponsible.
An agency icon at 50
The 50 year birthday of Smokey Bear provokes ironic retrospective of icon's career.
Love, hunger, money
A poet takes a tongue-in-cheek look at Indian gambling in Washington.
Bit by bit, government's power is being eroded by wave of takings lawsuits
Legal scholars discuss takings controversy at a University of Colorado law school conference.
The Park Service didn't put my son in a coma
The severe injury of her son in a hiking accident leads the writer to meditate on the need to take personal responsibility in the outdoors.
The real bind is too many people everywhere
Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm believes all growth problems in the West stem from overpopulation.
This boom will end like all the others - in a deep, deep bust
The history of small towns in the West has always been a cycle of booms and busts.
Towns angling for tourism should beware of the great white shark
Towns angling for tourism should beware of the great white shark
The growth of tourism can destroy both communities and landscapes.
We aimed for Russia and hit the West
The Atomic Energy Commission deliberately lied about radiation dangers to miners and other Westerners.
Bruce Babbitt in the lion's den
Bruce Babbitt's tactics are forcing environmentalists and ranchers to change.
Mothering a good forest fire isn't easy
Deciding how to handle a forest fire is difficult.
Why did 14 more have to die?
The deaths of 14 firefighters raise huge questions about fire suppression policies.
FBI was out to get freethinking DeVoto
Writer and conservationist Bernard DeVoto was thoroughly investigated by the FBI.
How I tried to patch together a disintegrating world
An energy technician gets an interesting look at trailer-court life in Western Colorado.
How love of gold moves mountains
A boycott of gold jewelry might solve the problems caused by mining.
Camping out in the Merry Widow Mine
Merry Widow Mine a spa for arthritis sufferers.
A life to fry for: hot on the trail of bighorn
Charles Bowden tracks wild sheep in the desert heat. Excerpted from Gary Paul Nabhan's anthology, Counting Sheep.
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