Essays

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.
Politics can't save endangered species
We proudly say that ours is a government of laws, not of men. But there are times when we expect too much of laws and not enough of women and men. This is the case with the failure of the Endangered Species Act.
A father's view of a dam proposal
One weekend in April, I was planning to be on the Colorado River, spending some time in Horsethief and Ruby canyons. Winds and cold temperatures cancelled my plans. Instead I found myself in the office reviewing the" Application for Preliminary Permit" for the Horsethief Canyon Water Power Project.
Echoes from a fire at Beaver Creek
Today I sat in a stand of lodgepole pine trees that met death during the Beaver Creek fire in Grand Teton National Park. Their charred trunks bristled the hillside like quills on the back of a porcupine huddled in self-protection. Unlike people, these trees remain standing after their deaths, sentinels in their own graveyard.
Yellowstone: We must allow it to change
In Yellowstone, managerial control is not love; biology and philosophy, to say nothing of politics, economics, theology and the rest, ought to cooperate to form an ethics that seeks to appreciate, rather than to manipulate.
Yellowstone: The Erotics of Place
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is landscape that loves bison, bear, elk, deer, moose, coyote, wolf, rabbit, badger, marmot, squirrel, swan, crane, eagle, raven, pelican, red-tail, bufflehead, goldeneye, teal, and merganser.
Facing up to the end of the petroleum era
The National Energy Strategy, revealed earlier this year, is not really an energy strategy at all. It is an economic program, aimed toward the short-term benefit of the domestic oil industry and other existing energy corporations.
Dakota dust: denial, delusion, dishonesty
This essay takes as its starting point the blowing dust of March 1988, a virtual dust bowl over the eastern half of the Dakotas.
The perils of illegal action
The more one becomes involved in conscious law-breaking, whether nonviolent civil disobedience or monkeywrenching, the more one needs to be scrupulously deliberate about doing so.
The rural West: a playground for the rich?
A posh development near Santa Fe riles locals.
How to remedy overgrazing
This reader, for one, does not agree with HCN's analysis of why overgrazing has occurred and the proper course for resolving its tragic environmental legacy.
Ickes, Part II: 'So long as I am Secretary ...'
Harold L. Ickes, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior, once described himself to a congressional committee as being "as hard-boiled a conservationist as there is in this country."
Metamorphosis at the Forest Service
The Forest Service is becoming experienced in listening to messages it would not have chosen to hear a few years ago.
Ickes, Part I: Interior's noisy reformer
If life were intended to be simple, God would not have invented Harold L. Ickes, Franklin D, Roosevelt's spiky Secretary of the Interior, who was not one man, but several.
Strange tales along the Powwow Highway
We are dying today in droves while liberal Americans profit in the billion-dollar-a-year New Age industry, which sells overpriced and artificial Thunderbird shields and sexy doeskin dresses to bored, rich cosmopolitans.
We must stop devouring the West
We are blessed with an astounding base of natural assets: clean air, good water, open land and the many sturdy folk who live here. But instead of feeding, repairing and taking care of these natural assets, we have been running them down in a way that would destroy any automobile or business in very little time.
Sitting out the Greed Decade in Wyoming
The workers who came to Wyoming in the 1970s to make unmentionable riches throwing chain on oil rigs are now working at minimum wage "service" jobs in the toadying tourism industry.
Forestry newspeak prevents us from seeing the ecosystem
Terminology has a big influence on our way of thinking and the way we perceive issues. It also affects the way we allot funds for public lands.
Sacred places: The West's new, booming extractive industry
No place is safe from nature-loving Baby Boomers, essayist says.
Former ranger wishes he had raised hell earlier
"What I didn't know about then was the peculiar world of bureaucracy. It thinks even nature must bend to what bureaucrats decide is best."
You knew where James McClure stood
Even as McClure stood firm on his values, he tried to work with his adversaries, and for that reason he was effective on many issues.
High Country News Classifieds
  • GRAND CANYON DIRECTOR
    The Grand Canyon director, with the Grand Canyon manager, conservation director, and other staff, envisions, prioritizes, and implements strategies for the Grand Canyon Trust's work...
  • ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a part-time Administrative Assistant to support the organization's general operations. This includes phone and email communications, office correspondence and...
  • HISTORIC LODGE AND RESTAURANT - FULLY EQUIPPED
    Built in 1901, The Crazy Mountain Inn has 11 guest rooms in a town-center building on 7 city lots (.58 acres). The inn and restaurant...
  • ONE WILL: THREE WIVES
    by Edith Tarbescu. "One Will: Three Wives" is packed with a large array of interesting suspects, all of whom could be a murderer ... a...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR, SALAZAR CENTER FOR NORTH AMERICAN CONSERVATION
    The Program Director will oversee the programmatic initiatives of The Salazar Center, working closely with the Center's Director and staff to engage the world's leading...
  • WILDEARTH GUARDIANS - WILD PLACES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Salary Range: $70,000-$80,000. Location: Denver, CO, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Missoula, MT or potentially elsewhere for the right person. Application Review: on a rolling basis....
  • RIVER EDUCATOR/GUIDE + TRIP LEADER
    Position Description: Full-time seasonal positions (mid-March through October) Organizational Background: Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a 10 year old nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of...
  • BOOKKEEPER/ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
    Position Description: Part-time, year-round bookkeeping and administration position (12 - 16 hours/week) $16 - $18/hour DOE Organizational Background: Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a 10...
  • LAND STEWARD
    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks a full-time Land Steward to manage and oversee its conservation easement monitoring and stewardship program for 42,437 acres in...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Ventana Wilderness Alliance is seeking an experienced forward-facing public land conservation leader to serve as its Executive Director. The mission of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance...
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education,...
  • GRANT WRITER
    "We all love this place we call Montana. We believe that land and water and air are not ours to despoil, but ours to steward...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    The Development Director is responsible for organizing and launching a coherent set of development activities to build support for the Natural History Institute's programs and...
  • WILDLIFE PROJECT COORDINATOR
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Cinnabar Foundation helps protect and conserve water, wildlife and wild lands in Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by supporting organizations and people who...
  • TRUSTEE AND PHILANTHROPY RELATIONS MANGER,
    Come experience Work You Can Believe In! The Nature Conservancy in Alaska is seeking a Trustee and Philanthropy Relations Manager. This position is critical to...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA
    -The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region- The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful, complex, diverse,...
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST
    Position will remain open until January 31, 2021 Join Our Team! The New Mexico Land Conservancy (NMLC) is a non-profit land trust organization dedicated to...
  • OLIVERBRANCH CONSULTING
    Non-Profit Management Professional specializing in Transitional Leadership, Strategic Collaborations, Communications and Grant Management/Writing.
  • GREAT VIEWS, SMALL FOOTPRINT
    Close to town but with a secluded feel, this eco-friendly home includes solar panels, a graywater reuse system, tankless hot water, solar tubes, and rainwater...