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.
In Oregon’s Coast Range, a writer explores identity
In Oregon’s Coast Range, a writer explores identity
A collection of essays ranges through the histories, trees and wildlife of the state.
A celebration of equality and of the land
A celebration of equality and of the land
At a Wyoming wedding, a musician ponders the big questions of life.
A Dreamer dreams of running for office
A Dreamer dreams of running for office
Over a year into the Trump presidency, reflections from a young immigrant.
How to learn to love a new landscape
How to learn to love a new landscape
A writer trades in the ‘crack-me-open ache of space’ in Colorado for the lushness of western Oregon.
On love in Death Valley, and what’s been lost
On love in Death Valley, and what’s been lost
An ode to a time of both sorrow and new found laughter.
Climate change forced me to leave the place that I love
Climate change forced me to leave the place that I love
After finding their dream town, a family fled drought and fire.
A ‘selfish’ decision
A ‘selfish’ decision
As neighbors evacuated, one family stayed behind.
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
A firefighter contemplates the fire season.
In rural Colorado, can art provide an economic engine?
In rural Colorado, can art provide an economic engine?
A small town invests in affordable housing for the creative sector.
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
A book in hand deepens the backcountry experience
What’s the meaning of lugging literature into the wild?
‘Helpless and culpable’ while fishing the pink’s peak run
‘Helpless and culpable’ while fishing the pink’s peak run
2017 Bell Prize runner-up: A writer reflects on salmon as symbol.
A man and his house of relics, in search of a self
A man and his house of relics, in search of a self
What is the right way to treat artifacts that do not belong to you?
What to do if you had just one day left to live
What to do if you had just one day left to live
Two writers contemplate their last moments.
What are we fighting for?
What are we fighting for?
Bell Prize winner: Through the trials of life, a young writer finds she’s fighting for our spirit.
What could be lost in a push for mining in monuments
What could be lost in a push for mining in monuments
In Grand Staircase-Escalante, coal and fossils lie side by side.
The changing politics of woods work
The changing politics of woods work
Cash-strapped agencies use private contractors to the detriment of local communities.
Pledge allegiance to the Earth, not a flag
Pledge allegiance to the Earth, not a flag
Raise up the vulnerable voices of the elderly, impoverished and the wild earth, too.
Public land is the essence of freedom
Public land is the essence of freedom
A hunter reflects on the gut-level connection she has to the public land she traverses.
Close encounters with a scary fire season
Close encounters with a scary fire season
As wildfires have ripped through the West, take stock of what climate change has wrought.
Awake at night and listening to coyotes
Awake at night and listening to coyotes
Man-made sounds elicit a wild ruckus in the Bitterroot Valley.
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