Features

Death in the alpine
Death in the alpine
Social media is changing our relationship to risk, with deadly consequences.
Bears Ears is open for business
Bears Ears is open for business
A reporter staked a mining claim on former monument lands. You could, too.
How the feds helped make Cliven Bundy a celebrity
How the feds helped make Cliven Bundy a celebrity
The creation of an anti-public-lands hero.
How right-wing emigrants conquered North Idaho
How right-wing emigrants conquered North Idaho
Conservative transplants largely from California have taken over Kootenai County -- have they gone too far?
Seeking balance in Oregon's timber country
Seeking balance in Oregon's timber country
Can logging towns and old-growth forests both thrive in the Northwest?
Sacrificial Land: Will renewable energy devour the Mojave Desert?
Sacrificial Land: Will renewable energy devour the Mojave Desert?
An unlikely group of activists is championing a new bill to protect the Mojave Desert. But even if it passes, large swaths of once empty land will be developed.
Secret getaways of the National Landscape Conservation System
Secret getaways of the National Landscape Conservation System
A desert hiker finds a lot to like in little-known Bureau of Land Management gems.
Field notes from a solo paddle in Alaska’s Inside Passage
Field notes from a solo paddle in Alaska’s Inside Passage
A journalism professor kayaks alone for nearly 1,000 miles, dealing with difficult seas, icebergs, orcas and bears.
Climate change turns an already troubled ski industry on its head
Climate change turns an already troubled ski industry on its head
California's Mammoth Mountain provides a case study on the uncertainty of the ski business, and how global warming threatens to make it even more unpredictable.
Farmers agree to tax those who deplete groundwater
Farmers agree to tax those who deplete groundwater
Amid drought and climate change in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, farmers vote for a new approach to rein in their overpumping of groundwater.
Will the Badlands become the first tribal national park?
Will the Badlands become the first tribal national park?
Oglala Lakota leaders hope to transform their bombed-out Badlands and help lift the tribe out of poverty, but it won’t be easy.
How Outward Bound lost, and found, itself
How Outward Bound lost, and found, itself
The original outdoor education school came close to falling apart after consolidating into a single national school. Now, its newly separate branches are thriving and redefining themselves.
A field program teaches undergrads to think differently about public lands
A field program teaches undergrads to think differently about public lands
Whitman College's Semester in the West and similar programs strive to make students think about resource issues critically and compassionately, and often change their lives in the process.
Oil and gas companies pour money into research universities
Oil and gas companies pour money into research universities
In the midst of the nation’s current oil and gas frenzy and controversies over fracking, energy company contributions to schools are raising questions about academic integrity.
Oil boom spurs a rush on extractive education programs
Oil boom spurs a rush on extractive education programs
As production from unconventional reserves ramps up, students are flooding into university and technical programs supporting oil and gas development.
A mining rush in Canada’s backcountry threatens Alaska salmon
A mining rush in Canada’s backcountry threatens Alaska salmon
Canadian governments back proposals for more than a dozen new mines along salmon-rich rivers that flow to the Alaska coast.
As it goes high-tech, wildlife biology loses its soul
As it goes high-tech, wildlife biology loses its soul
We're learning a lot by monitoring wild animals, but the high tech methods used to track them take some of the mystery out of our relationship with the wild.
A Washington tribe and a timber company wrestle over a forest's future
A Washington tribe and a timber company wrestle over a forest's future
The Port Gamble S'Klallam are protecting their treaty rights to fish and shellfish in Port Gamble Bay, using laws to limit development, much to the frustration of timber company-turned-developer Pope Resources.
Is there a way through the West’s bitter wild horse wars?
Is there a way through the West’s bitter wild horse wars?
Activists push compromise as the controversial federal mustang management program reaches a breaking point, with more horses in captivity than roam the range.
How the Mormon GOP runs Utah with a collectivist touch
How the Mormon GOP runs Utah with a collectivist touch
One of the most conservative states in the nation has built one of the healthiest economies not with purely laissez-faire policies, but with a dose of federal dollars and central planning.
The soul in Suite 100: A ghost story
The soul in Suite 100: A ghost story
The author considers family lore and legends, including a ghost story about her great-grandmother in New Mexico.
The fossil record: How my family found a home in the West
The fossil record: How my family found a home in the West
The Gilman clan didn't go on normal vacations; their fossil-addicted parents trundled them across the West looking for the shells of long-extinct sea creatures.
Vagabond writer Craig Childs on 20,000 years of wanderlust
Vagabond writer Craig Childs on 20,000 years of wanderlust
The author traces the paths of peoples that have wandered the earth for centuries, from Alaska to the Southwest.
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