Writers on the Range


Writers on the Range is opinion from the ground up. Got a beef with beef? An experience that changed your mind about the American West? Writers from the region tell their story in 750 words. Op eds are syndicated to 50-plus papers, and they also appear here, on the HCN website. For more information, contact Writers on the Range editor, Betsy Marston: betsym at hcn.org.


 With a pardon, Trump perpetuates Bundy standoff
With a pardon, Trump perpetuates Bundy standoff
Clemency for Oregon ranchers convicted of arson fans anti-federal flames.
In a time of division and hate, wildfire unites a community
In a time of division and hate, wildfire unites a community
Disaster response offers an antidote to the era of “me.”
Keep your tunes to yourself on the trail
Keep your tunes to yourself on the trail
A writer decries wilderness-destroying graffiti, litter, drones and booming speakers.
Politics are behind a plan to prop up coal and nuclear
Politics are behind a plan to prop up coal and nuclear
Discussion of a ‘grid emergency’ ignores cheaper alternatives like solar and wind.
Supreme Court to states: Live up to your treaty obligations
Supreme Court to states: Live up to your treaty obligations
Will future courts order states to take down fish-blocking dams?
Should a hike be a social event or an encounter with the wild?
Should a hike be a social event or an encounter with the wild?
A crowded South Korean national park offers a glimpse of the West’s possible future.
Don’t let politicians kill conservation’s bank account
Don’t let politicians kill conservation’s bank account
If Congress doesn’t act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund will end on Sept. 30.
Solar energy deserves a place on public lands
Solar energy deserves a place on public lands
Prioritizing oil and gas over renewables ignores market forces and climate concerns.
There’s nothing normal about ‘the new normal’
There’s nothing normal about ‘the new normal’
The phrase is the linguistic equivalent of a shrug.
Who pays for the damage caused by climate change?
Who pays for the damage caused by climate change?
Three Colorado communities are suing to make oil companies open their wallets.
Caught in the crossfire at a Colorado campground
Caught in the crossfire at a Colorado campground
A writer endures a night of bullets and bonfires in a previously serene gulch.
We need to fix up roads and bridges — not mines
We need to fix up roads and bridges — not mines
Federal officials may add mining to a law that fast-tracks infrastructure permitting.
The NRA doesn’t represent all gun lovers
The NRA doesn’t represent all gun lovers
Rational gun legislation is possible — if gun owners with moderate views speak up.
Addressing climate grief makes you a badass, not a snowflake
Addressing climate grief makes you a badass, not a snowflake
Students studying the emotional toll of environmental loss faced a wave of vitriol.
Why are some drivers so reluctant to share the road?
Why are some drivers so reluctant to share the road?
Dangerous hostility toward bicyclists is rooted in distrust of those who are different.
Tell Interior not to sell off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Tell Interior not to sell off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Against economic and ecological reason, officials plan to open the refuge to drilling.
Instead of blaming the bear, prevent the conflict
Instead of blaming the bear, prevent the conflict
To protect humans and animals, control trash, bird feeders and other bear banquets.
Colorado says fishing next to private land is trespassing
Colorado says fishing next to private land is trespassing
But that could change on the Arkansas River if a legal decision declares it navigable.
The playground of Lake Powell isn’t worth drowned canyons
The playground of Lake Powell isn’t worth drowned canyons
Before a writer knew the true cost of Glen Canyon Dam, ‘ignorance was bliss.’
Rent hikes, homelessness and hunger in a small Western city
Rent hikes, homelessness and hunger in a small Western city
A writer in Ashland, Oregon, sees the problems that follow an influx of wealth.
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