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.


Want to build the second century of American conservation? Look to César Chávez.
Want to build the second century of American conservation? Look to César Chávez.
On the eve of the National Parks centennial, Chávez’s son praises a monument to his father.
Why Rep. Rob Bishop’s promises of wilderness ring false
Why Rep. Rob Bishop’s promises of wilderness ring false
Famed forester Bob Marshall foreshadowed the loss of untouched lands in Utah.
Meet the man who changed humans’ relationship with bears
Meet the man who changed humans’ relationship with bears
Montana biologist Chuck Jonkel, who recently passed away, invented bear spray — and saved bears in the process.
The drought isn’t over, so let’s not relax
The drought isn’t over, so let’s not relax
It’s too soon to stop water conservation efforts. News of the drought’s end are greatly exaggerated.
How bigotry is woven in with our Western roots
How bigotry is woven in with our Western roots
Rock Springs, Wyoming, has a largely unrecognized history of racial violence.
This year’s weird Alaska winter should make us very, very nervous.
This year’s weird Alaska winter should make us very, very nervous.
It’s time to think of winters like the past three as glimpses into the future.
Inside a town where young people aren’t allowed
Federal wildlife refuges are not up for grabs
Federal wildlife refuges are not up for grabs
Alaska’s attempt to intrude on federal wildlife refuges has incensed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for good reason.
On becoming reacquainted with sandhill cranes
On becoming reacquainted with sandhill cranes
I’m on my way south to chase the first harbingers of spring in our High Plains desert home.
Stop attacking pastoralists. We’re part of natural resource management, too.
Stop attacking pastoralists. We’re part of natural resource management, too.
A sheepherder speaks out about labor and environmental concerns.
You want to develop clean energy on tribal land? Here’s how.
How Colorado is trying to get beyond zero-sum water wars
How Colorado is trying to get beyond zero-sum water wars
The new water plan represents an evolving moral algebra that transcends more primitive water law.
No, Ted Cruz, Westerners should not follow in Texas’ footsteps
No, Ted Cruz, Westerners should not follow in Texas’ footsteps
The state’s public lands boondoggle was a historical accident.
It’s inevitable. There will be bikes in wilderness.
It’s time to stop development and save the Rio Grande
I inherited an oil field. Now what do I do with it?
I inherited an oil field. Now what do I do with it?
A writer faces a moral dilemma: fight the bureaucracy to end oil extraction on family land or give in?
Fairy tales about the West are fueling public lands conflict
The Colorado caucus system works — sort of
The Colorado caucus system works — sort of
The minuteae of the political process matter and are sometimes based on outdated systems.
Stop trying to make biking in wilderness happen. It’s not going to happen.
At Malheur, Sally Jewell was missing in action
At Malheur, Sally Jewell was missing in action
The secretary of the Interior instead took a trip to Africa to combat wildlife poaching.