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.


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.
High schoolers forced Utah to admit climate change is real
High schoolers forced Utah to admit climate change is real
A group of students convinced state lawmakers to acknowledge the warming planet.
Selkirk caribou are quietly going extinct
Selkirk caribou are quietly going extinct
The last herd of caribou in the Lower 48 has dwindled to just three animals.
Don’t even think about leaving a trace
Don’t even think about leaving a trace
An outdoorswoman reflects on the myriad kinds of litter she’s encountered in nature.
The Forest Service faces a century-old call for equality
The Forest Service faces a century-old call for equality
As early as 1924, women were asking the agency for equal treatment.
What happens in a small town when the gas goes out?
What happens in a small town when the gas goes out?
A writer ponders his community’s dependence on natural gas in its absence.
Don’t let states manage grizzly bears to extinction
Don’t let states manage grizzly bears to extinction
Wyoming and Idaho proposed limited hunts after federal protections were removed.
How to celebrate Earth Day
How to celebrate Earth Day
Stand up for public lands, fight climate change and get outside this April 22 — and all year long.
America is overlooking its biggest gun problem
America is overlooking its biggest gun problem
Mass shootings capture our attention, but suicide is responsible for more deaths.
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