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.


Fly fishing conversations with a New York real estate developer
Fly fishing conversations with a New York real estate developer
In 1972, a guide tries to help a pompous client hook a steelhead.
What Abbey’s ‘Desert Solitaire’ means in these trying times
What Abbey’s ‘Desert Solitaire’ means in these trying times
The book turns 50 this year, and is more relevant now than ever.
The Endangered Species Act itself could go extinct
The Endangered Species Act itself could go extinct
Congress and the Trump administration threaten an act vital to wildlife and habitat.
Hemp is one town’s way out of a uranium mining past
Hemp is one town’s way out of a uranium mining past
A former mining region embraces a trade with a ‘hippie’ reputation.
Logging isn’t the solution to our wildfire problems
Logging isn’t the solution to our wildfire problems
We can’t ‘solve’ fire any more than we can ‘solve’ hurricanes.
Native voices aren’t being heard on Bears Ears
Native voices aren’t being heard on Bears Ears
Members of the Navajo Nation are not ‘conquered subjects.’
Stop trying to militarize Interior, Ryan Zinke
Stop trying to militarize Interior, Ryan Zinke
Military-style management doesn’t work everywhere.
In military matters, neighbors should get a say
In military matters, neighbors should get a say
A new Air Force base expands, without the input of locals.
Does a river have a right to life?
Does a river have a right to life?
No law gives a river a right to exist; at best, laws protect a river from harm caused by new development.
An agricultural community that embraces its artistic side
An agricultural community that embraces its artistic side
A town with cattle-ranching roots branches out.
Firefighters, your next mission might be next door
Firefighters, your next mission might be next door
Many are still unaware of the dangers of living in the wildland-urban interface.
Congress has rejected many of Trump’s budget cuts
Congress has rejected many of Trump’s budget cuts
Congress has pushed back on repeated efforts to ax environmental programs.
We need a commission to take action on wildfire in the West
We need a commission to take action on wildfire in the West
Two Forest Service veterans say we fail to manage our fire-dependent forests.
The West grapples with history through its place names
The West grapples with history through its place names
A growing number of places have been renamed to honor their first inhabitants.
Don’t trim Grand Staircase. If anything, expand it.
Don’t trim Grand Staircase. If anything, expand it.
The Utah monument is sustaining small town tourism, a good substitute for extractive industry.
Drones intrude on the outdoor experience
Drones intrude on the outdoor experience
As drones become less expensive, they’re also becoming more ubiquitous outdoors.
Standing sentinel over the Umpqua River’s steelhead
Standing sentinel over the Umpqua River’s steelhead
A Buddhist fly-angler in Oregon protects fish from death by dynamite.
Hunters, it’s long past time we stood up for gun control
Hunters, it’s long past time we stood up for gun control
Hunting isn’t under attack, but our freedom from violence is.
Zinke’s new sage grouse plans ignore years of work
Zinke’s new sage grouse plans ignore years of work
The changes adhere with Trump’s goals of energy dominance on public lands.
The fast food industry is co-opting venison
The fast food industry is co-opting venison
Farm-raised deer can be dangerous for wild game and bypass the art of hunting.