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.


Who was ‘the last wild Indian’?
Who was ‘the last wild Indian’?
Reflecting on the life of an iconic Native American who never revealed his true name.
A tribal coalition wins a monument for Bears Ears
A tribal coalition wins a monument for Bears Ears
While consensus supporting a designation grew, many Utah politicians argued that the president’s action is an abuse of power.
How a federal land transfer could give California its key to secession
How a federal land transfer could give California its key to secession
Fundamental changes in federal land ownership could become more politically feasible than ever.
What to do if you’re angry about ‘our new corporate overlords’
What to do if you’re angry about ‘our new corporate overlords’
Regard your wallet as your daily voting booth.
Who is Ryan Zinke, really?
Who is Ryan Zinke, really?
Trump’s Interior secretary pick set high standards for himself, but his lofty promises to rural voters are a problem.
Five reasons to be optimistic about climate change
Five reasons to be optimistic about climate change
Recent accomplishments have paved a way forward for more environmental progress.
‘May the flock be with you’
‘May the flock be with you’
History repeats itself on the poisonous waters of the Berkeley Pit.
How to keep independent bookstores alive
How to keep independent bookstores alive
We need bookstores that answer only to their communities.
An argument against fish hatcheries
An argument against fish hatcheries
‘Planting fish’ doesn’t solve the problems that led to the need to plant them in the first place.
It’s not the Wild West anymore. Look before you shoot.
It’s not the Wild West anymore. Look before you shoot.
Carrying a gun in the backcountry isn’t the issue—responsible use is.
How I escaped post-election blues
How I escaped post-election blues
Elk hunting offers a necessary distraction.
What’s in a name? An Alaska town finds out.
What’s in a name? An Alaska town finds out.
The city of Barrow sheds its conquest-era name for one from Iñupiaq culture: Utqiaġvik.
A new journalism, past fear-mongering
A new journalism, past fear-mongering
Reporting solutions is a form of resistance in its own right.
How to fix exclusive resort towns
How to fix exclusive resort towns
It’s time to rethink urbanization in mountain communities.
A showdown at Standing Rock is coming
A showdown at Standing Rock is coming
Army Corps orders evacuation, but support for protesters swells.
Trump’s promises are empty when it comes to energy
Trump’s promises are empty when it comes to energy
Will laid-off energy workers get their jobs back? No. Regulations have nothing to do with this bust.
An interloper’s eye-opening Thanksgiving
An interloper’s eye-opening Thanksgiving
A city dweller recounts a holiday spent with a Native American family.
Two lesser-known reasons to celebrate our public lands
Two lesser-known reasons to celebrate our public lands
It may be the Park Service’s 100th year, but these policies have done a lot for open space.
Clearcutting the Tongass National Forest is dead wrong
Clearcutting the Tongass National Forest is dead wrong
To avert the worst climate change impacts, old forests and their massive carbon reserves must be protected.
In a divided town, what to do after a polarizing election
In a divided town, what to do after a polarizing election
If you were shocked by the election results, you should step outside of your silo.