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.


We can’t lose the wild to save the domestic
We can’t lose the wild to save the domestic
A few months ago, a coyote ate one of our cats. But I would never kill it for revenge.
The business of climate change, in market terms
The business of climate change, in market terms
Climate change solutions are socially and politically divisive, but they needn’t be.
What to plant as spring approaches
What to plant as spring approaches
It’s time to peruse seed catalogues and plan for the gardening months of summer.
What Westerners take for granted
What Westerners take for granted
“I never really considered the concept of public lands until I moved to Iowa.”
A corporate takeover of legal weed looms in California
A corporate takeover of legal weed looms in California
Thousands of small-scale marijuana growers could be replaced by Big Ag.
No one needs an AR-15
No one needs an AR-15
Mental illness exists everywhere in the world, of course, but mass shootings do not.
Don’t give up on riding the rails
Don’t give up on riding the rails
A writer muses on a recent loss of confidence in the West’s rail system.
A Western town says ‘no’ to guns in schools
A Western town says ‘no’ to guns in schools
School shootings raise a question that once seemed settled in Mancos, Colorado.
Policies affect people, we affect policies
Policies affect people, we affect policies
President Donald Trump’s reversals of decades of immigration policy bring families to the brink of exile.
Protected lands generate big-time revenue
Protected lands generate big-time revenue
In Alaska, sustainable recreation dollars help advocates for protected areas.
Art and education fuel young public lands advocates
Art and education fuel young public lands advocates
At University of Montana, students foster a conservation vision for the future.
Animals’ advice for surviving trying times
Animals’ advice for surviving trying times
Are you the political equivalent of an armadillo, ant or tiger?
To save our oceans, let’s start with our rivers
To save our oceans, let’s start with our rivers
Dams and pollution affect rivers across the West, to the detriment of our oceans.
The power of fossil fuels is fading
The power of fossil fuels is fading
Will Western states react in time to save local economies?
Utah’s approach to public lands won’t work
Utah’s approach to public lands won’t work
New Mexico exemplifies the risk of managing lands at the whim of local interests.
Wild horses aren’t overrunning the West
Wild horses aren’t overrunning the West
A Trump administration proposal sets wild horse populations at extinction levels.
Montana’s first black mayor is here to listen
Montana’s first black mayor is here to listen
How might the toxic tenor of national politics change if more of us practiced forbearance and gratitude?
Utah is headed into a water battle it can’t win
Utah is headed into a water battle it can’t win
Why is this fiscally conservative state pushing an expensive diversion project?
We have better options than killing bison
We have better options than killing bison
Annual culls, loss of genetic diversity and climate change set the odds against American bison.
As a rancher, I see failure on both sides of the Bundy trial
As a rancher, I see failure on both sides of the Bundy trial
It takes wisdom, patience and humanity to make federal land management work.
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