Essays

My great American family
My great American family
And why we have a right to be here.
Adoption didn’t solve the ‘Indian Problem’
Adoption didn’t solve the ‘Indian Problem’
An author recounts how 1960s policies ripped apart families and communities, including her own.
It’s time to start eating roadkill
It’s time to start eating roadkill
Salvaging meat in Alaska is commonplace. Can it catch on in the Lower 48?
The howl and death of wolf 926F
The howl and death of wolf 926F
A researcher’s mission to document the wild records the song of a famous Yellowstone canine.
Alone on the Green River
Alone on the Green River
Writer Craig Childs goes boating in Utah and ponders the costs and payoff of solitude.
Life lessons learned on a dogsled
Life lessons learned on a dogsled
Hold tight and don’t let go.
Fear and love in Oregon’s forests
Fear and love in Oregon’s forests
How far will you go for the person you love?
What’s special about a good-for-nothing sunflower?
What’s special about a good-for-nothing sunflower?
In an age of extinction, a sunny, endangered flower serves as a beacon of arid lands.
Reconciling wildness and the American dream
Reconciling wildness and the American dream
A writer finds a home in the wild landscapes of the West.
A fishing rod stronger than war’s dark legacy
A fishing rod stronger than war’s dark legacy
After his father’s suicide, a son seeks solace in the streams.
The impermanence of wonder and whales
The impermanence of wonder and whales
A writer comes to grips with the plight of the Puget Sound orca.
The lone punk rocker of Paonia
The lone punk rocker of Paonia
A musician finds a home among a small town’s orchards and fields.
Can hunting keep us human?
Can hunting keep us human?
In the New Machine Age, hunting helps us accept mortality as truth.
Relittering: Take your trash and show it in the sun
Relittering: Take your trash and show it in the sun
Philosophy teaches us little more than how to confuse our settled opinions.
The arresting quiet of a crane migration in Washington
The arresting quiet of a crane migration in Washington
Sandhill cranes, cattle and the surprising benefits of their coexistence in the West.
A strange feeling of safety for a black American
A strange feeling of safety for a black American
Under the gaze of tribal police, a writer finds a new sense of freedom.
After the mountain yellow-legged frog disappeared
After the mountain yellow-legged frog disappeared
A wildlife biologist returns to a childhood stomping ground, devoid of its once-plentiful amphibians.
In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?
In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?
Drought, dread and family in the American Southwest.
Saving baby Jo from the smoke
Saving baby Jo from the smoke
A mother grapples with her decision to flee the 416 Fire with her infant daughter.
Monument Valley
Monument Valley
The spectral lines between life and the inert.
In a desert, I learned to fish
In a desert, I learned to fish
Dams, invasive species and roadways. All this, so I could go fishing.
What the Ice Age West predicts about our future
What the Ice Age West predicts about our future
An American creation story.
A bird’s song adds wonder to the world
A bird’s song adds wonder to the world
If a song defines a place, what does it mean to lose it?
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