Essays

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?
The nowhereness of airports
The nowhereness of airports
The way air travel has devolved says something awful about humans.
Your stoke won’t save us
Your stoke won’t save us
The idea that outdoor recreation leads to meaningful conservation rests on a big ‘if.’
Why we tell stories of the missing and murdered
Why we tell stories of the missing and murdered
A crisis continues across Indian Country, highlighted by a forthcoming documentary.
This acequia  life
This acequia life
The irrigation of the land defines our West in ways I can hardly explain.
Frackin’ on heaven’s door
Frackin’ on heaven’s door
How many people over the centuries have loved the Pawnee Buttes, only to see them ravaged?
When boyhood friendships were forged outdoors
When boyhood friendships were forged outdoors
After his friend’s passing, a writer reflects on a life spent chasing fish and toads.
You’re made of the same stuff sloshing around in tidepools
You’re made of the same stuff sloshing around in tidepools
When the tides pull back the water line, a writer takes a trip through time.
In Oregon’s Coast Range, a writer explores identity
In Oregon’s Coast Range, a writer explores identity
A collection of essays ranges through the histories, trees and wildlife of the state.
A celebration of equality and of the land
A celebration of equality and of the land
At a Wyoming wedding, a musician ponders the big questions of life.
A Dreamer dreams of running for office
A Dreamer dreams of running for office
Over a year into the Trump presidency, reflections from a young immigrant.
How to learn to love a new landscape
How to learn to love a new landscape
A writer trades in the ‘crack-me-open ache of space’ in Colorado for the lushness of western Oregon.
On love in Death Valley, and what’s been lost
On love in Death Valley, and what’s been lost
An ode to a time of both sorrow and new found laughter.
Climate change forced me to leave the place that I love
Climate change forced me to leave the place that I love
After finding their dream town, a family fled drought and fire.
A ‘selfish’ decision
A ‘selfish’ decision
As neighbors evacuated, one family stayed behind.
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
A firefighter contemplates the coming fire season.
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