I love mountain biking. And the trails I ride in Western Colorado are as good as anyplace you can boast about. But it's no secret that throughout much of the western United States, many of the mountain bike trails used today were created illegally, only later "grandfathered" grudgingly into our public land system by whatever federal agency had...Writers on the Range is a service of High Country News hcn.org
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Since 1872, mining interests have made billions of dollars by removing and selling valuable minerals from our public lands without having to pay a cent to the American taxpayer. This is one of the biggest budget loopholes of the modern economy, and it needs to change - especially now - as Congress tries to address the deficit and balance...
Looking down into a valley near the edge of Lake Mead, it was hard to believe that the bustling town of St. Thomas had ever thrived below. A woman shielded her eyes from the October sun and asked our guide, "Is this it?"
President Obama's nominee for heading the Department of Interior, Sally Jewell, is historic - not for who she is, but for who she is not.
Since March 2010, I’ve become intimately acquainted with many of the things that people in our society no longer want to live with: empty liquor bottles, deflated soccer balls, the guts of deer, aluminum siding.
No one doubts that our nation cannot continue to plunge deeper in debt while borrowing huge sums each year. Most of us also admit that addressing this crisis will require deep cuts in domestic and defense spending, significant changes in the big entitlement programs like social security and Medicare, and an overdue reform of the tax code.
It began even before the kids were born, more than 20 years ago. Marypat finally got pregnant after years of miscarriages. We were halfway through winter in a cabin hundreds of miles from the nearest pavement, halfway through a 14-month canoe expedition, alone, vulnerable and perfectly content. The advice we got, from family, from friends, was to...
My little corner of the West -- southern Oregon, between the Pacific Ocean and the high Cascades — achieved a brief notoriety during the height of the world’s Cold War anxieties: It was listed as one of the safest places in the United States in the event of nuclear attack.
My rural western Colorado town of Paonia, population 1,500 on a good day, is in many ways a laboratory-scale model of the USA. We worship both community ties and unfettered independence from the federal government. We’re gossipy and private, inclusive and provincial, divided by class and dogma even as we gather under our purple mountains majesty.