January 31, 2019

Six months ago, with a car stuffed full of belongings, I beelined from Brewster, Ohio, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Before embarking, I knew little about “The West” aside from the common tropes of cowboys, covered wagons, and tumbleweed—a cultural perception frozen in time...

November 29, 2018

The processional panel in the Shash Jáa Unit of Bears Ears National Monument looms above me. This sacred cultural site is majestic, and yet, I can’t help but hold back a snort. The panel, in all its historical glory, is mocking me.

I was always very close with my father...

October 31, 2018

I like hearing about people’s breath-taken-away-by-nature moments. For my mom, these moments have frequently been sparked by a first tulip prying apart winter’s icy fingers. For my dad, it’s usually caused by a landscape of scraggly sagebrush in the suffocating sun. Fo...

September 27, 2018

Dear Katie,

I felt the river’s heartbeat for the first time when I was seven years old.

I sat in the open cockpit of my first kayak, and with each floundering stroke the water’s subtle pressure rushed through my arms. If I paddled too hard on one side, my sturdy boat wou...

August 30, 2018

Fossil fuel development on American public lands like these near Sigurd, Utah contributes greatly to climate change (Credit: Ryan Beam)

On a nondescript patch of grass in New York, on the morning of April 14, 2018, an accomplished civil rights lawyer and beloved father,...

July 26, 2018

Underneath a large white tent strung with lights, Cynthia Gómez stepped up to a wooden podium to offer a Land Acknowledgment. We were attending the 2018 Summer Fishtrap writer’s conference in northeast Oregon. Cynthia, a Fishtrap fellow and a faculty member at Portland...

June 28, 2018

In the modern world, there are not many places where silence is a virtue. My quiet nature is often scrutinized in the workforce as a lack of presence. My theory is that the increasing rarity of silent moments has fostered the idea that silence represents uncomfortable...

May 24, 2018

At a community coalition meeting several weeks ago, I took on the role of a “spider”—building relationships with different people and connecting their work together. I had one of those magical moments of thinking, “THIS is my work!” I am energized by listening to peopl...

April 26, 2018

“I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together.”

—Terry Tempest Williams

Dear Cousin,

I hope the springtime is treating you well.

I hope your rivers have begun to swell like they’re supposed to and that the land they run through is fertile a...

February 28, 2018

Silver strands of hair stretch out of my grandfather’s dark, spotted scalp with the determination of tulips breaking the surface of spring, slicked back from his forehead in a dramatic yet polished wave the color of tarnished jewelry. As a child I was always amazed at...

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