Other Columns & Essays

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“Migration”
We are leaving Moab. Moving. Like birds in search of sustenance, we also seek sanctuary in a space that will allow us to build a life.
Destination: Sandpoint, Idaho.
Our season in the desert is over. The North is calling in a language like instinct, something beyond logic. more…

“The Weight of Wilderness”
The La Sal Mountains embrace myriad intrusions. They are no virgin wilderness. And yet the miles of roads, the crumbling cabins, the abandoned mines and tailings piles, the herds of ravenous cattle, the dams, ditches and diversions, the arborglyphs, terraced hillsides and chaining sites – all of this is held with a certain resigned grace. more…

“Still Life in Travel Trailer”
We live in a camper trailer, and it is illegal. I’ve made no secret of that. However, in my mind, illegal and wrong are two different things. And I have a hard time seeing the sin in subsisting simply. more…

“Pipe Dreams and Subterranean Realities in Spanish Valley”
Lately, I’ve been in a mood to think about water. Recent monsoons have been a blessing – for the vegetation, our fire danger, my mood – but we are still in a precarious position in relationship to moisture. We are still immersed in this drought. more…

“Works of the Newly Forged Gods”
While staying in southwestern Utah several years ago, a friend and I enjoyed an evening walk to a view of the Virgin River. A verdant thicket of willows and tamarisk highlighted the Virgin’s sinuous path through the valley. Islands of golf course greens dotted the desert milieu of lava rock and creosote. Interstate traffic noise permeated the soundscape. Lizards basked in low-angle sun, and red-tailed hawks held court from on high. more…

“Fire Season”
As I write this, my fiancé is out fighting fire. Soon, I will be doing the same. But in the interim, I am holding hope like precious water – aware of the gap between need and capacity – in this season of flux and fire. more…

“Our Complicated Relationship with “‘The Great White Shark'”
We in southern Utah have always made our living off the land. Here, we are rich in wide-open spaces. And though some don’t like the idea of land preservation, it is what now fuels our economies, bringing millions of tourists and their discretionary dollars to town – for better or for worse. more…

“Coyotes and the Ecology of Fear”
I am now forced to support the killing of coyotes.
This week, as we put in for our antlerless hunting tags online, we were disturbed to learn of a new mandatory $5 fee added to all tags, a result of the predator control funding bill passed this year. more…