Can outdoor recreators minimize impact in the backcountry while connecting deeply with place?
By Sam Sharp
It’d been raining all day when we heard them: bullfrogs, croaking from the woods. We stopped, dropped our packs, and marched through the leaf litter to find them.
Cultivating pollinator support at state parks
By Amy Marie Storey
In 2019, a plain mowed field in Oklahoma’s Sequoyah State Park transformed into an acre of wildflowers. The verdant space served both visitors and pollinators.
The power of mushroom hunting as both outdoor recreation and community science
By Shelby Nivitanont
While off-path and crouching at the base of a stoic fir, I took in my surroundings with an exhalation and fresh eyes. Huge, ruby-red mushroom caps pushed up through the earth around me—countless Boletus rubriceps, or rocky mountain porcini.
Lessons from Curt Gowdy State Park on outdoor recreation design
By Katie Klingsporn
Between Laramie and Cheyenne, amid the rocky shrubland and aspen groves of Curt Gowdy State Park, 45 miles of trail unfurl in ribbons of dirt, ramps, jumps, and berms.
Finding solutions for human waste in the backcountry
By Kristen Pope
Among stunning red arches, balancing rocks, canyons, pinyon-juniper, and cacti, a hiker in southern Utah sees something white in the distance. Is it a wildflower? Approaching the “blossom,” the hiker instead finds something far less picturesque—used toilet paper and human feces.
Managing off-leash dogs on public trails
By Sabrina White
“Boulder, as a town, has always been super supportive of dogs and people recreating together off-leash,” says Lisa Gonҫalo, recreation management coordinator for the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.
Land trusts take on community access to outdoor recreation
By Meghan Kent
In 2009, Colin Betzler moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, as the first paid executive director for the local land trust. Like for many people, the Bighorn Mountains drew him to the area. On a clear day, the fortress-like summits of Cloud Peak, Blacktooth, Innominate, and Mt. Woolsey reign over the Sheridan valley.
The current issue of Western Confluence is exploring ideas for how communities in the West can enhance their quality of life, economic opportunity, and environmental integrity by developing sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism. Stories will be released online through 2023 and in print January 2024.
The promise of western lands
Perspective by John L. Koprowski
I was a youngster in Cleveland, Ohio, when the Cuyahoga River started on fire…again!
An interview with Wes Martel on tribal wildlife conservation
By Temple Stoellinger
Wes Martel is the Senior Wind River Conservation Associate for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Previously, Martel served on the Eastern Shoshone Business Council for twenty years where he oversaw programs and legislation dealing with water, taxation, energy, and environment.
Lessons from my children in the context of climate change
By Corrie Knapp
When she was a baby, my eldest daughter had a strong latch and I enjoyed focusing on her breathing and feeling my milk let down. Allowing myself into this flow that was both release and connection at the same time was a lesson for me, the first of many.
Biologist works to protect eagles on collision course with wind power
By Jill Bergman
There are places in Wyoming where the sky is more imposing than the land. The force of wind and emptiness define this spare country.
Returning to past practices for future water management
By Tesia Lin
In 2014, John Coffman arrived in Wyoming as The Nature Conservancy’s new steward for the Red Canyon Ranch and quickly encountered an unforgettable lesson.
The current issue of Western Confluence is exploring ideas for how communities in the West can enhance their quality of life, economic opportunity, and environmental integrity by developing sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism. Stories will be released online through 2023 and in print January 2024....