Booming elk numbers create a rare opportunity for hunting and tourism
By Janey Fugate
While scouting for mule deer on a chilly October evening in southeast Wyoming, the last thing I expected to see was several hundred elk.
How accounting for human behavior can improve wildlife management
By Molly Caldwell
On a summer evening in a Grand Teton National Park campground, the smell of barbecue drifts along a cooling breeze, signaling dinner time to nearby red foxes.
How place and technology meanings shape conflict around outdoor recreation development
By Wes Eaton and Curt Davidson
In the fall of my first semester as a visiting professor at the University of Wyoming, a stranger knocked on the half-open door to my new office and said, “There’s a town in Wyoming where people are saying that an outdoor recreation development proposal is tearing their community apart. Want to look into it with me?”
Rock climbers in a remote Wyoming canyon may help shape national public lands climbing management
By Nita Tallent
On an early summer day in 2018, a group of sport rock climbers—packs laden with ropes, quickdraws, harnesses, shoes, and chalk—clambered up a makeshift trail in Tensleep Canyon, Wyoming.
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 13th 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!
The 13th 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....