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NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT IN THE WEST

Your Federal Public Lands

Your Federal Public Lands

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

The United States of America is unique in the world for its vast system of federal public lands, which make up more than a quarter of the country’s land area. Those federal lands, mostly concentrated in the 11 westernmost states and Alaska, span everything from rivers and canyons to sagebrush steppe and alpine peaks.

Why We Have Federal Land

Why We Have Federal Land

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

The citizens and leaders behind our public land heritage

On June 30, 1864, the US Senate approved a grant of federal land to the state of California, a tract in the Sierra Nevada at the headwaters of the Merced River “known as the Yo-semite valley…with the stipulation…that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation…for all time.”

National Monuments and Local Concerns

National Monuments and Local Concerns

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

What it means to have protected public lands in your backyard

Waves lap the shoreline. An endless stellar canopy shimmers in the ink-colored sky. Smoky fragrance drifts from a campfire, and 20 middle school students sit around the dancing flames.

Banking on Trails

Banking on Trails

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

Laramie could be the next western town to cash in on public lands recreation

On a Thursday evening last March, a crowd of eager residents packed into the gymnasium of the Lincoln Community Center in West Laramie to learn more about the Pilot Hill Project

Consuming Experiences Instead of Stuff

Consuming Experiences Instead of Stuff

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

What quiet recreationists bring to the outdoor economy and how to reach them

With BLM maps in hand and fragments of descriptions from locals, Eric Krszjzaniek searches for an old Indian village in Wyoming’s Shirley Basin. As he walks across the landscape, he pauses often to reference his Rockhounding in Wyoming guide and note the types of rocks in the area.

A Different Kind of Map

A Different Kind of Map

Dec 7, 2018 | One Comment

Social science reveals the contours of wildlife migration’s human dimensions

On an early June morning, I found Jessi Johnson and her hunting partner loading up a bright red pickup, deep in discussion about the best spot to scout for bedded-down deer.

Belonging

Belonging

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

An essay

Sunlight and wind circled me, a girl looking out over the Red Desert and the small stream below. Perched next to a gnarled, twisted juniper that had been dead for my entire life, I sat at the edge of the draw that held the green meadow

What to Do with Wilderness Study Areas?

What to Do with Wilderness Study Areas?

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

A collaborative stakeholder group negotiates a solution

On a sunny afternoon in early May, twelve people sat around plastic tables in a classroom in the Carbon County Higher Education Center in Rawlins, Wyoming.

Where Domestic Sheep Still Roam

Where Domestic Sheep Still Roam

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

A court case challenges domestic sheep grazing on national forests

In any court case, there are two sides. But in a wood-paneled courtroom at the Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Butte, Montana, differences between the two sides headed to court were not immediately apparent.

Sharing Fences

Sharing Fences

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

Local knowledge guides research across public and private lands

“I’ve learned to tune out the incessant alarm calls of prairie dogs when I work,” says recent University of Wyoming graduate Lauren Connell. “It’s that or go crazy.”

Bullies on the Range

Bullies on the Range

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

Wild horses are winning out over wildlife in the struggle for water

On a summer day in 2011, biologist Neil Perry was checking on prairie dogs he had translocated to a remote canyon in Mesa Verde, National Park, not far from the Four Corners region.

Tracking Wild Horses

Tracking Wild Horses

Dec 7, 2018 | 2 Comments

Technology addresses a rangeland challenge

As the sun sets over the stark Skull Creek Rim, I sit in the sand and take a swig from my water bottle. I am lucky to have portable water in this barren landscape.

One Steppe

One Steppe

Dec 7, 2018 | 2 Comments

New tools to improve management of Wyoming’s sagebrush ecosystem

In November 2014 the Douglas Core Area Restoration Team was all set to plant 16,000 sagebrush seedlings in a wildfire burn area east of Douglas, Wyoming.

Rebel Yell

Rebel Yell

Dec 7, 2018 | No Comments

Why the Sagebrush Rebellion didn’t end with Malheur

“The Court excludes Dr. Cawley’s testimony as irrelevant and finds, in any event, that its probative value is significantly outweighed by the risk of confusing the issues, misleading the jury, and wasting time.” Here’s the backstory.

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note

Mar 5, 2018 | 2 Comments

Western Confluence has grappled with some controversial topics, but as the editorial crew planned this issue, a focus on endangered species felt especially fraught.

Path to Recovery

Path to Recovery

Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

Map of the Endangered Species Act

By Emilene Ostlind and Gary Beauvais

Avoiding Extinction on a Warming Planet

Avoiding Extinction on a Warming Planet

Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

Can the Endangered Species Act protect wildlife in a changing climate?

On a summer day in 2011, a group of US Geological Survey researchers hiked through the wildflowers high above Glacier National Park’s tree line

Coping, Not Overcoming

Coping, Not Overcoming

Mar 5, 2018 | One Comment

Scientist discovers pikas’ strategies for dealing with heat

By Alanna Elder

Just like the creature she studies, Embere Hall spends much of the winter beneath the snow. Her office is tucked in a network of hallways beneath the University of Wyoming’s older science buildings.

Lost Seas

Lost Seas

Mar 5, 2018 | No Comments

When the Soviets started draining their inland sea
to grow cotton in the desert,
a Kremlin engineer said it is obvious to everyone

Return of the Grizzly

Return of the Grizzly

Mar 5, 2018 | One Comment

No longer federally protected, is the great bear ready to strike out on its own?

In the early 20th century, tourists gathered around dump pits in Yellowstone National Park to watch grizzlies devour trash.