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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.