car driving down road with mountains behind

Editor’s Note

By Emilene Ostlind

“For many Americans, the open road best captures the essential character of the West—unfinished, open-ended, a marriage of the human psyche with the earth, sky, and highway.” —William Wyckoff, Geographer

Cheatgrass in the American West.

Editor’s Note

Tens of thousands of invasive species—from cheatgrass, blights, and tamarisk to hogs, fire ants, and boa constrictors—damage natural ecosystems, agricultural systems, human-built infrastructure, and even public health throughout the United States, costing billions of dollars each year.

Animal collage with birds, sagegrouse, biker, windmills, and ungulates

Editor’s Note

Here in the West, we ask a lot of our public lands. As the photo collage on the cover illustrates, we pile demands onto the federal and state lands that surround our communities.

Black Footed Ferret Release

Editor’s Note

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

US Forest Service Photo Library - 2013 Routt/Med Bow National Forest Late September Aerials

Editor’s Note

Coal powers America. Or at least it has for the last sixty years. For most of the last century, anywhere from 45 to 55 percent of US electricity came from coal.

Western Confluence Letter to Editor

Editor’s Note

I grew up in the 1990s watching the hay fields between Sheridan and Big Horn, Wyoming, sprout houses. By the time I graduated from Big Horn School, golf carts zipping over manicured greens had replaced the tractors pulling balers through waist high grass.

Editor

Editor’s Note (winter 2016)

Wandering down the spine of a ridge last summer in southern Wyoming’s Sierra Madre, I stumbled across a 100-year-old mining camp: pits surrounded by heaps of broken rock

From the Editor (summer 2014)

From the Editor (summer 2014)

2014-summer-editor-trees

The forests that cloak mountainsides are one of the defining ecosystems of the western US. Recent big bark beetle outbreaks and wildfires raise questions about how forests are changing and how we should respond.

From the Editor (winter 2014)

From the Editor (winter 2014)

editor-2013

By Indy Burke

“I’m weary and tired. I’ve done my day’s riding. Nighttime is rolling my way. The sky’s on fire and the light’s slowly fading. Peaceful and still ends the day. And out on the trail the night birds are calling, singing their wild melody. Down in the canyon the cottonwood whispers a song of Wyoming for me.”
– Chris LeDoux