Spring Snowstorm at Obsidian Creek with grizzly bears

Return of the Grizzly

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.

A black footed ferret sits on the edge of its burrow in grass.

New Neighbors

Wyoming ranchers are key to black-footed ferret recovery

Lenox Baker’s hands gripped the steering wheel, and the large silver ring on his finger glinted, revealing an outline of a black-footed ferret.

Collaborate or Litigate

Collaborate or Litigate

Local collaboration faces off against outsider litigation in the long, slow process to help a threatened species

From his Chevy Silverado, Phil Fine watched heavy rain fill up an irrigation ditch on his family farm in central Oregon.

Illustrations of wolf, bear, and sagegrouse

Modernizing the Act

As calls for ESA reform have conservationists on high alert, western governors offer a way forward

“Here’s the problem. The Endangered Species Act isn’t working today,”

Illustration of people watching from railing while ghosts of animals rise into a night sky


A meditation on extinction

No more northern white rhinos live in the wild, and the three in captivity are too old to reproduce.

Botanist Emma Freeland pauses to sniff a half buried blowout penstemon in Wyoming. Photo by Bonnie Heidel

Wyoming’s Only Endangered Plant

A tale of re-discovery

In the 1850s, the geologist Ferdinand Hayden crossed the Nebraska Sandhills on an expedition to map uncharted territory and chronicle its natural resources.

sage grouse

A Win-Win Situation

What’s good for sage grouse is good for landowners

I met Peter John Camino in the lobby of the Johnson County Public Library in Buffalo, Wyoming.

A lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae) sips nectar from an agave blossom.

To the Bat Cave!

Conservationists turn to tourism to protect endangered bats

In the 1980s, more than 50,000 visitors toured Colossal Cave annually.

Tortoise on leaves

Lesson from a Tortoise

The Endangered Species Act works best when it’s never invoked

A first encounter with a gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) may not leave a lasting impression in one’s mind;

Energy Transition

Energy Transition

Our world needs more energy and less CO2

The world needs more energy. More than 1.4 billion people live without access to electricity.

Amphibious Citizen Scientists

Amphibious Citizen Scientists

Wildlife managers turn to volunteers for help collecting hard-to-get data

I swished my dipnet through water and vegetation at the edge of the beaver pond, creating swirls of mud that obscured the bottom.

Conservation Easements

Conservation Easements

An open spaces protection tool worth reforming

In 2002, when Robert Hicks, owner of the Buffalo Bulletin newspaper in Buffalo, Wyoming, learned that the Johnson County commissioners canceled a conservation easement

Wyoming Stickers

Wyoming Stickers

Three lifelong ranchers reflect on private lands values

“For somehow, against probability, some sort of indigenous, recognizable culture has been growing on Western ranches and in Western towns

Tribes Tackle Drought

Tribes Tackle Drought

New and old approaches help the Wind River Reservation prepare for a changing climate

During the record-setting hot and dry years of 2012 and 2013, severe water shortages on the Wind River Indian Reservation turned fields to dust and forced cattle ranchers to sell their herds.

The Dinosaur Keepers

The Dinosaur Keepers

An unlikely crew helps a private land fossil find a good home

“They tend to die like an old cow in a draw,” Row Manuel says from the back seat.

Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home

How does conservation happen when the landowner lives elsewhere?

In Texas, authorities are dealing with a rash of timber thieves sneaking onto far-flung parcels of absentee-owned lands

Selling Conservation

Selling Conservation

UW research reveals landowners’ surprising attitudes about conservation easements

Chris Bastian grew up working on his grandparents’ ranches in southeastern Wyoming every summer and thought he’d spend his life as a rancher.