Beavers and Space—Sam Wilson

It’s December here in New Haven, Connecticut. The leaves have all fallen, the grass is done growing, and the days are getting quite short. It also means that Christmas is right around the corner. I was having a conversation with friends the other day about Christmas movies. Afterward, I remembered one that hadn’t come up Read more about Beavers and Space—Sam Wilson[…]

Restoration Through Ecological Forestry—Jake Barker

As we examine the complex system of forests, management, and wood products in Wyoming, we are finding that the mosaic of forest type, ownership, and industry infrastructure drive past, current, and future forest restoration. Wyoming’s forests are scattered across the state in five main pockets. Northwestern Wyoming is home to the cultural and ecological behemoth Read more about Restoration Through Ecological Forestry—Jake Barker[…]

Why study outdoor recreation in the American West?—Mara MacDonell

Industry, based on landscape, has been foundational to the American West’s cultural and ideological underpinnings since the beginning of colonization. While natural resource extraction industries (mining, logging, ranching, agriculture) spurred westward expansion and continues to be a significant industry in the West, a new industry is of increasing importance, outdoor recreation. Both the extraction and Read more about Why study outdoor recreation in the American West?—Mara MacDonell[…]

Place, People, and Politics: A Short Reflection on a Summer of Research and Rivers in the American West—Mara MacDonell

Over the course of 14 days this August, I traveled down the calm waters of Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons of the Green River and the raucous and roiling waters of Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River. I went on this journey after a summer of conducting interviews and thinking critically about the role of the Read more about Place, People, and Politics: A Short Reflection on a Summer of Research and Rivers in the American West—Mara MacDonell[…]

Framing the “New West”— Molly Ryan

The “Old West” and the “New West.” These terms are often used to characterize the transformation of rural western economies and communities from places oriented around extractive industries to those based around natural amenities and recreation (Bryson & Wyckoff, 2010; Krannich et al., 2011; Shumway & Otterstrom, 2001). This transformation is driven by in-migration from Read more about Framing the “New West”— Molly Ryan[…]

The Vital Role of Working Lands in Western Conservation—Annie Miller

Working lands — the farms, ranchlands, and working forests that support livelihoods —  are a vital component of the western landscape, and their ecological, economic, and social  importance is difficult to overstate. In addition to supplying much of the food we eat, they hold critical wildlife habitat, provide vital ecosystem services, and represent a way Read more about The Vital Role of Working Lands in Western Conservation—Annie Miller[…]

Rural Gentrification: The Housing Crisis — Mara MacDonell

There are two things that are common knowledge if you live in a ski town (and you don’t have a trust fund to support you): 1) Getting a job is easy, which is good because you’ll probably need at least two; and 2) there is no housing. Previous to matriculating at Yale, I lived in Read more about Rural Gentrification: The Housing Crisis — Mara MacDonell[…]

Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter

During the month of August, I was unfortunate enough to be impacted by two extreme weather events associated with climate change. In Wyoming, multiple field days were cut short due to hazardous air quality resulting from the ongoing wildfires in California and Oregon. While 2020 saw the second highest acreage burned since 1960 (the highest Read more about Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter[…]

Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai

Roots do everything. They are the connector between plants and soil–the interface at which many of the transactions of life are made. Roots (with the help of their mycorrhizal associates) conduct a plant’s search for nutrients, water, and shelter. They scour the soil for the ingredients of life and support whole ecosystems of microorganisms, plants, Read more about Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai[…]

Trouble in Paradise: Native Fish Entrainment in the Ditches of Jackson Hole, WY—Bryce Powell

The words “irrigation canal” conjure images of concrete systems and dirty water, but in Jackson, Wyoming, everything is touched by the finger of King Midas—at least upon first glance. Beneath a backdrop of golden fields, snow-capped peaks, grazing elk, and bright blue skies, you are liable to mistake irrigation canals for spring-fed creeks: cold, clear, Read more about Trouble in Paradise: Native Fish Entrainment in the Ditches of Jackson Hole, WY—Bryce Powell[…]

A Case Study: Recreation in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area of the GYE—Bea Portela

Tucked in the crest of the Snake River Range and in the heart of northwestern Wyoming’s wilderness lies the Palisades Wilderness Study Area. There, you can find people hiking, snowshoeing, birdwatching, canoeing, flat-water kayaking, and most notably, mountain biking. The latter activity has sparked an enormous controversy in nearby Jackson, Wyoming. In 1984, the Palisades Read more about A Case Study: Recreation in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area of the GYE—Bea Portela[…]

Fishers Peak: A Model For Collaboration—Tony Cisneros

I learned about the nascent Fishers Peak State Park in the fall of 2019, over one year ago today. At the time the land had just been purchased by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and was being transitioned to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), which would be responsible for Read more about Fishers Peak: A Model For Collaboration—Tony Cisneros[…]

Approaches to Pinyon Pine Management — Paul Berne Burow

The pinyon pine is not what you might call “charismatic megaflora.” North America’s Pacific and Intermountain West are home to some remarkable trees: the California redwood (the tallest), Giant Sequoia (the biggest), and Bristlecone pine (the oldest). The pinyon pine is a scrubby little tree that forms a short, round crown. It does not reach Read more about Approaches to Pinyon Pine Management — Paul Berne Burow[…]

Changing Narratives in a Pandemic Summer — Reid Lewis

When’s the last time you were dancing? Really going for it, with sweat and chaos and flashing lights? For me it was New Year’s Eve in a quaint, bizarre ballroom that seemed better designed for blackbox theater than a late night of revelry. It was warm and there was poor air circulation; a strange entry Read more about Changing Narratives in a Pandemic Summer — Reid Lewis[…]

A River Saved: Yampa, Water, Energy, and Climate Change — Humna Sharif

The life of the Yampa River has many important lessons, it remains the wildest tributary to the Colorado River system and makes up a significant share of the Upper Basin’s water flows. The Yampa River provides a 3rd of flows to the Green River, which is the largest tributary to the Colorado River. With the Read more about A River Saved: Yampa, Water, Energy, and Climate Change — Humna Sharif[…]