No place like home


IT’S ONE OF THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL rules of ecology: Each species has its niche, the unique combination of food, water, shelter, and nursery that, taken together, are home for the breed. Without that place, the species would not exist.

As the deadline for the federal decision on whether to list the sage grouse . . . → Read More: No place like home

We’re all users— but some more than others

ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015, CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON published an essay in the New York Times titled “Leaving Only Footsteps in the Woods?: Think Again.” The premise of Solomon’s piece was that every human being that enters a wild area has an effect on the wildlife living there.

It’s an important observation, one that gets surprisingly . . . → Read More: We’re all users— but some more than others

Congressmen vote against marshes and creeks

THE GOOD OLD DAYS. I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THE SIXTIES (AND EVEN A PIECE OF THE FIFTIES) WITH SOME FONDNESS, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT THAT ERA I’d just as soon forget, especially in the environmental arena— massive fish kills, rivers catching fire, and not least, a federally funded campaign to . . . → Read More: Congressmen vote against marshes and creeks

Learning the hunt

The lesson: A short look at the long history of hunter education

Comments on the occasion of the 2014 Wyoming Hunter Education Academy July 26, 2014 © Chris Madson, 2014

2014 Hunter Education Academy


A drop in the bucket


In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a crippling blow to the protection of America’s wetlands and the wildlife these wetlands support. The court’s decision in the case SWANCC v. Army Corp of Engineers, followed a year later by similar decisions in the Carabel and Rapanos cases, ended . . . → Read More: A drop in the bucket

A cracked view of conservation

In recent statements and writing, Peter Kareiva, chief scientist with The Nature Conservancy, distorts history, ignores the successes of modern conservation, and undermines the moral and philosophical foundations of the movement. Do his views reflect the views of his employer?

Photos and writing © Chris Madson, all rights reserved

Defining conservation

PETER . . . → Read More: A cracked view of conservation

The limits of adaptation


A modern dust storm on the High Plains of Kansas.

FOR THIRTY YEARS AFTER JIM HANSEN AND HIS COLLEAGUES AT NASA FIRST WARNED US THAT WE WERE CHANGING THE EARTH’S CLIMATE, the discussion focused on ways to reverse, or at least stabilize, the process. That dialog gained volume and urgency as the relationship . . . → Read More: The limits of adaptation

Killing It softly

Congress continues to bleed America’s most important conservation program

WELL, AFTER MORE THAN THREE YEARS OF DEBATE AND CLOAKROOM POLITICS, WE FINALLY HAVE A NEW FEDERAL FARM BILL. The scope of the programs it authorizes is almost beyond imagining. So is the cost: around $960 billion between now and 2023.[i]

Most of the angst over . . . → Read More: Killing It softly

A part or apart

North Absaroka Range 2

SIX MONTHS AGO, I FOUND MYSELF IN A HOTEL CONFERENCE ROOM WITH THE BLINDS DRAWNS, GLASSES AND PITCHERS OF WATER ON the draped tables, a projector for Powerpoint presentations, a flip chart and magic markers in the corner: This was clearly a place that had been equipped for some deep thinking. Fifteen . . . → Read More: A part or apart

Behind the veil: The Red Desert and the human spirit

As I remember, I first came across the work of Roy Chapman Andrews in the summer of my tenth year.

Andrews was one of the more remarkable men of the early twentieth century. He put himself through college doing taxidermy work, and with his fresh bachelor’s degree in hand, he went to New York, . . . → Read More: Behind the veil: The Red Desert and the human spirit