National Geographic cover

After a year and a half of talking, reporting, marching, conference-calling, driving, hiking, biking, horse-riding, writing, editing, agonizing, factchecking, more editing, more agonizing, more factchecking, two features I wrote ran in this month’s National Geographic magazine.

The first, the cover story in National Geographic’s November issue, tells the story of the battle over public lands in the American West, focusing on three recently created national monuments that the Trump administration targeted for reductions and the cultural conflicts that have dogged our relationship with public lands since the time they were created.

The second story also looks at the West. It tells the story of the sage grouse, a struggling species found only in the “sagebrush sea” region.

These birds have the most outlandish mating ritual you’ll ever see, besides, well, humans. It is gravely threatened, and efforts to keep the species going have exacerbated conflicts over land use and environmental protection in the west.

I was honored (and challenged) to tell these stories, and I hope I did them justice.