About My Work

Nature / Public Lands / Democracy


These are my principal themes, although I write about other things occasionally too.

Most of my research and writing focuses on the American West. I try to understand how the public and commodity users, scientists and managers, and local and federal policymakers create and contest the public interest, especially on public lands. This stretches across the spectrum from untrammeled wilderness to overused rangelands and forests.

Through these investigations, I have come to believe, as Terry Tempest Williams put it, that,

“The integrity of our public lands depends on the integrity of our public process within the open space of democracy.”

Accordingly, my work explores and interprets those integrities—how they are constituted, eroded, and reimagined within the context of an ever-changing natural world with human influences traced throughout.

I live in Pullman, Washington, and teach history at the University of Idaho.