Land protection

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In a rugged corner of New Mexico on the flank of Mount Taylor, herds of elk migrate along rock ledges through stands of ponderosa pine. Black bears and mountain lions range across grasslands down into dense valleys of pinyon and juniper. Fractured rock ledges, striated cliffs of rose, mauve, and...

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Picture, if you will, a maple sugar harvest. It’s a storybook scene: a snowy New England forest, a bucket hanging on every tree catching a steady drip of sap, and a big vat simmering sweetly over a wood fire in a tumbledown barn, slowly reducing the sap into rich, amber syrup.

“Nope—mine...

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Lisa Brown, a high school math teacher in western Montana, tracks the seasons according to the good things she can harvest from nearby woodlands and forests.

In spring, that’s morels—wrinkly, wild mushrooms that thrive in moist, shady areas. In summer, there are huckleberries,...

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Mitch Doherty is about as outdoorsy a Montanan as you can imagine. The 42-year-old conservationist and father of two actually hails from Wisconsin. But after getting a taste of Big Sky Country while working a summer job in college, he pulled up stakes and never looked back. “I fell in love with...

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Jim Williams cares deeply about wildlife. An ardent hunter, he believes that if you are going to eat meat, nothing shows more respect for the animal bound for your dinner plate than overseeing all aspects of the journey yourself. “

It makes you realize that a life was taken in order for...

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Paulette Epple grew up on a game farm in Minnesota where her father raised ducks, geese, and peacocks, which were then sold to adorn zoos and private estates. So it was perhaps no surprise that after moving to Montana 40 years ago, she eventually found her way back to the avian world.

“As...

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Generations of my mother’s family came from Colorado. As a kid, my heroes included well-known cowboys, pioneers, smoke jumpers, and the men of the 10th Mountain Division. When we visited Clear Creek, Cañon City, or the Western Slope—or ventured east to Colby or Hays—those places...

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Helen Paxton, a lifelong nature lover from Montclair, New Jersey, always considered herself a "pretty wimpy hiker," at least compared to her more adventurous siblings and cousins. Still, she and her husband, Art Paxton, venture into the outdoors as much as possible.

This past summer, the...

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Cradled in a bend on the Hulēʻia River in the southeast corner of Kauaʻi, an ancient fishpond built 600 years ago ripples and glints in the sun.

...

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Each winter, Janet Drake ventures out from her home in Phoenix to hunt in the Sky Islands. This remote region of southern Arizona is named for the isolated mountain ranges that punctuate expanses of grasslands and canyons.   

“There’s a huge range of animals in that area—bear, bobcat,...

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