On a summer weekend in the high country, I talked my grandmother into taking a drive into the Wyoming Range, where she’d worked with my grandfather as a hunting guide more than 20 years earlier. We wanted to have a look at a certain 44,600 acres of forest that had been leased by companies in search of natural gas.
Heavily timbered with pine, fir, and aspen, the range lies to the west of Pinedale, my hometown. The leased land fell across the Beaver Creeks, where Grandma had grown up on a tiny homesteaded ranch. The leases meant that all the country she and I were familiar with would be open to the potentially devastating development of rigs and roads and pipelines and wells. The development would take place a few short miles from where my grandmother’s family had settled, where she’d broken horses as a young woman, and where my family still held a single acre of land.
“The only time I saw a lynx that was alive in the wild was on this creek,” Grandma said as we drove along a dirt road. We were on Dry Beaver C... Read more