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Natural History

  • Wild West Magazine

    Author Dan Flores

    Award-winning author Flores knows the Great Plains perhaps as well as an ancient hunter or his prey...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: California Grizzly

    Story of the Mighty California Grizzly by William B. Secrest, Word Dancer Press, Sanger, Calif., 2007, $25. What would California be like without the grizzly bear? Well, it would be like now. Californians haven’t spotted a big grizzly...

  • America's Civil War Magazine

    Trees: Silent Survivors

    Dedicated park rangers help preserve trees that weathered the war’s most brutal battles—and all the decades since. Forget Bloody Lane and the Dunker Church. On a sunny morning in March, I am skipping the typical driving tour at...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Monsters of the Plains

    Buffalo were once considered as dangerous as grizzly bears— viewed with awe and hunted with abandon. That the vast herds would reach near extinction seemed about as likely as a railroad crossing the continent. As summer turned to fall in...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Skin and Bones: The Plains Buffalo Trades Flourished

    It was business as usual even after the bison all but vanished. Probably no late 19th-century American business venture affected Western settlement as profoundly as the buffalo trade. Even the railroads owed much to the ragged hide...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Buffalo Jones Killed Many Buffalo, But Then Became a Preservationist

    Writer Zane Grey sang his praises. He didn’t set out to save the buffalo. Like any hide hunter on the Plains, he wanted to kill as many as he could, as quickly as he could. But Charles Jesse Jones wasn’t the typical hide man. He was an...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Monumental Vision

    Monument Valley, with its striking spires, breathtaking buttes and mesmerizing mesas, has enchanted Navajos for ages. Thanks to filmmaker John Ford and a vast cast of photographers, the valley exemplifies the American West for those who...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Bear Butte, Sacred to Cheyennes and Lakotas, Looms Near the Black Hills

    Humans have gathered at the formation for four millennia. Crossing the South Dakota plains from the east, the traveler first sees the purplish Black Hills stretching across the western horizon. A singular massive peak stands apart, looming...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Here Be Dragons

    John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River Exploring Expedition completed its rapids-defying Grand Canyon passage 140 years ago, but the disappearance of three members remains a mystery. The explorers were in rough shape on August 27, 1869,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West DVD Review: The National Parks

    The National Parks: America’s Best Idea PBS, 2009, six disks, 720 mins., $99.99.  Ken Burns’ latest PBS series focuses on the legacy of America’s national parks, a unique concept at the time of their genesis in the 19th-century...

  • American History Magazine

    John the Botanist

    The father of our national parks saw divinity at work in plants large and small. John Muir is remembered for his grand vision of wilderness preservation that gave Americans such magnificent national parks as Yosemite and the Grand Canyon....

  • American History Magazine

    Paradise Found: Manhattan

    Landscape ecologists re-create the natural world explorer Henry Hudson encountered when he visited the island of Manhattan 400 years ago. In his new book, Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, Eric Sanderson quotes an...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Horse Trading in the Early West

    In the year 1792, in a terra incognita of vast yellow grasslands and brightly hued canyons 2,000 miles west of Washington, D.C., a mysterious young American was experiencing a world as yet unimagined—and certainly unnamed—in American...

  • American History Magazine

    America’s First Climate Debate

    Thomas Jefferson questioned the science of European doomsayers. The environment is an endless source of anxiety in America these days. We worry about greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous wastes in our water supplies and toxic substances in...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviators: Angel Flight

    Jimmie Angel searched Venezuela’s “Lost World” for a fabled river of gold, but all he found was a waterfall—the world’s tallest, as it turned out. Pilot and adventurer James Crawford Angel lived a life of contradictions in which...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The Colorado Huntress and Her Wildlife

    While her husband struggled to find gold, Martha Maxwell discovered riches in Rocky Mountain fauna and fame as a skilled naturalist and taxidermist. In the winter of 1860, James A. Maxwell of Baraboo, Wisconsin, sought to cure his...