United no more. But there’s hope.

BY: - September 25, 2023

This column was first published by the Daily Montanan. The “United” States aren’t anymore. Politically, our country is a train wreck – polarized, partisan and divisive. We have lost our moral compass; no longer united in the underlying democratic principles that gave birth to our republic; failing to work together to address existential threats to […]

Progressive reforms or harsher punishments alone won’t fix student misconduct

BY: - September 22, 2023

The 2022-23 school year was a particularly violent year for educators. In Florida, a high school student beat a paraprofessional unconscious. A 15-year-old in Georgia left her teacher with difficulty walking. And a group of students in Texas sent their assistant principal to the hospital after an assault. Recent headlines suggest the 2023-24 school year […]

Corporate consolidation is hurting Americans. Now is the time to rein it in.

BY: - September 5, 2023

This article first appeared in the Minnesota Reformer. Just weeks after Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services called off a mega-merger that would have remade Minnesota’s healthcare system, Cleveland-Cliffs announced its interest in acquiring U.S. Steel, a combination that would remake Minnesota’s Iron Range. The relentless pace of merger news is no anomaly though. In 2021 merger activity set […]

National officials should spark prescribed burns on federal lands to mitigate extreme fire seasons

BY: - August 3, 2023

As a former wildland firefighter for four years (2008-11), peak fire season would migrate north in late summer, to our district in Eastern Oregon, but the critical practice of prescribed burning was infrequently used in our region. Twelve years later, the fire seasons still migrate north, and millions of acres continue to be destroyed annually […]

Salmon politics in motion: Responsible momentum is building in Pacific Northwest

BY: - July 27, 2023

In 2021, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson proposed that the earthen sections of four dams be removed to restore free salmon migration through 140 miles of the lower Snake River. Since then, he has had underway a non-linear work in progress: tacking through political waters toward the day the real U.S. Congress, not a wishful one, […]

‘Zombie fires’ in the Arctic: Canada’s extreme wildfire season offers a glimpse of new risks

BY: - July 22, 2023

The blanket of wildfire smoke that spread across large parts of the U.S. and Canada in 2023 was a wake-up call, showing what climate change could feel like in the near future for millions of people. Apocalyptic orange skies and air pollution levels that force people indoors only tell part of the story, though. As […]

New long-term care program will offer families crucial support at tough times

BY: - July 19, 2023

You don’t need a medical degree to understand that accessing care when you need it, in the comfort of your home, is essential to our well-being. Our first statewide long-term care program will help make this possible and at such a low cost. The program is finally here and it’s time to celebrate. As a […]

Empty office spaces can be converted to residential buildings – but it won’t be affordable

BY: and - July 15, 2023

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more companies have offered remote work options for their employees, or have even switched to working entirely remotely – leaving empty office buildings a new fixture in many cities. In July 2023, Boston’s Planning and Development Agency announced a pilot program to offer incentives to building developers who convert office […]

Backcountry heroes always try to bring us back, but our wilderness adventures are wearing them thin

BY: - June 28, 2023

Editor’s note: This commentary was first published at Writers on the Range. When I was leading groups into the Wyoming wilderness in the 1990s, once we left a trailhead we were on our own. If somebody got hurt, we could walk or carry the injured person out or send runners to the road to call […]

Dobbs decision spurs moral injury to abortion patients, providers alike

BY: and - June 23, 2023

On June 24, 2022, the landscape of reproductive healthcare in this country took a frightening turn for the worst. The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned what had previously been a constitutional right to abortion set off a whirlwind of changes in healthcare – not only as related to abortion, but […]

Celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s Indian Child Welfare Act ruling

BY: - June 20, 2023

The ruling was completely unexpected. By a 7-2 vote on June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act. It is a major victory for Indigenous tribes and their right to remain sovereign nations, their people controlling their own destiny and their children to stay in their own culture. Many people simply […]

A new state law will improve economic security for people who’ve been incarcerated

BY: - June 12, 2023

Thanks to the tireless advocacy of people impacted by the criminal legal system and community leaders calling for reforms, Washington state policymakers this year enacted a law to improve the well-being of people moving forward with their lives after a conviction. They will now no longer face crushing financial debt imposed by courts if they […]