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Grand Folly

The Grand Canyon is already overrun with tourist infrastructure. Two proposed mega-developments threaten to make the situation worse.

photo Joseph Dsilva Before we descended with our backpacks into the abyss, we honored the occasion by firing a pistol in the air. We were at the trailhead near Monument Point, on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and we had the place to ourselves. The roads to Monument Point are dirt, there are no amenities – not even a “goddamn shitter,” as my buddy Jeremy pointed out – and most…
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by: Christopher Ketcham – Spring 2015

Warning: High Frequency

We are now exposed to electromagnetic radio frequencies 24 hours a day. Welcome to the largest human experiment ever.

Consider this story: It’s January 1990, during the pioneer build-out of mobile phone service. A cell tower goes up 800 feet from the house of Alison Rall, in Mansfield, Ohio, where she and her husband run a 160-acre dairy farm. The first thing the Rall family notices is that the ducks on their land lay eggs that don’t hatch. That spring there are no ducklings. Illustrations by Michael Morgenstern, mmorgenstern.com. By the…
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by: Christopher Ketcham – Winter 2012

Cat Eyes

The Eastern Cougar Has Been Declared Extinct. So Why Do Sightings of the Animal Persist?

In March, three weeks after the US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar officially extinct, I got on the phone with a man named Joe Kennedy to talk about the cougar he saw in the Catskill Mountains, in upper New York State. Kennedy was, in fact, the twenty-ninth person I’d talked to who claimed to have seen the fabled Catskill cougar. The incarnations were cryptic. Here was the big cat…
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by: Christopher Ketcham – Summer 2011

Night Vision

A writer takes a journey into the dark and finds that there is a lot to see

I’m told that this night-walking in the desert is foolishness, and that I will get lost, not find the trail again, go deep in the wrong direction. And that my body will be found weeks later, or probably never, sun-mummified, blackened as charcoal, clutching an empty water bottle. My reassurance of safety is the Utah sky. There are too many stars in the clear nights of the canyonlands to get lost; Polaris…
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by: Christopher Ketcham – Autumn 2010


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