Bears Ears, Southeastern Utah
This spectacular landscape is a symbol of the risk to some of the country’s unique and irreplaceable places. One president preserved it at the urging of Native Americans who hold it sacred; another tried to open it to drilling and mining. A national monument rich with archaeological sites, it includes the Citadel, once a fortified cliff dwelling, now a popular hiking spot. Stephen Wilkes took 2,092 photos over 36 hours and selected 44 for this image, capturing a sunrise, a full moon, and a rare alignment of four planets. “Beyond the sense of awe and beauty,” he says, “there’s a palpable sense of history with every step you take."

Leer un extracto de la historia en español.

Conservation works. In the past century or so, efforts to save American species like the peregrine falcon, the American bison, and the Pacific gray whale have succeeded. But last year, the federal government proposed taking 23 species of plants and animals off the endangered species list—not because they’ve recovered, but because they’re now extinct. We have to do better.

My friend Karl Wenner shows up to meet me wearing scrubs with a canvas jacket thrown on top. He’s a retired surgeon, but he still spends a few hours a month teaching. He also co-owns Lakeside Farms in the Klamath Basin, a dry part of southern Oregon that has lost nearly all its wetlands. Without marshes, water runs into Upper Klamath Lake unfiltered and carrying phosphorus-rich volcanic soil, causing algal blooms that harm two federally listed sucker species found nowhere else on Earth. Every summer for decades now, nearly all the juvenile fish have died, leaving an aging population.

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