When it comes to wildlands conservation, the glamorous ecosystems get all the attention, especially when they’re near large population centers. So in the Northwest, the attention flows to Puget Sound, or the the Lower Columbia, or the Cascades. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but it’s a shame that we northwesterners so often overlook our dry interior country—the awkwardly named “shrub-steppe” habitat. It is a unique and surprisingly rich landscape; and protecting it is perhaps more cost-effective than for those places closer to people.

I mutter about this from timetotime, but rarely see much evidence of a shift in thinking.

So today it is with a mixture of surprise and pleasure than I can point out three articles worth reading on the Northwest’s sagebrush country:

  • At the P-I, Joel Connelly is spot-on in his criticism of cattle grazing in eastern Washington’s wildlife reserves.
  • In the NY Times, a good article on something unheard of when the topc is removing Snake River dams: compromise.
  • And at Crosscut, an essay on soil erosion in the Palouse country. It’s more interesting than it sounds.