Writer

Dave Marston

Dave Marston grew up in a newspaper family. His first job was working in the mail room for wages and soda pop. Marston has now moved into the front office of Writers on the Range. He works on development and fundraising while writing about agriculture, water, and the energy transition. After 28 years of living primarily on the East Coast, he is relocating with his wife and child to Durango, Colorado.


Articles

Energy guru says energy gap can be bridged

By Dave Marston

The experts tell us an energy gap looms. Fossil fuels are phasing out, and solar and wind power can’t produce…

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Creative builders get rural housing done

By Dave Marston

Here’s a statistic to be unhappy about: Colorado and Utah host the fifth and sixth most expensive housing markets in…

Community Rebuilds houses in Moab UT, courtesy Emily Niehaus

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Goats can be a forest’s best friend

By Dave Marston

Goats are particularly good at one thing: Eating. Unlike a horse or cow that leaves noxious weeds behind, goats eat…

Jonathan Bartley and Adrian Lacasse

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A dogged reporter covers our roiling world

By Dave Marston

Usually seen with a camera slung around his neck, Allen Best edits a one-man online journalism shop he calls Big…

Allen Best at work

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Rushing water closes a highway in Western Colorado

By Dave Marston

The small towns of Paonia and Hotchkiss in western Colorado are seeing fewer tourists this spring. Exceptionally high runoff blew…

Bear Creek digs a big ditch across Highway 133, Patti Kaech photo, May 15

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Farmington, a city in need of a jolt

By Dave Marston

The good news these days about Farmington, New Mexico, is that the air looks clear. That’s a huge change. For…

Blue skies over the closed San Juan Generating Station, Mike Eisenfeld photo

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A Colorado reservoir gets ready for an epic snowmelt

By Dave Marston

Reservoir manager Ken Beck says wryly that he has lots of water coming his way, “and I need a hole…

Ken Beck at the Pine River Irrigation headquarters

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Colorado is conflicted about cutting its water use

By Dave Marston

In Colorado, farmers must enroll in a four-state program by March 1, if they want to get paid for fallowing…

Tom Kay in front of his John Deere tractor, image: Dave Marston

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Atmospheric rivers endanger the West

By Dave Marston

Moab, Utah, gets just eight inches of rain per year, yet rainwater flooded John Weisheit’s basement last summer. Extremes are…

Glen Canyon Dam under construction 1960-63, courtesy USBR

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What also counts is where the snow falls

By Dave Marston

This week Writers on the Range explores the possibility of dangerous flooding in the Colorado River Basin. But there’s something…

A girl and her dog sledding at Durango’s off-leash dog park Jan. 20, photo courtesy Dave Marston

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The “energy gap” nobody wants to tussle with

By Dave Marston

Many Western states have declared they will achieve all-renewable electrical goals in just two decades. Call me naïve, but haven’t…

Clouds over a windmill farm near Oakley, Kansas

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Public land — a true blessing

By Dave Marston

At every Thanksgiving dinner, my family asks everyone around the table to say what they’re grateful for. It puts new…

Green River from White-Rim in Canyonlands National Park near Moab UT Oct.-2022 credit Dave-Marston

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When no home is affordable, where do you live?

By Dave Marston

It’s a common story: Candace McNatt of Durango, in southern Colorado, kept losing bidding wars to buy a house. She…

Candace McNatt with her dog at Oasis Park in Durango Co. The tiny home part of the park is called, “tiny town”

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Business as usual for the Colorado River

By Dave Marston

It seemed inevitable that the dwindling Colorado River would be divvied up by the federal Bureau of Reclamation. On June…

Winterhaven, CA, Imperial Dam, where 90% of the Colorado River is desilted and sent to numerous irrigation districts in CA and AZ. Courtesy of Bureau of Reclamation

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Ditches are a vanishing paradise

By Dave Marston

Annette Choszczyk lives in rural western Colorado these days, but when she was a kid, the Highline Canal in Denver…

Photo of North Fork Valley, Co, courtesy of Kenita Burns Moore

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Tips for a new code of the West

By Dave Marston

It’s not always easy living in the rural West, with customs so entrenched that everybody takes them for granted. What…

Image credit: Pat Hunter

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Want to farm? Get a cash register

By Dave Marston

In 1991, when Lee Bradley started farming near Paonia in the North Fork Valley of Colorado, he was hired to…

Image credit: P.j. Briscoe

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A tale of two western counties

By Dave Marston

“Delta County has a long history of turning away stuff that ends up in Montrose County,” says Delta County Commissioner Don Suppes.

May 26, 2021 – Byron Kominek, owner of Jack’s Solar Garden, tills the soil at the farm in Longmont, Colo. Jack’s Solar Garden is a 1.2-MW, five-acre community solar farm and is the largest agrivoltaic research project in the U.S. The solar project was designed and built by Namasté Solar. (Photo by Werner Slocum / NREL)

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Imagine a great river, flowing free

By Dave Marston

Some environmental groups and water honchos have sponsored a “Rewilding of Glen Canyon” contest, with the winner getting $4,000 “and…

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Wind-driven fire ran until gusts died

By Dave Marston

The Marshall Fire that demolished more than 1,000 homes along the front range of Colorado two weeks ago was not…

Nasa recorded image of MM117 fire via Wildfire Today

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This rancher has radical ideas about water

By Dave Marston

If Jim Howell, a fourth-generation rancher in Western Colorado, has a guru, he’s Allan Savory, the champion of intensive cattle…

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How I learned to love maggots

By Dave Marston

If you’re one of those people who composts everything you can think of because you want to build up your…

Black Soldier Flies in author, David Marston’s hand

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Looking back to when water was plentiful

By Dave Marston

During his 50 years in rural western Colorado, Jamie Jacobson has seen a lot of flooding. While caretaking a farm…

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Call it Bindweed or thistle – Writers on the Range just won’t die

By Dave Marston

It sprouted again during a fall hike in 2019. Betsy, Steve Mandell, his wife, Terri, and I, agreed that Writers on the Range deserved to live again.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

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An isolated area gets the vaccine job done

By Dave Marston

“The two small counties, including the indigenous community of the Southern Ute Nation, were ready when 4,000 of those doses—10% of the state’s total—arrived.”

Photograph by Fadil Fauzi, courtesy of Unsplash

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Billionaire mine owner leaves a tiny town in the lurch

By Dave Marston

“..a visitor to the town notices abandoned cars parked willy-nilly and piles of junk that look as old as the town itself. “

Photograph Courtesy of Somerset Water District website

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Who Calls the Shots on the Colorado River?

By Dave Marston

Once you pay for fallowed fields, you’ll end up with landowners who are investors first, like Water Asset Management.

Photograph by Jon Flobrant, courtesy of Unsplash

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A Move Toward Water Speculation

By Dave Marston

“Just talking about demand management has already attracted deep-pocketed investors..”

Photo by RedCharlie, Courtesy of Unsplash

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A Clear Warning About the Colorado River

By Dave Marston

For the West this summer, the news about water was grim.  In some parts of California, it didn’t rain for…

Photograph by Ken Cheung, Courtesy of Unsplash

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If the Water Goes, the Desert Moves in

By Dave Marston

“Without water, you’ve got nothing around here.”

Photograph by David Marston

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ALMOST 70 WHEN THE VIRUS ENDED HIS JOB

By Dave Marston

Brezonick knows that the huge furnaces that burn coal are closing fast. “I don’t think coal will recover and society has turned against it,”

Photograph by Matt Brezonick

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A DEPRESSED TOWN FIGHTS BACK

By Dave Marston

This is a place that knows the pain of an industry cutting back.

Photograph by Jeffrey Beall, Flickr

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WHEN THE VIRUS HITS YOU, IT HITS HARD

By Dave Marston

Friday the virus had its way with me:

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