This is the website for Courtney White, author, photographer, and cofounder of the Quivira Coalition. I have been fascinated with the complex relationship between land and people all my life. My work and thoughts are gathered here. The site is part history, ethnography, art project, adventure story, biography, call-to-action, and reflection.

HOPEFUL ANSWERS TO ANGUISHED QUESTIONS

 

Author Wallace Stegner once said every book should try to answer an anguished question. During my career, I’ve tried to answer a variety of anguished questions through my writing, photography, and activism ranging over the fields of archaeology, history, conservation, the radical center, regenerative agriculture, and climate change.

 

Core questions emerged early: what is land for? How should we use it properly? How should we live? How do we bridge divides? How can humans and nature coexist? Over time, as the scale of our accelerating impact on the planet increased, new anguished questions arose: can we restrain ourselves? How do we build resilience? What are the nature-based solutions to climate change?

 

I didn’t follow a prepared path in seeking answers. My original interests focused on archaeology, conservation, the American West, and visual arts. With the Quivira Coalition, I became active in the social change movement and helped promote hopeful answers that I found among the grassroots.

 

I’ve produced creative work in many formats: two fine art photography projects  ~ a history book  ~ a peer-reviewed archaeology paper ~ two nonfiction books on climate solutions ~ a play ~ a nonprofit organization ~ three book collections of essays  ~ two blogs ~ three columns ~ a time-travel novel ~ a mystery novel ~ a professional journal ~ two lectures ~ coauthored books ~ and a ton of ideas.

 

My work falls into two phases: A WEST THAT WORKS (1988-2005) focused on archaeology, collaborative conservation, progressive ranching, and land use. THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES (2006 to present) tackles resilience, regeneration, and other global concerns as we head into our unprecedented future.

Photograph by Elaine Patarini

NEW:

November 2019 from Chelsea Green Press: Fibershed: a New Textile Economy, co-authored with Rebecca Burgess (see)  

 

This is an important book. It is bold, practical, optimistic––a vision of how things must be.”—Kate Fletcher, professor, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts, London, UK

 

ALSO: The Sun: a Mystery was a Finalist for the 2019 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.

BOOKS

The Age of Consequences

A collection of personal essays about our uncertain times - the Age of Consequences - coupled with hopeful, practical solutions involving land, livestock, and people in the American West.

THE SUN

A murder mystery set on a working ranch in northern New Mexico. Something is amiss in the New West... It is the first volume of the Sun Ranch Saga.

Grass, Soil, Hope

A general interest book about ways to mitigate climate change by sequestering CO2 in plants and soils, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and produce economic and ecological resilience.

Consilience

A contemporary love story about time-travel, an uncertain future, and resistance. The novel is finished. I am looking for a publisher.

Two Percent Solutions

Innovative low-cost, low-tech, nature-based practices that increase soil carbon, including organic no-till farming, grassfed food production, and ecological restoration.

Grassroots

A collection of columns and short essays about the rise of the radical center from the perspective of a front-line participant and thoughts about the broken promise of the New West.

IMAGES

THE INDELIBLE WEST

Photographs 1988-1998

THIS MOMENT IN TIME

Photographs 2005-2015

THE DELIGHT-MAKERS

Photodocumentary with text

SOCIAL CHANGE

I cofounded the Quivira Coalition in 1997 with the goal of building a radical center among ranchers, conservationists, federal land managers, and scientists around practices that improve economic and ecological resilience in working landscapes.

This is a collection of essays written during my years at the Quivira Coalition. Topics include: the radical center, collaborative conservation, grassbanks, ecological restoration, The New Ranch, carbon farming, land health, and local food.

Since 2017, I have been assisting farmers, ranchers, and nonprofit directors in regenerative agriculture get their words into print as a book as a co-author with the support of Chelsea Green Publishing.